Monday, November 7, 2011

A look inside the AP Poll: Week 11

People don't know what to make of the Spartans.

MSU comes in at No. 13 in the latest AP Poll, but they're No. 17 in the BCS standings. The BCS standings don't really matter at this point, but among AP Top 20 teams, MSU has the biggest difference between ranking and standing in the BCS. The computers are not fond of the Spartans.

The Spartans came out sluggish and survived a close game against Minnesota and, as a result, are ranked as high as No. 10 and as low as No. 21 among voters.

The highest votes come from Anthony Gimino of the Tucson Citizen and Greg Auman of the St. Pete Times.

The lowest vote came from Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Murphy has MSU behind fellow Big Ten teams Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan, two of whom MSU has beaten. Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has the Spartans at No. 20, and he'll get to see them up close this week.

John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader had the Spartans at No. 10 a week ago, but dropped them to No. 12 on his ballot this week. He moved Clemson, Arkansas and Virginia Tech ahead of the Spartans, while moving Nebraska behind them. He also is one of two voters to have Iowa ranked, putting them at No. 23.

A win against Iowa will shrink the range of votes the Spartans are getting. A loss will throw them back in the pack of a lot of teams.

As for local voters, John Niyo of The Detroit News has MSU as No. 12 and Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV has the Spartans at No. 15.

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