For the last several weeks, there have been differences in how Michigan State has been perceived in both major polls.
But for the poll that really matters, the one the 12-person College Football Playoff Selection Committee will put out a weekly basis until Dec. 7, Michigan State is viewed through a similar lens as the Associated Press poll for the last several weeks.
Situated fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Amway Coaches' Poll and the AP Poll, the selection committee for the College Football Playoff placed the Spartans No. 8 in their first Top 25 that was released on Tuesday night.
Michigan State (7-1), fresh off last Saturday's 35-11 home victory over Michigan, is off until Nov. 8 when the No. 16-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes come calling.
"One thing I saw is Ohio State as far down as they are and there are a lot of people that believe that if Ohio State were to beat Michigan State and win out, they would have a decent argument because again, they're a conference champion," ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said Tuesday night. "One of the first things in the criteria of the committee is to recognize that if you are splitting hairs with a bunch of one-loss teams, 'Oh, this team happens to be a conference champion.' So that might be enough to get them over.
"Where Ohio State is now, they have a long way to go to even be in the discussion, whereas Michigan State, on Nov. 8, if they were to continue to win, I think they obviously because they're much higher, they have a much, much better chance of being able to get into the discussion and get up into the top four. But Ohio State, boy, that's a long way to go sitting at No. 16."
Considering Michigan State's only loss at the moment is to No. 5 Oregon, on the road in Eugene, Ore. no less, that argument might ring even stronger should Mark Dantonio's charges win out and repeat as Big Ten champions.