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Michigan State Ranked Eighth in Preseason Associated Press Poll

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Eight is the magic number for Michigan State heading into the season as it resides at number eight in both major polls.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The AP poll: it doesn't matter anymore, but we're still days out from actual football. So here we are, discussing MSU's highest placement in decades in the minds of college football voters.

Concluding the 2013 season at No. 3 in both major polls for the program's highest finish since its glory days of the 1960s, Michigan State begins the 2014 season perched in the top 10 of both major polls.

Ranked 8th in the Preseason Associated Press Poll released Sunday, Michigan State received 1,080 points and is sandwiched between UCLA and South Carolina.

"Our focus remains on winning championships," eighth-year Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told MSUSpartans.com. "We have proven that we can compete consistently with the top teams in the country and will continue to dream big. We need embrace our preseason ranking and display the maturity it takes to manage that success.

"Ultimately, we will be measured at the end of the season, so we will again strive to be playing our best football in November, December and on into January."

Sitting in the top 10 of the Preseason AP Poll for the 14th time in program history, the No. 8 ranking marks the Spartans' best position in the poll since they were ranked third heading into the 1967 season.

Two Michigan State opponents in 2014 reside in the top 10 of the AP poll, Oregon (No. 3) and Ohio State (No. 5) while its opponent on Oct. 4, Nebraska, enters the season at No. 22.

The entire Preseason AP Poll can be found below:

Rank School Points
1 Florida State (57) 1,496
2 Alabama (1) 1,361
3 Oregon (1) 1,334
4 Oklahoma (1) 1,324
5 Ohio State 1,207
6 Auburn 1,198
7 UCLA 1,106
8 Michigan State 1,080
9 South Carolina 1,015
10 Baylor 966
11 Stanford 885
12 Georgia 843
13 LSU 776
14 Wisconsin 637
15 USC 626
16 Clemson 536
17 Notre Dame 445
18 Mississippi 424
19 Arizona State 357
20 Kansas State 242
21 Texas A&M 238
22 Nebraska 226
23 North Carolina 194
24 Missouri 134
25 Washington 130
Others receiving votes: UCF 94, Florida 87, Texas 86, Duke 71, Iowa 68, Louisville 48, Marshall 41, Oklahoma State 37, Virginia Tech 26, TCU 23, Mississippi State 22, Michigan 19, Texas Tech 19, Miami (FL) 16, Cincinnati 15, Boise State 10, Oregon State 10, Northwestern 8, BYU 8, Penn State 5, Vanderbilt 2, Navy 2, Nevada 1, Louisiana-Lafayette 1, Utah State 1