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Michigan State among most disrespected college football programs

'Can I get an Amen?' - Probably Mark Dantonio.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It's no secret that Michigan State Football tends to get slighted when it comes to preseason rankings and honors.

That's about the only way to explain how nearly every year, the Spartans are projected to accomplish significantly less than they end up doing. It's easy to undersell a program like MSU that wins ugly a lot without much glitz and glamor, but once the talk is over and the games are played, MSU is one of the best programs in college football year in and year out.

Yet once again, we see preseason rankings with the Spartans ranked outside the top 15, or are being given the third-best odds to win the Big Ten.

What's funny is even the national media recognizes that MSU doesn't get the respect it deserves. That's the case at CBS Sports, where  Tom Fornelli tabbed the Spartans as the third-most disrespected program in college football.

3. Michigan State: Sparty fans tend to play the disrespect card a bit too often, and that's due in large part to their coach, Mark Dantonio, relying on it. There's a reason for it, though, because Michigan State still doesn't really get the respect it deserves.

This is a team that has won three Big Ten titles in the last six years, and has won at least 11 games in five of the last six seasons. For most of the last decade, the Spartans have surpassed in-state rival Michigan to join Ohio State as the other alpha dog in the Big Ten.

Yet, every year, there are plenty of people who believe this will be the season that Michigan State falls back to reality.

You're definitely going to see it in 2016. While the Big Ten's media poll hasn't been released yet, most pundits are predicting that the Spartans will finish third in the Big Ten East this season. It's understandable given everything they lose from last year's team -- which won the Big Ten and was selected for the College Football Playoff.

Where the disrespect comes in is that the two teams that will be chosen ahead of Michigan State are Ohio State and Michigan. The former has to replace more key players from its team than possibly any other team in history, while the latter hasn't a conference title since 2004 and has never won a division since the conference expanded.