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Michigan State will face four preseason Top-25 teams, per Coaches Poll

Two other opponents received votes in polling as well

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Ohio State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The preseason USA Today Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday. The Michigan State Spartans face a daunting task ahead this season based on the results, as four teams on the schedule made the initial top-25, and two other opponents were among the teams also receiving votes.

The full results of the preseason poll are below with fellow Big Ten programs in italics and teams on the schedule in bold:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes
  5. Georgia
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Iowa State
  9. North Carolina
  10. Cincinnati
  11. Florida
  12. Oregon
  13. LSU
  14. USC
  15. Wisconsin Badgers
  16. Miami Hurricanes
  17. Indiana Hoosiers
  18. Iowa Hawkeyes
  19. Texas
  20. Penn State Nittany Lions
  21. Washington
  22. Oklahoma State
  23. UL Lafayette
  24. Coastal Carolina
  25. Ole Miss

Others Receiving Votes:

Utah 145; Northwestern Wildcats 120; Arizona State 90; Auburn 84; Liberty 68; Brigham Young 53; Texas Christian 48; Michigan Wolverines 30; Central Florida 29; NC State 27; Boise State 27; Kentucky 20; San Jose State 18; Army 13; Virginia Tech 9; Missouri 8; UCLA 7; Tulsa 6; Pittsburgh 6; Boston College 6; Houston 5; Ball State 5; West Virginia 4; Southern Methodist 4; Appalachian State 4; UAB 3; Arkansas 3; Nevada 2; Mississippi State 2; Air Force 2; Stanford 1; Marshall 1; Florida State 1; California 1.

Based on the preseason poll, Michigan State will face the second-highest team in the “receiving votes” category (just outside of the top-25) in the season opener when the Spartans travel to Evanston, Illinois for a late Friday night showdown against Northwestern. Two weeks later MSU faces off against No. 16 Miami, and on the road at that. Further down the calendar in October come games against No. 17 Indiana (away) and a Michigan squad also receiving a number of votes (home). The final two weeks of the schedule also feature bouts against No. 4 Ohio State (away) and No. 20 Penn State (home) in back-to-back games.

Obviously a lot can change between the preseason poll and the various October and November game dates against some of the fellow Big Ten programs on the list. However, head coach Mel Tucker has a lot of tough games to navigate in his first full 12-game season as head of the program this fall.

On a side note, readers may find the rankings in the preseason standings eerily similar to a certain series published earlier this summer by The Only Colors.