Michigan State football is ranked No. 14 in the newly-released 2022 preseason USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll. It is the first time that the Spartans have been ranked in preseason Coaches poll since 2019.
The Spartans are coming off of a giant season, in which the team saw a Peach Bowl victory against Pittsburgh, and finished in the top-10 in both the final Associated Press Poll and final Coaches Poll rankings with an 11-2 record. MSU also had a fringe Heisman candidate in Kenneth Walker III, who would win the Walter Camp Player of the Year award and Doak Walker Award.
At Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis, Indiana head coach Mel Tucker begged the question: “Why not us?” in hopes to bring a championship to East Lansing.
While No. 14 to open season the season is quite respectable for MSU, the Spartans will need to rise from rankings to accomplish that championship goal.
Fellow Big Ten rival Michigan is ranked No. 6 in the early rankings. Alabama took the top spot, Ohio State followed at No. 2 with five first-place votes and Georgia ranks No. 3. The final Big Ten team in the top-25 is Wisconsin, at No. 20. Penn State and Iowa were both left off.
Michigan State will open the season Sept. 2 against Western Michigan on ESPN.
Full USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll
Note: Big Ten teams in bold.
- Alabama (54 first-place votes)
- Ohio State (5)
- Georgia (6)
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- North Carolina State
- Michigan State
- Miami (FL.)
- Texas (1)
- Wake Forest