EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 19: Andrew Maxwell #10 of the Michigan State Spartans throws a pass during the fourth quarter of the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Spartan Stadium on November 19, 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Hoosiers 55-3. (Photo by Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images)
Sports Illustrated's preseason top 25 rankings are now out, with Michigan State being ranked five spots ahead of Denard Robinson and Michigan.
Sports Illustrated released its 2012 preseason top 25 this afternoon, with both Michigan State and Michigan making the cut in what should be big years for both programs.
Michigan State will head into the preseason as a top 10 team, ranked No. 8 by SI after consecutive 11-win seasons despite starting the year with a new quarterback under center. Andrew Maxwell will be stepping into that role after backing up Kirk Cousins the past two years, and both the coaches and his teammates are confident the transition will be an easy one.
Mark Dantonio isn't interested in resting on laurels. The Spartans are coming off consecutive 11-win seasons and will enter 2012 as a preseason top 10 team, but their coach isn't satisfied. "None of us can be complacent," Dantonio said. "Last year is the past. We need to move forward."
Meanwhile, Denard Robinson and Michigan come in at No. 13 in the rankings after a big 11-win season last year and a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. Robinson, who is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, needs just 16 touchdowns to break the all-time record at Michigan, yet he has question marks hovering over his receivers and his own ability to avoid interceptions. He'll have help, however.
Denard Robinson, the offensive dynamo who accounted for 7,621 total yards and 68 touchdowns over the past two seasons, remains the axis of the Wolverines' attack. But his words seem apt given that he may have found his running mate in the form of 5-foot-10, 195-pound tailback Fitz Toussaint, a shifty runner who down the stretch last season had four games of 120 yards or more.
Be sure to check out Maize n Brew for more coverage of the Wolverines. For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. and head over to SB Nation's NCAA football hub for more college football news and analysis.