The Michigan State Spartans are ranked No. 13 overall in the preseason college football AP Top 25 released Saturday. The Spartans check in as the third Big Ten team on the list, behind No. 8 Michigan and No. 12 Wisconsin. Nebraska (No. 17) and Ohio State (No. 18) also made the list.
USC is the AP's preseason No. 1, garnering 25 first-place votes. Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma also earned first-place votes to round out the top four teams. Michigan somehow earned a first-place vote as well, becoming the only team outside the top four and only Big Ten team to do so.
The Spartans are hoping to make their way to the Rose Bowl this season after falling a game short last year. An experienced defense returns but the offense must rebuild after losing quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Edwin Baker, and wide receivers B.J. Cunningham and Keshawn Martin to the NFL.