Enter Sparty: Michigan State appears in BCS standings

Enter Sparty: Michigan State appears in BCS standings
October 27, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Vinnie Duber

Despite boasting the country's top defense for much of this season, Michigan State had yet to appear in any top-25 poll. Until Sunday.

The Spartans made their top-25 debut, entering the BCS standings at No. 22 following their latest win, a 42-3 pounding of Illinois on Saturday.

Michigan State (7-1, 4-0) is one of four Big Ten teams in the BCS standings, with Ohio State remaining at No. 4, Michigan remaining at No. 21 and Wisconsin entering the standings at No. 24.

Michigan State meets Michigan this week in what could be a battle for the fate of the Legends Division. The winner has the inside track to a spot in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis later this season. Now that matchup will be one between two top-25 teams.

[MORE: Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 9]

In other good strength-of-schedule news for the Spartans, the team that handed Michigan State its lone defeat — Notre Dame — debuted at No. 25 in this week's BCS standings. That could be an important factor later on if the Spartans find themselves in a position to compete in a BCS bowl game, though that's a ways off for now.

There was movement in the top 5, with previous No. 3 Oregon moving up to No. 2, swapping spots with Florida State. This kind of evaluation is one Ohio State hopes to be a part of, though the Buckeyes would need a loss from one of the teams ahead of them or a really big win to climb. That latter option likely won't present itself until the end of the season, but seeing Wisconsin enter the standings is a positive for Ohio State.