Michigan State No. 18 In CFP Rankings - And That Matters...

Michigan State No. 18 In CFP Rankings - And That Matters...

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Michigan State No. 18 In CFP Rankings - And That Matters...

It seems like five minutes ago when everyone was certain that Michigan State was headed for the gutter after a tough loss to Michigan.  The College Football Playoff rankings show that, at #18, Michigan State’s surge isn’t just window dressing.

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Don’t worry, members of The Circus – we’re not suggesting that Michigan State is on a collision course with the College Football Playoff for the second time in four years.

However, at 6-3, 4-2, the folks at the College Football Playoff have recognized that the Spartans have dug themselves out of the ditch, fought hard, and won in impressive fashion not just over the last couple of weeks but over the course of the full season.

The CFP folks mist appreciate the Spartan-esque style that’s been applied, too.

No ridiculous “marketing” attached to slogans that are emblazoned in hyper millennial font on silly t-shirts and are all accompanied by reality TV show style post game acting performances.

Michigan State just goes out and wins games.

Michigan State came in at #18 in this week’s CFP rankings and that should be an emphatic demonstration to Spartans and anyone else paying attention that, despite the granular challenges, the big picture shows that the season is slowly but surely forming into one that illustrates the strength of the program.

Michigan State can’t beat its rivals every single season.

Michigan State can’t play in the Big Ten Championship game all the time.

But how does a program perform over the course of a full season (and, let’s be clear – there is still a long way to go with opportunity for even more progress) even when the highest of expectations aren’t realized?

The victories over Penn State, Purdue, and even Utah State all have been impressive and noteworthy.

Injuries can’t ever be an excuse – but they are always a factor and the way this coaching staff has managed the personnel, adjusted game plans, found ways to cobble together an offensive line that has had 76 different combinations, dealt with the absence of a few of the team’s best players, and handled challenges to the quarterback position speaks to the strength and experience this staff has.

Mark Dantonio – who was being accused of “coaching malpractice” earlier this season – is showing why he’s among the best coaches in all of college football and this season has the potential to be his finest coaching job throughout his tenure.

And imagine what we’ll be saying if Dantonio can whip up another masterpiece this Saturday against Ohio State at Spartan Stadium.

Tom Izzo and his gang tipped off its season last night against #1 ranked Kansas and, perhaps, it’s okay to make a basketball comparison to what we’re saying about this year’s Spartan griders.

Izzo and the Spartans simply can’t reach the Final Four every single season.

Izzo can’t win the Big Ten Championship every single season.

But college basketball greatness isn’t a zero-sum game.

Elite Eight appearances, reaching the Sweet Sixteen – the ultimate goal for Izzo is, of course, to cut down the final net every single season but he and other college basketball head coaches who are giants of the game that manage to achieve great things even when the ultimate goals aren’t reached are the ones who earn the long term respect for consistency.

The CFP’s rankings show that this is a program that is absolutely rock solid, is one that earns its place among the nation’s best programs consistently, and isn’t going anywhere even if there are people out there who, when nobody else is watching or listening, pray at night with their eyes closed tightly and their hands clasped even more tightly and their prayer goes something like this:

“Dear God,

Please, please, oh please, make it so that Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans somehow become really, really bad at football again like they were a really long time ago so that we don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about them being mean to us on the football field like they have been for so so so long now.

We beat them this year but it took a lot of energy and focus and hard work and we’ll never say it out loud but it was way, way harder to beat them than anyone is willing to say out loud and our bodies still actually hurt from that game and that’s the type of feeling we always have after we play them and we need some help from you to make sure the games against them become easier.

Furthermore, please, please, oh please, make it so that Michigan State, at the very least, loses more games than it has in so many seasons when they’ve won 10 and 11 and 12 games and won big bowl games and finished the season in the Top 10 and the Top 15.

Please, dear Lord, see to it that Michigan State doesn’t put up such an insanely intense fight against us every day of the year because we really want to be better than they are and it’s really, really hard to keep pretending that we don’t care about them even though we sort of and pretty much let the entire galaxy know that we really do care about them a few weeks ago and that all makes it even more important for You to make sure that they lose games and become less of a problem for us – they’ve been a real, real problem for us and it’s exhausting and we’re just not sure we can apply the intensity and focus we did a few weeks ago every year (let alone every day of the year) against those guys because they just keep on fighting, keep on charging, keep on fighting, keep on charging no matter what.

Please, in Your name, help us with this, dear Lord.

Amen.”

But back to the CFP rankings.

Michigan State comes in at #18.

There are plenty of people out there that nothing matters after the Top 4.

Those people are, and always will be, wrong.

College football isn’t a zero-sum game.

There is so much more to occur throughout the remainder of this season.

For Michigan State, the remainder of the season starts this Saturday with a massive battle against Ohio State.

Being in the Top 15 of the CFP rankings sure wouldn’t be a “bad” thing, would it?

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