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AP Poll snubs MSU ahead of Michigan game

Disrespect? This week's Associated Press poll ranked a surprising team ahead of the unbeaten Spartans

On Sunday afternoon, the Associated Press released its weekly college football rankings following Week 8's results.

With No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Oklahoma State both falling to unranked opponents last week, it appeared that No. 9 Michigan State was set to move up a pair of spots, ahead of Week 9's showdown with No. 6 Michigan.

However, in a surprising result, the pollsters only moved the Spartans up to No. 8, as previously-No. 10 Oregon hopped MSU to move to the No. 7 slot.

The Ducks' jump ahead of the Spartans is something of a head-scratcher, to say the least. Yes, Oregon went into Columbus and knocked off No. 5 Ohio State in the Horseshoe. That's an impressive win, to say the least.

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Yet, since that victory, the Ducks haven't played all that impressively. Oregon has struggled to put teams away this season -- which cost them dearly in an overtime loss to Stanford (3-4) in Week 5.

Following a bye, Oregon only managed to beat Pac-12 North opponent California (2-5) by a touchdown, 24-17. Then, this past week, the Ducks nearly squandered a 17-point lead against good-not-great UCLA (5-2), eventually escaping with a 34-31 victory.

Given the loss to the Cardinal, and the struggles Oregon has had to win games comfortably in the Pac-12, it doesn't make much sense why they're ranked ahead of an undefeated Michigan State in Week 9.

In the end, the AP Poll has little to no effect on the outcome of MSU's season. The College Football Playoff committee rankings are the ones that really matter, and the first 2021 edition of those will be released after this coming weekend.

The Spartans are coming off a bye week, and are poised for the biggest game of their season against Michigan. A win in that game will certainly impress the playoff committee, and Michigan State would be in prime position for the playoff, regardless of what Oregon does the rest of this season.