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After Peach Bowl win, Michigan State football rises in final AP Top 25 Poll

The Spartans finish the season in the Top 10 after an excellent 2021 campaign

Michigan State was one of the ten-best college football teams in the country in 2021, according to the final Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Spartans landed at No. 9 after an 11-2 season and a win over Pittsburgh in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Head coach Mel Tucker exceeded all expectations in his second season at the helm in East Lansing, turning around a program that went 2-5 in a shortened 2020 campaign.

At No. 9, the Spartans have their best final ranking since the 2015 season, when they ended the year at No. 6 following a Cotton Bowl loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

This is the fourth time Michigan State has finished the year in the AP Top 10 over the last nine seasons. Prior to this recent stretch of success, the Spartans had 13 Top 10 finishes from the poll's debut in 1936 up until 2012.

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After defeating Alabama in the national championship, Georgia finished the season ranked No. 1 in the final AP Poll. The Crimson Tide, champions of the SEC, come in at No. 2, followed by No. 3 Michigan (Big Ten champion) and No. 4 Cincinnati (American champion).

Big 12 champion Baylor finishes the year at No. 5, followed by No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 8 Notre Dame. Rounding out the Top 10 is No. 10 Oklahoma.

No. 23 Iowa joined the Wolverines, Buckeyes and Spartans as Big Ten representatives in the final AP Top 25, while Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue fell amongst the "others receiving votes" category.

For the full Associated Press College Football Top 25 poll, click here.