For the fan base of the Michigan State Spartans the pain of the Spartans 38-0 loss to eventual National Champion Alabama in the Cotton Bowl got a little more sting when the Associated Press released their final College Football Rankings for the 2015 season.
Despite finishing with a 12-2 record, wins over Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game, the Spartans found themselves 6th in the final poll behind Oklahoma, Ohio State, Stanford, Clemson and Alabama.
Overall the Big Ten finished with six teams ranked in the Top 25 as Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern all joined the Spartans and Buckeyes in the final ranking.
Since taking over the Spartans in 2007, Mark Dantonio has seen his squads ranked in the final AP Poll a total of six times, including the past three seasons after their 12-2 mark this season. Overall Dantonio has guided the Spartans to an 87-33 record the past nine seasons. The Spartans have also been invited to a bowl game in each of Dantonio's nine seasons and now have a 4-5 record in postseason play.
The Spartans started the 2015 season ranked No. 5 and reached as high as the No. 2 spot before playing theirselves into to the final College Football Playoff (3rd) ranking with their win over the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship.
Only Biggie Munn (6) and Duffy Daugherty (8) have seen as many Spartan squads ranked in the final AP Poll as Dantonio.
FINAL AP TOP 25 2015