After finishing the 2015 season with a 12-2 record and a Top 10 finish for the third season in a row, the Michigan State Spartans learned Sunday they are on the outside looking in at the Top 10 in the preseason Associated Press Poll.
Mark Dantonio enters his tenth season at the helm of the Spartans with his team earning a preseason poll ranking of No. 12 in the first poll by the AP this season.
This is the fifth time the Spartans under Dantonio have appeared in the AP Preseason Poll and 30th overall since 1950.
Three of the Spartans scheduled opponents in 2016 also enter the poll ranked with Ohio State (No. 6), Michigan (No. 7) and Notre Dame (No. 10) all ranked in the Top Ten.
Out of the three the Spartans make one road trip to South Bend in Week Three of the season for their second game of the year against the Irish.
The ranking is one spot behind where the Preseason Amway Coaches Poll had the Spartans starting the season with a No. 11 ranking early in the month.
Where will Michigan State be at the end of the 2016 season? It should be another exciting ride to see if the Spartans can continue playing at a level that has seen them become the only program in the FBS to finish in the top six in the past three AP Polls.