Michigan State has picked an odd time to poke its biggest rival in the Big Ten.
The Spartans are running the current College Football Playoff rankings on their video boards in East Lansing prior to Saturday’s game vs. Ohio State with the wrong team in the No. 4 slot — an obvious troll of Michigan.
We aren’t sure if this is intentional, but why wouldn’t it be?
Dave Holmes, a TV anchor from Columbus, Ohio, posted this shot prior to kickoff:
Not joking. These are the actual playoff rankings that Michigan State is running on all the video boards at Spartan Stadium today. @UMichFootball @darrenrovell @BarstoolUofM @barstoolsports pic.twitter.com/XUW6z5CgRY
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmesTV) November 10, 2018
“Not joking. These are the actual playoff rankings that Michigan State is running on all the video boards at Spartan Stadium today,” Holmes tweeted.
Michigan hasn’t lost since the season opener at Notre Dame and jumped into the Top 4 this week following LSU’s loss to Alabama. The Wolverines beat the Spartans, 21-7, last month, limiting Michigan State to less than 100 total yards on the road.
It was a setback that effectively took the Spartans out of the Playoff race and strengthened Michigan’s case inside the Top 10. The Wolverines lead college football in total defense and rank fifth in scoring defense, first in the Big Ten at just 13.6 points per game.
Jim Harbaugh’s team has placed themselves at the center of final four talk during this eight-game stretch of dominance featuring several wins over Top 25 teams. The College GameDay crew got into a heated discussion on Saturday when the conversation shifted to what happens if Alabama loses — and the rest of the current Top 5 wins out this season.
“For me you have to get the four best teams in the Playoff,” Kirk Herbstreit said. “What Lee is saying … a lot of people are touting that. If Alabama loses a 3-point game to Georgia, how do you go from being the best team ever to being out? Clemson (Georgia and Alabama) would be in. It would come down to a Notre Dame vs. Michigan discussion.
“If they determine Michigan and Notre Dame are in a cluster, and they love that term, Notre Dame goes in because they beat Michigan head to head. If they say Michigan is playing better than anyone in the country, then the cluster doesn’t apply.”
Desmond Howard picked apart Herbstreit’s point and says we’re now blurring the line between best and “most deserving” teams in the final four.
“You just gave us a best team vs. most deserving team scenario,” Howard said. “It’s the age-old argument we have to deal with.”
Michigan battles Rutgers on Saturday and the Wolverines are an incredible 39-point favorite. It’s a grand opportunity to post another convincing win in front of the selection committee.