Michigan State will start the season just outside the top 25 of the USA Today coaches poll.
The Spartans, who are coming off a 7-6 season, received 89 votes in the debut poll – the third-most of teams outside the top 25.
Defending national champion Alabama is the preseason No. 1 and is followed by Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford and Georgia.
The preseason No. 2-ranked Buckeyes are one of five Big Ten teams in the top 25 of the coaches poll. Michigan is No. 17,Â Nebraska is No. 18, Northwestern is No. 22 and Wisconsin is No. 23.
The Spartans will face four teams this season that are ranked in the preseason top 25. MSU travels to take on preseason No. 11 Notre Dame on Sept. 21, hosts Michigan on Nov. 2, travels to Nebraska on Nov. 16 and takes on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on Nov. 23.
MSU had its highest-ever preseason ranking in the USA Today coaches poll last year when it began the season ranked No. 13. The Spartans were in the polls the first four weeks of the season before falling out following their 17-16 loss to Ohio State, which ended a school-record run of 34 straight weeks in the poll. MSU didn’t return to the top 25 the remainder of the season.