Michigan State football joins Michigan Wolverines in Top 25 of USA TODAY Coaches Poll

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Move over, Michigan football. Make room for your rival.

After three weeks, Michigan State football looks like a force to be reckoned with, and has joined the Wolverines in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll Top 25. It's the first time both programs are ranked since Week 3 of the 2019 season.

Michigan State, 3-0 with two road wins, including a conference win at Northwestern to open the season, is No. 21 after mashing formerly ranked Miami in the Florida heat, 38-17, on Saturday. The Spartans had been the fourth team out of the poll (No. 29) last week.

Michigan, which entered the rankings at No. 25 last week, moved to No. 19 after dismantling Northern Illinois, 63-10, on Saturday for its third straight blowout win at Michigan Stadium.

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Michigan State safety Michael Dowell (7) celebrates after the Spartans defeated Miami, 38-17, on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Michigan State safety Michael Dowell (7) celebrates after the Spartans defeated Miami, 38-17, on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The momentum is building for October 30, when the Wolverines visit the Spartans in East Lansing for the annual in-state rivalry game. It will be the first matchup at Spartan Stadium since 2018. Mel Tucker and the Spartans stunned Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines last season in Ann Arbor, 27-24.

Neither team was expected to factor into the Big Ten championship race — Michigan was picked fourth in the division; MSU was seventh — but with one-loss Ohio State finally looking a bit vulnerable, and the Wolverines and Spartans punishing teams, the door might be cracked open this season in the Big Ten East Division. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 11.

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Penn State remains a factor, holding off Auburn, 28-20, to slide up to four spots to No. 8.

Iowa, of the Big Ten West, nudged ahead of Clemson to No. 6 after a 30-7 win over Kent State, and one-loss Wisconsin is No. 15, moving ahead two spots after a bye week. The Big Ten has six ranked teams.

Alabama remained No. 1 after escaping the Florida swamp, 31-29.

Find the entre rankings here.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football joins Michigan in Coaches Poll Top 25