The Big Ten didn't manage to put a team in the top 10 in this week's AP poll, but Michigan State slots in at No. 9 on the most recent USA Today poll. The Spartans only come in at No. 11 in the AP rankings, but a couple of factors have them pushed two spots ahead in the USA Today rankings.
In the AP poll, Michigan State is ranked behind both Arkansas and USC, both of whom are in the top-10. But in the USA Today poll, USC isn't eligible to receive votes due to recent NCAA infractions, and Arkansas is ranked behind the Spartans after getting crushed by No. 1 LSU on Saturday. the AP voters weren't nearly as harsh to the Razorbacks, putting them at No. 6 in the nation.
Michigan State plays No. 12 Wisconsin next week in the inaugural Big Ten championship game, with the winner getting an automatic invitation to a BCS bowl, presumably the Rose Bowl.