The undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes are ranked ninth in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season, released Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes have been 10th and 11th in the major polls the last two weeks, but their strength of schedule-to-date obviously convinced the Selection Committee to move them slightly higher. Many pundits predicted Iowa would be higher in the initial poll than the Hawkeyes were ranked by the AP or coaches, but their standing could drop in coming weeks given the weakness in their remaining schedule.
Iowa is one of three undefeated Big Ten teams with a chance to make the Playoff. The defending national champion, Ohio State, is ranked third, while Michigan State comes in at seventh.
Three past Iowa opponents were also watching the initial poll tonight: Northwestern is ranked 21st, while Pittsburgh and Wisconsin were left out of the poll.
Iowa is ranked behind two one-loss teams, Alabama and Notre Dame. Both have significant tests left on their schedules, with the Tide playing LSU this weekend and the Irish facing Stanford late in November.
The teeth-gnashing can begin later. For now, let's appreciate the fact that there is teeth-gnashing to be had (remember, Ohio State was 16th in the first poll last season). Can't stop. Won't stop. Four more weeks to go.