ESPN headlines declare "History In The Making"
Well, until next week, when this all is subject to change.
Anyway, in the meantime, here ya go...
There really aren't any surprises at the top 2. Mississippi State and Florida State remain the two undefeated teams from the power conferences and were expected to take two of the spots. North Dakota State and Marshall are also both undefeated, but the CFB landscape is separate and unequal. Sorry, guys. That left 18 one-loss teams for the committee to sort and, shock of all shocks, the committee picked 2 SEC schools in Ole Miss and Auburn.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As for our Bruins, we get an honorable mention at #22. The season has been about as disappointing so far as a 6-2 record can be. Sure, every single 5-3 team would trade for our W-L record, but we know that the team has fallen short of expectations to this point. Thus, as the initial CFP Playoff poll is unveiled, we are like students on Bruin Walk passing by Pauley under glass, on the outside looking in. What a shame. Utah (#17), Arizona State (#14), and Arizona (#12) all sit in front of us. Even with our destruction of ASU, it's hard to argue that order. But hey, we're ahead of Duke and Louisville. Close your eyes and pretend this is basketball.
Personally, it's a mistake to release this poll now. There is little to no chance that today's order will look the same come December 7th when the final version comes out, so this poll becomes its own source of bias moving forward. The whole problem with early- or mid-season polls is that teams are arbitrarily ranked, but that placement has a lot to do with their fortunes through the year. Teams ranked in the teens have to do so much more to move up than teams slotted near the top. A early season loss for #15 drops them to the end of the poll with little to no chance to get back to the top. Also, the timing of a loss has significant ramifications which may not be relevant to a team's overall situation.
But, let's be honest, this isn't about picking the best football team in the country, it's about generating hype, so let the discussion, and the controversy, begin!