SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports college football experts give their picks with the start of the season right around the corner. USA TODAY
Both of Iowa's major college football teams have found their way into the initial College Football Playoff rankings of the 2018 season.
But how they are ranked there may inspire some differing reactions.
Iowa's 6-2 football squad is slated in the No. 16 spot, several rungs ahead of their Associated Press (19th) and USA TODAY Coaches (18th) poll designations.
Iowa State's 4-3 side just squeaked into the ranking in 24th. The Cyclones are receiving votes in both other traditional polls.
Hawkeyes fans, though, are smarting after last Saturday's 30-24 defeat at Penn State that took the Big Ten West out of their control (and a playoff spot virtually, though not impossibly, out of the picture).
Cyclones supporters are riding a wave of momentum after three straight wins under new starting quarterback Brock Purdy, and winning their remaining four Big 12 Conference games could put Matt Campbell's squad into the Dec. 1 league championship game.
The top four teams in the final playoff rankings released Dec. 2 reach the national semifinals. But the rankings are important for premier bowl-game matchups, and this is early good news for both sides.
Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame comprise the top five in the initial ranking. The top-ranked Crimson Tide and third-ranked Tigers play each other this Saturday, however.
The highest-ranked Big Ten Conference squad is Michigan at No. 5, with Ohio State ranked 10th. Oklahoma sits seventh and is the only Big 12 squad in the top 12.