The College Football Playoff Committee just released their initial rankings of the 2015 season and the Iowa Hawkeyes debut ranked 9th. Kirk Ferentz's group has begun the season unscathed with an 8-0 record, having signature victories over Wisconsin and Northwestern on the road, and a win at night in Kinnick Stadium againset Pittsburgh.
A lot of teams have their schedule backloaded this year, which is different from the Hawkeyes whose final four games do not compare to their first eight. However, the resume-building, style points, criteria covering, and debates are far from the minds of the Iowa contingent.
"I have no idea," Austin Blythe answered to the question about where Iowa fit in the polls. "A lot of things go into it. It doesn't matter where we're ranked. It only matters at the end of the year. I heard that Ohio State was ranked 16th this time last year. Things are going to change. Things are going to shake out. We control how they shake out. We just have to go out and play. There's four games left. We just need to keep playing good football and we'll end up where we end up."
"I'll probably see it," quarterback C.J. Beathard said of the release of the poll. "I'll see ESPN and all the sport channels. (You) can almost guaratnee that the four teams selected tonight won't be the four teams selected in the end. They predict all the stuff before the season and most of it has been wrong. We just got to keep going about it one week at a time. We have to control that and focus on Indiana."
"Honestly, not really," cornerback Greg Mabin responded if tonight's poll mattered to him. "We can't control what other people decide. Right now I think we're ranked 10th or 11th. That's nice and everything but we can't control what they decide. We have to go out there and control what we can control."
Iowa has collectively done a great job of blocking out all the 'outside noise' thus far and they plan to continue that. How's that happen and how difficult can it be? They shared earlier on Tuesday.
"I don't think (it's difficult)," Blythe explained. "We just have to focus on what's gotten us to this point and keep doing it."
"I think we do a very good job as a team to take it all one week at a time," offensive tackle Boone Myers discussed. "We don't let the big picture consume us that much. We just focus on our next opponent and keep ourselves ready. That's how you keep it all out of there. You just have to get yourselves better, get each other better, and prepare for the next game. It's pretty hard at times. With the good group of guys like we have, it makes it a lot easier. We all have the same goal. We all know what we have to do."
"Going back to the Summer and Spring, we knew all along what we had as a team and confidence in ourselves," Beathard noted. "As long as we focused on us, and we felt like we were better than everyone was giving us credit for. We were excited to show it. When the season started we got to show it, shut some people off, and now a lot more peole are seeing what we have done. We just have to keep getting better and doing what we have been doing."
Though it doesn't register any kind of importance, the Hawkeyes do recognize that there's some positives to being in the mix and having this type of attention.
"We'd definitely rather be mentioned than not mentioned," Beathard admitted. "It shows that you're doing good stuff and being successful as a team. We've won eight games and we're happy with what we've done so far. We just have to continue to improve and get better. We're focused on Indiana and beating them."
"It's definitely nice (to be mentioned," Greg Mabin pointed out. "It's definitely nice that people are showing us the respect that we feel like we have earned. We're going to continue to go out there and make people respect us."
Offensive lineman Austin Blythe stated that he would most likely not even watch tonight's show or release of the poll. He isn't the only Hawkeye that won't take it in.
"I wasn't planning on it," Boone Myers commented. "I have a lot of homework to do."
"I have a night class so I won't be able to watch it," Mabin said.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz doesn't have a whole lot of interest in the intial release of the rankings by the Colleg Football Playoff Committee, either.
"I throw it kind of in the category of August polls," he told the media at his weekly press conference. "It doesn't mean a lot right now. But it's been great for the game. It's been really good for a lot of people to talk about. College football is at an all-time high. That's all positive."
"My only two observations are that, A, they don't mean a lot right now," Ferentz added. "Then B, people spend a lot of time, people that get sucked into conversation that I've witnessed not only with these polls, but the BCS stuff, they tend to get nailed pretty quick soon thereafter. We're going to try to avoid both of those plights."
So, the Hawkeyes open up at number 9, but Iowa is focused on Indiana and what they can control; the right attitude to have. Take care of what you can control, and let the chips fall where they may.