The first college football playoff standings have been released and the Iowa Hawkeyes are on the list!

The Hawkeyes remain unbeaten after the first eight weeks of the 2015 campaign but definitely have some work to do. Iowa is number nine in the season's first playoff standings. Only the top four make the college football playoff.

The most troubling part of the Iowa ranking isn't how far they have to rise to make it into the top four, but how difficult it will be for the Hawkeyes to get there. The toughest part of the Iowa schedule is behind them, based on their opponents wins and losses anyway. Iowa opponents to this point are 36-29. FCS opponent Illinois State (7-1) doesn't help, while North Texas (1-7) definitely hurts.

Everyone knows that an undefeated team has a HUGE target on their back, making each game all the more difficult. However, the four remaining teams on Iowa's schedule have a combined record of 13-20. Iowa's strength of schedule is said to be stronger from this point forward. Surprisingly, it's ranked 63rd nationally to this point and 56th the rest of the way. Here's hoping Nebraska, Purdue, and Minnesota play well against everyone but Iowa and that Indiana plays great except for this Saturday in Bloomington. Otherwise, the strength of schedule will only drop and that's something Iowa can't afford. If it does drop, even if they keep winning, it will be very difficult for the Hawks to improve their position enough to crack the top four. A loss by any of the teams ahead of the Hawkeyes in the standings certainly wouldn't hurt. Neither would every team that Iowa's beaten so far going on a winning streak the rest of the way.

The standings are out of Iowa's control, but what's not are the games ahead of them. The most important thing is to keep winning. Saturday in Bloomington brings a big test. The Hoosiers have had a week to prepare and you know they'll be ready. A national television audience (ESPN) and a 2:30 kickoff will have the Hoosiers and their fans even more whipped into a frenzy. Except for their game against Penn State (29-7 loss), Indiana has scored at least 26 points in every game this year. The Iowa defense will have to be up to the task, but the Iowa offense will need to play much more cleanly than it did in the second half against Maryland.

Get another win Saturday and we can look forward to next Tuesday's standings release. Lose and this dream will be one you wish you hadn't woken up from.

Here are the week one standings, just released this evening:

  1. Clemson (8-0)
  2. LSU (8-0)
  3. Ohio State (8-0)
  4. Alabama (7-1)
  5. Notre Dame (7-1)
  6. Baylor (8-0)
  7. Michigan State (8-0)
  8. TCU (8-0)
  9. Iowa (8-0)
  10. Florida (7-1)
  11. Stanford (7-1)
  12. Utah (7-1)
  13. Memphis (8-0)
  14. Oklahoma State (8-0)
  15. Oklahoma (7-1)
  16. Florida State (7-1)
  17. Michigan (6-2)
  18. Ole Miss (7-2)
  19. Texas A&M (6-2)
  20. Mississippi State (6-2)
  21. Northwestern (6-2)
  22. Temple (7-1)
  23. UCLA (6-2)
  24. Toledo (7-0)
  25. Houston (8-0)