The first batch of BCS rankings were released Sunday night, marking the official beginning of this year's championship chase.
Every game matters, but now teams know exactly where they stand in the pecking order. With the season halfway through, games take on a different meaning from now until the beginning of December.
Let's take a look at the rankings, highlight a few of Sunday's surprises and gather some reaction from the Twitter universe.
Week 8 BCS Rankings
The Ducks were expected to come in at No. 2 but got leapfrogged by the Florida Gators.
Oregon hasn't necessarily beaten any big names, but it will have its chance. Beating USC would almost guarantee an undefeated season.
These rankings are sure to change at least a few times. Florida's SEC schedule makes it very unlikely that it will remain in the No. 2 slot.
It appears that Oregon was slighted here, despite its weak early schedule.
The Bulldogs come in at No. 12, putting the SEC's dominance on full display. However, unlike the other SEC squads, they don't deserve these initial accolades.
Beating Tennessee isn't really anything to hang your hat on, but that's Mississippi State's biggest win so far this season. The Bulldogs will have a chance to change that against Alabama next week.
If they beat the Crimson Tide, the Bulldogs deserve to climb in a big way. Until then, there's little to prove that they deserve a top-15 rank to begin the BCS season.
For those who believe that the system favors the SEC, chalk another one up to your side of the debate.
The SEC's head of public relations, Charles Bloom, gave us an interesting tidbit regarding his conference:
The Big 12 is happy with its initial group of Top 25 teams:
98.7 The Fan radio host Dave Weekley noticed the absence of a familiar face:
Wow, missed the memo that the Big 10 had withdrawn from the BCS.No Big 10 teams in the first batch of Top 25 #BCS ratings -- amazing.— Dave Weekley(@weekley) October 15, 2012
Kansas City Star reporter Yael Abouhalkah offers some insight for Kansas State Wildcats fans:
ESPN College Football offers some insight on Oregon's mysterious No. 3 slot, courtesy of Kirk Herbstreit:
Chicago Tribune reporter Brian Hamilton offered some interesting insight from ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer regarding Notre Dame's future:
The BCS' Every Game Counts feed reported some interesting information regarding how these initial rankings usually shake out:
Nick Saban on picking #BCS, "The only predictable thing about college football is that it's unpredictable.So good luck to all of you."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 15, 2012
Sporting News writer Steve Greenberg supplies what I hope is sarcasm:
Sure, I can see why West Virginia is four spots higher than the Texas Tech team that kicked its behind by 35 and has the same 5-1 record.— Steve Greenberg (@SN_Greenberg) October 15, 2012
We've seen Notre Dame's program re-emerge this season, but Irish Illustrated speaks to the magnitude of its initial BCS ranking:
Notre Dame opens the BCS rankings at No. 5, first time the Irish have been that high in six years. Computers had Irish at No. 2.— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) October 15, 2012
Keith Murphy, sports anchor at WHO-HD13, gives us some info about this year's most unlikely BCS candidate:
Iowa State is the only team in this week's BCS top 25 making its first ever appearance. The BCS rankings started in 1998.— Keith Murphy (@MurphyKeith) October 15, 2012