After years of chalk-heavy college football seasons, the regulator is off. Chaos reigns. Forty ranked teams have already lost in 2021 -- the most through six weeks in the poll era -- and we've already checked quite a few boxes on the checklist I created back in August on how we might have a season turned upside down.
Preseason top-10 teams bomb: CHECK! Texas A&M (preseason No. 6), Iowa State (No. 7) and North Carolina (No. 10) have all suffered multiple losses, while only Oklahoma (No. 2), Georgia (No. 5) and Cincinnati (No. 8) remain unbeaten. OU has needed a string of tight wins to pull that off.
A mid-major power rises: CHECK! Cincinnati is up to third in the AP poll, the highest standing for a team from a non-power conference since TCU finished second in 2010.
Less successful programs rise high in the rankings. CHECK! No. 2 Iowa hadn't ranked that high since 1985, and Cincinnati's No. 3 ranking is its highest ever. For that matter, Georgia hadn't been ranked No. 1 since 2008.
Title hopes abound in late October: It's not late October yet, but ESPN's FPI gives 15 teams at least a 3% chance of reaching the College Football Playoff. Seven have at least a 25% chance, which is a pretty good reminder of how unsettled the environment remains.
There's almost certainly more chaos to come.