Yes, we know it's way too darn early for this. ESPN even calls the poll the 2022 Way-Too-Early College Football Top 25.  Why do they do it? Well, because sports fans like you and I are interested in where our teams rank in the national spotlight as we head into recruiting, spring practice, and eventually get back on the field.

For the longest time, I have maintained that polls such as this are a total detriment to college football and the fairness of the College Football Playoff system. We have seen it too many times, a team will start with a low preseason rank and struggle to climb the charts only to be left out in the cold because other teams with higher preseason rankings managed to stay ahead in the totally biased polling process.

Mississippi State v Louisiana Lafayette
Michael Chang, Getty Images
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But when you consider the huge amount of interest there is in college football it's no wonder ESPN and other media outlets publish these polls. The more we talk about football in the offseason the more likely we are to watch football during the season. It's marketing at its finest.

The year will be especially interesting in Louisiana college football circles. LSU has a new coach. Louisiana has a new coach. McNeese even has a new coach. Of course, Louisiana's Ragin Cajuns had the better year of all the teams in the state. The Cajuns currently hold the nations longest active Division I winning streak at 13 games.

Louisiana v Georgia State
Todd Kirkland, Getty Images
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The Cajuns ended the year ranked #16 in the country and many fans of the Vermillion and White are expecting big things again this year. Unfortunately, ESPN is not one of the fans because they don't have the Cajuns ranked at all in the Way Too Early Poll.

But then again, they don't have LSU ranked either. I would have to do some snooping but I bet it's been a hot minute or two since no team from Louisiana has been ranked in the Top 25 in college football.

LSU Introduces Brian Kelly as Head Football Coach
Getty Images
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So, I guess if the Tigers or Cajuns are going to make some noise in 2022 they are going to have to come from behind and demonstrate to the national media that the Cajuns are that good and that LSU just had an off-year with way too many distractions.

So who are the Way to Early Top 25? They are the usual suspects. Alabama is number one. Ohio State is number two. Georgia is number three. Texas A&M is number four. Michigan is number five. The rest of the top ten are Notre Dame, Utah, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, and Michigan State.

The teams ranked number 11 through 20 are, in order, Clemson, Oregon, Houston, Wake Forest, Iowa, Baylor, Oklahoma, BYU, Cincinnati, and Arkansas. The final five in the rankings are Kentucky, USC, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, and South Carolina.

Damone Clark #18 of the LSU Tigers tackles Slade Bolden #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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Are there any of those teams you think LSU or Louisiana could handle on the field? Well, let's hope we get to show the talking heads of the national sports media that we know a thing or two about football and more than a thing or two about winning football.

By the way, LSU opens the season on September 4th in New Orleans against Florida State. The Cajuns are scheduled to open their season on September 3rd at home against Southeastern Louisiana followed by Eastern Michigan at home and on the road to Houston to face Rice. The Cajuns will also meet Florida State next year. That game is set for November 19th.

Ragin' Cajuns football players celebrate after a win
Photo courtesy of Louisiana Ragin' Cajun Athletics
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Maybe by then Louisiana or LSU will have kicked up enough dust to step back into the glare of the national spotlight. I certainly think both teams are capable and this year both programs have a lot more to prove.

And for all of you national broadcast types you might want to get used to saying these names. You'll be repeating many of them many times over the course of next season.

10 Most Common Cajun Last Names in Louisiana