Just when it seemed as if the Iowa football team was a lost cause, it traveled to East Lansing and pulled out an impressive double-overtime victory over the Michigan State Spartans.
The Spartans, which began the year in the top 25, may not have been all they were cracked up to be, but they were still a quality opponent and one of the best defenses in the country.
This week, another seemingly lost cause—the Penn State Nittany Lions—travel to Iowa City.
The Nits are, perhaps, the biggest surprise in an already surprising Big Ten.
After getting hit with sanctions that included, among other things, a four-year bowl ban (per ESPN), PSU experienced a mass exodus of transfers (via CBS Sports). Following the transfers, most wrote Penn State off, but the Nits have battled back and have looked impressive in winning the last four games.
In effect, both teams will have a lot to prove in this showdown of the the league's newest coach and its most-tenured head man.