Even though Penn State was stuck at No. 3 in the country, the hope was still there for them to get to the BCS title game.
None of the great highlights from the season, none of the great photos, such as the one above, and nothing else, will end up mattering, though, after a heartbreaking 24-23 loss at Iowa yesterday on a last-second field goal.
Yet again, the Nittany Lions blew a late-season game they were supposed to win with ease on the way to a possible national title game appearance.
Instead of pounding the ball into the end zone throughout the game, they settled for three field goals, and this ended up being the undoing to their dreams of an undefeated season, and, possibly, a national championship for Happy Valley.
Iowa simply wanted the game in front of their fans more, and as a result, the Big Ten, while probably still belonging to Penn State, is up for grabs again now.
More than likely, the Nittany Lions will still get their Rose Bowl appearance though. While this is nothing to sneeze at, it is still not the championship game dreams that the team had.
Those dreams have been thrown right out of the window with one last second kick from a team not nearly as good as Penn State.
This is why the games are played though, and Iowa deserved to win the game against the Nittany Lions.
This has become a trend for the Nittany Lions over the last couple of years, not taking care of their business. All of the losses in the world cannot help them now, though.
In addition, Texas Tech proved that they are certainly for real with a huge win over Oklahoma State before. They made the Cowboys look like a conference ragdoll to beat on, and Oklahoma State went into the game at No. 9 in the country.
Alabama also learned how to win a tough game, as they went into LSU's home, where their coach used to lead the Tigers, and escaped with an overtime victory. They are the top team currently, but Texas Tech is coming up behind them fast.
While not going as far as to say the BCS had it right with Texas Tech being over Penn State, Texas Tech is a better team than previously given credit for. The offense is almost impossible to stop, and their defense is fastly becoming a force to be reckoned with, which, to say the least, has been an issue in previous seasons.
If they make the title game, they will certainly make it a great game to watch, since they are not a one-game flash in the pan anymore.
Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, they will not be there. Not anymore. They will probably still be in a bowl game after the first day of 2009, though, which is still a great accomplishment at the end of any season.