Even with a win, Penn State will have a tough time moving past No. 1 Alabama and second-ranked Texas Tech if those teams hold serve this weekend.
Alabama doesn’t have to worry about anything other than winning at LSU, a major challenge in and of itself, and the Red Raiders will likely see their reputation grow if it can beat Oklahoma State.
The Nittany Lions get an opponent that, while off the national radar, will be a tough out. The Hawkeyes share Penn State’s affection for field position, defense and the running game — remember, they played a 6-4 game in 2004 — and Iowa, despite four losses, has been in every game it has played.
“I just think that sometimes people don’t realize how good Iowa is,” Paterno said. “It’s going to be a tough football game for us.”