Penn State couldn't have asked for a better bounce-back situation then playing Indiana at home. Even if the Lions are suffering a bit of a hangover there is a no way a Hoosier squad that couldn't keep Wisconsin under 50 last week is going to stop them. And once Joe Paterno's team can get a win back under its belt, that should the process of letting go of the national title dreams and getting focused on Michigan State in the finale, a game that will decide if Paterno is going back to the Rose Bowl, perhaps to cap his illustrious career.
Iowa also has to get themselves refocused and they too have a comfortable situaiton to do it in. Purdue is coming to Iowa City. The Boilermakers haven't given Joe Tiller much of a retirement party. They're at 3-7 with only one conference victory. For the first time in Tiller's career, his passing attack is impotent. The Hawkeyes have no slack in this game, as they sit on 6-4. If they take care of business here and against Minnesota, they're going to the Outback Bowl. But a loss here could reopen the door to Wisconsin or another five-loss team to get the bid, even if the Hawks beat the Gophers. Wins are also important to keep building the Heisman case for running back Shonn Greene. No, he's not going to win the award, but he's showing up in the top five of watch lists now and that he polls well enough to get an invitation to New York is at least a hope.
And continuing on our refocus theme, Notre Dame has to dust itself off the canvas after losing to Pitt and Boston College. Jimmy Clausen played his worst game of the year Saturday night in Chestnut Hill, and now he heads back to the East Coast and into my hometown here in Baltimore. The Irish play Navy at MT&T Bank Stadium (home of the Ravens). Last year the Midshipmen ended their 43-game losing streak against ND, and the Middies are not a bad football team this year. They're 6-3 and have the scalp of ACC frontrunner Wake Forest to their credit. And this is a game Charlie Weis desperately must have for the future of his program, especially given his ballyhooed decision to take back the playcalling reins.