Stumbles by some of the top teams bumped Penn State up to 11th in both the Coaches' and Harris poll, but the team was roughed up by the computers and end up with a final BCS rank of 13.
The SOS is absolutely brutal from the machines, and it shows in the rankings they spit out:
That average of 17 is below two-loss teams Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Arizona and one-loss Utah.
Iowa sits at 6th with a computer average that ranks third. Ohio State sits at 19th in the standings; Wisconsin is two spots behind at 21 despite being 38th and 31st in the human polls.
Notre Dame is somehow absent from the BCS despite what can only be described as another awesome loss to USC. They don't play another team that even sniffs the top 25 other than #20 Pitt.
For you dreamers, Penn State is still mostly behind the 8-ball after that loss to Iowa. A Big Ten title means Iowa has to somehow lose to both Michigan State and Ohio State.
Considering the SEC bloc at the top and Big Ten computer hate, an MNC hope is mostly for the insane.
With Ohio State's face-plant this week, the realistic ceiling is probably a BCS game against Miami in the Orange Bowl, but there is still an awful lot to improve upon before you can consider that in any way likely.