It might be easy to look at Iowa's win over Michigan as proof that the Hawkeyes have returned to national prominence.
Iowa's 24-21 victory over the Wolverines last weekend left it at 7-4 and 4-3 in the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes can finish with a winning mark in the league for the first time since 2009 with a win on Friday at Nebraska - and signal to their fan base that their series with the bordering Cornhuskers may become a rivalry after all.
Even the most optimistic Iowa fans had trouble seeing the Hawkeyes reaching seven wins after last season's 4-8 flameout.
But Iowa is just one of eight teams from a BCS-affiliated conference to improve by at least three wins in 2013.