Iowa enters its second bye week of the season needing a bit of help to get back into the B1G West race.

The Hawkeyes started off the season 4-0 before back-to-back losses to Michigan and Penn State. Both of those losses were hard-fought and by a total of 12 points.

Thankfully, Iowa rebounded with wins over Purdue and Northwestern and hit the bye week at No. 19 on the AP Poll. But with Minnesota remaining undefeated, the Gophers have a two-game lead over the Hawkeyes and No. 18 Wisconsin.

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That lead does not mean the division has been decided. Iowa will come out of its bye week with back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Minnesota with a chance to close the gap on the Gophers. Wisconsin and Minnesota will also meet on the final day of the season.

During his Sunday Conversation, head coach Kirk Ferentz discussed the upcoming slate of November games. He still believes there is plenty left to play for and still maintains that the conference races will be decided in the final month.

For now, the entire focus of the Hawkeyes is on resting up and preparing for a showdown with Wisconsin:

“As we move into November, this is where things materialize and there is a lot to play for on a lot of different levels,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said Sunday. “If you look at the conference race, it will get decided in November and it’s wide open as far as I can tell. It’s who can play the best coming down the stretch and we have four challenging, important games.”

“We can’t do anything but take care of the first one (at Wisconsin),” Ferentz said. “That’s where our focus is going to be.”

Hopefully, Iowa finishes strong and improves its bowl position after securing bowl eligibility in Week 9.