Wins over so-called BCS schools haven't been easy to come by for Conference USA teams, and wins over Top 25 teams are that much more difficult.
But C-USA teams can't always reach for the stars in non-conference action. They must swat away the perceived smaller fish in the major-college food chain.
We're talking the Mid-American Conference, the soon-to-die Western Athletic Conference and, most of all, the smack-talkin' Sun Belt.
Marshall won't have to deal with pesky teams such as Arkansas State, but the Thundering Herd does have to contend with an ambitious, momentum-riding Ohio team. Meanwhile, the Herd's C-USA brethren have eight games vs. the Sun Belt and three vs. the WAC.
In general, Sun Belt teams ignore the talk about their conference being rated the lowest in the FBS. They seem to especially savor the chance to knock off C-USA.
New commissioner Karl Benson, transplanted from the WAC, wants even more.
Recently he told the Associated Press, "What my goal would be for the Sun Belt to enhance our assets, our characteristics, so if and when the time comes that Conference USA comes looking to the Sun Belt for a replacement team because Conference USA lost school A, B, or C, that the Sun Belt member will look at what the Sun Belt provides and come to the conclusion that there's no reason for us to leave the Sun Belt."
A big statement, considering Florida International is playing its last year in the league before high-tailing it to C-USA. Others reportedly wanted to join the conga line, most notably Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic.
After FIU was invited and FAU was left out, Howard Schnellenberger issued another bold statement, saying the Owls' new stadium in Boca Raton would seat 65,000, perfect for Big East play.
In the next two weeks, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee take their shots at Big East-bound Memphis, which has struggled against the Sun Belt - 2-7 since 2005. FIU plays at Central Florida on Sept. 15.
Two of the three C-USA-vs.-WAC games involve Louisiana Tech, whose defection is helping sink the WAC in football. After getting "hurricaned out" of last week's neutral-site game against Texas A&M, the Bulldogs play at shell-shocked Houston this week and host Rice the following week.