Holliday mentioned that Rice may have won more games this year and last than it has in any two-year span in 40 years or so. With a 9-3 mark so far, the Owls have won 16 games in 2012 and 2013.
Turns out Holliday was even low in that estimation. It has been a whopping 59 years since the Owls have won 16 in two straight years - 1953 and 1954, when they went 9-2 and 7-3. If Rice wins Saturday or in its bowl game, the 17 wins over two seasons would be a first since 1934-35.
Indeed, there are great days for Rice football, as the Owls try to capture their first outright conference title since 1957.
"It would be nice to get recruited here now," said receiver Jordan Taylor. "When I came here four years ago, things were on the downslope."
Nationally, there isn't the greatest buzz around today's game. The Southeastern Conference, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12 and Mountain West Conference all have their title games later.
In addition, the American Athletic Conference has a few games. The Mid-American Conference put on its game Friday night.
C-USA's coaches teleconference may have had just four media members on the line. That's the number who lobbed questions - the Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte and the motley threesome of full-time Marshall beat writers.
How many fans inhabit Rice Stadium is another question. For Marshall's visit last year, 5,000 live bodies might be a liberal estimate (from the press box, seats on the same side are obscured). Fans were invited on the field to form the human tunnel for the players to run out.
The school is making as much of a promotional splash as possible this time around, but the facts remain: Rice is a small school in a spread-out city with differing loyalties, college and pro. To make things tougher today, the weather is not going to cooperate.
Not only is rain in the forecast, the high temperature may not hit 40 degrees. This game will avoid the ice storm that is hitting Dallas, but Houstonians don't much care for those conditions.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.