I don't care. Marshall must win every game vs. the Mid-American Conference or be mired in mediocrity. One-point wins are acceptable; defeat is not.
Miami was 4-8 last season. Two must-win games.
n Beep-beep, bleep-bleep: Texas-San Antonio (Oct. 5) is one of those C-USA newcomers with huge upside, a program with a fan base from the opening kickoff. Combine that with some good ol' Texas home recruitin', and the Roadrunners could be frightening.
But not yet. They were 8-4 last year but just 3-3 in the disintegrating WAC. And they're coming to Huntington, a strange roadie for a C-USA newbie.
n Southern Miss/UAB home stand: The Herd's back-to-back home games in league play feature these familiar East Division rivals. First, I'm going to assume Southern Mississippi sheds its jaw-dropping losing streak long before Nov. 2.
Still, how quickly can the Golden Eagles and coach Todd Monken recover from 0-12?
I'll take Southern Miss over UAB, though. It's a reflex, you know, but a dependable one.
As dependable as Marshall beating UAB at home. The Herd should never lose to the Blazers anywhere, but I'll try to forget last year's loss at Legion Field.
One of these games won't be easy, but MU needs a sweep.
n Middle East, no peace: It may be odd to lump a road game at Middle Tennessee (Thursday, Oct. 24) with the home finale against East Carolina (Nov. 13), but there is a common denominator: The Herd will be an underdog in both.
The Blue Raiders finished a game behind Arkansas State in the Sun Belt standings, and have been a thorny foe for C-USA teams. Quarterback Logan Kilgore is among 17 starters back.
If East Carolina isn't favored to win the East Division, I surrender. Like Marshall, the Pirates changed defensive coordinators and have built a potent offense.
For division contention purposes, a split for MU would be huge.
Add those up and you see 9-3, right? Experience tells me almost every team boots a game, so you can deduct a win somewhere and make it 8-4.
So would going 8-4 in the regular season and losing a bowl game be much more acceptable than going 7-5 and winning a bowl? It seems that way.
But just think: It has been a long decade since the Herd won eight in a season. A long, long decade.
Holliday and company must put an end to it.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.