I do know Miami folks carry the same high opinion of themselves, maybe even higher. The university markets itself as "Ohio's Public Ivy," and that catchphrase alone should supply enough fodder to get the hecklers behind the Miami bench through the evening.
Somehow, the mental pictures of an "Ivy" school and of famed alumnus Ben Roethlisberger do not mesh.
I'm not sure what to think about the Miami program, beginning its 125th season. Don Treadwell, a 1982 alumnus, is 8-16 over two seasons, lost 12,013-yard quarterback Zac Dysert to graduation and saw 3,166-yard receiver Nick Harwell bolt for Kansas as a graduate transfer. The defense was 119th of 120 FBS teams against the rush.
Some of the same visitors will be in the house, though. Defensive coordinator Jay Peterson served under the late Randy Walker as Marshall was entering the MAC, and ex-Miami quarterback Mike Bath tutors that position. (Bath was hazed by both the defense and the fans in 2000, a game the Herd led 37-3 at the half.) On Marshall's staff, Bill Legg was tight end coach in 2002.
MU athletic director Mike Hamrick was a freshman in the Herd's 21-16 win in 1976, a result so shocking the Associated Press moved it three times so members wouldn't think it was a hoax. The Herd dominated after falling behind 9-0, and Hamrick said the team came out of the locker room and discovered more fans had magically found their way to Fairfield Stadium.
Hamrick also remembers - somewhat - players getting free beer at Boney's Hole in the Wall, that off-campus landmark.
Hamrick was able to land the four-year home-and-home series with Miami athletic director Brad Bates, who was months into his Oxford tenure when he had to deal with the arrest of Jon Wauford after the 2002 game. He also had to discipline assistant Taver Johnson, who wreaked havoc in the Marshall Stadium sky deck.
(Wauford's charges were dropped, and he served as Findlay's head coach from 2007-10; Bates became Boston College's AD in October 2012; Johnson is Arkansas' cornerbacks coach.)
We all can do without that kind of theater Saturday night, but will we have a true Marshall-Miami rivalry game? That would be fun, wouldn't it?
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.rom or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.