The Miners of Texas-El Paso will roll into Joan C. Edwards Stadium a single victory away from bowl eligibility, playing a Marshall team it whipped 52-21 last November.
The Thundering Herd sits at 1-6 and could be the first Conference USA team to clinch a losing season.
So who is the favorite for the 3 p.m. game Saturday? The Herd, of course.
And here's the weird thing: It makes sense to some on the western end of the far-flung C-USA.
The Miners (5-3, 2-3) started out 5-1, but the victories haven't been overwhelming: Arkansas-Pine Bluff, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Memphis and Rice. UAPB plays in the Championship Subdivision; the other four teams are a combined 4-25.
Marshall's lone victim, Ohio, has as many wins over major-college foes, four.
UTEP's fast start is a distant memory after its last two games, losses to Alabama-Birmingham on the road (21-6) and to Tulane at home (34-24). And after the trip to Huntington, the Miners face Southern Methodist in their home finale, then travel to Arkansas and Tulsa - a seriously backloaded schedule.
Mix in these anti-Miner trends: They are 7-18 in the last weekend of October and November since joining C-USA in 2005. In those long, long trips to East Division foes, they are 2-6 all-time.
This is all adding to up a bit of fatalism in El Paso.
"UTEP showed signs [of the past] that it won't win another football game this season," said longtime El Paso Times writer Joe Muench. "The team has trouble beating anybody east of here, especially the likes of Southern Miss and East Carolina. The Miners just don't play block-and-tackle football."
The Miners and the Thundering Herd (1-6, 0-3) meet for the fourth time, with the road team winning big the previous three. Marshall lashed UTEP 49-21 in Huntington, but has absorbed 31-3 and 52-21 whippings in El Paso, in 2005 and 2009.
Trevor Vittatoe threw for a school-record 517 yards and five touchdowns against the Thundering Herd in the '09 season finale, the last game of the Mark Snyder era at Marshall. To compound the Herd's ignominy, it was the first time since 1986 the Miners won a season finale.
Vittatoe finished with 3,308 yards passing and Donald Buckram ran for 1,594 yards. With those weapons back, the Miners seemed a decent darkhorse pick in the West Division.