Bowling Green enters its home opener Saturday looking to turn things around after an 0-2 start, trying to answer questions about how young players will perform while getting on-the-job training.
And who will provide the opposition at the Doyt? Former Mid-American Conference rival Marshall, which jumped ship after the 2004 season amid cries of “carpetbaggers” – and worse.
The Thundering Herd won five MAC titles and earned seven bowl bids. But it has struggled since it left the MAC, going 23-37 and earning just one bowl bid in five years.
While some laugh at the Herd's 17-23 record in Conference USA, it speaks to the fact that the new league is on a higher level.
Don't believe it? Then explain how MAC schools have gone 2-5 against C-USA the past three seasons. Explain how this year the MAC has played 10 games against FBS schools – and lost all 10 times.
This week nine MAC schools will play FBS teams, and eight of those schools enter as underdogs.
What's worse is that MAC schools already have lost twice against supposedly lesser FCS competition.
It may be unfair to expect that Bowling Green would beat Marshall. BG has question marks spread around the field and still is trying to figure out how good it can be.
But it's more unfair to beat up the Marshall football program for leaving the MAC for greener pastures – and better competition.