As good as the Herd looked to begin 2013, it came from pummeling a pair of tomato cans.
The bad news for Marshall fans is that, so far, the Herd is 0-3 against the toss-up opponents. But here's the flipside - even if Marshall loses all four toss-up games, the Herd will finish 8-4, with three more wins than last season, a lock for a bowl game and likely playing for the Conference USA East Division title against East Carolina in the regular-season finale.
The Herd hasn't won eight games in a year since Bob Pruett led Marshall to an 8-4 record 2003, his next-to-last season. It would be just Marshall's third bowl appearance since playing in the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl. And it would be eight wins in a regular season for Doc Holliday, who has not yet won more than seven in a year as the Herd's head coach.
That's not too shabby.
But it's not 10 wins.
And that's not sitting well with some folks.
Some of the ire probably comes from the way Marshall has lost those three games, each by eight points or less and due to some costly early-game errors that ended up biting the Herd at the end. But that's takes us back to the warning about preseason predictions. Maybe Marshall has graduated to beating all the teams it should and going down the wire with everyone else. That's more than it could say last season (hello, UAB loss).
Marshall's season may not be as good as some hoped - and maybe not as good as what the first two weeks of the season presented - but it's shaping up to be better than any other season in Holliday's tenure. Still, it's proof that we "experts" who tend to shape opinion sometimes get it wrong.
Please, let me help you pick your jaw up off the floor.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.