On the surface, the game between the East Carolina Pirates and the Marshall Thundering Herd doesn't seem like a massive one in the grand scheme of college football. In reality, if the chips fall correctly, it could ultimately lead to further BCS chaos. Yes, it's a slippery slope, but Marshall could end up affecting the BCS picture if the chips fall right.
First off, even if those chips don't fall, this is an important game. East Carolina and Marshall are both 5-6. A win would make either school bowl eligible. There is a very good chance that the winner of this game gets a bowl payday, while the loser will obviously not have that opportunity.
Both teams sit at 4-3 in the conference, one game back in the Conference USA East. If Southern Miss falls on Saturday and Marshall wins, they have the tiebreaker and will go to the C-USA Championship Game. There, they would face the Houston Cougars for a chance at a much better bowl bid, not to mention the chance to play BCS spoiler.
And seriously, guys, these are big teams. ECU is the safety school for literally every single okay but not great student in the state of North Carolina, providing them with a steady stream of new, young fans every year. Marshall, along with Robert Byrd's earmarks, are one of two reasons a city with 50,000 people still exists. These schools are important and have lots of fans. This is not sarcasm, average college football fan. THEY ARE.
Marshall has the chance to play BCS spoiler with a win, and they'll be playing hard with that on their minds.
Wait, what's that? Who are Southern Miss playing? Memphis? Oh.
Game date, time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, November 26
Location: Edwards Stadium, Huntington, West Virginia
TV channel: CBS Sports Network
Spread: ECU favored by 3 points
Series history: ECU leads, 9-3