Obviously Saturday is UTEP's last good chance for at least a .500 season, even though next week is a game at 1-5 Marshall.
UTEP, reeling but still 5-2, meets 2-4 and running-game weak Tulane in the Sun Bowl.
A 6-6 means UTEP is "bowl eligible," but only a bowl desperate for an eligible team will take UTEP under thost circumstances. UTEP would have lost four of its final five games
Nobody's going to really want UTEP at 7-5, either. So it looks heavily overcast, and remember Coach Mike Price's teams at Weber State, Washington State and now UTEP are only 33-58 in November. His UTEP teams are 8-16.
What to do, and in lieu of a hobbling senior QB and other injuries meaning the first string isn't so good anymore?
Tulane is awful on the run, and its tailback is hurting. Smear Tulane and go 6-2.
For the first time in forever, UTEP will then have to play with mature heads and hope to beat Marshall in far away West Virginia. Even though Marshall is 1-5, losses have come to Ohio State, West Virginia in overtime, Bowling Green, Southern Miss and Central Florida. UTEP would be 1-5 vs. that sked, too — and I'm not so sure it would have defeated Ohio, as did Marshall.
Then it looks bleak vs. 4-3 SMU, at 4-2 Arkansas and at 4-3 Tulsa. The last two games are on the road and SMU is an improving team while UTEP is not.
UTEP's loss at UAB last week showed the Miners have not turned up their mental game at a crucial time. The team would have been 6-1 headed for a 7-1 and a snowball ride to perhaps eight wins.
If UTEP doesn't beat Tulane, I don't see the Miners winning another game.
If UTEP beats Tulane, it may have a shot at Marshall, but that's it. The best UTEP will finish now, is 7-5.
A 7-5 is a winning season, all right, and would be the first in five years. But since this is a senior-dominated team, next year already looks to be one of growing pains.
It's heavily overcast in Utepia.