Indeed, Memphis was in this exact same position just two years ago, when the Tigers were undefeated, coming off a big win over Ole Miss, and ranked No. 13 by the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Then Memphis got thumped by Navy, 45-20. Then Memphis lost a heartbreaker to Houston, 35-34.
Possibilities are just possibilities if you don’t turn them into realities with even more wins.
Which brings us to another big game against Houston, which has emerged as a true rival over the last few years.
Three years ago, Houston defeated Memphis 28-24 at the Liberty Bowl.
Two years ago, Houston won that 35-34 crusher at Houston when Jake Elliott missed what would have been the game-winning kick.
Then, last year, Memphis took revenge by defeating Houston at the Liberty Bowl, 48-44, when Riley Ferguson hit Anthony Miller with a touchdown pass with 17 seconds left.
Total score in the last three games: Houston 107, Memphis 106. All three of the games were decided in the fourth quarter, and the last two games were decided on the final play.
This year’s Houston team is a bit of an enigma, having opened the season with a 19-16 win over Arizona, but then getting smashed by Tulsa on Saturday, 45-17.
“They did not play their best game last week,” Norvell said. “But we’ve experienced that. It looked very similar to a game we had (against Central Florida) in Orlando a few weeks ago.”
Meaning, each team has had a stinker. Each stinker came on the road. Indeed, Houston has lost exactly one home game in the last three seasons, a 27-24 loss to Texas Tech earlier this year.
So this is a big one. But, then, when you’re winning, all of them are.
“There’s excitement about where the program is going,” Norvell said.
To Houston, and beyond?