Oh, how the tables have turned.
One year ago this week, the Tarleton Texans were 4-3. Despite losing their first three games of the 2006 season, the Texans were riding a four-game win streak and preparing to upset an undefeated Abilene Christian team on the road.
A 32-yard field goal by All-American Paul Williams with only four seconds remaining lifted Tarleton to a 37-36 victory at P.E. Shotwell Stadium.
In a reversal of roles, the 2007 Texaans arethe team trying to remain undefeated, while it's ACU that is desperately looking to strengthen its regional profile with a win over a highly regarded opponent.
The Texans are certainly highly regarded, being ranked No. 8 in the nation this week by the American Football Coaches Association.
Abilene Christian (5-2 over all, 5-1 in the LSC and 3-1 in the South) fell to No. 21 with a 41-31 loss to No. 5 West Texas A&M in Abilene last week.
With two losses, the Wildcats may be on the brink of extinction. They would be hard pressed to have a shot at qualifying for the post season if they go down a third time.
It's homecoming week on the Tarleton campus, and the 2 p.m. start Saturday will be the only afternoon game of the regular season for the Texans. They would only play another afternoon game if they make it to the playoffs.
Last time the Wildcats came to Stephenville for a Tarleton homecoming game, they pulled off the role of spoiler in a 18-7 upset in 2005.
Saturday's meeting will be the 17th between the two schools, with ACU leading the series, 9-7.
Both teams have posted eye-popping offensive numbers this seson.
Abilene Christian averages 42.4 points per game, while Tarleton scores 36.8. The Wildcats are racking up 505.5 yards per contest, compared to 445.1 for Tarleton.
Not only are the offensive totals mind-boggling, but the balance is impressive as well.
The Wildcats are passing for 298.8 yards per game and rushing for 206.8. The Texans respond with 255.2 through the air and 189.9 on the ground.
The Tarleton defense may take ‘offense' to to those who feel this will become a wide open shootout.
Tarleton is currently tied with Midwestern State for first in the league in points allowed at 17.1. The Texans are third in total defense, surrendering 298.5 yards per contest.
If Abilene Christian has shown a weakness, its been on defense, where the Wildcats are seventh overall in the LSC. They are, however, fourth in points allowed at 20.9.
Anytime the team numbers are so compelling, there has to be a who's-who list of talented individuals leading the way.
ACU's Bernard Scott leads the league in rushing with 1,082 yards. He is second in rushing yards per game with 135.2.
The Wildcats also feature quarterback Billy Malone, the LSC leader in passing efficiency at 164.4. Tarleton's Scott Grantham is second at 164.2.
The field will certainly be loaded with a full stock of talented pass catchers.
Jerale Badon, the all-time leading receiver in the LSC, is joined by Johnny Knox for ACU, while Devin Guinn and Shamarr Prentice combine efforts for Tarleton.
With homecoming festivities taking place, officials at Tarleton are expecting a large crowd to be on hand at Memorial Stadium.
The Texans have already set one attendance record this fall, with a home-opener record attendance of 5,618 when they began the year with a win over East Central. A season-high 5,862 fans were on hand to see the Texans thump Southwestern Oklahoma State. Only once this season has the attendance dipped below 5,000.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at email@example.com.