After a devastating road loss to previously winless Tulane dropped their season record to 2-4, SMU is a +6 point underdog to a Houston team going through a transition process of their own in 2012.
With Case Keenum (finally) graduated and Kevin Sumlin now at Texas A&M, the 2012 version of the Cougars isn't nearly as good as last year's team that destroyed SMU 37-7 and nearly made a BCS bowl.
Houston started the year 0-3, including an embarrassing home loss to Texas State, an FCS team. However, they've righted the ship in C-USA play and come into Thursday's game on the Hilltop with a 3-3 record.
As a result, the game has huge ramifications for the conference title race, as SMU could get right back into the mix with a 2-1 mark in conference play or fall almost completely out of it.
Garrett Gilbert is still looking for a break-out game in his first season as the Mustangs starting QB, and if he doesn't get it going against a Houston defense ranked 89th in the country in points allowed, it might not happen at all.