For each of the past seven football seasons-six times in September, once in October -West Virginia University and Marshall University have met each other in the Friends of Coal Bowl.
Not only did the Mountaineers defeat the Thundering Herd in all seven games, but only once was WVU's margin of victory less than 17 points.
That happened in 2010 in Huntington, when West Virginia rallied from a 21-6 fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game and send it into overtime, where WVU kicked a game-winning and face-saving field goal.
Marshall fans were ready to celebrate their school's first victory in the series that day, but once again were denied that pleasure as West Virginia ran its all-time series record over the Thundering Herd to 12-0.
The series -at least for now -ended with last year's game, a 69-34 WVU?triumph.
Each year, before the game, Marshall fans would talk about this being 'the year.'
Obviously, there is no such talk this year, because there is no WVU-Marshall game.
Yet, if one looks at the preseason rankings, this might well have been the Herd's year to record a breakthrough win.
USA Today, which bills itself as the nation's newspaper, is counting down the college football teams, featuring one each day. WVU came in with a preseason ranking of No. 57.
Marshall, meanwhile, is No. 40.
We learned last year how inaccurate preseason rankings can be when West Virginia started out the season in the top 10 and struggled to finish 7-6 and unranked.
Still, it is indeed interesting that Marshall is ranked higher than West Virginia.
It makes us wonder if this indeed would have been Marshall's year to get its first win over WVU.
But all we can do is speculate because there isn't going to be a game between the state's only two major college football programs, not now or in the foreseeable future.
PHS is a member of the Mountain State Athletic Conference while the Patriots belong both to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference and the Two Rivers Athletic Conference.
While WVU and Marshall aren't obligated to play one another, no one in Parkersburg can imagine the time when the PHS-South series isn't the biggest game of the year, no matter the sport or the records of the two teams. It is without a doubt the state's biggest rivalry.
This year, the annual football game has been moved to the final week of the regular season.
While opinions vary on the move, like those on every other sports issue, it makes sense.
It will give both teams something about which to stay motivated.
The excitement and the anticipation will build throughout the season.
And there will come a time in the series when this will determine the playoff fate of one or both teams.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org