Other than a crappy 1st season (2013) in C-USA (4-8), here are their records:
So from a historical perspective they have been pretty consistently good and also a thorn in our side. Last year they basically ruined our undefeated season. In 2014 they beat us badly in front of a huge home crowd early in the season, a year after us winning a bowl. In 2015 they ran up the score on Chico 56-13.
Seems to me under Holtz they rarely have a down year and especially seem to play well against us. They always do well in recruiting too. Perhaps you are right — but that would make this season the exception to the rule.