Yet, the Fir Park side will turn up at Ibrox tomorrow and the atmosphere is bound to be electric. For the first time since the tumultuous events of the summer, Rangers will get the chance to scalp an SPL side.
There is more at stake than a simple passage into the next round of the Scottish Communities League Cup. It is a chance for Rangers to make their point about their lowly status.
It is also an opportunity to tee up further meetings between themselves and SPL teams as the competition progresses.
Ex-Rangers and Motherwell defender Craig Paterson believes that there will be an edge to tomorrow night's game, given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the tie.
"There's no doubt Rangers will view the League Cup as a competition they could go on and win," he said.
"But the big aspect about tomorrow's game is the fact that it is the first time the club will come up against an SPL side since they went into the Third Division.
"Everyone connected with Rangers will see this as their platform in which to make a point. Results so far this season have been very up and down for Rangers, but this is the type of game that suits them.
"There will be a bit of adrenaline because the atmosphere will be fraught and it is a game where Ally McCoist won't need to say too much to lift them."
When Rangers went into the Irn-Bru Third Division it was widely expected that their season, as unglamorous as it would be, would not be overly taxing.
However, it has made more demands on them than anyone would have anticipated.
If ever there was an occasion when Motherwell would fancy their chances of going to Ibrox and getting a win, this is it.
Stuart McCall was in the stand last week when Queen of the South put Rangers out of the Ramsdens Cup after extra-time and a penalty shootout. His side held Rangers to a 0-0 draw the last time they met at Ibrox on the final day of last season, but he'll fancy his chances of going one better tomorrow night.
PATERSON, who won the Scottish Cup with the Fir Park club in 1991, said: "Motherwell, who would normally feel like the underdogs going to Ibrox, will really fancy their chances.
"Rangers haven't quite got going or found their fluency this season and Well will sense their chance to go and get a win.
"But it is the supporters whom I think could really edge it. The Rangers fans will be determined to see their team take this scalp and take out their sense of injustice on Motherwell."
What the Rangers fans want and what they may get could well be two different things. The central defensive pairing of Emilson Cribari and Ross Perry has looked less than convincing so far this season, the weakness perhaps magnified since it has been such an area of strength for the Ibrox side in recent years.
With Carlos Bocanegra going out on loan in the final days of the transfer window along with Dorin Goian, Rangers have struggled to replicate the partnership, although Paterson insists the side will come good.
The former defender said: "There are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration and it's a bit early to be making big judgements.
"Cribari is in a different culture and country and it can take players a while to settle. You also have to remember that even although Rangers are playing in the Third Division, there is still the same amount of pressure that goes with performing in front of the Ibrox support.
"There are a lot of young players in there too and lads who haven't featured regularly are now involved every week. Ally needs to be allowed to bed them in and knit together.
"I think you'll see a different Rangers team tomorrow night. There will be a charge in the stadium and that crosses on to the park where there will be an intensity and a pace that hasn't been there so far this season.
"The game is a big chance for them to make their own point and show that they are still Rangers, that they are still up there fighting to be seen as one of the best teams in the country."