The prospect of occupying the headlines for all the wrong reasons can often linger for the so-called favourites in cup football.
Just ask Motherwell, whose 3-2 defeat against Greenock Morton ultimately cost manager Ian Baraclough his job.
Ross County had different ideas however, with the Staggies impressively clinical in their disposal of what had appeared a potentially dangerous Falkirk outfit on Tuesday night.
The Staggies’ 7-0 thrashing of the team currently occupying second place in the Championship sent out a real statement; Jim McIntyre’s side is brimming full of confidence and fear nobody after an excellent start to the season.
Rest assured no team will be keen on the idea of being paired with the Dingwall outfit when the quarter-final draw is made on Monday.
The remit of any lower league side drawn against a Premiership outfit is to frustrate, and that’s how it looked like Falkirk were set on approaching their tie, with precious little to separate the teams in the opening half-hour.
In Liam Boyce, however, the Bairns were faced with a predatory finisher who virtually killed the tie single-handedly before half-time with an instinctive hat-trick within the space of just over 10 minutes.
Boyce’s treble puts him on to nine goals for the season, making him an early contender to compete for the golden boot.
It has been a tremendous start to the season by the Northern Irishman, who has picked up from where he left off at the end of the previous campaign. In his last 17 games for the Staggies, Boyce has netted 16 times, making him a thoroughly invaluable asset for McIntyre’s side, and also adding weight to his claims for more regular international recognition.
Boyce was firmly in the mood for goals against Peter Houston’s side, but as he proved in Saturday’s 1-0 league win against Partick Thistle, his goals can also settle unspectacular matches that would otherwise fizzle out into stalemate.
While County’s Premiership form continues to look like that of a top-six team, the emphatic manner of Tuesday’s victory shows they are intent on making their mark in the cup as well.
County got a taste of cup final fever in 2010, ultimately falling to a 3-0 loss against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup.
They are now just two games away from reaching that stage once again though, and on current form, who would bet against them?
Caley Thistle certainly showed it was possible last season by winning the Scottish Cup last season, and they also had to negotiate a tricky tie against Championship opposition, albeit not by as vast a margin as they triumphed 2-0 at Livingston.
Inverness have been slower off the mark than their Highland rivals this season, but their win against the Championship’s bottom side was a show of mental strength.
After taking the lead through Miles Storey, who has hit the ground running since his deadline-day loan move from Swindon Town, Inverness had to weather a determined response from a Livi side. Sitting bottom of the Championship, they had nothing to lose, and they made life very difficult for John Hughes’ men with a series of opportunities, before Danny Devine’s header settled the tie.
Caley Jags appear to be slowly but steadily regaining their stride, having been forced to replace a whole host of key players in the summer.
Regardless of the enforced changes, replicating the success of last season’s Scottish Cup winning campaign, in which they also finished third in the Premiership, would have been virtually impossible.
Nevertheless their cup pedigree makes for impressive reading having reached two cup finals in the last two seasons, hurdling various challenges en-route to both.
Nobody can argue Caley Jags know what it takes, and Hughes and his squad will be eager to defy the odds once again.