He is referring to the time when the team challenged for the top division title and competed in Europe, but in truth he will not know how his side measure up to Scottish Premiership teams until they meet one in a cup competition this season.
The Rangers manager still regards his team's performance in the Scottish Communities League Cup victory over Motherwell at Ibrox last year as the best of that campaign. There was a less impressive display against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the same competition, and another against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup, while this season Rangers lost to Forfar Athletic in the first round of the League Cup.
The disappointment of that day was renewed when the draw was made for the quarter-finals last Thursday without Celtic taking part, having been knocked out themselves by Morton. That result suddenly opened up the competition, and McCoist considers his side on a par with the likes of Dundee United, Motherwell and Aberdeen.
"With Celtic out of the competition, you could make an argument for any one of five or six of the teams to win it," McCoist said. "I did say before the season started I think we as a squad probably had the same hopes of a cup run as most of the teams in the top flight. When I saw the League Cup draw I did wish I could have done this and done that but the disappointment at not being there was no bigger than when the final whistle went at Forfar that day.
"I would like the opportunity to play against a top-flight team but hopefully as far down the line [in a cup competition] as possible. Look at the teams who have won a cup in recent years - St Mirren and Kilmarnock have both won the League Cup and Hearts won the Scottish Cup. I would include ourselves in that category at the moment."
McCoist admits his side are still integrating the nine players who signed as free agents on September 1 when the registration embargo ended. Some performances have suffered in the meantime, although the team have won all but one of their 10 games this season. It will take time for the central defensive partnership between Lee McCulloch and Bilel Mohsni to develop, and for balance to be found in midfield, but the results are evidence a stronger, more resilient mentality has developed.
"We are still forming right now, but I would be far more comfortable playing a top-flight club this year than last," McCoist said. "That's because the free transfers we have brought in all have top-flight experience whether it is [Jon] Daly, [Richard] Forster, [Nicky] Law or [Cammy] Bell. Those guys all know what is expected at that level.
"We would have been hopeful that we could have gone on a run in the League Cup. It was not to be. We are in a proper game every week. It is the equivalent of playing 30-odd cup ties and that is what we are up against. It is a lot of nonsense to think you could go through a league season winning all your games."
McCoist had to do without Sebastien Faure against Stenhousemuir yesterday after the French defender hurt his neck in a bounce game against Partick Thistle last Tuesday at Murray Park. Faure ended up in accident and emergency at Glasgow Royal Infirmary that evening with a headache and unable to turn his head.
"I jumped up for the ball but the striker hit me on the side of the head," Faure said. "I had double vision after it. I had to go to accident and emergency in the middle of the night and spent five hours there. It was quite worrying because it is always dangerous when you have a head injury. But the doctor couldn't really do anything and just sent me home after 15 minutes with some tablets."
Faure returned to training on Thursday for physio and should be available for selection next week.