After I’ve taken you around the S.E.C. and taken a look at the national games of interest, there is only one part of my weekly Don’t Bet On It! forecasts remaining to be revealed. I am referring, of course, to the national game of disinterest.
That’s right, disinterest. This is so because, although I am quite capable of finding a coach, player, mascot, conference, or region for whom to root even in the most trivial and inconsequential of college football contests, the schedule invariably contains one game each week about which I could not care less, one way or the other. This is the national game of disinterest.
This week’s national game of disinterest is . . .
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. The two winningest programs ever. Waking up the echoes. Hailing the victors. The Big House. The sacrilege about our Lord and Savior supposedly signaling a touchdown. Rudy, Rockne, and the Gipper. Bo, Yost, and Crisler. All right, we get it already.
It’s just . . . that was then, this is now. And, now, y’all both stink.
Nothing personal, Michigan, but you lost to Utah, and not B.C.S.-busting Urban Meyer Utah, either. Then, to prove the Maize and Blue’s mediocrity was no fluke, the Wolverines turned right around and struggled with Miami (Ohio), a team that got smoked by Vanderbilt. This was a year after Michigan opened the season with a loss to a Division I-AA team.
Nevertheless, the Maize and Blue are the ones bringing the veneer of success to this rivalry.
Despite taking Labor Day weekend off (lame!), Notre Dame found it tough sledding to get by San Diego State in the opening outing of the first season following a disaster of historic proportions---no, seriously, the 2007 Irish were among the worst teams ever---that saw the Golden Domers finish 3-9. How bad were last year’s Fighting Irish? They lost 38-0 . . . twice.
These are two great programs. These are two storied traditions. However, these are two crummy teams.
Besides, it’s not like this rivalry is that big a deal, anyway. Between 1910 and 1941, Michigan and Notre Dame played exactly zero times. Between 1944 and 1977, Michigan and Notre Dame played exactly zero times. The Fighting Irish and the Wolverines did not meet in 1983, 1984, 1995, 1996, 2000, or 2001. Knute Rockne never coached a game against the Maize and Blue in his 13 years in South Bend. Let’s not act like this is Georgia-Auburn or anything.
This is an overrated rivalry between two teams who aren’t overrated because no one thinks they’re any good. I’m not picking it because I don’t care.