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Don't Bet On It: National Game of Disinterest

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I have already provided you with my predictions for this weekend's college football action, going around the S.E.C. and forecasting the many national games of interest.

This looks to be a spectacular Saturday in the sport, but, alas, not every game can hold my attention and this week, as always, there is one game that I will designate as the national game of disinterest.

The national game of disinterest is the college football contest to which I am so utterly indifferent that I refuse to offer a prognostication due to my complete lack of concern as to the outcome.

Kristin Davis eagerly awaits the announcement of the national game of disinterest so she can begin ignoring it right away.

Surprisingly, there were several contenders this week. Michigan State's trip to Pitt and Purdue's hosting of Ball State each offered strong bids to be designated as the weekend's least compelling contest. Ultimately, however, that distinction went to this week's national game of disinterest . . .

Syracuse at Illinois

Quite frankly, nothing about this game warrants my attention.

I can't bring myself to care about the coaches. Illinois is but a way station on Ron Zook's downward path to leading some high school team in Ohio to the state quarterfinals and Syracuse's coach is memorable only for being the least distinctive head coach in the Big East.

Much like Howard the Duck, Ron Zook fell off of the Stepping Stones of Oblivion and landed to find himself in the midst of adventures both absurd and satirical. (Image from Tropic Comics.)

I can't bring myself to care about the mascots. The Fighting Illini are wrestling over what to do about their N.C.A.A.-banned Chief Nokahoma-style sideline symbol and the onetime Orangemen, since renamed the Orange, are noteworthy for being the only Division I-A team to have neutered their nickname.

I can't bring myself to care about the teams. Since the start of the 2003 campaign, Illinois has posted a record of 7-29. Since the start of the 2004 campaign, Syracuse has posted a record of 7-18. Whichever team wins this game will claim the distinction of having equaled last year's victory total.

Seven of Nine? Si! Seven of 25 and seven of 36? Not so much.

To top it all off, I don't care to watch any football game in which a team wearing orange and blue is assured of emerging victorious unless that game is at least somewhat consequential. This one isn't.

For the foregoing reasons, the Orange's trek to the Land of Lincoln to take on the Illini has earned the distinction of being the least intriguing college football game being played on the best Saturday of the season so far. Please join me in ignoring the national game of disinterest.

Go 'Dawgs!