It has been a short but full week, so I hope you will pardon me for the fact that I am lagging behind. Doug Gillett's roundtable roundup is available and I have taken you around the S.E.C. and forecast the national games of interest.
This just leaves the national game of disinterest.
My brother-in-law and former "Dawg Show" co-host, Travis Rice, demonstrates how to ignore completely the national game of disinterest.
I try to find a way to root in every college football game out there. Even if I have no connection to any coach, player, team, school, conference, region, state, or other identifying characteristic involved in the contest, I usually can figure out a basis for preferring one combatant over the other.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule, as, each week, I manage to find one game that inspires in me such absolute indifference that I cannot, for the life of me, work up enough emotion to feign interest. This is the national game of disinterest.
This week's national game of disinterest is . . .
Nebraska at Wake Forest
Some of you, I am sure, find this shocking. We are, after all, talking about a clash between a defending division champion from one major conference taking on a defending league champion from another major conference. Surely, by definition, such a showdown would be titanic, epic, monumental?
Yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you?
Let's get real, though. We're talking about what consistently has been major college football's weakest division, the Big 12 North, and what last season was major college football's weakest conference, the A.C.C. That alone is enough to cause substantial skepticism about the worthiness of this outing.
Seriously, didn't Pam Ewing dream this?
There is, though, an argument to be made that the playing field has been leveled. The Cornhuskers recently have experienced a few lean seasons of a sort not seen in the heartland in my lifetime. The Demon Deacons lately have risen up off of the mat and acquitted themselves well as a legitimate Division I-A team.
That was then, this is now.
If you asked Larry Munson why Georgia stumbled through the middle of last season, he probably would have told you that it was because Ol' Lady Luck had moved to Winston-Salem for the autumn. Weak Forest's return to earth was on display in Chestnut Hill last weekend, just as Nebraska's resurgence looked real enough against a decent Nevada squad.
In short, the wires are beginning to uncross and the norm is on the verge of being restored. This year's game between Nebraska and Wake Forest is liable to be as competitive as, well, any game between Nebraska and Wake Forest would have been between the day John Glenn orbited the earth and the day the Department of Homeland Security was established.
Interest requires intrigue, of which mystery is an essential ingredient. There's nothing you need to know about this game that you don't already know by hearing the names "Nebraska" and "Wake Forest." Watching it will provide confirmation of facts already in evidence and will prove otherwise utterly unedifying.
Consequently, it is the national game of disinterest. I ain't picking it 'cause picking it would imply that the outcome is at least marginally in doubt.