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Don't Bet On It!: National Game of Disinterest

I’ve given you my S.E.C. picks. I’ve given you my national picks. Now it is time to give you the one game of the week that I steadfastly refuse to pick upon principled grounds.

Why, you may ask, do I set aside this lone contest as the sole outing in all of Division I-A college football with respect to which I am adamant about not offering a prognostication? It is because this game, alone among all the myriad of gridiron clashes taking place around the country, inspires in me such unrelenting indifference that I cannot bring myself to care in the slightest about the outcome.

This, my friends, is the national game of disinterest, and, this week, that game is . . .

Duke at Clemson

Honestly, you weren’t surprised by that, were you?

At a time when the rest of the A.C.C. is beginning to offer the barest inkling that the league’s parity might possibly be the product of across-the-board equality rather than erratic mediocrity, these two teams are mired in absolute averageness.

Admittedly, the Blue Devils and the Tigers arrived at their identical 4-5 ledgers via different routes, but therein lies the attribute of this showdown that forces me to roll my eyes, throw up my hands, and change the channel.

Duke under David Cutcliffe appears to have gotten markedly better, yet still the Devils are nowhere near being good. Clemson under Tommy Bowden seemed to be in steady decline, yet still the Tigers remain a consistent disappointment.

When improved but still bad meets worse but still middling, what does it matter which one edges incrementally in either direction from 4-5? What is this contest apt to provide except a real-time demonstration of reversion to the mean? I’m not watching it because I passed Stat 200 twenty years ago.

Go ‘Dawgs! Auburna delenda est!