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

Now that we have taken a look at the national games of interest and gone around the SEC, just one game remains which requires our attention . . . or, rather, our inattention, for the contest to which I refer is the national game of disinterest.

The national game of disinterest is that one outing each weekend so lacking in compelling storylines, coaching personalities, marquee players, colorful tradition, or other redeeming characteristics that I cannot find a reason to care about the outcome enough to predict which team will win.

This week’s national game of disinterest is . . .

SMU Mustangs at Washington St. Cougars

At one point, this game at least would have been intriguing, back in the days when Craig James was playing for what was then the cheatingest program in the NCAA or even when Ryan Leaf was blazing the trail that future players like Michael Vick, Quincy Carter, and Maurice Clarett one day would tread.

Southern Methodist hasn’t been to a bowl game since 1984---the death penalty will do that to you---and, in spite of what you might call a glory run in 2005 and 2006 (when the Mustangs went 11-12), SMU has posted back-to-back 1-11 seasons and managed to go a perfect 0-12 in 2003. Accordingly, I trust you will pardon me if I’m not terribly sold on the ‘Stangs after their 2-0 start this season.

Meanwhile, the house came crashing in around the Cougs in 2008, when Wazzu went 2-11 to finish off its fifth straight autumn without a winning record. The club from Pullman defeated only Division I-AA Portland State and the winless Washington Huskies (in double-overtime at Martin Stadium) while giving up point tallies of 45 (to Baylor), 58 (to Stanford), 59 (to Arizona), 63 (to Oregon), 66 (to Cal and Oregon State), and 69 (to USC). Technically, the Cougars have improved, since they only allowed 39 and 38 points, respectively, in their first two outings en route to an 0-2 start.

Although these two teams ought to be fairly evenly matched, it’s only because they’re both awful. When bad meets bad, the result is worse. I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to tune in to see which of these two teams emits a slightly less onerous football-like substance in this clash of the feculent against the stercoraceous.

Go ‘Dawgs!