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Don't Bet On It!: Week Three College Football National Game of Disinterest

Together, we have traveled around the SEC and surveyed the national games of interest, which leaves us with only one remaining game of note, which warrants mention due solely to the totality of the extent to which it does not warrant mention, if you catch my drift.

I am speaking, of course, of the national game of disinterest, the lone college football contest played each week that is so lacking in compelling storylines, competitive drama, or other redeeming characteristics that I refuse on general principle to predict the winner, for fear that offering a forecast would obligate me to find out afterward what the final score was.

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

Ohio Bobcats at Ohio St. Buckeyes

As college football rivalries go, "University of [Name of State]" and "[Name of Same State] State University" typically produce a winning formula. Colorado and Colorado State. Florida and Florida State. Iowa and Iowa State. Michigan and Michigan State. Mississippi and Mississippi State.

Ohio and Ohio State, though? Not so much.

Ohio University, so called because "University of Ohio" might have led to the that school’s misappropriation of the the about which Ohio State University is so inexplicably and pathetically territorial, shares a sports mascot with the junior high school I attended, and, frankly, it is difficult to think of a MAC member institution as being appreciably different from a middle school. Why, then, are the Buckeyes playing the Bobcats?

Yes, I know, Ohio has more middling college football teams than Georgia has military bases, making the Buckeye State the Louisiana of the Midwest in that respect. However, it isn’t as though Ohio State couldn’t have an in-state rival if it really wanted one. In fact, a legitimate candidate for that role is playing this very evening, as the Cincinnati Bearcats’ trip to face the N.C. State Wolfpack very nearly qualified as this week’s national game of disinterest.

At least Cincy is going on the road to take on a team from an automatically-qualifying conference, though. Ohio State isn’t even troubling to take on a team from a probably-qualifying conference like the Mountain West or the WAC. Granted, the Buckeyes hosted the Miami Hurricanes, but since when did a spent volcano from the moribund ACC count as much more than schedule fodder with better name recognition?

The phrase "Ohio at Ohio State" looks like it denotes a legitimate battle for in-state supremacy, when, in reality, it’s a rent-a-win payday game disguised by a misleading nomenclature. Where are the Congressmen fretting over deceptive branding in college football when you need them?

Go ‘Dawgs!