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

Throughout the course of the day, I have unveiled my predictions for this weekend’s SEC and noteworthy national games, as a result of which I am almost entirely finished offering my forecasts for Saturday’s college football action. I qualify that statement with the adverb "almost" because there yet remains one gridiron contest of which I must make mention.

I am referring, of course, to the national game of disinterest, the lone college football game on any given Saturday that is so lacking in merit, consequence, or any even remotely interesting attribute that I decline to pick a winner as a matter of principle. This week, the national game of disinterest is . . .

Utah Utes at California Golden Bears

Wait, that can’t be right, can it? Under Urban Meyer, the Utes became the original BCS busters, completing an undefeated season and paving the way for mid-major teams to earn bids to major bowls. Kyle Whittingham took over the program in 2005 and proceeded to lead Utah to a 57-20 record in his first six seasons, producing a track record of success that helped land the Beehive State’s flagship school in the newly-expanded Pac-12, through which Jeff Tedford had blazed a trail as the head coach of the revived Bears. Since arriving in Berkeley, Coach Tedford has become the winningest coach in Cal history and the Golden State’s highest-paid state employee. How, then, can this be anything other than a monster inter-divisional clash between Pac-12 powers?

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to dominance: Cal and Utah both are mediocre. Each squad comes into this game sporting a 3-3 ledger, with five of their combined six victories coming over 1-6 Colorado, 3-4 Fresno State, Division I-AA Montana State, 3-4 Pitt, and Division I-AA Presbyterian.

The Bears trail a three-game losing streak, during which they have been outscored 104-47, while the Utes managed exactly 14 points in each of their league losses, unfortunately while allowing 23, 31, and 35 points, respectively. Both teams are 0-3 in conference play, with Cal all alone in last place in the North Division and Utah avoiding the South Division cellar only because of woeful Arizona.

One day, this may be a great rivalry between two very good teams; in the recent past, a clash between these programs would have been a quality contest well worth our attention. In 2011, though, they’re just two blind mules fighting over a turnip, and I’m not wasting my time picking it because I don’t want to have to stay up late enough to catch the end of one of those West Coast night games.

Go ‘Dawgs!