Painful ulcers, high fever, severe muscle ache, sleep disturbances, problems with coordination - these are the symptoms of sleeping sickness, but they are also normal reactions the body exhibits in preparation for exposure to Illinois-Penn State, Duke-Wake Forest, Boise State-New Mexico, and the other generic non-name brand candies we're stuck with this weekend. But this is the hand we've been dealt, and it's important to remember that it could always be worse! Here are nine games we're NOT watching this weekend.
1. 2005 Illinois vs. 2007 Syracuse. The 1-10 Illini! The 2-10 Orange! An Illinois team that finished 102nd in yards per passing attempt and threw more picks than touchdowns! A Syracuse team that had the fewest sacks of any team in the nation and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete over two-thirds of their passes! I have to keep exclaiming to make sure I don't cry!
2. 1999 South Carolina vs. 2003 Mississippi State. Holy hell, was that a terrible Gamecock team. Lost all 11 games they played, didn't hit double digits on the scoreboard in 6 of those. Not a single one of these losses was by a touchdown or less. Then you've got the '03 Bulldogs, who did manage two wins - over Vanderbilt and Memphis, the only two teams they held under 31 points all year. YOU DROVE JACKIE SHERRILL AWAY, YOU BASTARDS.
3. 2003 Indiana vs. 2008 Indiana. The former ranked 114th in points per game, got doubled up by a Kentucky squad that only won four games all year, and was Gerry DiNardo's worst team ever. The latter ranked 108th in points per game allowed, suffered two MAC losses before it was fashionable, and was Bill Lynch's worst team. You should probably go find some Purel for your eyes now.
4. 1998 Auburn vs. 2008 Clemson. Loser has to keep their Bowden who originally quit after six games!
5. 2010 UCLA vs. a 1995 McDonald's PlayPlace Ball Bit. The Bruins beat Texas on the road and two weeks later got stomped by a Cal team that wouldn't finish above .500. UCLA broke 200 yards passing in only 3 games. 1995 McDonald's PlayPlaces all smelled like piss and fry puke, but there was at least a chance you'd find a Monopoly piece for a free Big Mac. (Shut up about that Park Place you got, dude. EVERYBODY had Park Place.)
6. Any Tennessee Team vs. Any West Virginia Team. While this game would probably be lots of fun to watch, the minute a Colquitt tackled Pacman Jones on a punt return, the hilljack readings would go off the charts and destroy spacetime, which we'd only realize upon waking up in 1832 with cholera.
7. 1990 Georgia vs. My Mom Trying To Print Labels. Take a Dawgs offense that only scored 19 touchdowns over the course of a season. Put it up against my mother trying to make labels on a home computer. Ok, Georgia, you begin by throwing the football. No, to YOUR players. I said YOUR PLAYERS. Mom, click on the Start button. You have to use the mouse. Mom. Stop spelling "start" with the keyboard. MOM.
8. 1987 Arizona vs. 2008 Iowa State. The Wildcats never won consecutive games, and they never lost consecutive games, and they never TIED consecutive games, which is how they ended up with the wonkiest .500 record possible: 4-4-3. Iowa State, on the other hand, did manage to repeat results - two wins over States South Dakota and Kent followed by ten straight losses, including a four touchdown loss to a Baylor team that may have actually been a fraudulent entity created for tax purposes. Fortunately, the coach of that Cyclones team never did anything ever again.
9. Any Ohio State-Michigan State game. Wait, what? Shit.