Yes, it does. As much as a football game on September 15th.
I'm assuming this statement is sarcastic, but I'll take the bait just in case because of the "as much as a football game on Sep. 15th" comment. That statement is blatantly untrue. A loss on September 15th for a football team likely means losing any hope of a national championship for a BCS team and a black mark on any other team's record who hopes to impress. In XC, the at-large selection committee doesn't even consider races before September 22nd when factoring in the points system to determine at large teams invited to Terre Haute. September racing is largely irrelevant beyond a workout. Now you can flame me for taking this post too seriously.