The National, 9/20/12: What's That Smell?

You know why you get a picture pimping tonight's game rather than illustrating last night's? Because there were apparently no wire service photographers in Buffalo, that's why. #MACscrimination

I Want My Money Back: Buffalo and Kent State utterly failed to live up to the exacting standards of #MACtion last night, instead turning in a performance that surely caused SEC afficionados to nod their heads approvingly when they saw that Kent State had prevailed 23-7 in what was obviously a gritty defensive battle. Well, you know, except for the ones who actually watched it; a lot of them changed the channel. It was a sloppy, ugly, boring game, and its only saving grace was that once again Kent State managed to commit a worthwhile moment of DERP, allowing a last-minute hail mary touchdown to end the first half despite having five defenders around the receiver.

Tonight, with any luck we'll have a much better exhibition on tap as Brigham Young pays a visit to #24 Boise State at 8pm CT on ESPN. Boise's favored by a touchdown-plus-anything, and the over's 48. Also on tonight's docket, we have one game from each division:

  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-1/1-1) at Alabama State (2-1/2-0) in FCS SWACtion at 6:30pm CT on ESPNU
  • surprisingly unbeaten Truman State (3-0/2-0 MIAA) at Central Missouri (2-1/2-1 MIAA) in this week's Division II Game of the Week at 7pm CT on CBS Sports Network
  • Wisconsin-Eau Claire (0-2/0-0 WIAC) at #17 Wisconsin-Platteville (2-0/0-0 WIAC) in Division III
  • Tabor (2-1/1-0 KCAC) at Saint Mary (KS) (0-3/0-2 KCAC) in the NAIA

Devon Walker Update: There's very little news about Walker himself, who at last report had been transferred to a long-term care/rehab facility and was still restricted to non-verbal communication as a result of a ventilation tube (though he had been reported to have movement in his shoulders, which is pretty big news). What IS news, however, is that Tulane's opponent this week, Ole Miss, will be taking the extraordinarily classy step of honoring Walker by wearing helmet decals with his initials, and stopping to consider that for a moment makes it a little dusty in here. Then again, Ole Miss is not exactly unfamiliar with situations involving spinal injuries commingled with abiding respect for a rival, and Chuckie Mullins was admittedly on the minds of the Rebels' athletic department when they decided to honor Walker.

Stuff to Read: Bill Connelly keeps writing. First, his Week Three Heisman Horse Race continues to completely disrespect Optimus Klein, so you should totally abuse him for it. But before you do that, check out his SEC Road Trip Diary (and then, when you abuse him, point out that stopping at White Castle is a Yankee thing to do, 'cause REAL ESS EEE CEE folk eat Krystals). Meanwhile, Bud Elliott offers his guidance on betting this week's slate, which you totally shouldn't do unless you're physically present at a licensed sports book in Las Vegas. He's as scared of the OU/K-State game as pretty much everyone else.

It's Thursday!: Here's what's been going on in fall sports not named "football".

Cross Country: Wisconsin remains steady atop the men's poll, which is largely unchanged from last week. The top 30 also remain the same on the women's side, with Washington at number one; Florida State and Oregon flipped places at 2-3. As for the Wildcats, they participated in the Woody Greeno Invitational in Lincoln last week. The men finished seventh, with Fernando Roman leading the way in 42nd place. Colorado Mines and Air Force took the top two slots. The women, on the other hand, came in third behind Air Force and South Dakota, with sophomore Laura Galvan taking first place individually. So in two meets this season, a Wildcat has taken the individual honors (Roman won the men's side of the JK Gold Classic to open the season).

Field Hockey: North Carolina still rules the roost, and not much has changed beneath them yet either.

Men's Soccer: Big shakeup at the top, as North Carolina was upset by James Madison and Old Dominion toppled Creighton. That means Maryland is your new #1, followed by UConn. The former #5, UNC-Charlotte, actually dropped a spot due to tying games rather than winning them, allowing UC-Santa Barbara, Notre Dame, and New Mexico to leapfrog them. Creighton fell to 7th, UNC to 8th. Also suffering a big fall: South Florida, who tumbled from 11th to 22nd after continuing to Not Play Good.

Women's Soccer: Duke slipped from #2 to #5, but nothing else changed in the top 10 other than Virginia and Virginia Tech swapping places at 8-9. North Carolina's disaster season continued; they slid down to #18 after losing to Maryland.

Women's Volleyball: Welp, so much for the unbeaten season. On a huge, huge night for top-ranked action last night, unranked Oklahoma swept the 11th-ranked Lady Cats last night in the conference opener. #4 Penn State knocked off #3 Nebraska, while #2 USC dispatched #1 UCLA; both of those matches were four-set affairs. Numbers 6-7-8 -- Stanford, Hawai'i, and Oregon -- all picked up wins last night.

Men's Water Polo: The top twelve teams are all still on the west coast. Previously #3 Cal lost to #1 UCLA and then-#4 Stanford, causing the Golden Bears to plunge headlong all the way out of the top... ah, three. They're now #4.

Tennis: It's a spring sport, but there's a fall schedule, and K-State's women will travel to Lawrence for the KU invitational this weekend.

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