There’s something about Kansas State in the summertime. Maybe it’s the corn-fed dance team, with the legs that go on for miles. Maybe it’s the sun going down on the fields, with just water towers on view for miles and miles. Maybe it’s Manhattan – the ‘Little Apple’, a place so quaint that you could place the place in the South and it would probably fit in nicely. Maybe it’s the fanbase, that were loud enough to create a hell of an atmosphere last night, but not lunatic-fringe like some fanbases that we see in places like the Big Ten. Maybe it was the wind blowing Samantha Ponder’s hair, and us having to remind ourselves that no, she’s not free and single, even though her husband isn’t in starting employment at the moment – and probably won’t be until he leaves the Mid-West. Maybe it’s Bill Snyder and the ‘Family’, and his team that he builds from the nation’s junior colleges rather than from freshmen.

There’s something about a SEC school playing down at Kansas State. Especially one that’s fifth-ranked in the nation. It gives me an excuse to watch Thursday night football. I’m researching, dammit. It’s important. Especially one that’s got a high-octane offense, that loves having a mobile quarterback (like Kansas State), and is rediscovering its mojo after Gene Chizik’s last year when the only really drive to be found was in a freshman frat boy’s underwear after a few hour’s tailgating.

So Thursday night, Auburn came to town to the Little Apple. The place was rocking. We discovered early on that the SEC doesn’t have exclusivity on hot students, hot cheerleaders or a red-hot atmosphere since the last big-time team came down to play The Purple. Thanks, ESPN. We also discovered early on that if Auburn was going to win out, it was going to do that against a defense that was going to give the Tigers nothing. Auburn’s defense would have to be stout.

And stout it was. Jake ‘The Snake’ Waters, who had been so mobile during his Kansas State, was wrapped up. By the end of the game, he was Jake The Flake, with the only snake to come out of him was a few half-assed runs such was the pressure. But despite Auburn great lines of defense, let’s make no mistake about it, Kansas State are the ones who will be furious that they didn’t come home with the upset. Their kicker missed THREE field goals. [Georgia kicker] Marshall Morgan, you are forgiven. Jack Cantele, you should be happy you don’t play in the SEC. You probably wouldn’t have a career after your ineptness on Thursday night. Then there was Waters, who threw an interception in the end-zone, and fumbled the ball away, too.

Auburn’s offense? You know, the Ferrari? It wasn’t Ferrari so much as John Deere Tractor. It didn’t look that pretty, but came through in the end. Nick Marshall looked better in the second half than he did the first, and his throw at the end of the game that sewed up the 20-14 victory was Heisman-esque. But otherwise, Auburn’s offense moved in fits and starts.

But at the end, it was Auburn who farmed the victory, and Kansas State didn’t. Oh, and God Bless You, Thursday Night Football.

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