Here’s a little guide to those picking out obscure college football games each week. It’s easier to name games that have a little something more going for them.
Here, for example, are some interesting games being played this week. And joining us for our Triple Take look at the weekend this time around is a man who will be seeing one of them, Dan Padavona of CortlandFootball.com.
Game of the Week
Dan’s take: Whitworth at No. 23 Redlands. And honestly I don’t think it will be too close. Redlands was impossible to run on against Dubuque, and the offense was incredibly balanced in churning out over 450 yards. Look for Colton Hansen to pick apart Whitworth.
Keith’s take: No. 25 Ohio Northern at No. 1 Mount Union. The Purple Raiders have a habit of making seemingly tough matchups look not difficult at all, and even if that happens again, this is the Game of the Week because of the clarity it would bring to the national picture and OAC race. We think Mount Union is the nation’s best team, but it hardly resembles last year’s juggernaut except in the offensive backfield, so let’s see how they respond.
Pat’s take: Whitworth at No. 23 Redlands. Whitworth lost at home last season and ended up not going to the playoffs at 8-1 in-region while 5-2 UW-Eau Claire was selected. Does Whitworth remember who one of the two 2007 West Region co-chairs is?
Surprisingly close game
Dan’s take: No. 6 Muhlenberg at Union. This is a good matchup and I don’t think anyone should be surprised if it comes down to the fourth quarter. I was tempted to go with Union due to the long trip into northeastern N.Y. But I think Muhlenberg ekes out a win.
Keith’s take: Coe at Cornell. The Rams haven’t won an IIAC game since 2005, but hosting the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi against the Kohawks, who are also off to a slow start, is a recipe for interesting game.
Pat’s take: No. 18 Case Western Reserve at Oberlin. Case is struggling with injuries, while Oberlin played Washington and Jefferson well in Week 1 and had a bye week to focus on the Spartans, including a short scouting trip.
What obscure game would you have picked for Mike & Mike?
Dan’s take: Rochester at St John Fisher. St. John Fisher may end up being not quite as overpowering as we had all expected, but this is a fun matchup every season. Besides the schools being in the same city, the football programs have an interesting history. The battle belonged to Rochester until the early portion of the new century, and has swung 180 degrees to Fisher since. Apparently so has the recruiting war.
Keith’s take: Cal Lutheran at Pacific Lutheran. It’s always a good time when a couple of Lutherans get together.
Pat’s take: No. 12 North Central at Benedictine, The Battle of Maple Ave. The stadiums are just 2.7 miles apart in suburban Chicago, though at the moment, the programs are much further apart than that. This could also be surprisingly close, but only geographically. (Keith, in your Lutheran battle, who’s bringing the hot dish?)
Which team playing its opener this week has the better chance: St. Scholastica (at Wisconsin Lutheran) or Christopher Newport (at No. 8 Salisbury)?
Dan’s take: Definitely Christopher Newport. I don’t expect the Captains to win on the road, but I feel they are underrated and will give Salisbury a game.
Keith’s take: Christopher Newport. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen LaGrange win the first game in program history in its 21st game and St. Vincent in its 12th. Therefore, with all due respect, I’d be surprised if St. Scholastica, playing its first game ever, wins this season, much less this week.
Pat’s take: St. Scholastica. Not sure either team spotlighted wins its game but I have to think they have the better chance, against Wisconsin Lutheran which has scored 14 points in two games. But if they don’t win this week they do have Trinity Bible later.
Most likely top 25 team to get upset
Dan’s take: No. 20 Cortland State. The NJAC is very balanced this season. I see Rowan winning this game, but Cortland winning the league with 1 loss. Cortland has not won in Glassboro in this era, so until they do so, I think you have to go with the Profs. Cortland is also missing arguably its most explosive player on offense in Zacc Guaragno, and has been suspect in the secondary. I just think this matchup favors Rowan, but will be happy if Cortland proves me wrong.
Keith’s take: No. 23 Redlands. A loss to Whitworth, basically No. 26, might hardly be an upset. Throw in the consequences losing to the Bulldogs had for the Pirates last year, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them play inspired, even though Redlands is coming off a 46-9 win in its opener.
Pat’s take: No. 5 Capital. If this happens, we’ll know the Heidelberg resurgence is for real. The Student Princes dropped 62 points on Westminster (Pa.) in Week 1.
Which surprise 2-0 team is least likely to go 3-0?
Dan’s take: Becker WPI has already beaten Mass-Dartmouth, who is significantly better than any team Becker has played.
Keith’s take: Louisiana College. Even if Hardin-Simmons, which has looked much better on defense this season than last, has a relapse, the Tigers haven’t shown the offense in their two wins (24 points total) to make us believe they can score with Justin Feaster, Mychal Carillo and company.
Pat’s take: Aurora. Illinois Wesleyan is a significantly better team than Lake Forest was, Aurora’s surprise victim in Week 1.
They’ll be on your radar
Dan’s take: Kean They won in a rout over a hapless Merchant Marine team. I fully expect them to beat West Conn in Union, N.J. What I am looking for is a convincing victory. If they win by 14-plus points, the entire conference had better take notice.
Keith’s take: UW-La Crosse. Hate to keep harping on the same team, but since they were completely overmatched against North Dakota, I’m still wondering how they’ll respond to blowing a lead against Hardin-Simmons. A trip to Azusa Pacific might provide an answer.
Pat’s take: Johns Hopkins. A win this week would put the Blue Jays at 3-0 and make it seem like the mid-’00s are here again.