never you mind which D3football.com columnist said this season was wide open. Turns out it was always the Warhawks and the Purple Raiders.
So, I figured I might as well get a jump on this week’s chatter by setting up a thread where we can speculate if UW-W will even the score at 2-2, or will Greg Micheli and Nate Kmic go out as champions. Have at it below.
We’ll be approaching the story this week from several angles, through our Road to Salem features, the first installment of the Around the Nation year-in-review, an expanded slate of predictions for Stagg Bowl XXXVI and the release of the D3football.com all-Americans on our Stagg Bowl pregame show.
And this is as good a place as any to start sorting out the memories from the past three season that have run together. Off the top of my head, here’s what I recall:
2005: The Pete Schmitt (non-)TD before the half becomes the first instant replay review in D3 history, and a 95-yard Nate Kmic TD run helps put away a 35-28 Mount Union win.
2006: UW-W’s Derek Stanley makes a great catch along the sidelines as UW-W tries to send longtime coach Bob Berezowitz out a champion, but it’s Pierre Garcon who goes airborne for a TD in leading Mount Union to a 35-16 win. Micheli comes off the bench to go 18 of 22 and win MVP honors.
2007: Two-time champion sends one of the most talented and statistically dominant teams in Division III history to Salem, but an early goal-line stand, a determined 239-yard rushing day from Justin Beaver, and the running of QB Danny Jones, a Cal Lutheran transfer, lifted Whitewater to the title.
2008: You tell us how the story will end.
I’m sure I’m not remembering some of the numbers correctly, or mixing up the Kmic and Garcon big plays, but that illustrates my point. After three of these, some of the details are beginning to run together. D3football.com will re-visit the games this week and get all the details straight leading up to this week’s webcast of the championship game.