Game Day: Last chance

Mount Union
Can Bethel make the leap past Mount Union and into the Stagg Bowl?
Photo by Scott Pierson,

Well, the day many have been dreading will be dawning here in a few hours. Unless you’re a UW-Whitewater or Mount Union fan, in which case it’s more like wild anticipation. It’s the last chance for anyone to derail a purple-on-purple matchup for the sixth year in a row in the Stagg Bowl.

Bethel and Wesley stand in the way. It’s a great day because it’s the one day a year there’s live video of a Mount Union home football game, and there is live video at Wesley for the second consecutive week.

The folks on the call will be familiar to longtime followers. Frank Rossi of and Brandon Stewart will call the action from Alliance, Ohio, while D3football’s Gordon Mann and Keith McMillan will have the call from Dover, Del., on

I’ll be at home buried under a foot of snow again in Minneapolis. However, this week it was planned. And it allows me to set up on both screens and watch both games. Plus I’ll be DVR-ing the Mount Union/Bethel game on DirecTV’s SportsTime Ohio feed.

Opening the floor, and it will be kept up with this week. Sorry about last week, between the traveling and calling the game.

64 thoughts on “Game Day: Last chance

  1. I recall a time when people complained about a guy named Mohammed Ali always winning. Simple solution, somebody man up and DO THE WOK that MTU and UWW have done. Today’s game in Alliance showed exactly the difference between the big two and everybody else.

    Where are all the people complaining about a system where a weak sister like Bethel could actually make the semi’s.

    Hard to fill a stadium when you know the outcome and IT’S FINALS WEEK

  2. Mount Union is a Great team with a huge history. They may beat Whitewater this year. This seems to go back and forth. We will have to see!!

    The problem I have is Whitewater in defending champs. They were ranked the top team all year but they weren’t even top ranked in their bracket! If anyone could explain other than the NCAA wanting Whitewater out of the title game, I love to hear it!

    I think the NCAA needs to move the game around! Last year the crowd was terrible! I can’t believe this year will be much better! The same teams have play in this game for six years now. Fan grow tired of seeing the same this year after year!

  3. @ nwohio – It’s Allegheny 🙂 and yes, Mt. Union lost in the first round that year. I know, I was there. Awesome game I might add.

    @ buddy – Yes, it used to be that schools would bid on home field for a playoff game and that is how my Gators hosted Dayton in 1990 instead of the other way around.
    Games were also determined based on geographical location as there was no bracket. Teams could not cross paths with another team as far as travel was concerned therefore, team A could not play team B if team C was geographically located between team A and team B, i.e. Allegheny (PA) played Central (IA) in the semis while Lycoming (PA) played Hofstra (NY). Allegheny could not play Hofstra because Lycoming is geographically located between the other two schools and vice versa.

  4. seventiesraider – I am not sure how a system that had Bethel playing all their games on the road against higher seeded teams benefits a “weak sister” Bethel team. Bethel accounted themselves well today (see MUs previous playoff games). Granted MU is a better team but no need to disparage another team that earned its way into the top 4 on the field. I think what Bethel has done is more impressive then MUs accomplishments given how much they exceeded expectations this season.

  5. nacg8or — interesting point. I learned something about Division III football from your post. Thanks for the knowledge on how brackets were set up back in the day — gives me a new perspective on how to interpret those brackets.

  6. A question for the D3Football folks – When you set up the reader poll for third place, why was North Central included? If they’re in there, why aren’t the other teams that lost in the quarter final round included?

    “seventiesraider” – Please don’t try to build yourself up by under cutting the others. When you call BU a weak sister, you declare that all the teams that fell in that bracket to be even weaker. That doesn’t do anyone any good. Please don’t cheapen Mount’s win by doing that.

    As to the others – What’s up with the continuous stream of chatter about seeds, venues, and how the NCAA operates? The whole field operates under the same rules. These games are too important for “where” they are played to matter to the participants. Sure maybe the fans care, yet the fields are pretty much the same 100 yards. I’m fairly certain that the same two teams would be in the Stagg, even if all four teams had been forced to make a trip to Dallas (or where ever) and play on some turf there.

  7. If Wesley and St. Thomas have a stronger Strength of Schedule ranking than Mt. Union, what does that say about the teams Mt. Union beats?

    Mt. Union’s record in road playoff games since 1975 is 4-3, a .571 win percentage. Mt. Union has been in 16 consecutive semi finals, all played at home. If they had to play on the road for half of them, and remember their road playoff win percentage is .571, it’s not unreasonable to think they would have lost six or seven of them.

  8. The fact is that Mt. Union and WW have established themselves for an extended period of time. This in turn has made recruiting considerably easier for themselves. D1 and D2 players who do not look like they are going to get the playing time they desire naturally will gravitate to the allure of a national championship. We can see that a team like NCC has come very close but was also aided greatly by having a very special defensive player. We’ll see if they can continue to stay up there with the big boys or if they fall back into the just good teams without him. the purples have 2 or 3 of those types of players every year surrounded by a strong supporting cast. i’m not sure what one poster meant by someone “manning up”. I do not doubt that all these second tier programs are going as hard as they can but might be restricted by money or other school restrictions as they try to recruit competitively. eventually the tide will turn but for awhile it may be a purple Christmas.

  9. hey I am back guys –sorry to make you wrong again -yeah anyway you got your picks right this time about time -congrads-wanted to say thanks for the cheap entertainment-it was fun, enjoyed it -I haven’t heard someone try to overcome his insecuries by saying he has “stones” since junior high some 45 years ago –great line –was hoping bethel would win so we could continue this for another week but such is life -maybe next year another 6th seeded underdog will step up and make a playoff run and we can do it again-well off to piss in someone else’s cherrios

  10. I totally agree with you trainer. I’m pretty sure Mt. Union and Whitewater don’t even need to recruit at this point. There is no doubt in my mind that those schools attract players that would normally go to higher division schools but would either not play right away and/or wouldn’t have a chance at a national title. It also doesn’t help recruiting for my Gators that NY, PA, and OH are in the top five for the amount of schools per state which dilutes the talent pool. Mt. Union being less than two hours away dilutes that pool even further.

  11. Before I post a response/comment to any other comments, I want to say how classy the Bethel fans were at yesterday’s game. Due to scheduling issues, we weren’t able to secure tickets until just this week. As a consequence, we sat in section 12 which is the visitors section.

    to a person, all the fans were very respectful (as were we) cheered loudly for their sons and school and were very engaging. It is very refreshing to chat with people from a different region of the country but with similar likes and concerns. I do hope you were all able to get home in light of the storm that dumped over a foot of snow on the area.

    I probably sound like a broken record on here but, whether you win or lose, do it with class and respect. When Bethel went up early after the interception and injury to Seaman, there was no taunting. Likewise, when it was clear that UMU was too much for Bethel, there was none on our part. We had 15 people in our group and we understood that UMU was favored but we were all impressed at the heart the bethel team displayed. They never quit and played hard to the end.

    This is not smugness or overconfidence. The better team won yesterday but it wasn’t a given. Hats off to the Bethel team and their fans and I wish them the best going forward. They have that intangible that UMU uses so frequently to maintain their edge and that is self confidence. All bethel needs to do now is develop a passing game and they will be even more dangerous.

    Responding to the other charges of bias to UMU by the NCAA is unnecessary. The reasons have been bludgeoned to death and deserve no more mention. that being said, I would like to see the next UWW that responded to the MUC (now UWW) challenge. It iwll bring more diversity to DIII football and provide wider interest. Until then, the two best teams are playing in the finals (yes for the sixth year in a row) and it should be a great game!!!

    I too believe that UWW will (and should) be favored. While points are being scored, the offense just doesn’t seem to be quite in sync (even before Polito was inserted). But please do not count out the defense. I don’t remember the final stats but, in the first half, I believe Bethel only had 1 first down and approximately 40 yards of TOTAL offense. Yards were accumulated in the second half but vey hard earned.

    Take care all and I look forward to an epic battle on Saturday!!

  12. Well I guess it is time for me to eat crow. UWW pass defense played great and that was the difference. Now go win the Stagg.

    Stagg prediction

    UWW 21 MUC 17

  13. UMHB will be back next year and the secondary should be much better. If they don’t improve they will not go any further and may not win the ASC. Look out Wesley, because you will probably see them in Belton this time.

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