Around the Nation podcast: We’re semi-fine with it

Wesley had just four second-half possessions against UMHB ending in a punt, an interception, a field goal and a fourth-down stop.
Photo by Andrew Zavoina,

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Two great games, two not-so-great ones. And you can probably guess based on past experience which region was involved in the not-so-great games. We talk about all four games that took place in the national quarterfinals, of course, including the great plays, the special teams miscues. And, of course, the big bracket miscue that results in the No. 1 and No. 2 teams meeting this week instead of next week in Salem.

Updated bracket, playoff features

And it had to happen eventually. After seven years or so of doing this podcast, we finally ran into a technical problem we didn’t discover until it was too late. There is an Around the Nation podcast this week, but the recording gets a little jittery a little way into the broadcast.

Pat and Keith give their thoughts on what it means to have a new team in Salem. Keith talks about what he missed in watching Mount Union games to make him think Widener had a chance. And we talk about why it’s important for all Division III fans to come to Salem, not just the ones whose teams are playing in the game.

We talk about that and more in this week’s Around the Nation Podcast, sponsored by the City of Salem, hosts of Stagg Bowl XL. Tickets on sale now!

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D3reports postgame show

Here’s this week’s reports, highlight packages and postgame interviews.

And this week’s photo galleries from our friends at

33 thoughts on “Around the Nation podcast: We’re semi-fine with it

  1. Apparently the Mount Union/Mary Hardin game will now be televised live on ESPN3 @ 2:00 pm.

    How many times has a start time in D3 been moved because of TV?

  2. mucpurpleraider: Every Stagg Bowl since we started covering the sport, plus last year’s semifinals.

    Andrew: Safe to say that will be our Play of the Week. Just have to get our video production guy moving this morning.

  3. Andrewc1258 – that is an awesome play!!

    Looking forward to a great contest this saturday between the best two teams in DIII football in 2012. It’s easy to call it the “Stagg Bowl” game but that wouldn’t be fair to Osh Kosh or St. Thomas.

    I was in Alliance in 2004 for that game and it was definitely a tough loss for the Raiders. Both rosters have completely turned over so no personal history but certainly on the minds of UMU as they move toward a possible trip to Salem on the 14th.

    Good luck to all four teams remaining!

    BTW – We sat behind the parents of the Widener punter/kicker last Saturday. He had waited three years to start due to his predecessor and, being a senior, was looking forward to the game. It was a shame that his last game had to be like it was. The center was having issues all day with snaps and the line was not blocking very well but, playing sports myself, I’m sure he blamed himself for the problems.

  4. Pat- Thanks for the reply. I knew the Stagg Bowl was tied in with a TV time but was unaware of any other games as such.

    raiderdude- I was at the game also on Saturday. I felt bad for that punter.

  5. Oh how I wish I could fly up to Alliance and watch The Cru but for a variety of reasons I cannot. I will try to watch on the video feed but we all know unreliable that is. Excuse me for my ignorance but how do I get access to ESPN 3? I have Directv but do not see it as an option.

  6. I think the Cru will pull out a close game this Saturday in Alliance if they play up to potential. One thing is for sure, it will be the tightest game MU will play all year.

  7. Tired of everyone saying that UNMH vs MTU is the “Stagg Bowl”. I think both St. Thomas and Oshkosh could beat UMHB. UMHB is a great team, but do you really think there is that much difference between #2, #4, and #5? UMHB did not punish Wesley by any means. MTU is the best by far, and the others are the best of the rest.

  8. The match up between UMU and UMHB in the Semi-Finals is exactly what the NCAA was looking for when they set up the brackets. They do not want to see UMU in the Stagg Bowl!

  9. I too am looking for a great game on Saturday between UMU and UMHB. Aside from the 2004 rematch, LiDarral Bailey is a mobile quarterback. With UMU’s agressiveness, that could cause issues if he breaks containment. Take nothing away from Mount’s previous opponents but UMHB should be the stiffest test thus far.

    I am still predicting an 8th consecutive trip to the Stagg Bowl but it will be a hard-earned and close contest.

    As far as what the NCAA wants, they want the game to be watched. The more eyeballs watch and see the quality of play in DIII, the more exposure and respect the division receives. This helps with recruiting and a general increase in the available talent pool which helps all DIII schools. Will that be enhanced with or without UMU? I can’t say for sure but I know UMU is known nationally for its regular appearance in the Stagg Bowl (as is UWW). That familiarity helps with the casual viewer thus increased eyeballs.

  10. Make sure you twitter search #LiDarraling. Already sweeping across finals week at UMHB as well as across the whole ASC and even into the Cotton Bowl. Way more fun than Tebowing.

  11. ndoc,

    Went to Espn3, looks like my Internet provider is not listed. I have Time Warner so looks like I’m hosed. Guess I will watch it over the Internet.

    I was not putting down UST or UWO as they are really good. Just think they could not beat UMHB or MU.

  12. ndoc,

    Last year Wesley gave MU all they could handle 28-21 MU. Wesley beat UMHB 27-24.
    Just saying Wesley is no push over by any means. We will see what happens Saturday.

    Oh! The weather in Alliance will be nice with temps at 57 at game time.

    My predictions!!

    UMHB 28-MU 24
    UWO 35- UST 24
    STAGG UMHB 32 UWO 21

  13. bplatoon6,

    You may be right! Never thought about it that way.

    Got to hand it to MU. Easy to get kids when they can play what equals to 6 years of football in 4 years as they ave 15 games a year.

  14. This is not the same Mount team that played Wesley last year. It’s somewhat scary how much better they are this year. Yes i am a fan of mount, but if you’ve been to the games both this and last year you would see what i mean. I want to see a great game, but I wont be shocked to see a 52-10 mount victory.

  15. ceggl1-
    Keep in mind that Mount Union will be facing by far their stiffest competition of the entire season this weekend. While I don’t want to put down their earlier opponents, MU has had little competition against ranked opponents. Widener was #9 in the nation and rightfully so. But I have to believe that UMHB has more momentum going forward. UMHB defeated Wesley twice this season. Wesley was considered by much of D3 to be #3 in the nation. I think this will be a closer game than you imagine.

  16. While I think Mt. takes the crown back this year, I encourage you to look at their point spread in terms of scores of 2007. They were very similar to this year’s run but UW-W ended up on top. The wild card piece was UW-W was facing off for the third time against Mt. U. But motivation is sometimes hard to quantify and I think Mt. is doing everything they can to get back as champ.

  17. I dont want to seem disrespectful of what UMHB has been able to do year in and year out. I just feel it’s a scary year to have to play mount. I hope it’s a great game. Weather has changed a bit. High of 51 and 60% chance of rain.

  18. Ok, what was up with the announcers for the Widener-UMU game last week. I logged into the video feed only to discover it was a Widener (only) station. Decsribing UMU as “classless” when trying to get a first down half way through the third quarter while they themselves through pass after pass trying to score. I have never ever heard anything so onesided in my life.

  19. I agree that this year’s team looks better on the field than last year. The biggest difference is the offensive line.

    In 2010, Neal Seaman and Matt Piloto faced more defensive pressure than Kevin Burke has this year. Some of that may be due to Burke’s mobility but he has not been overly pressured on drop backs. Furthermore, even though UMU does not have a feature back, I believe the stable of running backs they have work well because the line creates enough gaps that allow for a balanced attack.

    If you watch UMU’s backs, they use cut back moves alot so if the primary lane is not open, they adjust quickly.

    Much of the credit for the increased offensive performance goes to the Offensive line.

    That being said, I look for a hard-fought close game with UMU coming out on top. UMU just has too many weapons to key on one guy which results in a 42-28 victory.

    In the second semi-final game, I predict a vistory by St. Thomas. I had Linfield picked in my bracket so, it would make sense to see UWO prevail since they took down Linfield but I think it’s St. Thomas’ year in 2012 to reach the Stagg Bowl. Another close game 24-21.

    Good luck to all four teams

  20. anyone know if anything is wrong with Lattimore? He ran one play (I know he fumbled) but he never came back.

  21. That’s it. He fumbled. He’s had a few this year. Not a lot but if he doesn’t hold on the te ball 99.99% of the time he’s not gonna play.

  22. We will see!! I will be on here after the game and if MU wins by 42 I will congratulate you and say, I EAT CROW. I think this is the best team UMHB has ever had. So good luck and enjoy the game. Oh! keep an eye out for #23 J. Jones for UMHB he will be playing on Sundays just like J. Freeman who starts for the Indianapolis Colts who is #5 in the NFL in tackles. Oh! did I mention that Jones broke most of Freemans records at UMHB.

  23. Gocru, on the mount side of the ball #8 Collins and # 2 Diesual will be joining J.Jones on Sunday’s.

  24. I think you may be right. They are great players as well. It’s all about getting the right opportunity. Freeman had to play in Canada after he was the last cut by the TN Titans. Indy Colts gave him the opportunity and now he is 5th in the NFL in tackles. Many fall through the cracks and never get a chance in the NFL.

  25. The more success Freeman , garçon , and Cecil shorts have the better chance d3 kids have of getting drafted or signed. Great recruiting tool for the schools to have NFL players.

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