Quick Hits: Our second-round score picks

If the predictions hold, we are in for a great second round of games. The consensus of our group isn’t that any game will be out of hand. Both rematches should be closer than the first meeting, we think. A minority opinion, but still a present one, suggests the defending champion could lose this week, as well as the No. 1 team.

If any of this comes true, well, you saw it here first. And if something happens that isn’t represented here, then it’s a surprise.

You have predictions? Add them in the comments.

— Pat Coleman

Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Keith’s take:  UMHB 38, Linfield 31
Ryan’s take: UMHB 45, Linfield 33
Pat’s take: UMHB 34, Linfield 28
Adam’s take: UMHB 41, Linfield 38
Frank’s take: Linfield 31, UMHB 24
Josh’s take: UMHB 35, Linfield 27
Consensus: Definite hope for Linfield fans, even in the close margins on the other side.
Keith’s take: North Central 27, Wheaton 21
Ryan’s take: North Central 28, Wheaton 24
Pat’s take: North Central 31, Wheaton 27
Adam’s take: North Central 31, Wheaton 27
Frank’s take: North Central 30, Wheaton 27
Josh’s take: North Central 28, Wheaton 14
Consensus: Almost everyone thinks the rematch will be closer.
Alfred bracket
Keith’s take: Alfred 24, W. New England 17
Ryan’s take: Alfred 35, W. New England 21
Pat’s take: Alfred 29, W. New England 28
Adam’s take: Alfred 38, W. New England 21
Frank’s take: Alfred 34, W. New England 31
Josh’s take: Alfred 31, W. New England 28
Consensus: Bunch of close scores after Alfred’s first-round scare.
Keith’s take: Johns Hopkins 34, Mount Union 31
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 42, Johns Hopkins 17
Pat’s take: Mount Union 38, Johns Hopkins 35
Adam’s take: Johns Hopkins 40, Mount Union 38
Frank’s take: Mount Union 40, Johns Hopkins 24
Josh’s take: Mount Union 42, Johns Hopkins 28
Consensus: Not a straight sweep for Mount Union here.
St. Thomas bracket
Keith’s take:  St. Thomas 47, Coe 21
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 35, Coe 14
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 31, Coe 20
Adam’s take: St. Thomas 42, Coe 20
Frank’s take: St. Thomas 40, Coe 20
Josh’s take: St. Thomas 38, Coe 17
Consensus: This is the only game that the group all feels will be more than one score.
Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 45, St. John’s 28
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 24, St. John’s 17
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 30, St. John’s 21
Adam’s take: UW-Oshkosh 42, St. John’s 31
Frank’s take: UW-Oshkosh 24, St. John’s 14
Josh’s take: UW-Oshkosh 41, St. John’s 31
Consensus: Could be a low-scoring game. Could be a higher-scoring one.
UW-Whitewater bracket
Keith’s take: John Carroll 30, Wesley 20
Ryan’s take: John Carroll 33, Wesley 27
Pat’s take: Wesley 30, John Carroll 24
Adam’s take: John Carroll 35, Wesley 34
Frank’s take: Wesley 30, John Carroll 21
Josh’s take: Wesley 24, John Carroll 21
Consensus: Our most even split decision of the week, 3-3.
Keith’s take: UW-Whitewater 28, Wittenberg 13
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 34, Wittenberg 17
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 31, Wittenberg 27
Adam’s take: UW-Whitewater 28, Wittenberg 27
Frank’s take: UW-Whitewater 34, Wittenberg 17
Josh’s take: UW-Whitewater 31, Wittenberg 21
Consensus: UW-Whitewater sweeps the table, but with one one-point margin and a four-point margin.

Quick Hits: Predicting first-round playoff scores

The story goes, one day on a long ride to a playoff game at Thiel (which tells you how long ago this happened), Pat and Keith decided to pass the time by guessing not just the winner of each first-round playoff game, but the score. And there was born the expectations game: Do we expect a close game? A high-scoring game? A blowout? Does everyone agree on who will win? Those are the factors worth looking at.

Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Josh Smith each take their guesses at scores for each first-round game.

— Pat Coleman ( photo)


Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Keith’s take: UMHB 55, Redlands 14
Ryan’s take: UMHB 63, Redlands 7
Pat’s take: UMHB 56, Redlands 7
Adam’s take: UMHB 52, Redlands 10
Frank’s take: UMHB 47, Redlands 10
Josh’s take: UMHB 56, Redlands 6
Consensus: Mary Hardin-Baylor, by quite a lot.
Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons 31, Linfield 30
Ryan’s take: Linfield 33, Hardin-Simmons 28
Pat’s take: Hardin-Simmons 35, Linfield 34
Adam’s take: Linfield 24, Hardin-Simmons 23
Frank’s take: Linfield 35, Hardin-Simmons 24
Josh’s take: Linfield 24, Hardin-Simmons 21
Consensus: A split decision favoring the visitors, but since all comers think the game will be close, looks like a toss-up.
Keith’s take: Wheaton 29, Huntingdon 27
Ryan’s take: Huntingdon 35, Wheaton 31
Pat’s take: Wheaton 45, Huntingdon 13
Adam’s take: Huntingdon 40, Wheaton 34
Frank’s take: Wheaton 30, Huntingdon 20
Josh’s take: Wheaton 38, Huntingdon 24
Consensus: Almost everyone thinks Huntingdon can score on Wheaton, with a couple people thinking they can score more.
Keith’s take: N. Central 52, Rose-Hulman 35
Ryan’s take: N. Central 49, Rose-Hulman 7
Pat’s take: N. Central 56, Rose-Hulman 17
Adam’s take: N. Central 45, Rose-Hulman 24
Frank’s take: N. Central 37, Rose-Hulman 13
Josh’s take: N. Central 48, Rose-Hulman 14
Consensus: North Central will win, but Rose-Hulman might score some points. Or might not.
Alfred bracket
Keith’s take: Alfred 40, Bridgewater State 17
Ryan’s take: Alfred 41, Bridgewater State 10
Pat’s take: Alfred 54, Bridgewater State 7
Adam’s take: Alfred 35, Bridgewater State 6
Frank’s take: Alfred 40, Bridgewater State 24
Josh’s take: Alfred 38, Bridgewater State 28
Consensus: If you’re an Alfred fan, stop reading after the first four predictions.
Keith’s take: Husson 27, Western New England 24
Ryan’s take: Western New England 31, Husson 24
Pat’s take: Husson 45, Western New England 41
Adam’s take: Western New England 27, Husson 24
Frank’s take: Husson 30, Western New England 27
Josh’s take: Western New England 24, Husson 23
Consensus: The biggest wild card in the entire first round. Three each way. But seven points is the widest margin.
Keith’s take: Mount Union 33, Hobart 21
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 45, Hobart 23
Pat’s take: Mount Union 41, Hobart 31
Adam’s take: Mount Union 41, Hobart 20
Frank’s take: Mount Union 34, Hobart 20
Josh’s take: Mount Union 28, Hobart 10
Consensus: Hobart will make a good showing, but Mount Union will win.
Keith’s take: Johns Hopkins 38, Randolph-Macon 21
Ryan’s take: Johns Hopkins 34, Randolph-Macon 21
Pat’s take: Johns Hopkins 51, Randolph-Macon 10
Adam’s take: Johns Hopkins 31, Randolph-Macon 13
Frank’s take: Johns Hopkins 34, Randolph-Macon 23
Josh’s take: Johns Hopkins 42, Randolph-Macon 17
Consensus: Various ways of saying Johns Hopkins will win.
St. Thomas bracket
Keith’s take: St. Thomas 55, Northwestern (Minn.) 7
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 52, Northwestern (Minn.) 13
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 63, Northwestern (Minn.) 7
Adam’s take: St. Thomas 56, Northwestern (Minn.) 0
Frank’s take: St. Thomas 35, Northwestern (Minn.) 10
Josh’s take: St. Thomas 49, Northwestern (Minn.) 3
Consensus: St. Thomas in a win worthy of a 1-seed.
Keith’s take: Coe 16, Monmouth 13
Ryan’s take: Coe 31, Monmouth 27
Pat’s take: Coe 31, Monmouth 24
Adam’s take: Coe 28, Monmouth 27
Frank’s take: Monmouth 27, Coe 24
Josh’s take: Coe 21, Monmouth 7
Consensus: Fairly confident Coe will win, but not by much.
Keith’s take: St. John’s 30, UW-Platteville 28
Ryan’s take: St. John’s 42, UW-Platteville 33
Pat’s take: UW-Platteville 31, St. John’s 27
Adam’s take: UW-Platteville 24, St. John’s 21
Frank’s take: UW-Platteville 34, St. John’s 30
Josh’s take: UW-Platteville 35, St. John’s 34
Consensus: A great game with the slight edge to UW-Platteville. Total of scores, UW-Platteville, 185-184.
Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 49, Washington U. 20
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 42, Washington U. 27
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 56, Washington U. 10
Adam’s take: UW-Oshkosh 52, Washington U. 28
Frank’s take: UW-Oshkosh 34, Washington U. 14
Josh’s take: UW-Oshkosh 54, Washington U. 3
Consensus: UW-Oshkosh, even if Wash U might score some points.
Whitewater bracket
Keith’s take: John Carroll 28, Olivet 10
Ryan’s take: John Carroll 56, Olivet 3
Pat’s take: John Carroll 40, Olivet 14
Adam’s take: John Carroll 42, Olivet 10
Frank’s take: John Carroll 42, Olivet 21
Josh’s take: John Carroll 42, Olivet 10
Consensus: John Carroll will win. And apparently hit all of its extra points.
Keith’s take: Wesley 24, Stevenson 23
Ryan’s take: Stevenson 35, Wesley 34
Pat’s take: Wesley 38, Stevenson 28
Adam’s take: Wesley 38, Stevenson 14
Frank’s take: Wesley 40, Stevenson 30
Josh’s take: Wesley 35, Stevenson 17
Consensus: Generally Wesley in a good game, but not unanimous.
Keith’s take: Thomas More 35, Wittenberg 24
Ryan’s take: Wittenberg 28, Thomas More 27
Pat’s take: Thomas More 27, Wittenberg 21
Adam’s take: Thomas More 42, Wittenberg 24
Frank’s take: Wittenberg 20, Thomas More 17
Josh’s take: Thomas More 28, Wittenberg 24
Consensus: Thomas More as the home in a 4-5 game is getting those kind of predictions.
Keith’s take: UW-Whitewater 35, Lakeland 10
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 59, Lakeland 7
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 56, Lakeland 14
Adam’s take: UW-Whitewater 49, Lakeland 13
Frank’s take: UW-Whitewater 35, Lakeland 7
Josh’s take: UW-Whitewater 63, Lakeland 7
Consensus: UW-Whitewater, although a four-touchdown range in what UWW might score.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below, or tweet at us at @D3Keith, @NewsTipps and @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the highlights from Round 1.


Quick Hits: One last week for all the marbles

As this portion of the Quick Hits season draws to a close, we tackle the big rivalry games, the playoff picture and all the rest. Our guest prognosticator is Frank Rajkowski, who covers St. John’s football for the St, Cloud Times.

— Pat Coleman

Which Week 11 game is the game of the week?

Keith’s take: No. 18 St. John Fisher at No. 14 Alfred. There are other big games, but none impact the potential playoff field like whether or not the Cardinals are in Pool C.
Ryan’s take: No. 18 St. John Fisher at No. 14 Alfred. Likely to be much more of a dogfight than the other game between Top 25 teams.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 8 St. John’s at Concordia-Moorhead. This game is frequently given to last-second heroics, and it has playoff implications.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 18 St. John Fisher at No. 14 Alfred. Every team on the Pool C bubble will have an eye on this one.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 16 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. The Purple Raiders haven’t had a real test. This will show us where they’re at.
Frank Rajkowski
Frank’s take: I want to say St. John’s at Concordia since a lot is on the line and, you know, I’ll be covering it. But it’s hard to pick against ranked teams playing for a conference title, when top-ranked Mount Union plays host to No. 16 John Carroll.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

Keith’s take: No. 8 St. John’s, and to a lesser degree No. 17 Wabash. Each puts its 8-1 record on the line vs. 7-2 foe; Johnnies have lost 3 of 4 to Concordia-Moorhead.
Ryan’s take: No. 25 St. Lawrence. WPI played Hobart close — in fact, the Engineers’ three losses all season were by a total of nine points.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: None. Going with a good old-fashioned slate of chalk. Get it, slate? Chalk?
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 8 St. John’s at Concordia-Moorhead. The Cobbers create some more Pool C chaos and stake a claim to one of the six bids.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 21 Case Western Reserve vs. Carnegie Mellon. CMU has been playing consistent ball while Case had a scare last week.
Frank Rajkowski
Frank’s take: I guess the Top 25 team with the toughest test is No. 8 St. John’s, which travels to Concordia in a game that both teams have to win if they want to keep their shot at an at-large bid alive.

Who salvages a poor season with a win in the finale?

Keith’s take: Pacific has won six or seven games for three seasons running, but has three losses by four points or fewer this season. The Boxers win at home vs. Puget Sound to get to 4-5.
Ryan’s take: Albion. My, how far the Britons have fallen.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Williams. I’m going with the Ephs because Amherst is having an uncharacteristically bad year and Williams, while winless, should smell a chance.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Hampden-Sydney defeats rival Randolph-Macon in The Game, because the ODAC can’t possibly have a clear outright champion two years in a row, can it?
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Wesley. “Poor” is a relative term, and a two-loss season is considered such for Wesley. A win salvages the season with a playoff berth.
Frank Rajkowski
Frank’s take: Bethel can salvage a .500 season with a win at Hamline. The Pipers are already assured of finishing .500 for the first time since 1997. A victory would give Hamline its first winning season since 1995.

Which team ranked No. 1 in its region has the closest game in Week 11?

Keith’s take: Mount Union. The Purple Raiders look as dominant as always, especially with a D that’s allowed 42 points in six games, but the Blue Streaks (39 in past six) could be their equal.
Ryan’s take: Alfred, but I guess that goes without saying based on my answer to the first question.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Mount Union, vs. John Carroll. Going with an alternate view here.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Alfred is the top team in the East, but plays No. 2 St. John Fisher. It would be a stunner if this isn’t the closest.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Alfred, vs. St. John Fisher. Their closeness in ranking is fitting as these teams should battle to the finish line.
Frank Rajkowski
Frank’s take: Pretty obviously Alfred, which is ranked No. 1 in the East, but faces St. John Fisher, ranked No. 2.

Who goes into the playoffs without momentum?

Keith’s take: I really looked for other options here, but Alfred seems like the likeliest team to both lose and still get into the postseason..
Ryan’s take: John Carroll. Finishing out the season against The Machine takes its toll.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: The winner of the ODAC. The fact that I can’t even easily determine who that will be says it all.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 23 Stevenson may have peaked too soon. The Mustangs enter the playoffs following a loss to 3-6 Wilkes and an uninspiring performance against 3-6 Lycoming.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Western New England. With a QB named “Victory,” Coast Guard ends the season with a victory as the Golden Bears potentially rest some players.
Frank Rajkowski
Frank’s take: Olivet has already wrapped up an automatic bid. But the Comets have given up 115 points over three games. That could continue against Trine (6-3), averaging 35.4 points per game.

Alma mater excluded, pick a winner in a rivalry game.

Keith’s take: Wesleyan (6-1) keeps Trinity Conn. from an unbeaten season and opens the door for Tufts (6-1) to claim NESCAC by beating Middlebury (6-1).
Ryan’s take: Case Western Reserve over Carnegie Mellon. Finishing undefeated, this is a team that WILL be riding high going into the postseason.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Monmouth. Haven’t lost to Knox in how long? Add one year to the streak.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 17 Wabash could extend its Monon Bell win streak to a record eight in a row. A win could also secure a Pool C berth for the Little Giants. I’m picking the Tigers to play spoiler and snap DePauw’s losing streak.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: RPI, vs. Union. RPI has played very strong football at home vs. Union over the past years, even as the underdog. Their experience at defense helps keep it close enough for a late win.
Frank Rajkowski
Frank’s take: Well, I went to St. Cloud State (which closes its season vs. Minnesota-Duluth). But Mount Union-John Carroll is usually a game to watch. I’m not going out on any limb here. But I’ll take the Purple Raiders.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks that were prescient, and those that were terribly off base.