This weekend’s key games include one game for first place, and a bunch of games that could help determine who remains in the playoff hunt. And now, heading into Week 7, there’s just enough reason to begin to really talk about the playoffs. If you’re new to playoff consideration, we’ll give you a quick rundown of how the NCAA calculates and tabulates strength of schedule and where you can find the latest numbers.
This weekend we have the Tommie-Johnnie game, plus a key game in the WIAC and tough tests for playoff contenders in the Empire 8, OAC, MAC and for the one Centennial team which plays this week. Our guest on this week’s podcast is Redlands coach Mike Maynard, plus Pat and Keith and company preview the big games in Week 7.
The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.
Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.
It’s been such a long week in Division III football, but game day is finally here. (Apologies to Guilford, Catholic and Randolph-Macon.) Our regular crew for picking games is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer and Frank Rossi. Our sixth spot goes to a guest each week, and this week’s is broadcaster and longtime friend of the site John McGraw, who is broadcasting Hamilton football this weekend.
— Pat Coleman
Photo: Defensive lineman Mike Williams for W&J, by Martin Santek Photography
Which game is the Week 3 game of the week?
Keith’s take: Redlands at No. 11 Linfield. The Bulldogs’ second trip to the Pacific NW could prevent a third in the postseason.
Ryan’s take: No. 12 Wheaton at Illinois Wesleyan. Last year, IWU’s win shook up the conference race — and perceptions — big time.
Pat’s take: Carnegie Mellon at No. 15 W&J. Lots of quality games this week — I like that this is the first solid test for each of these teams.
Adam’s take: No. 18 Berry at Rhodes. The SAA has impressed in non-conference play and the Lynx could serve notice that this race is wide open.
Frank’s take: Redlands at No. 11 Linfield. Was Linfield’s loss to a middling NAIA team a fluke, or are the Wildcats taking a step backward? Playing 2-0 Redlands could help answer this.
John’s take: No. 12 Wheaton at Illinois Wesleyan.Two of the preseason favorites in the CCIW not named North Central go head-to-head under the lights.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 6 Frostburg seems upset that its home game vs. CNU is canceled. (And Rhodes could beat No. 18 Berry).
Ryan’s take: No. 6 Frostburg State. They, along with CNU, are “upset” that they won’t be playing on Saturday.
Pat’s take: No. 21 RPI. Going to take a flier here vs. Utica. If nothing else, really think Ithaca should be ranked from LL, not RPI.
Adam’s take: No. 18 Berry. Rhodes dual-threat quarterback PJ Settles has accounted for 524 yards through two games while the Lynx defense has held opponents to 448 yards.
Frank’s take: No. 25 Springfield. The teams have split their last ten matchups with five wins apiece. Union’s air attack looks legit, so it’s a real test for the Pride on both sides of the ball.
John’s take: No. 16 UW-Platteville. Started slow in week 1 against ETBU. Another slow start could doom them against TMC.
Pick a home team to win a NESCAC game.
Keith’s take: Wesleyan. Hosting Middlebury, the Cardinals are the only team Kickoff ’18 picked to finish top half of NESCAC that’s home.
Ryan’s take: Hamilton. Even if I’m wrong, with the starters returning for both Hamilton and Tufts, this should be a good one.
Pat’s take: Hamilton. Wesleyan is the “easy pick” but I am taking a flier on Dave Murray moving the needle in his fifth year in charge.
Adam’s take: Wesleyan. The Cardinals’ fourth quarter rally came up short at Middlebury last year. The home team gets revenge to open the 2018 season.
Frank’s take: Wesleyan. The home team won last year, 30-27. Flip the script for Wesleyan’s hosting duties this year.
John’s take: Hamilton. While Tufts has one of the stronger offenses in the NESCAC behind dual-threat QB Ryan McDonald, the Jumbos have holes to fill on defense.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Maine Maritime at Mass. Maritime. The 46th Admiral’s Cup features teams that lost openers by four scores (or, by 28 and 30).
Ryan’s take: Muhlenberg at Susquehanna. The River Hawks are the newest entries on my ballot, and this is another stiff test.
Pat’s take: McMurry at Howard Payne. Teams have lost by a combined score of 116-9 so far and interested to see them face more even matches.
Adam’s take: Southwestern at East Texas Baptist. Y’all like offense? These offenses have collectively averaged 41 points per game. Expect a speedy back-and-forth shootout.
We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Fridays, where Pat and Keith review the Quick Hits that were prescient, and the Quick Misses that were terribly off base.
We’re under a week from Selection Sunday. Only seven automatic bids are still up for grabs, and most will be really hard to pry away from the favorites. But what if both Washington & Jefferson and Case Western Reserve run the table? What if Widener upsets Delaware Valley? What if (insert your scenario here)? You can find out more in this week’s D3football.com Around the Nation podcast.