Thirty-one teams didn’t start their season with the rest of us last week, and while 10 of those are from the NESCAC and would just never play in Week 1 and one was Occidental, which played a game against a Mexican team, basically the rest are getting on the field this week for the first time.
Our regular crew 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 Ryan Carlson, former defensive end at Linfield, producer of any awesome Linfield football video you’ve seen in the past decade or so, and 2018 inductee into the school’s hall of fame.
— Pat Coleman
Which game is Week 2’s game of the week?
Keith’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at No. 12 UW-Whitewater. Both are in the top 18 on my ballot.
Ryan’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. I think a lot of people are curious about how good UW-L is.
Pat’s take: No. 10 Hardin-Simmons at Trinity (Texas). Trinity pounded McMurry last week, but this is the much more difficult Abilene opponent.
Adam’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. The Warhawks looked like the UWW of old in Week 1 and have a prove-it game in Week 2.
Frank’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. The Cobbers have remained a consistent team over the last six years and can play UWW with a “nothing to lose” approach.
Ryan’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. I was going to pick Macalester at Hamline just to give my guy Adam Johnson a thrill but that might hurt my “tremendous” amount of credibility.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to be upset?
Keith’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. Susquehanna led by 10 at the start of the fourth last year, and is at home this time.
Ryan’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. Susquehanna looked too good last week to gloss over them.
Pat’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. This is one spot where the preseason poll and my ballot diverge fairly significantly.
Adam’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. UW-La Crosse is determined to keep its momentum from 2017 going, and a non-conference win over a ranked opponent on the road would be the next step.
Frank’s take: No. 24 RPI. RPI struggled early against Allegheny, and with the Transit Trophy on the line, WPI could surprise some folks.
Ryan’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. However, UWO is playing a second year D-II and had some struggles last weekend but would losing to a D-II really be called an upset?
Which team making its debut in Week 2 will wish it had a game under its belt?
Keith’s take: Kean. Springfield rushed for 445 yards last week, although maybe the Cougars have had an extra week to drill triple option.
Ryan’s take: DePauw. At least they don’t have to go on the road to play Central.
Pat’s take: William Paterson. What might have seemed like an achievable game in Dustin Johnson’s coaching debut changed when FDU beat TCNJ.
Adam’s take: Texas Lutheran. Opening the season against Hendrix QB Miles Thompson is no easy task. Last year, Thompson carved up the Bulldogs for 433 yards and four TDs.
Frank’s take: Kean. Springfield got its offense humming in Week 1, meaning the Kean defense will have a tough task right of the bat.
Ryan’s take: Linfield. I fully believe that Linfield is going to go out to Carroll College and win, but the Saints already have two games in. That just makes the challenge that much greater.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Hope at Defiance. In this dictionary-words matchup, eager to see step Matsakis’ (hired July 26) Yellow Jackets take after rough first week.
Ryan’s take: Hendrix at Texas Lutheran. A good one between teams legitimately eyeing conference titles.
Pat’s take: Lawrence at Carleton. I’ll be spending another Saturday off the beaten path, but I love all of D-III.
Adam’s take: No. 7 North Central at Lake Forest. Because I’ll be there in person to see how these two teams are replacing production of their respective 2017 all-conference running backs.
Frank’s take: Union at Coast Guard. Both teams were supposed to beat their Maine opponents last week. We’ll learn a lot about both as this game could go either way.
Ryan’s take: Macalester … naw, Pacific Lutheran at Cal Lutheran. This the Lutes’ first game without a Westering as head coach since 1971. I just want to know if PLU is still going to do their ridiculous pregame warmup.
Who will bounce back from a Week 1 blowout and win?
Keith’s take: Guilford. I like the Quakers hosting Methodist; oh wait, that Week 1 game never happened. 😉
Ryan’s take: Allegheny. The Gators’ turnaround begins Saturday.
Pat’s take: Stevenson. I’m not sure that the Mustangs are MAC contenders but I like their chances vs. Bridgewater.
Adam’s take: Rose-Hulman. The Fightin’ Engineers took a 54-0 beating from the defending champs. A home game against Rhodes is a lot different than a road game against Mount Union.
Frank’s take: Hobart. Hobart didn’t quit against Brockport in a lopsided affair. I think that spirit will lend to a victory vs. a decent Morrisville State team.
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley.The Aggies should take care of business against Mass-Dartmouth but the Corsairs have a linebacker named Tony Slaughter and that is outstanding.
Which team will surprisingly be 2-0 after Saturday?
Keith’s take: Lawrence. Rekindling a rivalry with Carleton, Vikings have a chance for first 2-0 start since, well, farther than our site goes back (1998).
Ryan’s take: N.C. Wesleyan. Poised for another after already taking down Thomas More.
Pat’s take: Sewanee. Yes, this means this is a bit of an upset pick as well.
Adam’s take: SUNY-Maritime. The Privateers had a very late coaching change this summer, but appear to be picking up where they left off after a nine-win 2017 season.
Frank’s take: FDU-Florham. The Devils won 12 games in the prior seven seasons. A 2-0 start will be a unique position for them.
Ryan’s take: Macalester.
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 are deep in the Division III football offseason. It’s already been more than 90 days since we crowned Mount Union national championship and it’s more than five months before we restart.
Spring practice is getting started, at least in warmer climates, and there are still some open coaching positions and some 2018 schedules left to finalize. We’re curious about what the Stagg Bowl will look like in 2018, and as it turns out, the NCAA committee is waiting to hear some details as well.
On this edition of the D3football.com Around the Nation podcast, we chat with new Washington & Lee coach Garrett LeRose (@coachlerose on Twitter) about taking over the position as a 2007 grad of W&L. Lake Forest coach Jim Catanzaro (@LFC_Football) chats both about his program and his position on the football NCAA committee, including how they make the last at-large picks and what we might expect at the Stagg Bowl in Shenandoah, Texas. And we chat with Allegheny coach B.J. Hammer (@CoachBJHammer) about rebuilding that once-proud program, the 1990 Division III national champion, as well as what he learned from his last head-coaching job.
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.
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Alright, so last week the crew — mostly Keith McMillan — was unimpressed with the questions provided. Perhaps they’ll learn to be glad for what they have, because this week requires them to know some stuff about how some schools operate. Or to take the easy way out and just pick schools with “Catholic” and “Lutheran” in their names. Our regular crew is Keith, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer and Frank Rossi. Our sixth spot goes to a guest each week, and this week’s is Ryan Carlson, who can be seen at @catdomealumni on Twitter.
— Pat Coleman
Which game will be the game of the week?
Keith’s take: Westminster at No. 15 W&J. The latter doesn’t play Case, but the Titans do, and could stand in way of both PAC 10-0’s en route to AQ.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 George Fox at No. 7 Linfield. There’s probably no team in the nation I’m more curious about than the Bruins.
Pat’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at No. 25 DePauw. It has been so, so long since Witt opened the season with Westminster (Pa.), aka its last competitive contest.
Adam’s take: No. 19 George Fox at No. 7 Linfield. This would be a program-defining victory for the Bruins.
Frank’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at No. 25 DePauw. With the Wabash loss last week, this game takes on extra meaning for NCAC leadership and the playoffs.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 George Fox at No. 7 Linfield. Control of the NWC is on the line. I didn’t even know there were other football games this weekend.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan. Carthage is 4th nationally in total D, 2nd in turnovers. Titans are 8th scoring D, 3rd rush D.
Ryan’s take: No. 15 Washington and Jefferson. Westminster (Pa.) is on a roll, so give them credit for having a shot.
Pat’s take: No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan. Going big or going home. Could make the case that IWU’s two big wins need asterisks.
Adam’s take: No. 12 Brockport (vs. Hartwick). The Hawks have three losses: by one, one, and four points. They also boast two of the nation’s top receivers.
Frank’s take: No. 15 Washington & Jefferson. W&J’s résumé isn’t as strong as it seemed earlier, while Westminster’s loss is by six to Wittenberg.
Ryan’s take: No. 20 Wartburg. Luther is undefeated on their new hideous blue turf and I hear that the Knights’ starting QB is deathly afraid of water.
In memory of our fallen (for now) Occidental Tigers, pick a Division III Tigers team to win on Saturday.
Keith’s take: There are seven choices. In No. 13 Wittenberg vs. No. 25 DePauw, I guarantee the Tigers win.
Ryan’s take: East Texas Baptist (vs. Louisiana College). They’ll be particularly eager to bounce back after last week’s upset.
Pat’s take: Iowa Wesleyan. In a week where there are two Tigers-Tigers clashes, I’m taking a non-obvious one.
Adam’s take: Trinity (Texas). But even if they lose, the Tigers (Sewanee) will win.
Frank’s take: Trinity (Texas). They’ll beat Sewanee in the Battle of the Tigers, reversing both teams’ Week 7 fortunes.
Ryan’s take: Bring back Dale Widolff! I’ll go with Hampden-Sydney knocking off those scoundrels from Washington & Lee.
Pick a former Mount Union regular-season non-conference opponent (1999 or later) to win a game on Saturday.
Keith’s take: Picking No. 3 UW-Oshkosh (2010-11) is too easy, so I’ll go Averett (2006-07) over NCWC, the Purple Raiders’ current non-con opponent.
Ryan’s take: Allegheny (2000-01), against Kenyon. The Gators continue to build on their best season since 2012.
Pat’s take: Allegheny (2000-01). The Gators’ rebuild continues with a home win vs. Kenyon.
Adam’s take: UW-Whitewater (2002-03) vs. UW-River Falls. Fun to remember that the Purple Powers rivalry began in the regular season back in 2002 and 2003.
Frank’s take: UW-Whitewater (2002-03). Once upon a time, this was a sure thing. This year, it’s a continuation of the Warhawks’ rebound.
Ryan’s take: Allegheny (2000-01). I didn’t even know Mount Union played a football game until the semifinals.
In this, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, pick an unranked Lutheran school team to win and an unranked Catholic school team to lose, or vice versa.
Keith’s take: Luther to win, Catholic to lose. No need to overthink. Luther could upset rival No. 20 Wartburg on the blue turf, while Catholic loses to No. 23 Springfield.
Ryan’s take: Cal Lutheran to win, Loras to lose. Cal Lutheran should be able to handle Whittier. And I think Coe will get the best of Loras.
Pat’s take: Anna Maria to win, Augsburg to lose. Anna Maria over Alfred State, Augsburg losing to Concordia-Moorhead.
Adam’s take: Pacific Lutheran to win, Catholic to lose. PLU over Willamette. I write Snap Judgments while y’all are at church on Sunday.
Frank’s take: Pacific Lutheran to win, Catholic to lose. Who the heck wrote these things?!
Ryan’s take: Pacific Lutheran to win, Catholic to lose. PLU to knock off a terrible Willamette team and Catholic (easiest one to find) to get smacked by Springfield.
St. John Fisher and Ithaca have had some epic battles in the past 20 years. Pick a meeting from the archives that this year’s game will most resemble.
Keith’s take: Fine, Pat, I’ll never insult your easy questions again. And the 2011 OT game.
Ryan’s take: The 2002 game. This game (30-20 Ithaca) ushered in competitiveness. Let’s hope 2017 isn’t ushering it out.
Pat’s take: The 2002 game. Ithaca beat St. John Fisher 30-20 and I think it’s Ithaca by more than one score.
Frank’s take: The 2003 game. Ithaca wins a thriller, 20-19. It set up Ithaca for a playoff run (lost to RPI in the quarterfinals). Fisher may be down, but the Cardinals are still a tough out.
Ryan’s take: The 2003 game. (Ithaca 20-19). I live in the Pacific Northwest so that’s like asking someone from East Jersey what fishing season is like on the Columbia River.
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 Quick Hits that were prescient, and the Quick Misses that were terribly off base.