A weekend of big games begged the question for D3football.com Top 25 voters as to which team should be No. 1. While there are 19 voters who picked Team Alliance Purple as No. 1, there are now six in Team Belton Purple’s camp. Are you of the mind that “the champ is the champ until they lose,” or are you more likely to favor whoever is playing better at the time? Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan lay out the arguments for Mount Union and for Mary Hardin-Baylor in this week’s podcast. (And just maybe someone might consider Team Purple St. Paul if the results work out.)
On Sunday, Pat Coleman and Adam Turer each got a chance to weigh in on the legacy of John Gagliardi, and Keith McMillan does as well. Plus, we give you the key takeaways from the top 10 shootout and the top 10 shutouts, and Pat talks to the team that snapped a 33-game losing streak. That, along with game balls and much more in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast.
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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Little Brass Bells will be ringing this week, in the eyes and ears of our panel. In a week of big games, that rivalry is the biggest for our panel.
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 Gordon Mann, longtime contributor to D3football.com and editor at D3hoops.com who also broadcasts football games for Delaware Valley.
— Pat Coleman
What’s the game of the week?
Keith’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. It’s a rivalry, there’s history, and if the Thunder win, a third team, Illinois Wesleyan, takes control of the CCIW.
Ryan’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. The precedent is set. I can’t remember a year when this didn’t have major CCIW implications.
Pat’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. It’s a bell, it’s made of brass, but it’s little so it kinda dings at a high pitch. Does an angel get its wings?
Adam’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. This is the biggest test of the season for both teams and North Central’s best chance to prove itself as a worthy Stagg Bowl contender this year.
Frank’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley at Stevenson. This game will help define the upper end of the MAC while providing the first test to the Aggies since Wesley.
Gordon’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central.This game shapes the CCIW race and part of the playoff bracket. The Thunder’s storm-aided victory last year ups the drama.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 18 Case Western Reserve. Spartans wore Westminster (Pa.) out last year, but casts have changed.
Ryan’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley. The Aggies aren’t on my ballot and haven’t been consistent enough to give me much confidence.
Pat’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley. Nobody will emerge unscathed in the MAC this season.
Adam’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley. The MAC has already been a surprise this season, with Lycoming and Misericordia tied atop the conference standings with Del Val and Stevenson.
Frank’s take: No. 8 Hardin-Simmons. Two prolific offenses. One team looking ahead to No. 2. Give this one to ETBU in a shocking shootout.
Gordon’s take: No. 24 Franklin & Marshall. Lots of Pennsylvania possibilities here. Let’s go Muhlenberg dumping the Diplomats in a nail-biter.
Pick a road team to win impressively.
Keith’s take: Ohio Northern. The Polar Bears and Marietta Pioneers are each undefeated, but there is usually some distance between these programs.
Ryan’s take: Williams. This week is big against Trinity. And I like that the Ephs have shaken off the ugly parts of the early 2010s.
Pat’s take: Huntingdon. Also a good pick for the final question, the Hawks have frustrations to work out at Methodist.
Adam’s take: Rhodes. I agree with this week’s front page poll that Millsaps is one of the most surprising 4-0 teams. A Lynx win on the road over the Majors qualifies.
Frank’s take: Thomas More. The Saints will win very big — the ones traveling a distance to NY — as St. Lawrence QB Grochot was in concussion protocol.
Gordon’s take: No. 16 Trine. The other Thunder start MIAA play with a win at Hope, keeping the Flying Dutchmen as runners-up for a little while longer.
Choose a team to beat someone it lost to last season.
Keith’s take: FDU-Florham. Albright hung 51 on the Devils in 2017, and this is their best chance to shake off an 0-4 start. FDU might get to 4-1 instead.
Ryan’s take: N.C. Wesleyan. The Bishops have had a long stretch off before this week against LaGrange.
Pat’s take: Central. Getting upset by Buena Vista had to sting last year. Won’t happen this time.
Adam’s take: FDU-Florham. As I stated earlier, the MAC is wide open this year. Albright’s tailspin continues as the Devils continue the program’s most impressive start in over a decade.
Frank’s take: SUNY-Maritime. Thomas Wright has thrown for 10 TDs and just 1 INT for the Privateers and needs that efficiency to win vs. Husson.
Gordon’s take: FDU-Florham. We’re contractually obligated to mention the Devils in Quick Hits now. They avenge last year’s 51-33 home loss to Albright.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Dubuque at Loras. It’s not the best cross-town rivalry game in Week 5, but the Duhawks are coming off two wins and hosting in a renovated Rock Bowl.
Ryan’s take: Linfield at Whitworth; F&M at Muhlenberg; or Case at Westminister. If my fellow panelists missed any of these, that’s my pick. All great matchups!.
Pat’s take: My burn sat rare font bud ships. Listen to today’s podcast if you need a translation.
Adam’s take: Randolph-Macon at Washington & Lee. Not just because my alma mater is playing a huge conference game and its home opener. These two teams have had a combined 38-day layoff since their last game.
Frank’s take: Occidental at Cal Lutheran. The Kingsmen are surprisingly 1-2 right now. They should beat an undermanned Oxy, but it could be close.
Gordon’s take: Trinity at Williams.K-Mack loves him some NESCAC, but I have more personal interest in this one than others on the panel. Go Bants!
Which of the 49 winless teams leaves the field happy for the first time this season?
Keith’s take: Maryville, vs. Brevard. The Scots have scored just 9 points this season, but they’ve faced playoff-caliber teams in Berry and Centre.
Ryan’s take: Crown. It’s a pick of the winless teams as they face off against Iowa Wesleyan.
Pat’s take: Benedictine. Conference play begins in the NACC and CUW is a good starting point.
Adam’s take: Lakeland. The Muskies finally figure out their offense in the post-Michael Whitley world. The grueling non-conference slate pays off against Concordia-Chicago.
Frank’s take: Gallaudet. The Bison last played on Sept. 8. Anna Maria is averaging 7 points per game. Advantage to a rested Bison squad.
Gordon’s take: Illinois College. The Blueboys feel better after a home win over Beloit on Saturday night.
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.
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.