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.
It was another really interesting week in Division III football, with four teams dropping out of the Top 25, two of them plummeting. Similarly, in a handful of conferences, the first-place team and the highest-ranked team in our poll changed over based on Saturday’s results. Pat and Keith break down where things changed in the Empire 8, the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the North Coast Athletic Conference based on Saturday’s games, plus talk to two coaches whose teams have made big turnarounds and much more.
The Around the Nation Podcast is a weekly conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan covering the wide range of Division III football. It drops on Monday morning weekly throughout the season.
Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.
Sure, we’d all love to be in Hawaii, where Pacific is playing Occidental, but the D3football.com budget is really tight. We’re lucky to be able to send one person to Texas, but we really wouldn’t miss Linfield playing Mary Hardin-Baylor if at all possible. Our guest for this round of Quick Hits is Logan Hansen, a Wartburg grad who has a computer ratings system he uses to rank D-III teams and predict games. You can follow him at @LogHanRatings on Twitter. Photo by B. Scott Presley, d3photography.com
— Pat Coleman
Belton, Hawaii, or somewhere else?
Keith’s take: Hawaii, if D3football.com is paying. Otherwise, somewhere else. Like W&J/Thomas More.
Ryan’s take: Belton. I picked it as my game of the year in Kickoff.
Pat’s take: Belton. I leave for Austin on Friday morning. See you at the Mary Hardin-Baylor/Linfield game!
Adam’s take: Somewhere else. There’s a Top 25 matchup that is also a conference rivalry 25 minutes from my house. See you in Crestview Hills.
Frank’s take: Belton. I haven’t had an authentic breakfast burrito since the 2008 playoffs, and I’ve yet to get to see the new UMHB stadium.
Logan’s take: Des Moines. I have a friend’s wedding, otherwise Hawaii, because it’s Hawaii.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 15 Cortland. No. 9 North Central if you want someone not facing a Top 25 opponent.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 Huntingdon. Belhaven is proving to be tougher than I expected.
Pat’s take: No. 14 Delaware Valley. Of course, King’s is a lot less likely to sneak up on anyone now.
Adam’s take: Wesley. I’m not yet sold on the Wolverines, but I’m buying CNU, especially at home.
Frank’s take: No. 9 North Central vs. Illinois Wesleyan. Being on the road against a conference rival for the first D3 game is a challenge.
Logan’s take: No. 7 Wheaton at 25%. Because it’s too easy to pick Top 25 vs. Top 25 games.
St. Lawrence and Northwestern have allowed no points through two games. Who allows more on Saturday?
Keith’s take: Northwestern.
Ryan’s take: Northwestern, though both will get scored on at least a little.
Pat’s take: St. Lawrence. Endicott is 0-2, sure, but they’re the better opponent than who Northwestern is facing.
Adam’s take: Northwestern.
Frank’s take: Northwestern. St. Lawrence faces 0-2 Endicott, while Northwestern faces 1-0 Minnesota-Morris. It’s science.
Logan’s take: St. Lawrence. My model has St. Lawrence giving up a touchdown more.
If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?
Keith’s take: Isn’t that a Nelly Furtado song? I’d be a Seahawk. From Salve Regina.
Ryan’s take: A Sea Gull. Salisbury is riding a high, and that’ll carry over into NJAC play.
Pat’s take: An Owl. Well, a Prof, actually. It’s just that the Rowan Profs use an owl as their mascot. Home to William Paterson.
Adam’s take: A Blue Jay. Johns Hopkins can make a statement at home against a Moravian team that has been very impressive since the beginning of 2015.
Frank’s take: A purple macaw. I mean, that bird hasn’t had its feathers in a ruffle during many regular season games in 11 years…
Logan’s take: Anything but a Kohawk. Literally means “like the hawk,” as if that clears it up.
Who bounces back best from a noteworthy loss?
Keith’s take: St. Norbert.
Ryan’s take: Ohio Northern. No fourth-quarter collapses this time around.
Pat’s take: Hampden-Sydney. Although I must admit some trepidation because Ferrum is playing well.
Adam’s take: Albright gets into the win column and keeps its MAC hopes alive.
Frank’s take: Ohio Northern. It’s a survival game at Heidelberg, and the Utica loss taught the Polar Bears a lot about closing games out after starting strong.
Logan’s take: John Carroll. 19-point favorites vs. Baldwin Wallace after Week 1 loss to UW-Oshkosh.
Which future conference matchup will be most interesting this week?
Keith’s take: Catholic-Coast Guard.
Ryan’s take: Texas Lutheran at Louisiana College. Neither has beaten a D-III team yet this year and each needs a win — bad.
Pat’s take: Catholic-Coast Guard. Listeners to the last podcast know why. You should listen to the podcast!
Adam’s take: Ithaca at Hobart. Future Liberty League rivals (for now).
Frank’s take: Ithaca at Hobart. It’s under the lights, has some recent playoff history attached, and matches up teams that haven’t played to potential in 2016 — that part changes Saturday.
Logan’s take: Ithaca at Hobart. Ithaca’s D should keep this close, but they need to score somehow.
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.