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Quick Hits Week 4: Cracking the win column

This week the panel looks at a top-12 clash in the OAC, some big games down south, and which teams are poised to get their first win of 2019.

Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas.

— Greg Thomas

Which game is the Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: No. 2 Mount Union at No. 12 John Carroll.  On the pod I took SJF-Ithaca, but I think this is the right call.
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Ryan’s take: No 8 Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus.  The Gusties hung tough with St. John’s already, and Bethel will need to be ready for its first real test of the season.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Franklin & Marshall at No. 24 Susquehanna.  Also in contention for the longest game when listed on scoreboards.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 2 Mount Union at No. 12 John Carroll. After thrashing Baldwin Wallace last week, the Purple Raiders face their biggest test of the regular season. If the Blue Streaks can’t put up a fight, expect The Machine to pick up even more top votes in next week’s poll.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 2 Mount Union at No. 12 John Carroll. Mount was moved to the No. 1 slot on my ballot last week, and John Carroll did a huge leap on it. I’m curious to see how this plays out, even if it’s a close JCU loss.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: St. Norbert at Monmouth. It’s a rematch of last year’s MWC championship. And the one before that. And maybe a preview of this year’s MWC championship. These teams know each other well is what I’m saying.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 24 Susquehanna.  I hate when panelists do the none thing, and F&M is averaging 41 points a game.
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Ryan’s take: No. 13 Ithaca.  Oppenent St. John Fisher is already better than they were last year, and there’s a sense of returning to form. And the Bombers have crept up unusually high in the poll.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor.  I actually feel we are unlikely to have any upsets at all, but HPU is improving and UMHB has struggled.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 24 Susquehanna. If there’s any week to pick “None” this is it. But what’s the fun in that? I’ll take undefeated Franklin and Marshall to contribute to the Centennial Conference chaos.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. I think the topsy-turvy season for Hopkins continues here against a Dickinson team that has been a little inconsistent, but that has the pieces needed to win at home.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 25 Hobart. It took a pretty furious rally for the Statesmen to survive winless Rowan last week. This week, Montclair State closes the deal.

Which 0-3 team cracks the win column this weekend?

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Keith’s take: Hiram. Of the 35 choices, I like Hiram, as its level of competition has been tougher so far than Kenyon, this week’s opponent.
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Ryan’s take: Bridgewater State.  The Bears line up against Fitchburg, which statistically has the worst defense in the conference.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Belhaven.  In the battle of 0-3 teams, taking the one that looked good last week.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Belhaven. The Blazers put a scare into Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday. If they can get the offense on track, they should be able to defeat fellow winless ASC foe McMurry.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Belhaven. Their three losses have been by a combined 30 points, but they include a close 10-point loss to UMHB last week. Their experience should lead to a win.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Belhaven. It’s hard to see the Blazers’ 23-13 loss at UMHB last week and not think they’re close to a cracking the win column in 2019. Hosting McMurry is a great opportunity.

Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?

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Keith’s take: Southwestern at Texas Lutheran. I am very fascinated by Southwestern’s hot start, yet Texas Lutheran is no easy W.
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Ryan’s take: Southern Virginia at Bridgewater.  The Knights are 2-0 for the first time in … ever. Curious to see if lightning will strike a third time.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Defiance vs. Anderson.  I think Anderson is beyond the point where it can be Defiance’s only win, but watching to be sure.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Mount St. Joseph at Franklin. Listen to my preview on today’s podcast. The Grizzlies will try to extend their win streak over the Lions to 10 games. Mount St. Joe has the edge at quarterback. Will that be enough to shake up the HCAC standings?
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Western New England at University of New England. For a second-year program like UNE, a huge upset like this would be a signature win. But UNE has a small chance here. WNE can’t look past this game.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Denison at Wabash. It’s Homecoming. It’s Senior Day. It’s a critical conference game for both teams. And it’s also the first of the last five games at the current iteration of Hollett Little Giant Stadium.

Pick a winner in a LL vs. E8 game.

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Keith’s take: Cortland. SUNY Buffalo State and SUNY Cortland are in different conferences, and tiers. The Dragons outscoring opponents 94-7, and will get top 25 consideration soon.
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Ryan’s take: St. Lawrence over Hartwick.  The Saints’ Tyler Grochot puts up good numbers even in losses — he’ll be hard for the Hawks to stop.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Alfred.  There are a bunch of games that seem like pretty easy picks in this group, so I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of upsets instead.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 13 Ithaca defeats St. John Fisher. A battle of unbeatens, a turning point for two resurgent programs trying to reclaim the top spot in the East Region. I think this is Ithaca’s year.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: St. Lawrence (vs. Hartwick). The Saints got their first win last week and have played stronger generally based on schedule comparisons and scores. Home cookin’ seals this deal for them.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Cortland over Buffalo State. In their first season out of the E8, the Bengals are on the verge of a four-game non-conference sweep courtesy their former conference rivals. The good news is that they’re still 0-0 in league play.

Which Week 3 upset victim gets back on course this week?

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Keith’s take: Ursinus.A surprise 44-38 loser to Juniata last week, Ursinus gets a chance to get right against 0-3 Moravian.
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Ryan’s take: Washington & Jefferson. The game won’t come down to the fourth quarter for the Presidents, like it has two of the past three weeks already.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Ohio Northern. I’m not confident in any of them, but will take ONU to beat Otterbein.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Washington & Jefferson. Most of last week’s upset victims have an unwelcome bye week. They would much rather be on the field with the opportunity to get back on the winning path. The Presidents face a hungry Grove City team, which just had its nine-game winning streak snapped by Case Western Reserve.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Washington & Jefferson (at Grove City). That said, I think Grove City plays them very close, unlike last year and unlike last week’s disappointing Case Western Reserve loss.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Ohio Northern. Back home and under the lights, the Polar Bears shake off last week’s shocker and get a win over winless Otterbein.

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.

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Quick Hits: Clinching time

We detail in the game day podcast how many teams might clinch on Saturday. Here our crew will tackle the game of the week, potential upsets, and tell you who might clinch today aside from, say, Mount Union.

Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer and Frank Rossi. Our sixth spot each week goes to a guest prognosticator, and this week’s is Sean Greene, who does play-by-play for Wesley football games on WDEL radio as well as Wesley’s video stream.

— Pat Coleman

Which game is the Week 10 game of the week?

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Keith’s take: No. 10 North Central at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan. I’ll go with the Titans for a second straight week instead of E8, NJAC clashes and an NCC win could have a cascade effect.
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Ryan’s take: No. 10 North Central at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan. I think IWU should be ranked higher, and I’ve got them pegged to win.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 10 North Central at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan. I’m going to assume most of my colleagues here have good reasons, so read theirs.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 10 North Central at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan. I think the Cardinals are the more talented team, but the Titans have been the more impressive team so far. With a win, IWU can clinch its first outright CCIW title since 2009.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Cortland at No. 3 Brockport. I explain why in the ATN Friday podcast.
Sean
Sean’s take: No. 10 North Central at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan. IWU clinches the CCIW Pool A with a win, while the loser gets a potential Pool C-crushing second loss. Doesn’t get much better in Week 10.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 4 UW-Whitewater. UW-Stevens Point beat Oshkosh last week, but this only happens if Warhawks relax after clinching a playoff spot.
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Ryan’s take: No. 14 Trine. I think the Thunder have floated high up the poll, and with the way the MIAA has been this year, another shakeup would fit right in.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 18 Salisbury. Wesley has had Salisbury’s number in recent years, so hopefully they lead by enough that a missed PAT won’t matter.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 18 Salisbury. Wesley may take its frustration of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004 out on the Sea Gulls.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 14 Trine. Yo, Adrian. Your inconsistent season has shown you know how to score plenty. Trine seems fatigued, and here’s your chance to knock them out.
Sean
Sean’s take: No. 18 Salisbury. In 13 years calling Wesley games, they are 11-1 against their Route 13 rivals. Curious to see if Wesley’s scheme changes against the triple-option after the death of head coach/defensive coordinator Mike Drass.

Which non-purple team clinches an automatic bid this weekend?

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Keith’s take: The Yellow Jackets from Randolph-Macon, although The Game is more fun with something to play for.
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Ryan’s take: Eureka. The Red Devils haven’t gotten much national love yet, so I’m sure they’re itching to show their stuff in the postseason.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Brockport. No purple in them Golden Eagles.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Randolph-Macon. The streaking Yellow Jackets just need to get past Ferrum to make this season one of the least wacky in recent ODAC memory.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Husson. Gallaudet’s SOS is less than .200. The thought that they could beat the Eagles is highly unlikely in the ECFC.
Sean
Sean’s take: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.No violet, lavender, mauve, or lilac to be found in the shadow of Mount Baldy. The Cardinal and Gold-clad Stags win the SCIAC for the first time since 1987.

Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?

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Keith’s take: Amherst and Trinity (Conn.). Because I’m endlessly fascinated by projecting how the NESCAC’s best would fare if it chose to participate in the playoffs.
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Ryan’s take: Wash. U. at Millikin. Neither are going to the playoffs, but the Bears continue to show why they belong in the CCIW.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Middlebury at Hamilton. The Rocking Chair has been won by Middlebury more times than I care to count, but some inconsistent results just have me wondering if the Continentals might take it home.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Defiance at Earlham. I probably won’t be the only one. But if the Quakers can’t defeat winless Defiance this week, I don’t know when the record-breaking losing streak will end.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Potentially up to 16 of them in nine East Region conferences and Pool B in our “In the Huddle” D3BlitzER whiparound show, noon to 4 p.m. ET on the D3Huddle Facebook channel.
Sean
Sean’s take: Rowan at Montclair State. The 6-2 Red Hawks could still play into the East Regional Rankings which would benefit Frostburg or Salisbury for seeding or a Pool C bid.

Who will still be tied for first in the ARC after this week’s games?

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Keith’s take: Simpson and Wartburg.
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Ryan’s take: Wartburg and Dubuque. Simpson has been hanging on too closely in games this season to remain with the leaders.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Simpson and Wartburg. Wartburg won’t have much trouble with archrival Luther and Simpson has surprised all season, so now we should expect the win.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Dubuque and Wartburg. The Knights take care of Luther with ease at home, while the Spartans get past Simpson on the road. That sets up a winner-take-all showdown in Week 11.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Wartburg and Simpson. Simpson has played somewhat better defense than Dubuque this season. And Wartburg is playing a much lesser opponent.
Sean
Sean’s take: Wartburg and Dubuque. Wartburg should conquer the Norse, but Dubuque won’t need to rely on a Simpson missed PAT this year to stay on top (painful topic for Wesley fans).

Who goes into a rivalry game on a down note?

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Keith’s take: Hard for me not to say Cortland here, although the Red Dragons can surprise us all.
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Ryan’s take: Gettysburg. The Bullets have a very tough Muhlenberg team before taking the field against century-long rival F&M for the Lincoln Trophy.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Cortland. A super down note that’s probably included minus-40 yards rushing.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Hanover. The Panthers could play rival Franklin for the Victory Bell and the HCAC title in Week 11. But first, they have to get past a hot Rose-Hulman team. The Fightin’ Engineers have more recent big-game experience.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Amherst. Trinity has steadily regained traction after a stunning loss to Williams. The Bantams nip the Mammoths before The Biggest Little Game in America next week vs. the Ephs.
Sean
Sean’s take: Carnegie Mellon. While they’re studying to cram Case Western Reserve’s Pool C dreams in the Academic Bowl, Westminster could pin a fourth demerit on the Tartans’ report card.

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.

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Quick Hits: What’s left to do? Lots.

Week 9 this year is too early for anyone to clinch a bid to the playoffs, but those days are coming, and a couple of the games that will be key in deciding automatic bids are being played this weekend.

Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer and Frank Rossi. Our sixth spot each week goes to a guest prognosticator, and this week’s is Mary Hardin-Baylor fan Chad Hammonds, someone who follows UMHB very closely and knows that in order to be a fan of a top team, you need to know a little bit about the rest of the country, since you could be playing them in Week 12, 13, 14, etc. .

— Pat Coleman

Which game is the Week 9 game of the week?

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Keith’s take: No. 15 Illinois Wesleyan at Millikin. Titans win sets up a huge showdown with NCC next week. A Big Blue win makes CCIW a five-way race to the finish.
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Ryan’s take: No. 18 Muhlenberg at No. 23 Johns Hopkins. Hard not to love this matchup, with the winner being in the driver’s seat for Centennial crownery.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 18 Muhlenberg at No. 23 Johns Hopkins. The Centennial’s game of the year most years.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Muhlenberg at Johns Hopkins. Despite losing their conference opener, the Blue Jays still control their destiny in the Centennial Conference. This is a must-win for the conference’s perennial champion.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at Rowan. It’s a game with Pool A & C implications for an undefeated team that’s entering the meat of its schedule (Salisbury). Look for a defensive battle.
Guest
Chad’s take: Muhlenberg at Johns Hopkins. An early-season hiccup by the Blue Jays was quickly erased. While the Mules average 459 yards a game, the Blue Jays defense will be up to the challenge.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 13 Berry. Four of Vikings eight wins were within one score in the fourth. Birmingham Southern is 5-2.
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Ryan’s take: No. 25 Salisbury. It’s been talked about several times that the undefeated Gulls haven’t been tested much yet. But Rowan certainly has been and is all the better for it.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 25 Salisbury. This is the first big test for Salisbury, while Rowan is battle-tested.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 25 Salisbury. The NJAC gauntlet starts now for the unbeaten Gulls, who travel to Rowan, then host Wesley, then close at Frostburg. The Profs have momentum after knocking off the Wolverines last week.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 11 Wittenberg. “Wabash always fights [Wittenberg hard].” Except for Wabash’s 2015 big win, lately, this matchup is always close. It’s a must-win for Wabash.
Guest
Chad’s take: No. 11 Wittenberg. I expect a close game throughout with the Little Giants making a big play late to upend Witt.

Which team hurts its regional ranking before it is even announced?

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Keith’s take: I haven’t been this deep in the weeds, but No. 25 Salisbury has a tough matchup at Rowan.
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Ryan’s take: Western New England. Not only is this a tough outing against Nichols, but it’s also a trap game for WNE with Endicott coming up next week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 17 RPI. The Engineers will win, but their strength of schedule will take a hit this week vs. Rochester.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Baldwin Wallace. The second-best game of the week pits the 6-1 Yellow Jackets at 6-1 Marietta. The winner remains in Pool C contention.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 17 RPI. They currently possess the 24th best strength of schedule figure nationally, but facing 1-6 Rochester won’t help, especially if it’s a remotely close score.
Guest
Chad’s take: Millikin. Needing a big win, the 151st ranked defense can’t keep tabs with the 46th ranked offense. A win here would have propelled them to a nice ranking, but the Titans are too much.

Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?

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Keith’s take: Wartburg at Loras. The glut at the top of the ARC might remain; Knights are only top-half team to play opponent with winning record.
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Ryan’s take: Millsaps at Centre. Compared to Centre’s 6-1 record, Millsaps’ 4-3 is a bit misleading considering more than half of their games had margins of 7 points or less.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Eureka at Concordia (Wis.). More on that game in the podcast.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Averett at Maryville. The two conference unbeatens in the USA South meet with much on the line. The Scots’ 2013 appearance is the only playoff berth between these two programs.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: WPI at MIT. It’s a crucial Pool B game in the NEWMAC. An MIT loss could reopen a playoff path for Thomas More and throw the NEWMAC standings into chaos.
Guest
Chad’s take: Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern. HSU is playing for its playoff life as they take on a Pirate team who runs well and stops the run well. A traditional, smash-mouth game will not disappoint. HSU with the close win.

Kalamazoo, Misericordia or Eureka?

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Keith’s take: Misericordia. Concordia (Wis.), King’s and Olivet are tough opponents, but Misericordia loves company … or something.
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Ryan’s take: All three. Kzoo and Eureka have interesting/challenging games, so all three winning is far from a sure thing — and we continue to stay highly vested in their conference races.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Misericordia. Oh. Maybe people will be following Eureka.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Misericordia. A road trip to King’s won’t be easy, but it’s the most favorable matchup among three of the season’s most pleasant surprises.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Kalamazoo over struggling Olivet, Misericordia over inconsistent King’s, and Eureka over a very good Concordia (Wis.) team.
Guest
Chad’s take: Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo keeps its MIAA championship dreams alive and keeps an eye on Trine and that Nov. 10 game. .

Defiance, Earlham or William Paterson?

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Keith’s take: William Paterson. The Pioneers and their 1-6 opponent, TCNJ, are similarly challenged, scoring 40 and 62 points, respectively, this season.
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Ryan’s take: William Paterson. The Pioneers will pick up not just their first win of the season, but also their first win in more than two years.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Earlham. I’m going with the team on the bye because it’s a good time of the year for a small roster to get a break.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Earlham. If not now, against winless Defiance, when will the Quakers finally snap their streak? At least the Quakers can’t take an L this week, on their bye.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: I won’t be Defiant against Rose-Hulman, nobody is Quaking at the thought of idle Earlham, but Pioneers will shock TCNJ — even without covered wagons.
Guest
Chad’s take: William Paterson. The Pioneers get off the schneid against TCNJ.

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.