post

ATN Podcast 179: Big games lead to playoff talk

All of a sudden we drop a few big games into the mix, set a couple of Top 25 ballots on fire, and then it’s not too early to talk about strength of schedule, and the playoffs, and how at-large bids might be even more at a premium this year than usual. Pat and Keith talk first about the games that caused all that upheaval, then later dive into a couple of playoff scenarios. Plus, find out who Keith thinks could stick around in the playoff bracket a little longer than normal this November or December.

This week, we thank Fanraise for sponsoring our podcast.

Pat and Keith hand out game balls, find the hidden highlights, the correct pronunciations (yep, again), the interesting stats and much more in the 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. 

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device. 
Wesley, Delaware Valley file photos
You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in iTunes. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast
post

Quick Hits: For Duke

While we’re thinking with heavy hearts about the late Mike Donnelly and the Muhlenberg football program, we also have attention to give to the full slate of Week 6 games, including one particular game taking place in Abilene, Texas. Yes, of course we’re talking about the ballyhooed McMurry-Belhaven game. No, wait, the other one. 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 Logan Hansen, who you may have seen on Twitter as @LogHanRatings. His computer ratings system ranks D-III teams and predicts outcomes of games. And this week there are some games.

 — Pat Coleman (photo by Andrew Zavoina, d3photography.com)

Which will be the Week 6 Game of the Week?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. Two top-five teams; I’ll be stunned if this isn’t unanimous.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. It’s hard not to spotlight this matchup — rankings, history, ASC title hopes all come to a head here.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 10 Delaware Valley at Albright. If you need counterprogramming: People presume much greatness for Del Val and have been waiting on Albright.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Surprised this didn’t come with a caveat. A great slate of games highlighted by No. 1 vs. No. 5. I’ll go with No. 19 Wesley at No. 11 Frostburg State.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. I called it my “Game of the Year” in Kickoff, and with an interesting at-large scenario in Pools B & C, this game matters A LOT.
Guest
Logan’s take: No. 16 W&J at Carnegie Mellon. Both are undefeated, and are front-runners in the PAC with CWRU & Westminster. UMHB/HSU is too obvious.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. The rush to bury UW-Whitewater might have been premature.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: No. 16 Washington & Jefferson. Despite being 5-0, Carnegie Mellon isn’t on enough radars yet and has a chance to really make an impact.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. After we (I) sounded the end of the UWW dynasty, now they finally have a home game and a chance to start salvaging the season.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 16 Washington & Jefferson. Again, I see a lot of great choices here.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 11 Frostburg State. No. 19 Wesley got a wake-up call when Del Val beat them, and Frostburg struggled against CNU (and even vs. Rowan a bit).
Guest
Logan’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. Despite their struggles, my model still thinks UW-Whitewater is a 13-point favorite at home (which might be a bit too high).

Who will win the four games between ranked teams?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Frostburg State.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor, Mount Union, Concordia-Moorhead, Frostburg State.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Frostburg State.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Wesley.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Wesley.
Guest
Logan’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Wesley.

Pick an unranked team which will get its first loss this weekend.

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Carnegie Mellon. 5-0 Tartans slightly better on D, but on O, W&J averages 532 ypg to C-M’s 370.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: SUNY-Maritime. There’s no doubt Husson has its sights set on a playoff bid this fall, and Maritime is an immediate threat.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: SUNY-Maritime. This time I am picking the Privateers on a week in which they actually are scheduled to play.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Franklin & Marshall. I can’t see Johns Hopkins losing two Centennial games in a row.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Albright. The Lions have been living dangerously, and Del Val has bounced back from its Wilkes struggle.
Guest
Logan’s take: Albright. They have four wins by four points or less, and Del Val is the best team on their entire schedule.

Pick a team to win in a conference you’ve never seen play.

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Olivet over Kalamazoo. Seen members of every current conference live but MIAA, and have been to both these campuses..
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Hobart, over RPI. Both are coming off of tough losses and are looking for conference win No. 1.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: MIT. (vs. Maine Maritime). I’ve seen members of the NEWMAC in their previous conferences, but haven’t seen them under the NEWMAC banner.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Lake Forest, over Knox. I’ve never seen an MWC game, but really enjoyed my conversations with both of these head coaches.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. (vs. Occidental in the SCIAC). I still think Oxy players deserve kudos for playing despite the odds they’re facing. But the Stags will pull this out.
Guest
Logan’s take: Methodist over Greensboro (USAC). I didn’t realize how many games I’ve watched from random conferences until this question.

Pick a member of the Mike Donnelly coaching tree whose team will win this weekend.

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Jeff Knarr at King’s (vs. Misericordia). Bolder picks: John Troxell’s F&M over JHU, or Muhlenberg itself over Ursinus.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Jeff Knarr of King’s. His 2-3 squad lines up against 1-4 Misericordia. Not so much a battle of giants as a battle for pride.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Tom Perkovich. I expect his Susquehanna River Hawks will be able to handle Moravian.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Jeff Knarr’s of King’s. His squad picks up the win at Misericordia.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Dan Puckhaber of St. Lawrence (vs. Union). You were a class act on and off the field, Mike. Rest In Peace, and prayers to his family, friends, and players.
Guest
Logan’s take: Tom Perkovich. Moravian’s ground game could keep it close, but their defense won’t stop Susquehanna’s O.

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.

post

Quick Hits: The 35,000-foot view

The biggest show in Division III is coming to a major league baseball stadium. Perhaps you’ve heard. But there are 100 other games on Saturday as well, and if you’re not named Tommie or Johnnie, perhaps you’re wondering if we’ll be paying any attention. Our regular Quick Hits 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 Howard Sinker. In our attempts to find a neutral Minnesotan to talk about this week, we found Howard, Minneapolis Star Tribune digital sports editor, Minnesota Public Radio sports commentator and senior instructor of Media and Cultural Studies at Macalester College.

— Pat Coleman

What’s the best game this week that hasn’t sold 30,000 tickets?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Centre at Berry. Preseason, I’d have circled Stevenson-DelVal, but this SAA clash of styles takes the sliver of spotlight left.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Stevenson at No. 12 Delaware Valley. Can’t remember the last year the MAC was clear cut. This will give some clarity.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 5 North Central at Millikin. This is a game that is usually a cakewalk but Millikin is on the upswing. It’s under the radar this week.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Stevenson at Delaware Valley. The Mustangs have a chance to prove that they’ve gotten right by upsetting the No. 12 Aggies.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Utica at No. 19 Brockport. Utica loves to play the spoiler, and their defense may be able to slow down Germinerio and Morris somewhat..
Howard Sinker
Howard’s take: Monmouth at Macalester. Battle of Scots in St. Paul features two MWC contenders; Mac opened with ‘hardware game’ victories vs. Carleton and Hamline.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. 9 John Carroll. Host Heidelberg has hung 40 twice in road wins over solid teams.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: No. 9 John Carroll. I’ve been a little uncertain of JCU so far, and last week didn’t help their case.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: None. And fully aware I’m doing this for a second consecutive week. But I don’t see JCU losing like others do..
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 13 UW-Platteville. The Pioneers have not impressed in either of their wins, and Lakeland has a potent offense that will test UW-P.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 6 St. John’s. Not much of an upset, except through rankings. Every game is a must-win for St. Thomas now.
Howard Sinker
Howard’s take: No. 9 John Carroll. Tough matchup with the Student Princes of Heidelberg.

Will Wheaton miss a beat?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. This is really for the Thunder to answer; Five players are out, program is national news. But Elmhurst looks beatable amid all that.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Yes. But it really won’t be apparent until next week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. I mean, not this week, at least.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. The players on the roster will be determined to prove that they can overcome their teammates’ absences.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Yes. Focus after the trainwreck of a week will be off, and loss of five players will hurt. But Elmhurst won’t beat the Thunder.
Howard Sinker
Howard’s take: Hard thinking of Wheaton in ‘game terms’ after hazing publicity, but Elmhurst led Thunder until fourth-quarter turnover last year in 10-6 game.

Which surprise 3-0 team makes it 4-0 this week?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Wooster. Scots have a tough matchup at DePauw, but might be inspired following the death of Clayton Geib.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Salve Regina. Although, it’s no cakewalk with undefeated Western Connecticut on the other side.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: SUNY-Maritime. The Privateers have been 4-0 once before, in the year they went 10-0. Alfred State won’t stop them..
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Franklin & Marshall. The Dips have a tough task at Susquehanna, but have been the surprise of the Centennial so far this season.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: RPI. Buffalo State’s two wins were by a total of six points. RPI has rolled. Engineers win their fourth..
Howard Sinker
Howard’s take: Cheating a bit: Knox. Knox beats Ripon to go 3-0. Surprise? Knox hasn’t won more than three in a season since 2005.

Which team won’t be able to repeat last week’s success?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Mass. Maritime. Bucs held off Maine Maritime last week. Going to Framingham State is much tougher.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Berry. I think opponent Centre is the SAA’s best this year.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: George Fox. I think that even on the road, a WIAC team is better than what Redlands is prepared for.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Rowan. Profs posted a big road win over William Paterson in Week 3, but will suffer a big home loss at the hands of Frostburg State in Week 4.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Widener. Albright could’ve fit my surprising 4-0 team, as Lions have looked decent since the big Salisbury win..
Howard Sinker
Howard’s take: St. Thomas won’t win by 63, St. John’s won’t win by 49.

Official attendance in the Tommie-Johnnie game? (Price is Right rules apply)

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: 33,316, clearly a sign from God.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: 31,157.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: 37,535. Tell me that’s one above anyone else’s pick.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: 33,069. Nice.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: 36,106. It’s No 10 vs. No. 6. So, there had to be at least one of each in my number.
Howard Sinker
Howard’s take: 34,567. 

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.