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Quick Hits: Games to keep an eye on

Lots of eyes on Iowa, where the first automatic bid of the season could be clinched, as well as on Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. But also, perhaps there’s something in Connecticut to note, or Oregon, or Washington (D.C., that is). 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 Doug Samuels. A former Division III football player at Defiance, Doug is currently a high school coach and is also content manager for FootballScoop.

— Pat Coleman

Which Week 9 game is the game of the week?

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Keith’s take: Dubuque at No. 19 Wartburg. No no-brainer this week. Let’s see how Knights look vs. toughest opponent since the opener.
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Ryan’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. Few young rivalries have this level of intensity to them.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 9 UW-Platteville. La Crosse showed last week it has multiple capable QBs, much like UWP.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. Doubtful the Tigers can repeat last week’s dominance, but another win could pretty much clinch the NCAC title..
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 14 Wesley at Montclair State. With the Salisbury showdown awaiting Wesley, this feels like a trap game. Not saying Wesley loses, but I think it could be closer than expected.
Guest
Doug’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. The Little Giants lost a close one in Week 7 and have a bad taste in their mouth with a change to get things back on track against a quality ranked Wittenberg team.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins. Blue Jays have hit their stride in October, but Muhlenberg is two three-point losses from being unbeaten.
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Ryan’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins. The kicker being that they only made it back onto my ballot last week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 19 Wartburg. I’m basing this solely on the amount of talk from Dubuque players on Twitter after our preseason poll. Make the talk stand up.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 19 Wartburg. Dubuque is very nearly 7-0 and the 5-2 Spartans should at least make a very close game of this.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg. “The rumors of [Wabash’s] demise have been greatly exaggerated” — because “Wabash always fights.” I know… How cliché..,
Guest
Doug’s take: No. 9 UW-Platteville. Word is UW-La Crosse has their D-I transfer back at QB, and they’ve lost a few close ones. Think they break through this week.


Which team will hurt its regional ranking this week before we even get to see it?

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Keith’s take: Lake Forest. Five of Foresters’ 7 wins vs. teams with two wins or fewer. Monmouth would be impressive; MWC won’t have two ranked.
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Ryan’s take: Millikin. If Carthage can follow through with playing spoiler this time around.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: George Fox. And they won’t lose to Lewis & Clark — but their strength of schedule will go down.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Franklin and Marshall. Diplomats are fighting for a 9-1 season and playoff bid, but faces a surprisingly 1-6 Moravian.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Western Connecticut. Colonials might be ranked in the East at one loss — if they can beat Fitchburg. Inconsistent play suggests they might not before the big game at Framingham.
Guest
Doug’s take: If we never see their hypothetical rankings from this week, is it logical to suggest that no one’s ranking gets hurt?.

Which team bounces back after a tough loss?

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Keith’s take: George Fox. After rainy, offensively challenged loss at Linfield, Bruins reawaken vs. a Lewis & Clark that’s lost three straight since 2-1 start.
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Ryan’s take: Heidelberg. The Student Princes won’t be the head-scratchers they were last week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Catholic. After being thoroughly unable to stop Springfield, CUA gets Norwich at home.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Heidelberg. The Student Princes took an unexpected beating last week, but will bounce back against Wilmington at home.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: George Fox. After a one-possession loss to the juggernaut known as Linfield, this game will be a walk in the park for the Bruins vs. Lewis & Clark.
Guest
Doug’s take: Hamline. After losing to St. Thomas 84-0, this week they get 3-5 Augsburg. Gotta think Hamline (2-5) is ready for a team they measure up with better.

Hartwick has the weekend off. So which team with Hawks in its name will score the most points?

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Keith’s take: Huntingdon. Loras Duhawks (36.1 ppg) are highest-scoring ‘hawks, but Huntingdon faces 1-6 Greensboro, which allows 45.1 ppg.
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Ryan’s take: Huntingdon. Opponent Greensboro gave up 59 last week, and that wasn’t even their biggest blowout this year.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Huntingdon. Greensboro won’t put up too much of a fight, so it’ll be whatever the Hawks feel like scoring.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Salve Regina. But the Seahawks might not score much against a stout Western New England defense.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Huntingdon. They may play with Pride, but Greensboro has just one win as they prepare for a rested Huntingdon Hawks. This might get lopsided early.
Guest
Doug’s take: UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks will score the most AND – bonus info here – Montclair State (vs. Wesley) will score the LEAST.

Which game featuring a ranked team will be the closest?

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Keith’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 9 UW-Platteville. Eagles have been competitive but are 0-2 in the meat of their schedule.
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Ryan’s take: Wash U at No. 17 Case Western Reserve. The Bears have a lot of losses, but their competition has been fierce.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 18 Berry at Birmingham-Southern. I should double down on my first pick but BSC has been playing tight games and Berry is defense-oriented.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Elmhurst will push No. 12 Illinois Wesleyan to the brink. The CCIW is deep this year.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins at Muhlenberg. I foresee a one-possession decision here in favor of JHU, but I expect it to be a great game between Centennial stalwarts.
Guest
Doug’s take: Dubuque at No. 19 Wartburg. Last year, Dubuque lost by eight. They’ll have some extra motivation to knock off the ranked Knights this year and I’m betting it’s close again.

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.

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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?

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Keith’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. Two top-five teams; I’ll be stunned if this isn’t unanimous.
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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?

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Keith’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. The rush to bury UW-Whitewater might have been premature.
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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?

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Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Frostburg State.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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Keith’s take: Olivet over Kalamazoo. Seen members of every current conference live but MIAA, and have been to both these campuses..
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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.

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Keith’s take: Jeff Knarr at King’s (vs. Misericordia). Bolder picks: John Troxell’s F&M over JHU, or Muhlenberg itself over Ursinus.
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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.

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ATN Podcast 175: Defenses keep showing up

Offensive numbers catch the eye, whether it’s 98 points or this week’s 79 or 332 receiving yards and six touchdowns. But Keith has this thing about defense also being part of the game, and that’s hard to argue, as long as we still play 11 on a side. In this week’s D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast, Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan take a look at some of the places where defense shows up, expectedly or not so much.

Pat and Keith run through all the top news, the hidden highlights, the risers and sliders, the quick hits and quick misses and more from the week in Division III football. That, plus the game(s) which weren’t played, and what that means for the programs affected

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. During the season, it hits your feed weekly on Monday morning. This week, we thank Fanraise for sponsoring our podcast.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device. 
Wheaton photo by Michael Hudson photography; Linfield  athletics photo
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