Quick Hits predicts the first round’s scores

The story goes, one day on a long ride to a playoff game at Thiel (which tells you how long ago this happened), Pat and Keith decided to pass the time by guessing not just the winner of each first-round playoff game, but the score. And there was born the expectations game: Do we expect a close game? A high-scoring game? A blowout? Does everyone agree on who will win? Those are the factors worth looking at.

Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas each take their guesses at scores for each first-round game. We also looped in the Hansen Ratings, updated with playoff experience as a factor, for anther objective take. The algorithm takes into account both home-field advantage and playoff experience, so a game such as Hardin-Simmons and Linfield, between teams with identical team ratings, ends up with Linfield given a 65 percent chance to win.

— Pat Coleman (Linfield athletics photo)


UW-Oshkosh bracket
Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 56, Lakeland 21
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 49, Lakeland 13
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 47, Lakeland 13
Adam’s take: UW-Oshkosh 52, Lakeland 7
Frank’s take: UW-Oshkosh 34, Lakeland 6
Greg’s take: UW-Oshkosh 52, Lakeland 14
Hansen odds to advance: UW-Oshkosh, 99%.
 UW-Oshkosh in a walk, though Lakeland could score a few points.
Keith’s take: North Central 22, St. John’s 21
Ryan’s take: North Central 27, St. John’s 23
Pat’s take: North Central 31, St. John’s 28
Adam’s take: North Central 10, St. John’s 7
Frank’s take: St. John’s 21, North Central 20
Greg’s take: North Central 24, St. John’s 23
Hansen odds to advance: St. John’s, 58%.
North Central, in a close game, and a split decision.
Keith’s take: Wartburg 38, Franklin 24
Ryan’s take: Wartburg 30, Franklin 27
Pat’s take: Wartburg 45, Franklin 31
Adam’s take: Wartburg 35, Franklin 27
Frank’s take: Wartburg 44, Franklin 31
Greg’s take: Wartburg 38, Franklin 28
Hansen odds to advance: Wartburg, 79%.
Wartburg the consensus winner, though everyone respect’s Franklin’s ability to score.
Keith’s take: Trine 19, Monmouth 16
Ryan’s take: Monmouth 31, Trine 20
Pat’s take: Monmouth 31, Trine 28
Adam’s take: Trine 17, Monmouth 13
Frank’s take: Trine 48, Monmouth 40
Greg’s take: Trine 38, Monmouth 28
Hansen odds to advance: Trine, 58%.
Wide variety of opinions. Two Trine slugfest wins, two Trine defensive battle wins, two Monmouth wins.
Mount Union bracket
Keith’s take: Mount Union 56, Wash. & Lee 14
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 51, Wash. & Lee 7
Pat’s take: Mount Union 48, Wash. & Lee 10
Adam’s take: Mount Union 49, Wash. & Lee 20
Frank’s take: Mount Union 60, Wash. & Lee 10
Greg’s take: Mount Union 56, Wash. & Lee 7
Hansen odds to advance: Mount Union, 99%.
Mount Union, in a win that a No. 1 seed would be satisfied with.
Keith’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 35, Case 13
Ryan’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 31, Case 21
Pat’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 35, Case 17
Adam’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 21, Case 16
Frank’s take: Case 31, Illinois Wesleyan 30
Greg’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 28, Case 10
Hansen odds to advance: Illinois Wesleyan, 61%.
IWU generally winning handily, with one outlier.
Keith’s take: W&J 42, Johns Hopkins 30
Ryan’s take: Johns Hopkins 35, W&J 34
Pat’s take: Johns Hopkins 28, W&J 24
Adam’s take: Johns Hopkins 38, W&J 34
Frank’s take: Johns Hopkins 35, W&J 28
Greg’s take: Johns Hopkins 27, W&J 24
Hansen odds to advance: Johns Hopkins, 68%.
Wow. Consensus is the road team. But consensus is also an exciting game.
Keith’s take: Wittenberg 17, Frostburg State 14
Ryan’s take: Frostburg State 27, Wittenberg 24
Pat’s take: Wittenberg 17, Frostburg State 15
Adam’s take: Wittenberg 30, Frostburg State 24
Frank’s take: Frostburg State 27, Wittenberg 24
Greg’s take: Wittenberg 14, Frostburg State 10
Hansen odds to advance: Wittenberg, 59%.
Generally low-scoring, all around, and generally with Wittenberg by a field goal or less.
Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Keith’s take: UMHB 40, Chapman 20
Ryan’s take: UMHB 48, Chapman 10
Pat’s take: UMHB 42, Chapman 17
Adam’s take: UMHB 58, Chapman 10
Frank’s take: UMHB 37, Chapman 10
Greg’s take: UMHB 48, Chapman 7
Hansen odds to advance: Mary Hardin-Baylor, 98%.
The defending champs, by a lot.
Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons 14, Linfield 13
Ryan’s take: Hardin-Simmons 27, Linfield 14
Pat’s take: Hardin-Simmons 24, Linfield 19
Adam’s take: Hardin-Simmons 21, Linfield 17
Frank’s take: Linfield 14, Hardin-Simmons 10
Greg’s take: Hardin-Simmons 24, Linfield 10
Hansen odds to advance: Linfield, 65%.
HSU favored on the road, with Linfield kicking an undetermined number of field goa.s.
Keith’s take: St. Thomas 63, Eureka 0
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 58, Eureka 7
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 56, Eureka 6
Adam’s take: St. Thomas 63, Eureka 13
Frank’s take: St. Thomas 51, Eureka 13
Greg’s take: St. Thomas 63, Eureka 0
Hansen odds to advance: St. Thomas, > 99%.
Tommies. Not in a mood to break scoring records.
Keith’s take: Berry 28, Huntingdon 24
Ryan’s take: Berry 35, Huntingdon 28
Pat’s take: Berry 24, Huntingdon 21
Adam’s take: Berry 27, Huntingdon 24
Frank’s take: Huntingdon 34, Berry 28
Greg’s take: Berry 28, Huntingdon 17
Hansen odds to advance: Huntingdon, 57%.
Berry. Mostly. Except for the one usual outlier.
Delaware Valley bracket
Keith’s take: Delaware Valley 38, Western NE 20
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley 49, Western NE 17
Pat’s take: Delaware Valley 31, Western NE 10
Adam’s take: Delaware Valley 35, Western NE 14
Frank’s take: Delaware Valley 30, Western NE 21
Greg’s take: Delaware Valley 33, Western NE 13
Hansen odds to advance: Delaware Valley, 95%
Delaware Valley, by a range of points but all by multiple scores.
Keith’s take: Springfield 42, Husson 28
Ryan’s take: Springfield 38, Husson 35
Pat’s take: Springfield 45, Husson 31
Adam’s take: Springfield 38, Husson 24
Frank’s take: Springfield 42, Husson 20
Greg’s take: Springfield 42, Husson 21
Hansen odds to advance: Springfield, 83%
Springfield, generally comfortable, generally in a high-scoring game.
Keith’s take: Brockport 39, Plymouth State 13
Ryan’s take: Brockport 35, Plymouth State 10
Pat’s take: Brockport 24, Plymouth State 7
Adam’s take: Brockport 28, Plymouth State 20
Frank’s take: Brockport 27, Plymouth State 7
Greg’s take: Brockport 24, Plymouth State 7
Hansen odds to advance: Brockport, 99%
Brockport, generally comfortably, generally in a low-scoring game.
Keith’s take: Wesley 27, RPI 10
Ryan’s take: Wesley 38, RPI 6
Pat’s take: Wesley 38, RPI 14
Adam’s take: Wesley 41, RPI 12
Frank’s take: Wesley 37, RPI 17
Greg’s take: Wesley 38, RPI 10
Hansen odds to advance: Wesley, 91%
Wesley makes it final: No upsets expected in this bracket.

Here’s more data from Hansen Ratings. Select any two playoff teams to see how they would compare in a real or hypothetical matchup

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below, or tweet at @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the highlights from the first round.


ATN Podcast 184: A step forward?

So, we’ve become accustomed to a bracket with two flights in the first round, instead of one. Last year they told us it was no longer a one-time thing, and this year they followed through on that. But why is it that we can only keep two highly ranked teams apart for a round? Why do No. 5 and No. 8 play in order to potentially play No. 1 in the next round? You can find out more in this week’s Around the Nation podcast.

This week, D3talent is the sponsor of the Around the Nation Podcast. Find out more on our site, or at our Fanraise store.

Pat and Keith hand out game balls, find the hidden highlights, the interesting stats and then a whole bunch of bracket-specific items in the Around the Nation Podcast.  You do not want to leave this podcast early, before you hear the bonus picks.

The 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. 
Hardin-Simmons athletics photo by Scott Burkhalter
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Quick Hits: Who will clinch

This weekend is all about who will clinch automatic bids, on top of all the things that typically go on in a Division III football weekend. Our Quick Hits crew predicts clinchers, Top 25 upsets, conference upsets and teams that will go into the offseason on a high note. 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 Patrick Bohn, an Ithaca grad who posts as Bomber798891 on

— Pat Coleman

What’s Week 10’s Game of the Week?

Keith’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. Route 13 Rivalry pits two of NJAC’s three 7-1 teams, which gives it conference title and playoff implications.
Ryan’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. The Route 13 Rivalry is rarely one to disappoint. Honorable mention: WNE at Curry.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Alfred at No. 10 Brockport. I think this game will be telling about the shift in the balance of the force in the E8.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Union vs. Ithaca. Two first-year head coaches shaking up the Liberty League and two teams with plenty to play for.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. A Wesley win gives Wolverines NJAC. A Salisbury win could take NJAC out of Pool C contention.
Patrick’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. These two teams have played (mostly) competitive games over the past few years, and both bring stout defenses to the table.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

Keith’s take: No. 16 Case Western Reserve. Westminster (Pa.) has six- and one-point losses to 8-0 teams. CWRU loss would help Pool C hopefuls.
Ryan’s take: No. 21 George Fox. If Pacific Lutheran’s performance against Linfield last week is any indication.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 20 UW-Plattevile. Because Keith will want me to pick someone, even though this would hardly be an upset.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 16 Case Western Reserve. Westminster (Pa.) is the most underrated two-loss team in the country, losing by a total of seven to unbeatens  Wittenberg and Washington & Jefferson.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 21 George Fox. Last week was a reminder that Pacific Lutheran is still a threat. They finish the deal this week.
Patrick’s take: No. 9 North Central. Carthage nearly pulled off the upset at Illinois Wesleyan, so the Cardinals should be on the lookout.

Name a team outside the Top 25 which will clinch a bid this weekend.

Keith’s take: Huntingdon (vs. Methodist). Since a Week 1 loss to Guilford, USAC’s Hawks have averaged 37.4 points per game.
Ryan’s take: Lakeland. The Muskies hold the tiebreaker over the two teams with one NACC loss.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Trine. For that to happen this weekend, Trine must beat Alma and another game must go Trine’s way.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Huntingdon. The Hawks will clinch the USA South, and will be a popular Quick Hit pick for the second straight week.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Husson (vs. Alfred State). One of the bigger geography challenges for the NCAA selection committee will be back once again in the Pool of 32.
Patrick’s take: Franklin. The Grizzlies should light up the scoreboard against Anderson and easily clinch the HCAC auto-bid.

How many points will be scored, total, in the Montclair State-Rowan game?

Keith’s take: 24.
Ryan’s take: 31. A trick question since these two teams have played the best in the NJAC in recent outings, and the scoreboard reflected that.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: 22. Only because to say “3” seems harsh.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: 29. More than the 27 total that the Profs have scored during their five-game losing streak.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: 17.
Patrick’s take: 25. Both teams have good kickers, so I’m betting on six field goals and one touchdown.

What team will end the season this week on a high note?

Keith’s take: Thomas More. Saints get win No. 6 against Thiel, but last season in the PAC a disappointment.
Ryan’s take: Mount St. Joseph. Sure, last year’s game vs. Defiance came down to the wire, but recent history is on the Lions’ side.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Simpson. A win vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, makes the Storm 6-4, three games better than 2016. (Plus they won’t help IWU’s and Concordia’s SOS.)
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Thomas More. The Saints will win their fifth in a row, finish above .500 for the tenth straight season, and send retiring coach Regis Scafe off with a victory.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Mount St. Joseph. After combining with Franklin to score 105 points in a loss last week, the Lions roar at home to close out their season.
Patrick’s take: Northwestern. The Eagles’ season may have been a disappointment, but they’ll head into the offseason — and send fans home happy — on a four-game winning streak with a win over Crown.

Pick a winner in a conference upset outside the Top 25.

Keith’s take: Ithaca, vs. Union. The Bombers’ 5-3 mark has come against tougher opposition (.559 to .521 SoS) than the Dutchmen’s 7-1, and it will show.
Ryan’s take: MacMurray over St. Scholastica. No doubt Eureka is rooting for this outcome.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Adrian over Olivet. This is that other result Trine needs to clinch the MIAA this week. Adrian is a misleading 3-5.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Stags might steal a win from Chapman, but the Panthers already have  the conference title and playoff berth.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Martin Luther. After a win that looked to potentially seal the UMAC for Eureka last week, the Knights have a chance to catch the Red Devils napping.
Patrick’s take: Utica. A tough Pioneers defense catches Cortland — who were stunned by St. John Fisher last week — looking ahead to Cortaca.

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.