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Quick Hits: Welcome to 2018

Quick Hits returns for the 2018 season! If you’re new to Division III football or D3football.com, this is our weekly predictions page. We assemble a crew of a half-dozen Division III football writers and observers and give you the best take on what the best games are, which ranked team is most likely to get upset, and a variety of other categories. Six six-packs of opinions ought to cover you!

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 former Thomas More quarterback Kevin Niehus.

— Pat Coleman (Westminster, Pa., athletics photo by Jason Kapusta)

What’s this week’s Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: No. 17 Delaware Valley at No. 9 Wesley. There are lots of tempting matchups, but Del Val at Wesley is the only clash of Top 25 teams, and it should be highly emotional.
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Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley at Wesley. More than a Top 25 matchup, it’s a look at the new man at the Wolverines’ helm.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Delaware Valley at Wesley. I’ll be more clever later in the rundown and later in the season, but this one is obvious.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Delaware Valley at Wesley. Getting back on the field should be cathartic for the Wolverines.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Hobart at No. 6 Brockport. A lot of changes for Hobart, a team that has been uncharacteristically quiet. Brockport’s young O-Line could mean a close important matchup.

Kevin’s take: Delaware Valley at Wesley. An emotional first game in Dover between two playoff-level programs.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 8 Frostburg State, by Stevenson. Couldn’t talk myself into Westminster, UW-Stout, ETBU or Hobart.
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Ryan’s take: No. 15 Washington and Jefferson. St. John Fisher is poised to sneak up on some folks after a dismal 2017.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 14 Wittenberg, by Westminster (Pa.). Wittenberg wants this credit for playing this opponent; I’m not penciling in a W.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 19 Johns Hopkins. Randolph-Macon returns a ton of starters. Plus, I had a dream this week that R-MC won this game.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 15 Washington and Jefferson. Fisher wants to rebound, and what better way than at home against a W&J team that might underestimate them.

Kevin’s take: None. The closest game will be W&J at St. John Fisher.

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

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Keith’s take: Adrian at Ohio Northern. The Emmanuel Stewart feature in Kickoff ’18 has me eyeing this game with interest.
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Ryan’s take: Emory & Henry at Ferrum. My wife’s alma mater gets new life as an ODAC member, plus this is a big rivalry game.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Anderson at North Park. In this case, literally, as the last game of four I’ll see this week.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: George Fox at Redlands. Because I’ll be driving back from the beach all day and won’t be able to watch anything earlier.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Western New England at Springfield. The Pynchon SAW game between two 2017 conference champs with some major losses to graduation will prove to be an interesting opener.

Kevin’s take: George Fox at Redlands. In a game between teams forecasted to each win 7 games it’s a matchup of defense (George Fox) vs efficient QB and Redlands offense.

Which new program has the better debut?

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Keith’s take: Alvernia, with a home opener, against a program that’s won seven games the past four seasons.
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Ryan’s take: Alvernia. Opponent Gallaudet has yet to break out of a five-year slump.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Alvernia. Not enough to win but enough to get a little confidence early on.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Alvernia. The Golden Wolves have a home game, plus two more days of preparation than University of New England.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Alvernia. The Golden Wolves are hosting a team that struggled in 2017, setting them up for a chance for a big crowd and a potential win.

Kevin’s take: Alvernia. With nine QBs and 13 RBs among their numbers, the Golden Wolves will be athletic.

Who has a long, disappointing trip home?

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Keith’s take: La Verne could be competitive at Whitworth, but it’s a trek back to SoCal from Spokane.
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Ryan’s take: Denison. Opponent Southwestern is going to be particularly tough this season.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Husson. It’s a long trip from Husson to anywhere, including back to Maine after a loss at Union.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Denison. Southwestern returns the favor to the Big Red in year two of this rare Ohio-Texas matchup.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Husson. With graduation of John Smith, the ultimate difference maker last year, Husson may see their regular season winning streak snapped.

Kevin’s take: Sounds like John Carroll could be a candidate based upon the Case Western Reserve scrimmage.

Whose head coaching debut are you most interested in?

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Keith’s take: WNE’s Jason LeBeau gets a challenge from a rival coming off a 10-win season in his head-coaching debut.
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Ryan’s take: Trevor Stellman at Thomas More. Will be interested from Week 1 through their final days in D-III.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Defiance’s Manny Matsakis. Having only just met his team when camp started, this is a challenge.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Garrett LeRose. My former teammate is now the head coach of our alma mater (W&L). I’m proud and excited to see what he accomplishes.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Chad Martinovich at University of Rochester. He left academic-minded MIT for academic-minded U of R. Can he turn them around like MIT, starting with a tough Case?

Kevin’s take: Trevor Stellman, Thomas More. Are the Saints good enough to play spoiler on their way to Pool B during their D3 curtain call?

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Monday Around the Nation podcast to wrap up the week that was, and the Friday Around the Nation podcast, 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 186: Blowing it all out

OK, yes, this second round of the playoffs was bad, in an epic way. No doubt. How bad? We’ll talk about that, for sure. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything we can learn from this week’s postseason games, because we definitely got a better look at some teams, even if there are a couple of teams advancing that haven’t yet been playoff tested.

This week, Fanraise is the sponsor of the D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. Find out more at Thefanraise.com.

Pat and Keith hand out game balls, look at each second-round game, and look at the upcoming quarterfinal matchups in this week’s 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. 
Frostburg State athletics photo; UW-Oshkosh photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com; turf by Scott Pierson, d3photography.com
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
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Quick Hits’ take on second-round scores

After an entertaining, but difficult-to-predict first round, our crew is back to give it another shot. So, we look at all eight second-round games and predict the final score. 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 crack at it this week and every week from here to Salem.

— Pat Coleman (d3photography.com photo)

UW-Oshkosh bracket
Keith’s take:  UW-Oshkosh 35, North Central 31
Ryan’s take: North Central 24, UW-Oshkosh 23
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 21, North Central 13
Adam’s take: UW-Oshkosh 24, North Central 20
Frank’s take: UW-Oshkosh 24, North Central 14
Greg’s take: UW-Oshkosh 27, North Central 13
Hansen odds to advance: UW-Oshkosh, 82%.
Consensus: A competitive, low-scoring game, but generally with the home team on top.
Keith’s take:  Wartburg 28, Trine 27
Ryan’s take: Wartburg 31, Trine 27
Pat’s take: Wartburg 35, Trine 24
Adam’s take: Trine 38, Wartburg 30
Frank’s take: Trine 30, Wartburg 27
Greg’s take: Trine 36, Wartburg 35
Hansen odds to advance: Wartburg, 51%
Consensus:
Points will be scored. Someone will win. Even the Wartburg grad’s algorithm has a toss-up.
Mount Union bracket
Keith’s take:  Mount Union 35, Case 14
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 41, Case 14
Pat’s take: Mount Union 42, Case 17
Adam’s take: Mount Union 38, Case 17
Frank’s take: Mount Union 37, Case 10
Greg’s take: Mount Union 49, Case 10
Hansen odds to advance: Mount Union, 94%.
Consensus:
Case will score two or three times.
Keith’s take:  Frostburg State 31, W&J 29
Ryan’s take: Frostburg State 34, W&J 17
Pat’s take: Frostburg State 21, W&J 17
Adam’s take: Frostburg State 27, W&J 24
Frank’s take: Frostburg State 27, W&J 20
Greg’s take: Frostburg State 28, W&J 24
Hansen odds to advance: Frostburg State, 56%.
Consensus: Quiet confidence in Frostburg State, with most by seven or fewer points.
Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Keith’s take: UMHB 27, Linfield 17
Ryan’s take: UMHB 23, Linfield 14
Pat’s take: UMHB 20, Linfield 10
Adam’s take: UMHB 31, Linfield 24
Frank’s take: UMHB 24, Linfield 10
Greg’s take: UMHB 24, Linfield 7
Hansen odds to advance: Mary Hardin-Baylor, 82%.
Consensus:
The defending champs, in a generally low-scoring game.
Keith’s take: St. Thomas 34, Berry 14
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 38, Berry 17
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 42, Berry 20
Adam’s take: St. Thomas 47, Berry 20
Frank’s take: St. Thomas 41, Berry 27
Greg’s take: St. Thomas 34, Berry 17
Hansen odds to advance: St. Thomas, 99+%.
Consensus:
St. Thomas, although Berry could score some points.
Delaware Valley bracket
Keith’s take:  Delaware Valley 22, Husson 9
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley 31, Husson 10
Pat’s take: Delaware Valley 24, Husson 15
Adam’s take: Delaware Valley 35, Husson 14
Frank’s take: Delaware Valley 31, Husson 17
Greg’s take: Delaware Valley 38, Husson 14
Hansen odds to advance: Delaware Valley, 88%.
Consensus:
Delaware Valley, although it could be close.
Keith’s take:  Brockport 28, Wesley 17
Ryan’s take: Brockport 27, Wesley 24
Pat’s take: Brockport 31, Wesley 27
Adam’s take: Wesley 42, Brockport 38
Frank’s take: Brockport 28, Wesley 27
Greg’s take: Wesley 28, Brockport 27
Hansen odds to advance: Brockport, 67%.
Consensus:
Not exactly unanimous.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below, or tweet at us at @D3Keith, @NewsTipps and @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the highlights from the second round.