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Quick Hits Week 7: All eyes on Minnesota

This week our Quick Hits panel delivers takes on Johnnie-Tommie, of course, but also points out upsets brewing out east, undefeated runs coming to an end, and which teams are going to go home victorious for the first time this season.

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

— Greg Thomas
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Which game is the Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: Johnnie-Tommie. I might have gotten it wrong on the pod, but I’m right here. Given the rankings and the atmosphere, don’t think you can go anywhere else for GOTW.
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Ryan’s take: The Johnnie-Tommie Game. As Pat would say … next question.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: The Johnnie-Tommie game. Not to go MIAC two weeks in a row, but to be honest, you have to.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Johnnie-Tommie. This should be unanimous. Next question.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 4 St. John’s vs. No. 11 St. Thomas. It’s a survival game for St. Thomas and a major rivalry game — you can’t ask for much more than that.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Johnnie-Tommie, yes. But also Hobart @ Ithaca, Middlebury @ Wesleyan, Wartburg @ Simpson, Delaware Valley @ Wilkes, and Alfred @ Cortland make for a nice undercard.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 9 Ithaca. The Bombers (5-0) would probably have to play their worst game of the season to lose to visiting Hobart (4-1), but I don’t like to cop out and say none for this question.
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Ryan’s take: No. 19 UW-Platteville. Opponent UW-Stout has been playing better than their record would show, and Platteville is coming off a difficult loss last week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 12 Salisbury. Rowan has played well against a tough schedule and Salisbury can’t possibly execute as well as it did against Wesley.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 22 Cortland. The Red Dragons have looked impressive, but against inferior competition. The first real test of the season comes in Week 7 against 5-1 Alfred. The Saxons are 4-1, coming off a bye week, and are faced with a must-win.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 22 Cortland (vs. Alfred). Alfred had a bye week in Week 6, while Cortland struggled with Morrisville St. With 21 sacks in five games, the Saxons’ defense needs to reach Cortland QB Brett Segala to win this.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 16 Delaware Valley. If there is a serious challenger in the MAC to the Aggies, it’s got to be the undefeated, home standing Wilkes Colonels.

Pick a winner from a game between unbeaten conference opponents.

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Keith’s take: I think Del Val handles Wilkes, which is 5-0 against a schedule that’s 6-16 in its other games, and ranked 209th by one metric and 230th by another.
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Ryan’s take: No. 22 Cortland, over Alfred. The Red Dragons’ margins of victory have been impressive all year, though this week starts the first game in a very tough back half of the season.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: St. Norbert, vs. Beloit. This might be the biggest gimme on the board.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Monmouth. The Scots haven’t lost an MWC South contest since 2014. After laboring through an unexpected bye week due to Grinnell cancelling its season, the Scots will take out their frustration on Illinois College.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Anna Maria (vs. Dean). This ECFC game could go a long way in deciding the conference winner, since there are just five league games per member. Anna Maria “rings the bell” in Paxton, Mass.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 18 Wartburg. I’m higher on the Knights than the Top 25 is overall and I expect they’ll be able to weather the Storm on Saturday.

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

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Keith’s take: Morrisville State at Utica: The Mustangs nearly knocked off Alfred and Cortland the past two weeks. They are going to catch someone napping.
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Ryan’s take: The middle of the NCAC. With 4-1 OWU squaring off against 3-2 DePauw, and 4-1 Denison against 3-2 Wooster, we’ll get a whole new (clearer?) picture of the conference after this weekend.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: The panel is pretty solid. But I know that if I don’t punch in the score of the Central-Buena Vista game, nobody else will either.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Misericordia at FDU-Florham. For the second straight season, the Cougars have opened conference play with a win streak. Impressive after the program failed to string together consecutive wins through its first six years. I’ll be keeping an eye on Misericordia as long as the streak is alive.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Springfield at Merchant Marine. The Mariners can’t get caught looking ahead to a potential NEWMAC undefeated showdown in Week 8 at WPI. Springfield needs to win the game to survive in the NEWMAC race.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Washington U. @ No. 5 Wheaton. Wheaton has a game in hand against their chief CCIW rivals, but the Bears can formally insert themselves into the CCIW race by duplicating their 2018 upset of the Thunder.

Pick one of the remaining 23 undefeated teams to drop their first game.

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Keith’s take: St. Olaf‘s schedule (8-17, 204th, 215th) is not much better than Wilkes’. Bethel gets it done.
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Ryan’s take: Wilkes, to Delaware Valley.  Though having a loss to a nationally ranked team, the Aggies are still likely to come out on top in the MAC in Week 11.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Picked one above and will add Wilkes to the list.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: St. Olaf. I discussed this deja vu in today’s podcast. For the second straight season, the Oles opened 5-0. They will likely once again suffer their first loss at the hands of the Royals. Winning just one of their final five contests will give the Oles their best season since 2012.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 4 St. John’s St. John’s has been somewhat inconsistent on offense, while St. Thomas has been more consistent on both sides of the ball. We’ll see if Eau Claire was a fluke or not by the end of this game.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: St. Olaf. I expect a solid rebound game from Jaran Roste and the Bethel Royals and a reminder about the pretty clear tiers that exist in the MIAC.

Pick one of the remaining 28 winless teams to pick up their first win.

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Keith’s take: Allegheny (0-5) has had a top-loaded schedule, and will get on the right track against 3-2 Kenyon.
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Ryan’s take: Buffalo State, over Rochester. In a game not as close as you’d think between two winless teams.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Buffalo State. At least we know there will be one.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Maryville. The only 2018 playoff participant still seeking its first victory of 2019, the Scots face an improved Methodist squad. Maryville’s offense finally got going in Week 6, putting up a season-high 35 points against Huntingdon. The defense will have its hands full once again against running back Vontre Howard and the Monarchs.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Gettysburg (at Juniata). Juniata has had an inconsistent path this season, making the Week 5 win before the bye potentially lead to a Week 7 loss, if the trend continues.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Allegheny. The Gators’ first half schedule was tough, but I’m not sure 0-5 is how most saw the Rich Nagy era starting. Kenyon has been a good first half story, but I think it is Allegheny’s turn to notch a win.

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 Week 5: Quick hats

Little Brass Bells will be ringing this week, in the eyes and ears of our panel. In a week of big games, that rivalry is the biggest for our panel.

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 Gordon Mann, longtime contributor to D3football.com and editor at D3hoops.com who also broadcasts football games for Delaware Valley.

— Pat Coleman

What’s the game of the week?

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Keith’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. It’s a rivalry, there’s history, and if the Thunder win, a third team, Illinois Wesleyan, takes control of the CCIW.
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Ryan’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. The precedent is set. I can’t remember a year when this didn’t have major CCIW implications.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. It’s a bell, it’s made of brass, but it’s little so it kinda dings at a high pitch. Does an angel get its wings?
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central. This is the biggest test of the season for both teams and North Central’s best chance to prove itself as a worthy Stagg Bowl contender this year.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley at Stevenson. This game will help define the upper end of the MAC while providing the first test to the Aggies since Wesley.
Gordon Mann
Gordon’s take: No. 21 Wheaton at No. 5 North Central.This game shapes the CCIW race and part of the playoff bracket. The Thunder’s storm-aided victory last year ups the drama.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 18 Case Western Reserve. Spartans wore Westminster (Pa.) out last year, but casts have changed.
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Ryan’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley. The Aggies aren’t on my ballot and haven’t been consistent enough to give me much confidence.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley. Nobody will emerge unscathed in the MAC this season.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 22 Delaware Valley. The MAC has already been a surprise this season, with Lycoming and Misericordia tied atop the conference standings with Del Val and Stevenson.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 8 Hardin-Simmons. Two prolific offenses. One team looking ahead to No. 2. Give this one to ETBU in a shocking shootout.
Gordon
Gordon’s take: No. 24 Franklin & Marshall. Lots of Pennsylvania possibilities here. Let’s go Muhlenberg dumping the Diplomats in a nail-biter.

Pick a road team to win impressively.

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Keith’s take: Ohio Northern. The Polar Bears and Marietta Pioneers are each undefeated, but there is usually some distance between these programs.
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Ryan’s take: Williams. This week is big against Trinity. And I like that the Ephs have shaken off the ugly parts of the early 2010s.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Huntingdon. Also a good pick for the final question, the Hawks have frustrations to work out at Methodist.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Rhodes. I agree with this week’s front page poll that Millsaps is one of the most surprising 4-0 teams. A Lynx win on the road over the Majors qualifies.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Thomas More. The Saints will win very big — the ones traveling a distance to NY — as St. Lawrence QB Grochot was in concussion protocol.
Gordon
Gordon’s take: No. 16 Trine. The other Thunder start MIAA play with a win at Hope, keeping the Flying Dutchmen as runners-up for a little while longer.

Choose a team to beat someone it lost to last season.

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Keith’s take: FDU-Florham. Albright hung 51 on the Devils in 2017, and this is their best chance to shake off an 0-4 start. FDU might get to 4-1 instead.
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Ryan’s take: N.C. Wesleyan. The Bishops have had a long stretch off before this week against LaGrange.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Central. Getting upset by Buena Vista had to sting last year. Won’t happen this time.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: FDU-Florham. As I stated earlier, the MAC is wide open this year. Albright’s tailspin continues as the Devils continue the program’s most impressive start in over a decade.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: SUNY-Maritime. Thomas Wright has thrown for 10 TDs and just 1 INT for the Privateers and needs that efficiency to win vs. Husson.
Gordon
Gordon’s take: FDU-Florham. We’re contractually obligated to mention the Devils in Quick Hits now. They avenge last year’s 51-33 home loss to Albright.

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

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Keith’s take: Dubuque at Loras. It’s not the best cross-town rivalry game in Week 5, but the Duhawks are coming off two wins and hosting in a renovated Rock Bowl.
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Ryan’s take: Linfield at Whitworth; F&M at Muhlenberg; or Case at Westminister. If my fellow panelists missed any of these, that’s my pick. All great matchups!.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: My burn sat rare font bud ships. Listen to today’s podcast if you need a translation.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Randolph-Macon at Washington & Lee. Not just because my alma mater is playing a huge conference game and its home opener. These two teams have had a combined 38-day layoff since their last game.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Occidental at Cal Lutheran. The Kingsmen are surprisingly 1-2 right now. They should beat an undermanned Oxy, but it could be close.
Gordon
Gordon’s take: Trinity at Williams.K-Mack loves him some NESCAC, but I have more personal interest in this one than others on the panel. Go Bants!

Which of the 49 winless teams leaves the field happy for the first time this season?

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Keith’s take: Maryville, vs. Brevard. The Scots have scored just 9 points this season, but they’ve faced playoff-caliber teams in Berry and Centre.
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Ryan’s take: Crown. It’s a pick of the winless teams as they face off against Iowa Wesleyan.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Benedictine. Conference play begins in the NACC and CUW is a good starting point.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Lakeland. The Muskies finally figure out their offense in the post-Michael Whitley world. The grueling non-conference slate pays off against Concordia-Chicago.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Gallaudet. The Bison last played on Sept. 8. Anna Maria is averaging 7 points per game. Advantage to a rested Bison squad.
Gordon
Gordon’s take: Illinois College. The Blueboys feel better after a home win over Beloit on Saturday night.

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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ATN Podcast 173: What’s wrong with big scores?

Lots of cool and interesting things happened in the opening weekend of Division III football. Of course, many of them were overshadowed by the 98-0 win by St. John’s over St. Scholastica. Nobody here at D3football.com is suggesting someone ran up the score, though. Keith McMillan and Pat Coleman have a different thought in mind.

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. Plus, our first podcast was 10 years ago this very day, and Pat and Keith talk about that and have a few clips, both highlights and outtakes.

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.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device. 
Photo by Alexus Jungles for SJU athletics
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