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Quick Hits Week 4: Unleashing the Cougars

The crew is picking the Cougars to make some noise this week, as well as the Colonels, while everyone has their eyes on the clash in the OAC. 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 Greg Thomas, Wabash fan and regular D3football.com contributor.

— Pat Coleman

Photo: Centre athletics photo of Andre Evans and Luc Gendreau by Cheyenne Bunner

Which game is the Week 4 game of the week?

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Keith’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. More on the line in SAA, CCIW & CC, more talent here. Ninety and 110 points over two games, so best D wins.
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Ryan’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. I think JCU is a bit high in the poll, but I’m game to be proven wrong.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. As said on the podcast, only wish it were later in the season.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. The only game between ranked opponents; a heated rivalry between the two best teams in one of the nation’s best conferences.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. No way to buck the trend here, even if voters have JCU higher than I do (20). To me, Mount Union punches its playoff ticket with a win here.
Guest
Greg’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union.It isn’t too early to call this a de facto OAC championship game. The Streaks pose the last legitimate threat to Mount Union until late November.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 24 Franklin & Marshall. If the Diplomats survive Susquehanna, they’ve got Muhlenberg and Johns Hopkins next.
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Ryan’s take: No. 22 Wheaton. Millikin has been my sleeper team since the preseason. Here’s their first big test.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 20 RPI. There’s less of a chance for any losses this week, but Keith shamed me into having to pick someone.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 17 Berry. The Vikings keep proving me wrong, but a road game at Centre is yet another stiff SAA test. Win this, and I won’t pick against them again.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 17 Berry. Centre has been beating opponents handily, but Berry has not for the last two weeks. At Centre, this almost feels like a “gimme.”
Guest
Greg’s take: No. 17 Berry. Centre is red-hot and the Vikings are going on the road to play under the lights. This one has upset warning signs all over the place.

Who will allow more points this week than they have all season? (NESCAC excluded)

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Keith’s take: Augustana. IWU put up 31 on UW-La Crosse and 24 on Wheaton, so I think they can surpass 7 here.
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Ryan’s take: Belhaven. The Blazers haven’t yet faced an opponent as skilled at finding the end zone as ETBU.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Grinnell. With 20 points allowed in two games, the Pioneers travel to St. Norbert.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Augustana. The Vikings have allowed just seven points, but face IWU, which has averaged 27.5 points per game against stiff competition.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Texas Lutheran. 14 points in two games. And then UMHB comes to town, having scored 159 points to two games. Actually, this is the “gimme” pick.
Guest
Greg’s take: Texas Lutheran. The question here is really when UMHB eclipses TLU’s season points allowed total of 14. I say by the end of the first quarter.

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

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Keith’s take: Albright at Widener. Teams that haven’t been so low as .500 since 2010 come in each 0-3. Somebody wins.
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Ryan’s take: Carthage at Washington U. Last week was tough, but I’d like to see how the Bears perform in Game 2 of their new conference.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Dean vs. Becker. Dean isn’t eligible for the playoffs yet, but their 0-3 is better than Becker’s 0-3.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Augsburg at St. Olaf. The Oles could improve to 4-0, equaling last year’s win total. The program won just six games total from 2013 through 2016.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Lycoming at FDU-Florham. In fact, I’ll be in attendance. Hear more about this game from me in today’s ATN Podcast.
Guest
Greg’s take: Carthage at Washington U. After a respectable CCIW debut against North Central, I’m curious to see if the Bears can get a league win against a team that took UW-Oshkosh to the wire.

Neither Kean nor Minnesota-Morris has scored this season. Who will score more this week?

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Keith’s take: Minnesota-Morris. It’s a coin flip. Both Cougars offenses might get right against an 0-3 opponent this week.
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Ryan’s take: Kean. The Cougars’ first two opponents were much tougher than Southern Virginia will prove to be.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Kean. I wrote this question to have no easy answer and then spent way too long trying to pick a set of Cougars.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Kean. Southern Virginia is 0-3 and has allowed 27.3 ppg. The Cougars will finally get on the scoreboard and maybe even the win column.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Kean. But this may be by a whisker, with both playing winless teams.
Guest
Greg’s take: Kean. This question is for the really serious D-III die-hards.

Which unlikely 3-0 team falls to 3-1 this week?

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Keith’s take: Millsaps. Against 2-1 Sewanee. Even the “surprise” 3-0 teams (Marietta, Kalamazoo, St. Olaf) weren’t “unlikely,” so it was either this or Rowan.
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Ryan’s take: Rowan. Against a ranked team like Frostburg, the Profs will fall.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Marietta. The stadium might not be underwater but ONU will slow right by the Pioneers.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Rowan. The Profs have to face No. 6 Frostburg State on the road. The Bobcats will be hungry to get back to dominating opponents.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Ursinus. After Moravian was side-swiped by Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds will race circles around Ursinus on Saturday.
Guest
Greg’s take: FDU-Florham. A surprise leader of the MAC, the Devils’ bid to go 4-0 for the first time since 1988 (yes I did Google that) gets denied by Lycoming.

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 205: Something unexpected in Week 4

There could be even more blowouts than usual in the Week 4 Top 25 schedule, so we’re hoping for perhaps a couple of surprises, as well as a great showdown between No. 1 Mount Union and No. 15 John Carroll. Otherwise, the games this week could include a lot of blowouts.

So, our correspondents have focused on some great matchups in the middle of conference races, or games that could shape conferences after surprising opening weeks. Keith looks at who will win games in HCAC play, while Pat is asked about whether games will remain close.

Plus, we talk with Kean coach Dan Garrett. He took the Cougars on a two-game opening of the season that resulted in some struggles on defense, and no points on the scoreboard. Why did he schedule the non-conference game he scheduled? Garrett is quite frank about it, and gives good insights into scheduling, as well as motivation and more.

Meanwhile, Pat and Keith preview the big games, plus a random game, and talk about exercise. That and more on the Game Day version of 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.
Full episode: 

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

Purchase Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL from Amazon (and D3football.com gets a buck or so in the process).

 

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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.