Thirty-one teams didn’t start their season with the rest of us last week, and while 10 of those are from the NESCAC and would just never play in Week 1 and one was Occidental, which played a game against a Mexican team, basically the rest are getting on the field this week for the first time.
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 Ryan Carlson, former defensive end at Linfield, producer of any awesome Linfield football video you’ve seen in the past decade or so, and 2018 inductee into the school’s hall of fame.
— Pat Coleman
Which game is Week 2’s game of the week?
Keith’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at No. 12 UW-Whitewater. Both are in the top 18 on my ballot.
Ryan’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. I think a lot of people are curious about how good UW-L is.
Pat’s take: No. 10 Hardin-Simmons at Trinity (Texas). Trinity pounded McMurry last week, but this is the much more difficult Abilene opponent.
Adam’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. The Warhawks looked like the UWW of old in Week 1 and have a prove-it game in Week 2.
Frank’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. The Cobbers have remained a consistent team over the last six years and can play UWW with a “nothing to lose” approach.
Ryan’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. I was going to pick Macalester at Hamline just to give my guy Adam Johnson a thrill but that might hurt my “tremendous” amount of credibility.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to be upset?
Keith’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. Susquehanna led by 10 at the start of the fourth last year, and is at home this time.
Ryan’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. Susquehanna looked too good last week to gloss over them.
Pat’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. This is one spot where the preseason poll and my ballot diverge fairly significantly.
Adam’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. UW-La Crosse is determined to keep its momentum from 2017 going, and a non-conference win over a ranked opponent on the road would be the next step.
Frank’s take: No. 24 RPI. RPI struggled early against Allegheny, and with the Transit Trophy on the line, WPI could surprise some folks.
Ryan’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. However, UWO is playing a second year D-II and had some struggles last weekend but would losing to a D-II really be called an upset?
Which team making its debut in Week 2 will wish it had a game under its belt?
Keith’s take: Kean. Springfield rushed for 445 yards last week, although maybe the Cougars have had an extra week to drill triple option.
Ryan’s take: DePauw. At least they don’t have to go on the road to play Central.
Pat’s take: William Paterson. What might have seemed like an achievable game in Dustin Johnson’s coaching debut changed when FDU beat TCNJ.
Adam’s take: Texas Lutheran. Opening the season against Hendrix QB Miles Thompson is no easy task. Last year, Thompson carved up the Bulldogs for 433 yards and four TDs.
Frank’s take: Kean. Springfield got its offense humming in Week 1, meaning the Kean defense will have a tough task right of the bat.
Ryan’s take: Linfield. I fully believe that Linfield is going to go out to Carroll College and win, but the Saints already have two games in. That just makes the challenge that much greater.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Hope at Defiance. In this dictionary-words matchup, eager to see step Matsakis’ (hired July 26) Yellow Jackets take after rough first week.
Ryan’s take: Hendrix at Texas Lutheran. A good one between teams legitimately eyeing conference titles.
Pat’s take: Lawrence at Carleton. I’ll be spending another Saturday off the beaten path, but I love all of D-III.
Adam’s take: No. 7 North Central at Lake Forest. Because I’ll be there in person to see how these two teams are replacing production of their respective 2017 all-conference running backs.
Frank’s take: Union at Coast Guard. Both teams were supposed to beat their Maine opponents last week. We’ll learn a lot about both as this game could go either way.
Ryan’s take: Macalester … naw, Pacific Lutheran at Cal Lutheran. This the Lutes’ first game without a Westering as head coach since 1971. I just want to know if PLU is still going to do their ridiculous pregame warmup.
Who will bounce back from a Week 1 blowout and win?
Keith’s take: Guilford. I like the Quakers hosting Methodist; oh wait, that Week 1 game never happened. 😉
Ryan’s take: Allegheny. The Gators’ turnaround begins Saturday.
Pat’s take: Stevenson. I’m not sure that the Mustangs are MAC contenders but I like their chances vs. Bridgewater.
Adam’s take: Rose-Hulman. The Fightin’ Engineers took a 54-0 beating from the defending champs. A home game against Rhodes is a lot different than a road game against Mount Union.
Frank’s take: Hobart. Hobart didn’t quit against Brockport in a lopsided affair. I think that spirit will lend to a victory vs. a decent Morrisville State team.
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley.The Aggies should take care of business against Mass-Dartmouth but the Corsairs have a linebacker named Tony Slaughter and that is outstanding.
Which team will surprisingly be 2-0 after Saturday?
Keith’s take: Lawrence. Rekindling a rivalry with Carleton, Vikings have a chance for first 2-0 start since, well, farther than our site goes back (1998).
Ryan’s take: N.C. Wesleyan. Poised for another after already taking down Thomas More.
Pat’s take: Sewanee. Yes, this means this is a bit of an upset pick as well.
Adam’s take: SUNY-Maritime. The Privateers had a very late coaching change this summer, but appear to be picking up where they left off after a nine-win 2017 season.
Frank’s take: FDU-Florham. The Devils won 12 games in the prior seven seasons. A 2-0 start will be a unique position for them.
Ryan’s take: Macalester.
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.
We are getting back into the flow in the D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. This is the 200th edition of this podcast, entering its 12th season, and Pat and Keith use it to run down the Week 1 games. Plus, we use it as a way to get into talking about a couple of uncomfortable subjects — there are two possibilities about the 2018 season that people seem afraid to admit, and Pat and Keith attack them head-on.
D3football.com staffer Gordon Mann was at Wesley’s opener and talked with Chip Knapp afterward. Pat saw four games this weekend (no, really) and talks about his trip, plus talks with a player who picked off three passes. In all, the guys hand out their game balls, talk about the teams rising and falling in the poll, find highlights off the beaten path and pick out the big numbers of the week. Plus, what happened this weekend that could make the podcast go channel Allen Iverson?
That and more on our Week 1 Monday 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.
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?
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.
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’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’s take: Delaware Valley at Wesley. Getting back on the field should be cathartic for the Wolverines.
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?
Keith’s take: No. 8 Frostburg State, by Stevenson. Couldn’t talk myself into Westminster, UW-Stout, ETBU or Hobart.
Ryan’s take: No. 15 Washington and Jefferson. St. John Fisher is poised to sneak up on some folks after a dismal 2017.
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’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’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?
Keith’s take: Adrian at Ohio Northern. The Emmanuel Stewart feature in Kickoff ’18 has me eyeing this game with interest.
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’s take: Anderson at North Park. In this case, literally, as the last game of four I’ll see this week.
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’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?
Keith’s take: Alvernia, with a home opener, against a program that’s won seven games the past four seasons.
Ryan’s take: Alvernia. Opponent Gallaudet has yet to break out of a five-year slump.
Pat’s take: Alvernia. Not enough to win but enough to get a little confidence early on.
Adam’s take: Alvernia. The Golden Wolves have a home game, plus two more days of preparation than University of New England.
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?
Keith’s take: La Verne could be competitive at Whitworth, but it’s a trek back to SoCal from Spokane.
Ryan’s take: Denison. Opponent Southwestern is going to be particularly tough this season.
Pat’s take: Husson. It’s a long trip from Husson to anywhere, including back to Maine after a loss at Union.
Adam’s take: Denison. Southwestern returns the favor to the Big Red in year two of this rare Ohio-Texas matchup.
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?
Keith’s take: WNE’s Jason LeBeau gets a challenge from a rival coming off a 10-win season in his head-coaching debut.
Ryan’s take: Trevor Stellman at Thomas More. Will be interested from Week 1 through their final days in D-III.
Pat’s take: Defiance’s Manny Matsakis. Having only just met his team when camp started, this is a challenge.
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’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.