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ATN Podcast: This is what happens when we actually play

It never fails — once we start playing games, the surprise results start pouring in. Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan chat about a good number of them, then chat with Johns Hopkins coach Jim Margraff and look at some of the off-the-beaten-path highlights, the unusual stats and more from Week 1 of Division III football. Significant attention is paid to the Delaware Valley-Wesley game, the ETBU-Texas Lutheran game, the Albion-Wabash game and the Whitworth-Central game.

The Around the Nation Podcast is a weekly conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan covering the wide range of Division III football. It drops on Monday morning weekly throughout the season.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device. 
Delaware Valley athletics photo
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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ATN Podcast: Now those were some playoffs!

After a disappointing first round, this was exactly what Division III football needed, including competitive games, a big play for the ages and more. Pat and Keith talk about each second round game, give their takeaways for each game, plus preview the quarterfinals and hand out their game balls on this week’s Around the Nation Podcast.

The Around the Nation Podcast is a weekly conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan covering the wide range of Division III football. It drops on Monday morning weekly throughout the season. Photo by Caleb Williams, d3photography.com

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device. 
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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Triple Take: Our guesses at the Round 2 scores

The road to Salem gets a little more rugged in Round 2.

Photo by Jamie Wilson, d3photography.com

Photo by Jamie Wilson, d3photography.com

Here are the matchups by Top 25 ranking:
No. 10 St. Johns at No. 4 St. Thomas
No. 9 Thomas More at No. 7 Wabash
No. 25 Cortland State at No. 2 Linfield
Huntingdon at No. 13 Mary Hardin-Baylor
No. 20 Albright at No. 1 Mount Union
No. 11 Wesley at No. 8 Johns Hopkins
Ohio Northern at No. 3 UW-Oshkosh
No. 5 UW-Whitewater at No. 6 Wheaton

The top 11 teams in our poll are all still alive, and eight of them play one another head-to-head in Round 2. One of the teams outside that group is traditional power Mary Hardin-Baylor, which is ranked No. 13 but would be expected to beat just about everyone outside the top 5. Likewise, Wesley is a lower-ranked road team in Round 2, but nobody who’s followed Division III for any amount of time would be surprised if we all picked the Wolverines to triumph.

Here are the matchups by where each team was likely seeded in its quadrant:
3 St. Johns at 1 St. Thomas
4 Thomas More at 2 Wabash
4 Cortland State at 1 Linfield
7 Huntingdon at 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor
4 Albright at 1 Mount Union
3 Wesley at 2 Johns Hopkins
5 Ohio Northern at 1 UW-Oshkosh
3 UW-Whitewater at 2 Wheaton

There are no official seeds released for D-III brackets, but we can determine them based on how the teams are ordered in the regional rankings and by selection criteria, and by where they are placed in the brackets. Only two lower seeds advanced, Ohio Northern in a mild upset at Franklin, and Huntingdon, only because trips longer than 500 miles are discouraged and so second seed Hardin-Simmons faced UMHB in the first round instead of Huntingdon, which was “seeded” seventh and beat No. 8 Hendrix.

Here’s how Triple Takes work during the playoffs. Around the Nation columnist Ryan Tipps, editor and publisher Pat Coleman and I each guess a score for each game without consulting with one another. This sets our national expectation. Then, it’s up to you prove us wrong. What fun would be a playoff in which we can predict all the outcomes? When the score on Saturday looks different than what we forecast below, that’s a signal that something significant is happening.

[The 2015 playoff bracket | Bracket challenge leaders | Surprises and disappointments]

Round 1 was easy picking. Around the Mid-Atlantic columnist Adam Turer and I each got 15 of 16 correct; Ryan and Pat each got 13. (We all missed Cortland State’s win, and Hendrix and Washington and Lee tripped up Tipps and Coleman). This round should be tougher. Turer made his picks in the comments section, and we invite you to do the same. You want to taunt us when we’re wrong? Put your picks on record before kickoff, below.

— Keith McMillan

Our Triple Take Crew: Keith McMillan
Keith McMillan
Ryan Tipps
Ryan Tipps
Pat Coleman
Pat Coleman

ST. THOMAS QUADRANT
Keith’s take: St. Thomas 38, St. John’s 21
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 34, St. John’s 24
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 31, St. John’s 23
Consensus: It was Tommies, 35-14, on the road back in Week 4. We don’t see why this outcome would be much different, other than the margin.

Keith’s take: Wabash 26, Thomas More 24
Ryan’s take: Wabash 38, Thomas More 35
Pat’s take: Wabash 30, Thomas More 21
Consensus: This will probably be one of the most entertaining games of Round 2.

LINFIELD QUADRANT
Keith’s take: Linfield 52, Cortland 24
Ryan’s take: Linfield 48, Cortland 27
Pat’s take: Linfield 45, Cortland 17
Consensus: We all respect what the Red Dragons have done this season, but two-thirds of these panelists think the Wildcats are the No. 1 team in the country.

Keith’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 57, Huntingdon 19
Ryan’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 48, Huntingdon 13
Pat’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 42, Huntingdon 10
Consensus: This is what happens when a seven seed takes on a national power.

MOUNT UNION QUADRANT
Keith’s take: Mount Union 47, Albright 10
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 48, Albright 17
Pat’s take: Mount Union 54, Albright 6
Consensus: Don’t let the 55-23 final from Round 1 fool you. The Purple Raiders led 55-7 early in the third.

Keith’s take: Wesley 30, Johns Hopkins 28
Ryan’s take: Wesley 45, Johns Hopkins 28
Pat’s take: Wesley 34, Johns Hopkins 28
Consensus: We’re pretty sure the Blue Jays are going to score 28. We just have to see them get over the Wesley hump before we pick it.

UW-OSHKOSH QUADRANT
Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 44, Ohio Northern 17
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 38, Ohio Northern 14
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 34, Ohio Northern 20
Consensus: The Polar Bears were the stars of Round 1. We don’t see the Titans starring in the ONU season highlights video.

Keith’s take: UW-Whitewater 21, Wheaton 20
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 35, Wheaton 20
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 20, Wheaton 17
Consensus: Two of us see Whitewater prevailing, but barely. Clearly we wouldn’t be stunned by a Thunder victory, either.

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 Round 1.