We’re on the downhill slope now to Selection Sunday. Six weeks down, and five weeks left, with lots of questions to be answered. We’ll try to answer part of one-fifth of those questions here with our Quick Hits crew.
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 Dave McHugh, the host of Hoopsville over at D3hoops.com. He typically pays enough attention to football to not pick Calvin, Connecticut College or either Centenary.
— Pat Coleman
What’s the Week 7 game of the week?
Keith’s take: No. 3 UW-Oshkosh at No. 9 UW-Platteville. With Wheaton’s struggles taking the luster off the Little Brass Bell clash, no game is even close.
Ryan’s take: No. 3 UW-Oshkosh at No. 9 UW-Platteville. Since 2013, the Pioneers have narrowly missed the postseason more than once. Here’s their 2017 chance.
Pat’s take: No. 3 UW-Oshkosh at No. 9 UW-Platteville. I mean, God forbid I suggest another game is worth paying attention to.
Adam’s take: No. 3 UW-Oshkosh at No. 9 UW-Platteville. Here’s the Pioneers’ real chance to silence the doubters.
Frank’s take: No. 25 Springfield at Merchant Marine. This is a test for the Pride in a must-win for Pool B/C playoff consideration.
Dave’s take: No. 3 UW-Oshkosh at No. 9 UW-Platteville. Unfortunately, it has been awhile since these two have played as intriguing a matchup in basketball.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 19 Berry. The Vikings have had Hendrix’s number. The 5-1 Warriors will need a big game from its 194th-best defense.
Ryan’s take: No. 17 Alfred. Opponent Cortland is a two-loss team and will be fighting to stay in E8 playoff discussion.
Pat’s take: No. 19 Berry. From just outside the rankings, to top 20, to playing the other team with playoff experience.
Adam’s take: No. 17 Alfred at Cortland. But honestly it feels more like a “Pat’s special” week, aka no upsets.
Frank’s take: No. 4 North Central. After a hellacious couple of weeks, Wheaton has a chance to turn the season back around here with nothing left to lose.
Dave’s take: No. 4 North Central. I am not one to think Wheaton is down and out. I suspect the Cardinals get tripped up by the Thunder, who right the ship after a few distraction-filled weeks.
Which team is probably safe to focus more on next week?
Keith’s take: No. 18 Frostburg State. William Paterson has just three touchdowns in five games and field the nation’s least-successful offense.
Ryan’s take: No. 12 Wittenberg. Allegheny is improved, but a win should be easy, and Witt should be more worried about DePauw on the horizon.
Pat’s take: No. 7 Linfield. Lewis & Clark is improved, but if the Wildcats were prepping for George Fox this week, I don’t think it’ll be an issue.
Adam’s take: No. 18 Frostburg State (at William Paterson). Coaches gonna hate you for this one, Pat. will bounce back in time for Montclair State on Oct. 21.
Frank’s take: No. 14 Wesley (vs. Kean). Rowan should put up a better fight against Wesley next week.
Dave’s take: I can only pick one? Ok. I’ll go with Mount Union. Nothing against Capital, but I just don’t see the Raiders being challenged. Sorry Crusaders..
Which early-season surprise team will get some reality?
Keith’s take: DePauw, with a 5-0 start and lofty defensive stats game against average-at-best teams. After Witt, Wabash losses, Denison set to bust out.
Ryan’s take: UW-La Crosse. Is this the easy pick with Whitewater on the other sideline?
Pat’s take: Williams. Because, on the other side, there’s Middlebury, and Williams sweeping C-B-B is less impressive.
Adam’s take: Ursinus. Bears will drop second straight, at Susquehanna, putting JHU back in the Centennial driver’s seat just two weeks after being upset.
Frank’s take: Plymouth State. Quron Wright & Co. for Framingham State will take a huge step toward winning the MASCAC at one-loss PSU’s expense.
Dave’s take: UW-La Crosse. Undefeated and probably looking at Whitewater and thinking the scary monster isn’t that scary. I think Whitewater is still very scary.
Who will get their first win this weekend?
Keith’s take: Kenyon. The 0-5 Lords were thwarted by a late Ohio Wesleyan score last week, and host 1-4 Hiram this week.
Ryan’s take: Hamilton. Against winless Bowdoin in a conference with lots of disparity.
Pat’s take: FInlandia. Utterly devoid of games which count, the Lions have a home-and-home remaining with Trinity Bible and that’s it for 2017.
Adam’s take: Hamilton. The 0-4 NESCAC team faces 0-4 Bowdoin. I’m rolling with the Continentals.
Frank’s take: Kenyon. With Hiram at one win, this is probably Kenyon’s best chance for a 2017 win.
Dave’s take: Hamilton. I have no choice. It is my maternal family’s “school” and my grandfather was a trustee. That trumps any Maine connections I have — sorry, Bowdoin.
Pick a game where the winner has the less fierce mascot.
Keith’s take: Guilford. Quakers’ record is deceiving because of two FCS losses. More-fierce Generals of W&L are six points from being unbeaten, though.
Ryan’s take: St. Scholastica Saints. The UMAC contender faces the Knights of Martin Luther.
Pat’s take: Carnegie Mellon (vs. Geneva). Tartans over Golden Wave. Water-logged swatches of material for the win.
Adam’s take: Redlands. The Bulldogs defeat the Chapman Panthers. Everyone gets treats for the short trip home
Frank’s take: Trinity (Conn.). The Bantams over the Tufts Jumbos. Chickens may be no match for elephants in nature, but this will be a plucking win for the Bantams.
Dave’s take: Otterbein (vs. Heidelberg). Nothing puts the fear in people than Cardinals playing Princes. This feels like a Medieval times or Dark Ages matchup where royalty and the church clashed.
We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the Quick Hits that were prescient, and the Quick Misses that were terribly off base.
Month No. 2, Week No. 5, and one big game right at the top of the Top 25 list to talk about this week. Our guest picker is Ray Biggs, who we think of more specifically as the managing editor of D3hockey.com, but whom also contributes to Kickoff on D3football.com and broadcasts Utica games on ESPN Utica Rome. (You’d have heard his voice twice this season already on Play of the Week highlights.) Westminster (Pa.) athletics photo by Jason Kapusta
— Pat Coleman
My Game of the Week for Week 5 is …
Keith’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater at No. 8 Platteville. Nowhere else has greater implications, especially if the Pioneers, who have only given up one garbage-time TD, win.
Ryan’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater at No. 8 Platteville. There’s just no question about the magnitude of this one.
Pat’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater at No. 8 Platteville. Gonna be a few like this this season. Here’s the first of the showdowns.
Adam’s take: No. 16 Thomas More at Westminster (Pa.). The loser of Whitewater at Platteville still has a very good chance at the playoffs. If the host Titans upset the Saints, the PAC race goes into disarray.
Frank’s take: No. 22 CNU at Rowan. This game could have major Pool C implications and help determine what path Wesley might have to make the playoffs.
Ray’s take: Cortland at Hartwick. Cortland’s offense should get back on track against a porous defense in a must-win. Hartwick can score like crazy.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 24 Central. Dubuque winning wouldn’t really be an upset, but Pat’s questions took up all the other possibilities.
Ryan’s take: No. 24 Central. The risk is always there when your opponent is 4-0.
Pat’s take: No. 24 Central. Barely an upset, but by the rankings, yes.
Adam’s take: No. 24 Central. Dubuque believes it should be in the Top 25 and will state its case with a road win.
Frank’s take: No. 16 Thomas More. Westminster (Pa.) has given up 16 points in three games, and hosts an inconsistent Thomas More team.
Ray’s take: No. 21 Hobart. Hobart has fought a bit against the run. They take on D3’s top rushing team, Merchant Marine.
Who gets a first dose of reality?
Keith’s take: Westminster (Pa.). This was one of the possibilities, but No. 16 Thomas More scored the first 45 points in their matchup last season.
Ryan’s take: St. Vincent. Though winning, they have’t been winning by enough to show they’re at Case’s level.
Pat’s take: Centre. Off to a great start at 4-0, the Colonels are heading to Hendrix, where the competition moves up a notch.
Adam’s take: St. Vincent. The 4-0 Bearcats have already equaled its 2014 and 2015 win totals. Case Western Reserve will remind St. Vincent what defeat feels like.
Frank’s take: Central. Central isn’t on my ballot yet; I’m waiting for this game vs. Dubuque to help me figure the Dutch out.
Ray’s take: Thomas More. (Call it a second dose.) Westminster (Pa.) should worry the Saints. The Titans play great defense, and keep drives alive on third down.
Which once-competitive rivalry goes off the rails?
Keith’s take: St. John’s at Bethel. Other possibilities include Trinity at Williams, Widener at Lycoming and Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater.
Ryan’s take: F&M at Dickinson. It’s likely F&M will win the Conestoga Wagon Trophy in a landslide.
Pat’s take: Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater. Once upon a time, this game was the centerpiece for the ODAC season. Now they’re a combined 1-5.
Adam’s take: F&M-Dickinson. F&M is eager for revenge after Dickinson won the Conestoga Wagon Trophy the past two seasons.
Frank’s take: Whitewater at Platteville. Something tells me the Warhawks are out to prove something this season, and Saturday’s game could be lopsided.
Ray’s take: RPI and Rochester. They’ve had some great battles recently, but this may be the year RPI runs away with one.
Which fading rivalry gets new life?
Keith’s take: Wartburg at Coe. The Kohawks are 4-0, and the Knights have only beaten D-III noobs.
Ryan’s take: CNU at Rowan. Few probably remember these two teams playing six years straight when CNU was in its infancy and Rowan was the Beast of the East.
Pat’s take: Rhodes at Sewanee. Rhodes has won this rivalry game nine times in the past 10 meetings, but this could be a year Sewanee gets one.
Adam’s take: Ohio Wesleyan and Denison. They are fierce rivals — in lacrosse, where both are usually ranked. The rivalry is not at the same level in football but OWU would love to hand the Big Red their first loss.
Frank’s take: Widener at Lycoming. This game doesn’t have the excitement that it used to, but both desperately need a win. Expect a shootout.
Ray’s take: McDaniel-Gettysburg. With McDaniel posting a win, and Gettysburg off to a tough start, this could be the best edition since a one-score game in 2011.
Who makes this week’s NJAC statement?
Keith’s take: Rowan. It promises to be a sloppy game in Glassboro, but that might suit the Profs fine vs. CNU.
Ryan’s take: Frostburg State. A loss here sends them and their record toward the wrong side of the NJAC tracks.
Pat’s take: Kean. I see the Cougars extending their win streak to four on Saturday vs. Frostburg.
Adam’s take: CNU. A convincing win at Rowan will prove that CNU belongs in the, uh, captain’s seat in the NJAC.
Frank’s take: Wesley. The statement will be the way they win at Southern Virginia, as they remind us they aren’t dead yet in the NJAC chase.
Ray’s take: CNU. Again. They’ve posted wins over two traditionally strong programs, but both have been slow out of the gate. Rowan presents another test.
We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks that were prescient, and those that were terribly off base.
Let’s see — the No. 1 Division III team beat the NAIA’s No. 1 team, SportsCenter spent significant time on two Division III campuses and we had a great, gutsy schedule of a non-conference game turn into a fantastic contest that was worth the price of admission. We look at those stories, plus, which are the teams on the rise? What key highlights happened below the radar? Pat and Keith answer those questions, plus 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.
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