Alright, so last week the crew — mostly Keith McMillan — was unimpressed with the questions provided. Perhaps they’ll learn to be glad for what they have, because this week requires them to know some stuff about how some schools operate. Or to take the easy way out and just pick schools with “Catholic” and “Lutheran” in their names. Our regular crew is Keith, 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, who can be seen at @catdomealumni on Twitter.
— Pat Coleman
Which game will be the game of the week?
Keith’s take: Westminster at No. 15 W&J. The latter doesn’t play Case, but the Titans do, and could stand in way of both PAC 10-0’s en route to AQ.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 George Fox at No. 7 Linfield. There’s probably no team in the nation I’m more curious about than the Bruins.
Pat’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at No. 25 DePauw. It has been so, so long since Witt opened the season with Westminster (Pa.), aka its last competitive contest.
Adam’s take: No. 19 George Fox at No. 7 Linfield. This would be a program-defining victory for the Bruins.
Frank’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at No. 25 DePauw. With the Wabash loss last week, this game takes on extra meaning for NCAC leadership and the playoffs.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 George Fox at No. 7 Linfield. Control of the NWC is on the line. I didn’t even know there were other football games this weekend.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan. Carthage is 4th nationally in total D, 2nd in turnovers. Titans are 8th scoring D, 3rd rush D.
Ryan’s take: No. 15 Washington and Jefferson. Westminster (Pa.) is on a roll, so give them credit for having a shot.
Pat’s take: No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan. Going big or going home. Could make the case that IWU’s two big wins need asterisks.
Adam’s take: No. 12 Brockport (vs. Hartwick). The Hawks have three losses: by one, one, and four points. They also boast two of the nation’s top receivers.
Frank’s take: No. 15 Washington & Jefferson. W&J’s résumé isn’t as strong as it seemed earlier, while Westminster’s loss is by six to Wittenberg.
Ryan’s take: No. 20 Wartburg. Luther is undefeated on their new hideous blue turf and I hear that the Knights’ starting QB is deathly afraid of water.
In memory of our fallen (for now) Occidental Tigers, pick a Division III Tigers team to win on Saturday.
Keith’s take: There are seven choices. In No. 13 Wittenberg vs. No. 25 DePauw, I guarantee the Tigers win.
Ryan’s take: East Texas Baptist (vs. Louisiana College). They’ll be particularly eager to bounce back after last week’s upset.
Pat’s take: Iowa Wesleyan. In a week where there are two Tigers-Tigers clashes, I’m taking a non-obvious one.
Adam’s take: Trinity (Texas). But even if they lose, the Tigers (Sewanee) will win.
Frank’s take: Trinity (Texas). They’ll beat Sewanee in the Battle of the Tigers, reversing both teams’ Week 7 fortunes.
Ryan’s take: Bring back Dale Widolff! I’ll go with Hampden-Sydney knocking off those scoundrels from Washington & Lee.
Pick a former Mount Union regular-season non-conference opponent (1999 or later) to win a game on Saturday.
Keith’s take: Picking No. 3 UW-Oshkosh (2010-11) is too easy, so I’ll go Averett (2006-07) over NCWC, the Purple Raiders’ current non-con opponent.
Ryan’s take: Allegheny (2000-01), against Kenyon. The Gators continue to build on their best season since 2012.
Pat’s take: Allegheny (2000-01). The Gators’ rebuild continues with a home win vs. Kenyon.
Adam’s take: UW-Whitewater (2002-03) vs. UW-River Falls. Fun to remember that the Purple Powers rivalry began in the regular season back in 2002 and 2003.
Frank’s take: UW-Whitewater (2002-03). Once upon a time, this was a sure thing. This year, it’s a continuation of the Warhawks’ rebound.
Ryan’s take: Allegheny (2000-01). I didn’t even know Mount Union played a football game until the semifinals.
In this, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, pick an unranked Lutheran school team to win and an unranked Catholic school team to lose, or vice versa.
Keith’s take: Luther to win, Catholic to lose. No need to overthink. Luther could upset rival No. 20 Wartburg on the blue turf, while Catholic loses to No. 23 Springfield.
Ryan’s take: Cal Lutheran to win, Loras to lose. Cal Lutheran should be able to handle Whittier. And I think Coe will get the best of Loras.
Pat’s take: Anna Maria to win, Augsburg to lose. Anna Maria over Alfred State, Augsburg losing to Concordia-Moorhead.
Adam’s take: Pacific Lutheran to win, Catholic to lose. PLU over Willamette. I write Snap Judgments while y’all are at church on Sunday.
Frank’s take: Pacific Lutheran to win, Catholic to lose. Who the heck wrote these things?!
Ryan’s take: Pacific Lutheran to win, Catholic to lose. PLU to knock off a terrible Willamette team and Catholic (easiest one to find) to get smacked by Springfield.
St. John Fisher and Ithaca have had some epic battles in the past 20 years. Pick a meeting from the archives that this year’s game will most resemble.
Keith’s take: Fine, Pat, I’ll never insult your easy questions again. And the 2011 OT game.
Ryan’s take: The 2002 game. This game (30-20 Ithaca) ushered in competitiveness. Let’s hope 2017 isn’t ushering it out.
Pat’s take: The 2002 game. Ithaca beat St. John Fisher 30-20 and I think it’s Ithaca by more than one score.
Frank’s take: The 2003 game. Ithaca wins a thriller, 20-19. It set up Ithaca for a playoff run (lost to RPI in the quarterfinals). Fisher may be down, but the Cardinals are still a tough out.
Ryan’s take: The 2003 game. (Ithaca 20-19). I live in the Pacific Northwest so that’s like asking someone from East Jersey what fishing season is like on the Columbia River.
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.
Aside from “the Target Field game” there were another 99 games played on Saturday, and on top of that, there was all sorts of other news in the past week to cover. Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan talk about the situation at Wheaton, the mourning at Wooster, and the hope that Occidental will play Saturday before ever getting to the Heidelberg-John Carroll game or any of the other events from Saturday that took a back seat to the big spectacle.
It’s too early for this group to be peaking and on the way down, so we’ve exhorted our panel to continue to bring their best here in Week 8. Our guest this week is Derek Jones, who has called Rowan games on WGLS for more than a decade and not long ago became the station’s general manager.
— Pat Coleman
This week, which game?
Keith’s take: No. 11 Hardin-Simmons at No. 3 UMHB. Could make a case for games that will eliminate teams from playoff race, but I’d rather see if UMHB is No. 1-worthy.
Ryan’s take: No. 11 Hardin-Simmons at No. 3 UMHB. This is my favorite conference rivalry in the nation — and that’s been the case for more than a decade.
Pat’s take: No. 7 UW-Platteville at No. 5 UW-Oshkosh. I’m just going to play the full Midwesterner card here, plus note that the loser is in a world of hurt for playoffs.
Adam’s take: I want to see what No. 8 Linfield does in its second big test of the season. The Wildcats can prove something with a convincing win at 5-1 Whitworth.
Frank’s take: No. 25 Delaware Valley at No. 15 Stevenson. The Mustangs are one of three undefeated East teams left but DelVal is on a roll. Loser might be eliminated from playoffs.
Derek’s take: Rowan vs. Wesley. It’s a must win for Wesley with Salisbury looming in a few weeks. The door on the postseason may close if they can’t win. If Rowan prevails, it puts them a step closer to an NJAC title.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 16 St. Lawrence. This may be a reach, but all but one Merchant Marine game has been decided by 4 or fewer, and the Saints only give up 7 a game. In NYC rain, could get interesting.
Ryan’s take: No. 21 Rowan. Can we assume that Wesley has found it’s groove by now?
Pat’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater. Going up to the top for this one, at home to UW-Stevens Point. UWW has given up a ton of yards in recent weeks and needs to get healthy on defense. Soon.
Adam’s take: No. 21 Rowan, by Wesley. Despite two losses, the Wolverines are very much alive. To keep intact Wesley’s goal of extending its playoff streak to 12 years, this is a must-win.
Frank’s take: No. 16 St. Lawrence, at Merchant Marine. I picked it on “In the HuddLLe,” so I’ll stay with it here. With rain in the forecast, the triple-option will lead the Mariners to a major upset.
Guest’s take: No. 15 Stevenson. They’ve had a terrible time with Delaware Valley no matter where the game is. The Aggies responded well after the loss to Albright and need this one to keep their postseason hopes afloat.
Which game between ranked teams will be the closest?
Keith’s take: No. 25 Delaware Valley at No. 15 Stevenson. The Mustangs probably pull it out, but they have to work for it.
Ryan’s take: No. 7 UW-Platteville at No. 5 UW-Oshkosh. Fully expect this to be a one-score game.
Pat’s take: No. 25 Delaware Valley at No. 15 Stevenson. That should be a barn-burner, perhaps the best atmosphere for a game this week.
Adam’s take: No. 7 UW-Platteville at No. 5 UW-Oshkosh. Point differential against UWW and UWSP: Titans plus-7, Pioneers plus-10. Both teams narrowly lost to the Warhawks and defeated the Pointers.
Frank’s take: No. 7 UW-Platteville at No. 5 UW-Oshkosh. They played UW-Whitewater virtually evenly in narrow losses. It’s doubtful either pulls away here.
Guest’s take: No. 11 Hardin-Simmons at No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor. Both teams know how to score but the defenses will come to play.
Which team brings its ‘A’ game this weekend?
Keith’s take: Alma and their odd helmets continue the turnaround under Greg Pscodna vs. Albion, which is stunningly 0-6 after a nine-win season.
Ryan’s take: Adrian, over Kalamazoo. To stay in the hunt, the Bulldogs need to take care of business.
Pat’s take: Adrian, vs. Kalamazoo. The Bulldogs have to be smarting from their unexpected loss to Hope last week and will be bringing their ‘A’ game.
Adam’s take: Albright. After starting 0-2, the Lions can force a four-way tie atop the MAC if they can defeat Wilkes and No. 25 Delaware Valley knocks off No. 15 Stevenson.
Frank’s take: Albright, at Wilkes. The Lions will make it five straight wins after an 0-2 start, giving them slight hope in the MAC race.
Guest’s take: Averett, my father’s alma mater. They’ve scored 117 points in their last two games and play at Maryville on Saturday in a USAC battle.
There are 25 winless teams remaining. Pick one to win this week.
Keith’s take: Morrisville State. The Mustangs are gaining 400 yards a game, about 40% of it on the ground, but are giving up 39 points.
Ryan’s take: Morrisville State. Playing the E8 wild card here.
Pat’s take: Loras, at Simpson. The Duhawks have a disappointing record but have only been blown out once.
Adam’s take: Dickinson finds just enough offense to snap a nine-game losing streak. The Red Devils win on the road at McDaniel.
Frank’s take: Finlandia, vs. Maranatha Baptist. Time to give our independent teams some love. Finlandia beat them twice last year, so here’s to a three-peat.
Guest’s take: TCNJ. They allowed 116 points vs. Salisbury, Wesley, and Frostburg State. Granted, it’s at Montclair State but the low-scoring Red Hawks will feel like a vacation in comparison.
Rowan, Salisbury, Frostburg and CNU each enter the weekend with one loss. Which team(s) stay that way?
Keith’s take: The Maryland two. Rowan won’t score enough to beat Wesley, and I have to pick the Bobcats, even if out of totally transparent allegiance to the sleepers piece I wrote for Kickoff.
Ryan’s take: Salisbury and CNU. Both are ready to shake off their losses to Rowan.
Pat’s take: Salisbury and Frostburg. I like home field for Frostburg after a long drive for CNU, but that’s about the only factor I could use.
Adam’s take: The NJAC tie is down to three teams–Wesley, Salisbury, CNU–after this week.
Frank’s take: Salisbury and Frostburg. Rowan will struggle vs. Wesley. Frostburg will handle a struggling CNU offense. I can’t see Kean beating Salisbury, especially in rain.
Guest’s take: Rowan, Salisbury, and Frostburg. It will not be easy for Rowan or Frostburg but their defenses could carry them through tough opponents. If so, that sets up quite the battle next week when Rowan travels to Frostburg State.
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.