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Quick Hits: Who will clinch

This weekend is all about who will clinch automatic bids, on top of all the things that typically go on in a Division III football weekend. Our Quick Hits crew predicts clinchers, Top 25 upsets, conference upsets and teams that will go into the offseason on a high note. 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 Patrick Bohn, an Ithaca grad who posts as Bomber798891 on D3boards.com.

— Pat Coleman

What’s Week 10’s Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. Route 13 Rivalry pits two of NJAC’s three 7-1 teams, which gives it conference title and playoff implications.
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Ryan’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. The Route 13 Rivalry is rarely one to disappoint. Honorable mention: WNE at Curry.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Alfred at No. 10 Brockport. I think this game will be telling about the shift in the balance of the force in the E8.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Union vs. Ithaca. Two first-year head coaches shaking up the Liberty League and two teams with plenty to play for.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. A Wesley win gives Wolverines NJAC. A Salisbury win could take NJAC out of Pool C contention.
Guest
Patrick’s take: No. 25 Salisbury at No. 13 Wesley. These two teams have played (mostly) competitive games over the past few years, and both bring stout defenses to the table.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 16 Case Western Reserve. Westminster (Pa.) has six- and one-point losses to 8-0 teams. CWRU loss would help Pool C hopefuls.
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Ryan’s take: No. 21 George Fox. If Pacific Lutheran’s performance against Linfield last week is any indication.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 20 UW-Plattevile. Because Keith will want me to pick someone, even though this would hardly be an upset.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 16 Case Western Reserve. Westminster (Pa.) is the most underrated two-loss team in the country, losing by a total of seven to unbeatens  Wittenberg and Washington & Jefferson.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 21 George Fox. Last week was a reminder that Pacific Lutheran is still a threat. They finish the deal this week.
Guest
Patrick’s take: No. 9 North Central. Carthage nearly pulled off the upset at Illinois Wesleyan, so the Cardinals should be on the lookout.

Name a team outside the Top 25 which will clinch a bid this weekend.

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Keith’s take: Huntingdon (vs. Methodist). Since a Week 1 loss to Guilford, USAC’s Hawks have averaged 37.4 points per game.
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Ryan’s take: Lakeland. The Muskies hold the tiebreaker over the two teams with one NACC loss.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Trine. For that to happen this weekend, Trine must beat Alma and another game must go Trine’s way.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Huntingdon. The Hawks will clinch the USA South, and will be a popular Quick Hit pick for the second straight week.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Husson (vs. Alfred State). One of the bigger geography challenges for the NCAA selection committee will be back once again in the Pool of 32.
Guest
Patrick’s take: Franklin. The Grizzlies should light up the scoreboard against Anderson and easily clinch the HCAC auto-bid.

How many points will be scored, total, in the Montclair State-Rowan game?

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Keith’s take: 24.
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Ryan’s take: 31. A trick question since these two teams have played the best in the NJAC in recent outings, and the scoreboard reflected that.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: 22. Only because to say “3” seems harsh.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: 29. More than the 27 total that the Profs have scored during their five-game losing streak.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: 17.
Guest
Patrick’s take: 25. Both teams have good kickers, so I’m betting on six field goals and one touchdown.

What team will end the season this week on a high note?

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Keith’s take: Thomas More. Saints get win No. 6 against Thiel, but last season in the PAC a disappointment.
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Ryan’s take: Mount St. Joseph. Sure, last year’s game vs. Defiance came down to the wire, but recent history is on the Lions’ side.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Simpson. A win vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, makes the Storm 6-4, three games better than 2016. (Plus they won’t help IWU’s and Concordia’s SOS.)
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Thomas More. The Saints will win their fifth in a row, finish above .500 for the tenth straight season, and send retiring coach Regis Scafe off with a victory.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Mount St. Joseph. After combining with Franklin to score 105 points in a loss last week, the Lions roar at home to close out their season.
Guest
Patrick’s take: Northwestern. The Eagles’ season may have been a disappointment, but they’ll head into the offseason — and send fans home happy — on a four-game winning streak with a win over Crown.

Pick a winner in a conference upset outside the Top 25.

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Keith’s take: Ithaca, vs. Union. The Bombers’ 5-3 mark has come against tougher opposition (.559 to .521 SoS) than the Dutchmen’s 7-1, and it will show.
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Ryan’s take: MacMurray over St. Scholastica. No doubt Eureka is rooting for this outcome.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Adrian over Olivet. This is that other result Trine needs to clinch the MIAA this week. Adrian is a misleading 3-5.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Stags might steal a win from Chapman, but the Panthers already have  the conference title and playoff berth.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Martin Luther. After a win that looked to potentially seal the UMAC for Eureka last week, the Knights have a chance to catch the Red Devils napping.
Guest
Patrick’s take: Utica. A tough Pioneers defense catches Cortland — who were stunned by St. John Fisher last week — looking ahead to Cortaca.

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.

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ATN Podcast: A great week in Division III!

We had a game with 17,000-plus fans, a top five team save its bacon in the final seconds, and just a ton of great finishes all around the nation this week. In fact, it’s pretty clear we can consider this the best week so far of the Division III football season. So Pat and Keith take some time to go through all of it — not just Whitewater-Oshkosh, but as many of those great finishes as we can find. But Keith starts this podcast on the sidelines after getting flagged for premature tweeting …

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. 
Photo by Daryl Tessmann, d3photography.com
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

ATN Podcast: Welcome back!

Chris Denton
Chris Denton was the Purple Raiders’ top receiver and returned two punts for touchdowns.
Photo by Dan Poel for d3photography.com

It was a long, strange trip. But when you see four games, you are bound to see a good one, and that’s what happened when Pat Coleman (and his 10-year-old son) drove into Galesburg, Ill., where Eureka quarterback Sam Durley was about to have the game of his life.

You see, you never know what you’re going to get when you roll into town for a game in Division III. There are so many schools and rivalries and storylines that you could end up seeing something truly memorable, like a last-second win, a surprise upset or a great individual performance.

Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan discuss in this week’s Around the Nation podcast.

Plus, they talk about the teams who got their 2012 off to a good start by ending long losing streaks, look at UW-Whitewater’s opening game, as well as Mount Union’s, and the surprises put up by North Carolina Wesleyan, Buffalo State, Rowan, Norwich, Willamette … as was said, a very interesting week.

Press play below to listen or follow the download links included.

You should also be able to 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

Plus, here’s this week’s D3football.com reports.