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Around the Nation Podcast 208: Going for 2

We love a gutsy call. Sure, our job isn’t being put on the line when a coach makes the decision to go for two at the end of a key game, but this is Division III — the coach’s job isn’t really on the line on one play call. We love a little gamble, especially when it pays off. Whether you call a Philly Special (or something that looks similar but fools the broadcaster) or something else, rolling the dice and getting it makes for a great highlight. So, for Marietta and Simpson, which chose to go for two, or Wittenberg, which had no choice, it was a big Week 5, and Pat and Keith honor that by going for two with the D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast.

Plus, the Little Brass Bell went back home with the team it came with, nobody was trapping Mary Hardin-Baylor or Hardin-Simmons, UW-Whitewater wore UW-La Crosse out and just maybe The Streak is in play this year. Teams mentioned: Denison, Wittenberg, Simpson, Wartburg, Marietta, Ohio Northern, Wheaton, North Central, Hardin-Simmons, Mary Hardin-Baylor, UW-La Crosse, UW-Whitewater, Linfield, Whitworth, Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall, St. Thomas, Concordia-Moorhead, Case Western Reserve, Illinois Wesleyan, Susquehanna, Dickinson, Greenville, Westminster (Mo.), Dubuque, Loras, Wisconsin Lutheran, Rockford, Methodist, Huntingdon, Wesley, Southern Virginia, Martin Luther, St. Scholastica, Brockport, St. John Fisher, Worcester State, Fitchburg State, Louisiana College, Sul Ross State, Millsaps, Husson, SUNY-Maritime, FDU-Florham, Misericordia, Dean, Finlandia, Olivet, Moravian, Gettysburg.

That and more on the D3football.com Around the Nation 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.
Full episode: 

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

Photo: Video frame grab of Simpson’s two-point conversion to win the game. Note that this frame isn’t intended to try to show whether he got a foot down inbounds, but to show that the line judge is in a better position to make the call than any of us are.

Purchase Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL from Amazon (and D3football.com gets a buck or so in the process).

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Quick Hits: For Duke

While we’re thinking with heavy hearts about the late Mike Donnelly and the Muhlenberg football program, we also have attention to give to the full slate of Week 6 games, including one particular game taking place in Abilene, Texas. Yes, of course we’re talking about the ballyhooed McMurry-Belhaven game. No, wait, the other one. 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 Logan Hansen, who you may have seen on Twitter as @LogHanRatings. His computer ratings system ranks D-III teams and predicts outcomes of games. And this week there are some games.

 — Pat Coleman (photo by Andrew Zavoina, d3photography.com)

Which will be the Week 6 Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. Two top-five teams; I’ll be stunned if this isn’t unanimous.
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Ryan’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. It’s hard not to spotlight this matchup — rankings, history, ASC title hopes all come to a head here.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 10 Delaware Valley at Albright. If you need counterprogramming: People presume much greatness for Del Val and have been waiting on Albright.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Surprised this didn’t come with a caveat. A great slate of games highlighted by No. 1 vs. No. 5. I’ll go with No. 19 Wesley at No. 11 Frostburg State.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 1 UMHB at No. 5 HSU. I called it my “Game of the Year” in Kickoff, and with an interesting at-large scenario in Pools B & C, this game matters A LOT.
Guest
Logan’s take: No. 16 W&J at Carnegie Mellon. Both are undefeated, and are front-runners in the PAC with CWRU & Westminster. UMHB/HSU is too obvious.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. The rush to bury UW-Whitewater might have been premature.
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Ryan’s take: No. 16 Washington & Jefferson. Despite being 5-0, Carnegie Mellon isn’t on enough radars yet and has a chance to really make an impact.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. After we (I) sounded the end of the UWW dynasty, now they finally have a home game and a chance to start salvaging the season.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 16 Washington & Jefferson. Again, I see a lot of great choices here.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 11 Frostburg State. No. 19 Wesley got a wake-up call when Del Val beat them, and Frostburg struggled against CNU (and even vs. Rowan a bit).
Guest
Logan’s take: No. 23 UW-Stout. Despite their struggles, my model still thinks UW-Whitewater is a 13-point favorite at home (which might be a bit too high).

Who will win the four games between ranked teams?

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Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Frostburg State.
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Ryan’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor, Mount Union, Concordia-Moorhead, Frostburg State.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Frostburg State.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Wesley.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Wesley.
Guest
Logan’s take: UMHB, Mount Union, St. Thomas, Wesley.

Pick an unranked team which will get its first loss this weekend.

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Keith’s take: Carnegie Mellon. 5-0 Tartans slightly better on D, but on O, W&J averages 532 ypg to C-M’s 370.
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Ryan’s take: SUNY-Maritime. There’s no doubt Husson has its sights set on a playoff bid this fall, and Maritime is an immediate threat.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: SUNY-Maritime. This time I am picking the Privateers on a week in which they actually are scheduled to play.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Franklin & Marshall. I can’t see Johns Hopkins losing two Centennial games in a row.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Albright. The Lions have been living dangerously, and Del Val has bounced back from its Wilkes struggle.
Guest
Logan’s take: Albright. They have four wins by four points or less, and Del Val is the best team on their entire schedule.

Pick a team to win in a conference you’ve never seen play.

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Keith’s take: Olivet over Kalamazoo. Seen members of every current conference live but MIAA, and have been to both these campuses..
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Ryan’s take: Hobart, over RPI. Both are coming off of tough losses and are looking for conference win No. 1.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: MIT. (vs. Maine Maritime). I’ve seen members of the NEWMAC in their previous conferences, but haven’t seen them under the NEWMAC banner.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Lake Forest, over Knox. I’ve never seen an MWC game, but really enjoyed my conversations with both of these head coaches.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. (vs. Occidental in the SCIAC). I still think Oxy players deserve kudos for playing despite the odds they’re facing. But the Stags will pull this out.
Guest
Logan’s take: Methodist over Greensboro (USAC). I didn’t realize how many games I’ve watched from random conferences until this question.

Pick a member of the Mike Donnelly coaching tree whose team will win this weekend.

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Keith’s take: Jeff Knarr at King’s (vs. Misericordia). Bolder picks: John Troxell’s F&M over JHU, or Muhlenberg itself over Ursinus.
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Ryan’s take: Jeff Knarr of King’s. His 2-3 squad lines up against 1-4 Misericordia. Not so much a battle of giants as a battle for pride.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Tom Perkovich. I expect his Susquehanna River Hawks will be able to handle Moravian.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Jeff Knarr’s of King’s. His squad picks up the win at Misericordia.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Dan Puckhaber of St. Lawrence (vs. Union). You were a class act on and off the field, Mike. Rest In Peace, and prayers to his family, friends, and players.
Guest
Logan’s take: Tom Perkovich. Moravian’s ground game could keep it close, but their defense won’t stop Susquehanna’s O.

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: Conference leaders changing hands

It was another really interesting week in Division III football, with four teams dropping out of the Top 25, two of them plummeting. Similarly, in a handful of conferences, the first-place team and the highest-ranked team in our poll changed over based on Saturday’s results. Pat and Keith break down where things changed in the Empire 8, the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the North Coast Athletic Conference based on Saturday’s games, plus talk to two coaches whose teams have made big turnarounds and much more.

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. 
Utica 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