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Quick Hits: Our second-round score picks

If the predictions hold, we are in for a great second round of games. The consensus of our group isn’t that any game will be out of hand. Both rematches should be closer than the first meeting, we think. A minority opinion, but still a present one, suggests the defending champion could lose this week, as well as the No. 1 team.

If any of this comes true, well, you saw it here first. And if something happens that isn’t represented here, then it’s a surprise.

You have predictions? Add them in the comments.

— Pat Coleman

Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Keith’s take:  UMHB 38, Linfield 31
Ryan’s take: UMHB 45, Linfield 33
Pat’s take: UMHB 34, Linfield 28
Adam’s take: UMHB 41, Linfield 38
Frank’s take: Linfield 31, UMHB 24
Josh’s take: UMHB 35, Linfield 27
Consensus: Definite hope for Linfield fans, even in the close margins on the other side.
Keith’s take: North Central 27, Wheaton 21
Ryan’s take: North Central 28, Wheaton 24
Pat’s take: North Central 31, Wheaton 27
Adam’s take: North Central 31, Wheaton 27
Frank’s take: North Central 30, Wheaton 27
Josh’s take: North Central 28, Wheaton 14
Consensus: Almost everyone thinks the rematch will be closer.
Alfred bracket
Keith’s take: Alfred 24, W. New England 17
Ryan’s take: Alfred 35, W. New England 21
Pat’s take: Alfred 29, W. New England 28
Adam’s take: Alfred 38, W. New England 21
Frank’s take: Alfred 34, W. New England 31
Josh’s take: Alfred 31, W. New England 28
Consensus: Bunch of close scores after Alfred’s first-round scare.
Keith’s take: Johns Hopkins 34, Mount Union 31
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 42, Johns Hopkins 17
Pat’s take: Mount Union 38, Johns Hopkins 35
Adam’s take: Johns Hopkins 40, Mount Union 38
Frank’s take: Mount Union 40, Johns Hopkins 24
Josh’s take: Mount Union 42, Johns Hopkins 28
Consensus: Not a straight sweep for Mount Union here.
St. Thomas bracket
Keith’s take:  St. Thomas 47, Coe 21
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 35, Coe 14
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 31, Coe 20
Adam’s take: St. Thomas 42, Coe 20
Frank’s take: St. Thomas 40, Coe 20
Josh’s take: St. Thomas 38, Coe 17
Consensus: This is the only game that the group all feels will be more than one score.
Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 45, St. John’s 28
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 24, St. John’s 17
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 30, St. John’s 21
Adam’s take: UW-Oshkosh 42, St. John’s 31
Frank’s take: UW-Oshkosh 24, St. John’s 14
Josh’s take: UW-Oshkosh 41, St. John’s 31
Consensus: Could be a low-scoring game. Could be a higher-scoring one.
UW-Whitewater bracket
Keith’s take: John Carroll 30, Wesley 20
Ryan’s take: John Carroll 33, Wesley 27
Pat’s take: Wesley 30, John Carroll 24
Adam’s take: John Carroll 35, Wesley 34
Frank’s take: Wesley 30, John Carroll 21
Josh’s take: Wesley 24, John Carroll 21
Consensus: Our most even split decision of the week, 3-3.
Keith’s take: UW-Whitewater 28, Wittenberg 13
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 34, Wittenberg 17
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 31, Wittenberg 27
Adam’s take: UW-Whitewater 28, Wittenberg 27
Frank’s take: UW-Whitewater 34, Wittenberg 17
Josh’s take: UW-Whitewater 31, Wittenberg 21
Consensus: UW-Whitewater sweeps the table, but with one one-point margin and a four-point margin.
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Quick Hits: Hard act to follow

Last week was such a great one in Division III that it might be hard to follow, but we will do our best, since there are quite a few great games and some really intriguing ones on tap. Our guest prognosticator this week is Mary Hardin-Baylor fan Chad Hammonds, someone who follows UMHB very closely and knows that in order to be a fan of a top team, you need to know a little bit about the rest of the country, since you could be playing them in Week 12, 13, 14, etc. (Photo by Joe Fusco, d3photography.com)

— Pat Coleman

Which game is your game that’s a must-watch this week?

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Keith’s take: No. 11 Wheaton at No. 6 North Central. Loser could make the playoffs, but within 500 miles of WIAC, MIAC and OAC, you want as high a seed as possible.
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Ryan’s take: No. 3 UMHB at No. 16 ETBU. One of these sets of initials will earn an exclamation point on the season.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 11 Wheaton at No. 6 North Central. You can almost never go wrong with this game — it’s a rivalry that has blown up in the past decade.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 11 Wheaton at No. 6 North Central. We’ll finally find out what kind of team the Thunder is.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 3 UMHB at No. 16 ETBU. ETBU needs to prove itself as better than the team that lost by 47 last year. Their playoff lives depend on it.
Guest
Chad’s take: No. 3 UMHB at No. 16 ETBU. Scotty Walden has the Tigers flying high. Can the Tigers take their outright conference hopes a step further, or will the Cru continue their dominance?

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 13 St. John Fisher or No. 23 Alfred. The two best teams in the Empire 8 face Utica and Cortland, respectively, and neither has been defensively smothering.
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Ryan’s take: No. 22 Hendrix. I’m not sure I’d put money on this happening, but Berry is as tough as they come in the SAA.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 21 Dubuque. A little far for me to drive this weekend but I will be paying attention to their game vs. Coe.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 21 Dubuque. Can Coe make it two wins in a row over ranked conference opponents?
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 13 St. John Fisher. Fisher’s defense has begun to struggle. This game will be a track meet on enemy turf — and Utica likes the spoiler role.
Guest
Chad’s take: No. 22 Hendrix. This game has playoff ramifications. Can the anchor of the DLine for Berry stop the dual threat of Winn and Millsap?

Predict the winner in a game between unbeaten conference opponents.

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Keith’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor beats East Texas Baptist. I wouldn’t be surprised if the teams combine for 80 or 90 points.
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Ryan’s take: Wittenberg over Denison. Next.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater over UW-La Crosse. It’s been a great start to the season for La Crosse, but they’re not ready to pick off the Warhawks.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 15 Wittenberg stays unbeaten by handing fellow NCAC unbeaten Denison its first loss of the season.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 6 North Central. I grabbed a coin. I flipped it. North Central was heads. Heads it was. This is a tremendous game with so much on the line.
Guest
Chad’s take: Besides the Cru, I have to go North Central over Wheaton. The home night game  in Naperville and the 28th defense will prove too much for the Thunder.

The Centennial Conference is back after its midseason break. Pick an upset.

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Keith’s take: I’ll take 0-5 Ursinus to win at Juniata. The Bears held one-touchdown leads with 7 and 4 minutes left in its past two games.
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Ryan’s take: Susquehanna over Moravian. Even 1-1 the last two games, the River Hawks have shown they’re trending upward.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Ursinus over Juniata. It does seem like Ursinus is playing better the past two weeks and if forced to pick an upset, this is the one.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Ursinus finally gets in the win column by knocking off Juniata.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: McDaniel (at Franklin & Marshall). McDaniel can put up points, making me believe they’re not a one-hit wonder. With a rested defense, F&M might struggle.
Guest
Chad’s take: Susquehanna over Moravian. The River Hawks were left with a sour taste in their mouth after that close loss two weeks ago. They’ll look to bounce back here.

Who bounces back from a noteworthy loss?

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Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh has to bounce back. UW-Stevens Point is 4-1 and trailed UW-Platteville by only four in the second half last week.
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Ryan’s take: Trinity (Texas). Southwestern won’t get a repeat of a conference win, at least not this week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: DePauw. Allegheny is improved but is still a cure for what ails you in the NCAC. Just need to show up to play after losing to Witt last week.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Concordia-Moorhead, which suffered a whirlwind of emotions. They have to move forward against a surprisingly 4-1 Hamline team.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: 25 Salisbury (at William Paterson). The NJAC woke up once Paterson beat Montclair. Salisbury knows another loss spells playoff doom. This won’t even be close.
Guest
Chad’s take: Oshkosh looks to prove that they deserve a second shot at UWW in the playoffs, and to do that, they must bounce back at Stevens Point.

Which of the 3 winless SCIAC teams finally gets a W?

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Keith’s take: Whittier can hardly score, and Occidental allows more than 30 per game. So that leaves La Verne, which looked bad in its past two but hung with Whitworth in Week 2.
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Ryan’s take: Occidental. Despite being winless, they’ve at least been putting points on the board.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Occidental. Once upon a time, picking Whittier over Pomona-Pitzer would have been a no-brainer, but Oxy-ULV is the only viable option here.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: If Occidental’s defense can step up, the Tigers have enough offense to get a win and keep defending conference champion La Verne winless through five games.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Occidental (at La Verne). So, I grabbed that coin again… And then, I looked at offensive output for both teams (since they’ve both faced routs) and gave the advantage to Oxy.
Guest
Chad’s take: Occidental. The Tigers will go into La Verne and pick up the much needed win.

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.

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ATN Podcast: Two results throw it wide open

Wesley and Hardin-Simmons could have made it easy on the committee and on all the bracketologists in Division III who are trying to figure out where they’ll go in the playoffs. Instead, Salisbury upset the Wolverines and East Texas Baptist knocked off the Cowboys. What are the ramifications? What do the at-large bids look like now? (A hint, they look awesome.) Plus, which are the teams on the rise in the playoff hunt? 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.

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