Lots of eyes on Iowa, where the first automatic bid of the season could be clinched, as well as on Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. But also, perhaps there’s something in Connecticut to note, or Oregon, or Washington (D.C., that is). 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 Doug Samuels. A former Division III football player at Defiance, Doug is currently a high school coach and is also content manager for FootballScoop.
— Pat Coleman
Which Week 9 game is the game of the week?
Keith’s take: Dubuque at No. 19 Wartburg. No no-brainer this week. Let’s see how Knights look vs. toughest opponent since the opener.
Ryan’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. Few young rivalries have this level of intensity to them.
Pat’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 9 UW-Platteville. La Crosse showed last week it has multiple capable QBs, much like UWP.
Adam’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. Doubtful the Tigers can repeat last week’s dominance, but another win could pretty much clinch the NCAC title..
Frank’s take: No. 14 Wesley at Montclair State. With the Salisbury showdown awaiting Wesley, this feels like a trap game. Not saying Wesley loses, but I think it could be closer than expected.
Doug’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. The Little Giants lost a close one in Week 7 and have a bad taste in their mouth with a change to get things back on track against a quality ranked Wittenberg team.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins. Blue Jays have hit their stride in October, but Muhlenberg is two three-point losses from being unbeaten.
Ryan’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins. The kicker being that they only made it back onto my ballot last week.
Pat’s take: No. 19 Wartburg. I’m basing this solely on the amount of talk from Dubuque players on Twitter after our preseason poll. Make the talk stand up.
Adam’s take: No. 19 Wartburg. Dubuque is very nearly 7-0 and the 5-2 Spartans should at least make a very close game of this.
Frank’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg. “The rumors of [Wabash’s] demise have been greatly exaggerated” — because “Wabash always fights.” I know… How cliché..,
Doug’s take: No. 9 UW-Platteville. Word is UW-La Crosse has their D-I transfer back at QB, and they’ve lost a few close ones. Think they break through this week.
Which team will hurt its regional ranking this week before we even get to see it?
Keith’s take: Lake Forest. Five of Foresters’ 7 wins vs. teams with two wins or fewer. Monmouth would be impressive; MWC won’t have two ranked.
Ryan’s take: Millikin. If Carthage can follow through with playing spoiler this time around.
Pat’s take: George Fox. And they won’t lose to Lewis & Clark — but their strength of schedule will go down.
Adam’s take: Franklin and Marshall. Diplomats are fighting for a 9-1 season and playoff bid, but faces a surprisingly 1-6 Moravian.
Frank’s take: Western Connecticut. Colonials might be ranked in the East at one loss — if they can beat Fitchburg. Inconsistent play suggests they might not before the big game at Framingham.
Doug’s take: If we never see their hypothetical rankings from this week, is it logical to suggest that no one’s ranking gets hurt?.
Which team bounces back after a tough loss?
Keith’s take: George Fox. After rainy, offensively challenged loss at Linfield, Bruins reawaken vs. a Lewis & Clark that’s lost three straight since 2-1 start.
Ryan’s take: Heidelberg. The Student Princes won’t be the head-scratchers they were last week.
Pat’s take: Catholic. After being thoroughly unable to stop Springfield, CUA gets Norwich at home.
Adam’s take: Heidelberg. The Student Princes took an unexpected beating last week, but will bounce back against Wilmington at home.
Frank’s take: George Fox. After a one-possession loss to the juggernaut known as Linfield, this game will be a walk in the park for the Bruins vs. Lewis & Clark.
Doug’s take: Hamline. After losing to St. Thomas 84-0, this week they get 3-5 Augsburg. Gotta think Hamline (2-5) is ready for a team they measure up with better.
Hartwick has the weekend off. So which team with Hawks in its name will score the most points?
Keith’s take: Huntingdon. Loras Duhawks (36.1 ppg) are highest-scoring ‘hawks, but Huntingdon faces 1-6 Greensboro, which allows 45.1 ppg.
Ryan’s take: Huntingdon. Opponent Greensboro gave up 59 last week, and that wasn’t even their biggest blowout this year.
Pat’s take: Huntingdon. Greensboro won’t put up too much of a fight, so it’ll be whatever the Hawks feel like scoring.
Adam’s take: Salve Regina. But the Seahawks might not score much against a stout Western New England defense.
Frank’s take: Huntingdon. They may play with Pride, but Greensboro has just one win as they prepare for a rested Huntingdon Hawks. This might get lopsided early.
Doug’s take: UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks will score the most AND – bonus info here – Montclair State (vs. Wesley) will score the LEAST.
Which game featuring a ranked team will be the closest?
Keith’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 9 UW-Platteville. Eagles have been competitive but are 0-2 in the meat of their schedule.
Ryan’s take: Wash U at No. 17 Case Western Reserve. The Bears have a lot of losses, but their competition has been fierce.
Pat’s take: No. 18 Berry at Birmingham-Southern. I should double down on my first pick but BSC has been playing tight games and Berry is defense-oriented.
Adam’s take: Elmhurst will push No. 12 Illinois Wesleyan to the brink. The CCIW is deep this year.
Frank’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins at Muhlenberg. I foresee a one-possession decision here in favor of JHU, but I expect it to be a great game between Centennial stalwarts.
Doug’s take: Dubuque at No. 19 Wartburg. Last year, Dubuque lost by eight. They’ll have some extra motivation to knock off the ranked Knights this year and I’m betting it’s close again.
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.
Psst … it’s possible to have a D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast without Keith McMillan, as long as we have someone from Around the Nation to fill in. So this month, while Keith is unavailable on assignment, Pat Coleman will be joined by current ATN columnist Adam Turer to fill the big shoes.
This month there are plenty of teams shuffling conferences to talk about, plus Adam reveals who will be his preseason No. 1 team and talks about his sleeper teams for 2017. We also talk with UW-Oshkosh running back Dylan Hecker about the way the Titans’ season ended, their interesting offseason and more, plus we check in with Norwich coach Mark Murnyack about the Cadets’ new conference and renewing some old rivalries.
The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and (usually) Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football. It drops monthly in the offseason and during the season, weekly on Monday morning.
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We’re right at the midpoint of the Division III football regular season. Or, if you’re Mount Union, you’re about done warming up. Five weeks before this one and five weeks after, and yes, then a five-week playoff, which some of the teams we mention this week will qualify for. (Perhaps UW-Oshkosh, with quarterback Brett Kasper above, photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com) This week’s guest is former Linfield defensive end Ryan Carlson, who runs Catdomealumni.com and does all the great video highlights from Linfield games.
— Pat Coleman
Which game is the game this week?
Keith’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. Two top-five teams and potentially key to a WIAC three-way tie.
Ryan’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. UW-W’s season is a bit front-loaded.
Pat’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. That’s why I’m going. Next question.
Adam’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. The Titans and Warhawks have split their past four meetings. This one is a toss up.
Frank’s take: No. 13 Salisbury at Rowan. No. 2 vs. No. 5 has two teams in the playoffs, win or lose. This game, though, could control an entire region’s Pool C hopes.
Ryan C’s take: Someone will get cute and NOT say Oshkosh at Whitewater but that’s like one of those stuffy baseball writers who didn’t vote for Ken Griffey Jr. as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Of course, it’s Oshkosh at Whitewater.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 12 Hardin-Simmons (at Louisiana College). Each team is scoring about 47 points per game.
Ryan’s take: No. 12 Hardin-Simmons, especially if they’re plagued by another tight first half.
Pat’s take: No. 14 St. John Fisher. Morrisville State is 0-4, but against four quality opponents. So, could happen.
Adam’s take: No. 22 Hobart. RPI has a chance, two weeks after losing by six to No. 21 St. Lawrence. There’s no dominant team in the Liberty League this year.
Frank’s take: No. 22. Hobart has yet to play four quarters of football the way the Statesmen should. RPI has been their spoiler before and looks to do it again at home.
Ryan C’s take: No. 13 Salisbury. The Sea Gulls have been on a roll in 2016 but they’re good to drop a few games a year and this matchup against Rowan is one of them.
It’s hump week in D-III: Who serves notice that they’re going to turn things around?
Keith’s take: Ohio Northern. Polar Bears, already playing their fourth road game, finally play to their preseason expectations at 3-1 Capital.
Ryan’s take: Albion. Winless in October is an unenviable place to be.
Pat’s take: Lycoming. Taking out frustrations at FDU-Florham. (Ignoring failure to do so at Misericordia.)
Adam’s take: Whichever SCAC team off to a very disappointing start wins the Trinity, Texas (2-2) at Texas Lutheran (0-4) game.
Frank’s take: Cortland (vs. Buffalo State). The defending E8 champs struggled to beat Hartwick’s marginal defense last week but finally seize momentum.
Ryan C’s take: Whitworth. They dropped that tight game vs Central and struggled to put away La Verne and George Fox. This week they tighten it up to set up the Linfield showdown.
Pick an upset winner in a conference ATN ranked in the 20s.
Keith’s take: Norwich, surprisingly 0-4, wins at 2-2 Becker by getting struggling offense on track in the No. 27 ECFC.
Ryan’s take: Western Connecticut over Mass. Maritime, two teams on opposite ends of the No. 23 MASCAC.
Pat’s take: RIpon over Lake Forest. This is in the No. 21 Midwest Conference.
Adam’s take: From the No. 25 NACC: Concordia (Wis.) knocks off Benedictine at home this week.
Frank’s take: Western Connecticut nearly beat other co-leader Bridgewater State last week. The Colonials haven’t maximized their offensive weapons.
Ryan C’s take: Occidental over CMS. CMS is flirting with the Top 25 while a Caltech ultimate frisbee team could put up 30 on Oxy. But Oxy and CMS have played tight game after tight game and the Tigers might just have it in them.
What’s your over-under on the Guilford/Hampden-Sydney game?
Keith’s take: 56. Guilford 42-14?
Ryan’s take: 68.
Pat’s take: 49.5. Still grass at Hampden-Sydney, right? That should be fun.
Adam’s take: 54.5. The Quakers have so far had little trouble reloading at QB and WR. Now, they must replace their RB, as De’Eric Bell is lost with a knee injury.
Frank’s take: 33. With rain in the forecast, I see this traditional track meet slowing down a bit. That said, I missed the last Over/Under by about 90 points.
Ryan C’s take: 43.5.
Pretend you have all day Saturday to watch four D-III games in sequence, live. Which four?
Keith’s take: Alfred State/Dean or Finlandia/Trinity Bible in the 12-2 window, then Oshkosh/Whitewater … just for the contrast. Hardin-Simmons at LC at 7, then Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Oxy.
Pat’s take: Springfield at Union. Since the triple-option game is fast, I sneak in UWO/UWW before Puget Sound-Whitworth, the Belhaven-Sul Ross track meet and Chapman-Whittier, since I’ll need to multi-task.
Adam’s take: I’m heading to DePauw at Wittenberg, then Pacific Lutheran at Willamette, Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Occidental.
Frank’s take: No. 22 Hobart at RPI, Brockport at Utica, No. 12 Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Occidental.
Ryan C’s take: Oshkosh at Whitewater, Linfield at Pacific, Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College, CMS at Occidental (and hit In-and-Out afterwards).
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.