We certainly spent some time talking about teams that have lost unexpectedly through the first two weeks: UW-Whitewater, St. Thomas, UW-Whitewater again, Thomas More to name a few. But in this week’s D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast, Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan turn their attention to the teams that won those surprise games, where they began the season, what we should have expected and how that expectation changes.
Pat and Keith run through all the top news, the hidden highlights, the risers and sliders, the quick hits and quick misses and more from the week in Division III football. Plus, Luke Ravenstahl is no longer mayor of Pittsburgh and Millikin last started 2-0 in 2012. If you listen to this week’s podcast, you’ll understand.
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. During the season, it hits your feed weekly on Monday morning. This week, we thank Fanraise for sponsoring our podcast.
Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.
Hard to start anywhere but with UW-Whitewater and Mount Union this week, as Whitewater comes away with a key win and the Purple Raiders looked a little shaky in their win vs. Ohio Northern. Plus we talk about a couple of key injuries, including two in the MIAC, we look at the big matchups in New Jersey and Iowa, hand out our game balls and more in this week’s 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.
Month No. 2, Week No. 5, and one big game right at the top of the Top 25 list to talk about this week. Our guest picker is Ray Biggs, who we think of more specifically as the managing editor of D3hockey.com, but whom also contributes to Kickoff on D3football.com and broadcasts Utica games on ESPN Utica Rome. (You’d have heard his voice twice this season already on Play of the Week highlights.) Westminster (Pa.) athletics photo by Jason Kapusta
— Pat Coleman
My Game of the Week for Week 5 is …
Keith’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater at No. 8 Platteville. Nowhere else has greater implications, especially if the Pioneers, who have only given up one garbage-time TD, win.
Ryan’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater at No. 8 Platteville. There’s just no question about the magnitude of this one.
Pat’s take: No. 2 UW-Whitewater at No. 8 Platteville. Gonna be a few like this this season. Here’s the first of the showdowns.
Adam’s take: No. 16 Thomas More at Westminster (Pa.). The loser of Whitewater at Platteville still has a very good chance at the playoffs. If the host Titans upset the Saints, the PAC race goes into disarray.
Frank’s take: No. 22 CNU at Rowan. This game could have major Pool C implications and help determine what path Wesley might have to make the playoffs.
Ray’s take: Cortland at Hartwick. Cortland’s offense should get back on track against a porous defense in a must-win. Hartwick can score like crazy.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 24 Central. Dubuque winning wouldn’t really be an upset, but Pat’s questions took up all the other possibilities.
Ryan’s take: No. 24 Central. The risk is always there when your opponent is 4-0.
Pat’s take: No. 24 Central. Barely an upset, but by the rankings, yes.
Adam’s take: No. 24 Central. Dubuque believes it should be in the Top 25 and will state its case with a road win.
Frank’s take: No. 16 Thomas More. Westminster (Pa.) has given up 16 points in three games, and hosts an inconsistent Thomas More team.
Ray’s take: No. 21 Hobart. Hobart has fought a bit against the run. They take on D3’s top rushing team, Merchant Marine.
Who gets a first dose of reality?
Keith’s take: Westminster (Pa.). This was one of the possibilities, but No. 16 Thomas More scored the first 45 points in their matchup last season.
Ryan’s take: St. Vincent. Though winning, they have’t been winning by enough to show they’re at Case’s level.
Pat’s take: Centre. Off to a great start at 4-0, the Colonels are heading to Hendrix, where the competition moves up a notch.
Adam’s take: St. Vincent. The 4-0 Bearcats have already equaled its 2014 and 2015 win totals. Case Western Reserve will remind St. Vincent what defeat feels like.
Frank’s take: Central. Central isn’t on my ballot yet; I’m waiting for this game vs. Dubuque to help me figure the Dutch out.
Ray’s take: Thomas More. (Call it a second dose.) Westminster (Pa.) should worry the Saints. The Titans play great defense, and keep drives alive on third down.
Which once-competitive rivalry goes off the rails?
Keith’s take: St. John’s at Bethel. Other possibilities include Trinity at Williams, Widener at Lycoming and Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater.
Ryan’s take: F&M at Dickinson. It’s likely F&M will win the Conestoga Wagon Trophy in a landslide.
Pat’s take: Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater. Once upon a time, this game was the centerpiece for the ODAC season. Now they’re a combined 1-5.
Adam’s take: F&M-Dickinson. F&M is eager for revenge after Dickinson won the Conestoga Wagon Trophy the past two seasons.
Frank’s take: Whitewater at Platteville. Something tells me the Warhawks are out to prove something this season, and Saturday’s game could be lopsided.
Ray’s take: RPI and Rochester. They’ve had some great battles recently, but this may be the year RPI runs away with one.
Which fading rivalry gets new life?
Keith’s take: Wartburg at Coe. The Kohawks are 4-0, and the Knights have only beaten D-III noobs.
Ryan’s take: CNU at Rowan. Few probably remember these two teams playing six years straight when CNU was in its infancy and Rowan was the Beast of the East.
Pat’s take: Rhodes at Sewanee. Rhodes has won this rivalry game nine times in the past 10 meetings, but this could be a year Sewanee gets one.
Adam’s take: Ohio Wesleyan and Denison. They are fierce rivals — in lacrosse, where both are usually ranked. The rivalry is not at the same level in football but OWU would love to hand the Big Red their first loss.
Frank’s take: Widener at Lycoming. This game doesn’t have the excitement that it used to, but both desperately need a win. Expect a shootout.
Ray’s take: McDaniel-Gettysburg. With McDaniel posting a win, and Gettysburg off to a tough start, this could be the best edition since a one-score game in 2011.
Who makes this week’s NJAC statement?
Keith’s take: Rowan. It promises to be a sloppy game in Glassboro, but that might suit the Profs fine vs. CNU.
Ryan’s take: Frostburg State. A loss here sends them and their record toward the wrong side of the NJAC tracks.
Pat’s take: Kean. I see the Cougars extending their win streak to four on Saturday vs. Frostburg.
Adam’s take: CNU. A convincing win at Rowan will prove that CNU belongs in the, uh, captain’s seat in the NJAC.
Frank’s take: Wesley. The statement will be the way they win at Southern Virginia, as they remind us they aren’t dead yet in the NJAC chase.
Ray’s take: CNU. Again. They’ve posted wins over two traditionally strong programs, but both have been slow out of the gate. Rowan presents another test.
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.