The Johnnie-Tommie game definitely fits the bill of someone taking down the big dog, and so does WashU’s win vs. Wheaton. Both get a good amount of discussion, especially with the state of the CCIW standings and the D3football.com Top 25. Why isn’t WashU ranked? You’ll hear some of that in this podcast.
Plus, a reader question prompts a discussion of what separates the power teams in Division III from everyone else. Is it geography? Is it coaching? What were the most surprising results in Week 7? When does a chain of results become useless for trying to make out your Top 25 ballot? Which team saved itself from being cooked this week? And when will Earlham win a game?
That and more in the latest 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.
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Photo: At two carries for minus-1 yard, Jaelin Goldsmith was Wheaton’s second-leading ballcarrier on Sunday at Washington U. (Photo by Linda Clement-Holmes Photography for Washington University athletics)
In addition to the big game between St. Thomas and St. John’s, there are lots of other key games, including one at the other end of the rankings. That’s where Earlham, which has lost 49 consecutive games, faces Anderson. A win will keep Earlham from grabbing a share of the record for the longest Division III football losing streak, ever.
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 James Baker, Frank Rossi’s co-host on In The Huddle. That’s the two of them staring at each other.
Photo: UW-Oshkosh Kyle Radavich stands in the pocket. (Photo by Daryl Tessmann, d3photography.com)
Which game is the Week 7 game of the week?
Keith’s take: The Tommie-Johnnie game. Next question.
Ryan’s take: Tommie-Johnnie game. Ranked teams. Fierce rivalry. Smothering defenses. The recent loss of a legend. MIAC title hopes. Sentence fragments.
Pat’s take: No. 3 St. Thomas at No. 8 St. John’s. The game of any week.
Adam’s take: Tommie-Johnnie. A battle of top ten teams that means even more in light of the great John Gagliardi’s passing.
Frank’s take: St. Thomas at St. John’s. When John passed away last weekend, it made this game even more special. The emotion here will be intense, leading to a back-and-forth affair.
James’ take: St. Thomas at St. John’s. With all due respect to No. 4 Brockport and Alfred, this is the easy pick, especially with the passing of legendary SJU coach John Gagliardi weighing heavily.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 13 UW-Oshkosh. UW-Platteville, which is one six-minute stretch vs. Thomas More from being unbeaten, is likely the better team.
Ryan’s take: No. 13 UW-Oshkosh. If not for a loss to Thomas More early in the season, Platteville would be ranked and this would seem even less of an upset.
Pat’s take: No. 23 Muhlenberg. If Thomas More could do it to Platteville, it could do the same in this game.
Adam’s take: No. 13 UW-Oshkosh. The Titans still have not discovered an offensive identity, and UW-Platteville can remain squarely in the WIAC title mix.
Frank’s take: No. 13 UW-Oshkosh. I just don’t see where the Titans are going to find the points to beat UW-Platteville. The better offense will win a close one here.
James’ take: No. 23 Muhlenberg. While I don’t want to root against the Mike Cragg coaching tree, Thomas More needs to win this game more than the Mules to stay in the hunt for a playoff bid.
Who bounces back from a noteworthy loss?
Keith’s take: No. 9 Hardin-Simmons. Shut out by UMHB, the Cowboys should go back to scoring 50-plus vs. Sul Ross State.
Ryan’s take: George Fox. Fell to ranked Whitworth last week and is now hunting for its first conference win (as is opponent Willamette).
Pat’s take: Chapman. The Panthers should find Occidental a different challenge than Redlands was.
Adam’s take: Hardin-Simmons. The Cowboys should avenge last week’s rare shutout by bouncing back with a vengeance against winless Sul Ross State.
Frank’s take: Ithaca. The Bombers have a tremendous defense that can tame Union’s offense enough to allow Ithaca to sneak out with a win in essentially an elimination game.
James’ take: No. 7 Wesley.The Wolverines will take out their frustrations over losing by one point to Frostburg State with a methodical thumping of 1-4 Kean, who’s been outscored 117-25 this season.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Montclair State at Salisbury. I might be overhyping this, but I’m curious if either 5-0 NJAC team can push Wesley or Frostburg State.
Ryan’s take: Simpson at Central. Not far from the beaten path since both are undefeated in conference play, but I’ve been itching to see someone really stand out in ARC action.
Pat’s take: Hartwick at St. John Fisher. Sounds random, but tune into the podcast to find out why.
Adam’s take: Averett at N.C. Wesleyan. The Cougars last shared a conference title in 2006. The Battling Bishops won the USA South in 2009 and shared the title in 2010.
Frank’s take: Endicott at UNE. After their first program victory against Curry, the Nor’easters have a chance to create chaos in the CCC if they can play well again on their blue turf.
James’ take: Ithaca vs. Union. In what amounts to a playoff-elimination game for both teams, Liberty League preseason favorite Ithaca needs to win out and RPI to lose to have any shot.
Six NACC teams are 1-4 overall. Which ones will move to 2-4?
Keith’s take: Lakeland and Benedictine.
Ryan’s take: Lakeland and Wisconsin Lutheran. The Muskies have faced some good nonconference teams, which helps in NACC play, and the Warriors is where my gut’s at.
Pat’s take: Lakeland and Benedictine. Lakeland over Rockford, Benedictine over Wisconsin Lutheran.
Adam’s take: Lakeland. The Muskies have a recent winning pedigree, while the Regents have not posted a winning season since joining the NACC.
Frank’s take: Benedictine and Lakeland.
James’ take: Benedictine and Rockford.
Does Earlham get off the schneid this week?
Keith’s take: No. I said they would not in the podcast, so I’m obligated to stick with Anderson here.
Ryan’s take: No. The Quakers haven’t yet figured out how to keep a game close let alone win one.
Pat’s take: Reply hazy, try again. Seems unlikely, unfortunately. And Macalester fans seem to enjoy holding the record for longest losing streak, too.
Adam’s take: No. The Quakers’ best chance will come on Nov. 3 against Defiance, after the record for futility has been broken.
Frank’s take: No. There really is a difference between being outscored 341-39 (Earlham) vs. 209-72 (Anderson).
James’ take: Nope. Sorry, Quakers.
We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Fridays, where Pat and Keith review the Quick Hits that were prescient, and the Quick Misses that were terribly off base.
This weekend’s key games include one game for first place, and a bunch of games that could help determine who remains in the playoff hunt. And now, heading into Week 7, there’s just enough reason to begin to really talk about the playoffs. If you’re new to playoff consideration, we’ll give you a quick rundown of how the NCAA calculates and tabulates strength of schedule and where you can find the latest numbers.
This weekend we have the Tommie-Johnnie game, plus a key game in the WIAC and tough tests for playoff contenders in the Empire 8, OAC, MAC and for the one Centennial team which plays this week. Our guest on this week’s podcast is Redlands coach Mike Maynard, plus Pat and Keith and company preview the big games in Week 7.
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.