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Quick Hits Week 7: All eyes on Minnesota

This week our Quick Hits panel delivers takes on Johnnie-Tommie, of course, but also points out upsets brewing out east, undefeated runs coming to an end, and which teams are going to go home victorious for the first time this season.

Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas.

— Greg Thomas
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Which game is the Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: Johnnie-Tommie. I might have gotten it wrong on the pod, but I’m right here. Given the rankings and the atmosphere, don’t think you can go anywhere else for GOTW.
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Ryan’s take: The Johnnie-Tommie Game. As Pat would say … next question.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: The Johnnie-Tommie game. Not to go MIAC two weeks in a row, but to be honest, you have to.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Johnnie-Tommie. This should be unanimous. Next question.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 4 St. John’s vs. No. 11 St. Thomas. It’s a survival game for St. Thomas and a major rivalry game — you can’t ask for much more than that.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Johnnie-Tommie, yes. But also Hobart @ Ithaca, Middlebury @ Wesleyan, Wartburg @ Simpson, Delaware Valley @ Wilkes, and Alfred @ Cortland make for a nice undercard.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 9 Ithaca. The Bombers (5-0) would probably have to play their worst game of the season to lose to visiting Hobart (4-1), but I don’t like to cop out and say none for this question.
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Ryan’s take: No. 19 UW-Platteville. Opponent UW-Stout has been playing better than their record would show, and Platteville is coming off a difficult loss last week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 12 Salisbury. Rowan has played well against a tough schedule and Salisbury can’t possibly execute as well as it did against Wesley.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 22 Cortland. The Red Dragons have looked impressive, but against inferior competition. The first real test of the season comes in Week 7 against 5-1 Alfred. The Saxons are 4-1, coming off a bye week, and are faced with a must-win.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 22 Cortland (vs. Alfred). Alfred had a bye week in Week 6, while Cortland struggled with Morrisville St. With 21 sacks in five games, the Saxons’ defense needs to reach Cortland QB Brett Segala to win this.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 16 Delaware Valley. If there is a serious challenger in the MAC to the Aggies, it’s got to be the undefeated, home standing Wilkes Colonels.

Pick a winner from a game between unbeaten conference opponents.

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Keith’s take: I think Del Val handles Wilkes, which is 5-0 against a schedule that’s 6-16 in its other games, and ranked 209th by one metric and 230th by another.
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Ryan’s take: No. 22 Cortland, over Alfred. The Red Dragons’ margins of victory have been impressive all year, though this week starts the first game in a very tough back half of the season.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: St. Norbert, vs. Beloit. This might be the biggest gimme on the board.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Monmouth. The Scots haven’t lost an MWC South contest since 2014. After laboring through an unexpected bye week due to Grinnell cancelling its season, the Scots will take out their frustration on Illinois College.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Anna Maria (vs. Dean). This ECFC game could go a long way in deciding the conference winner, since there are just five league games per member. Anna Maria “rings the bell” in Paxton, Mass.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 18 Wartburg. I’m higher on the Knights than the Top 25 is overall and I expect they’ll be able to weather the Storm on Saturday.

Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?

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Keith’s take: Morrisville State at Utica: The Mustangs nearly knocked off Alfred and Cortland the past two weeks. They are going to catch someone napping.
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Ryan’s take: The middle of the NCAC. With 4-1 OWU squaring off against 3-2 DePauw, and 4-1 Denison against 3-2 Wooster, we’ll get a whole new (clearer?) picture of the conference after this weekend.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: The panel is pretty solid. But I know that if I don’t punch in the score of the Central-Buena Vista game, nobody else will either.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Misericordia at FDU-Florham. For the second straight season, the Cougars have opened conference play with a win streak. Impressive after the program failed to string together consecutive wins through its first six years. I’ll be keeping an eye on Misericordia as long as the streak is alive.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Springfield at Merchant Marine. The Mariners can’t get caught looking ahead to a potential NEWMAC undefeated showdown in Week 8 at WPI. Springfield needs to win the game to survive in the NEWMAC race.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Washington U. @ No. 5 Wheaton. Wheaton has a game in hand against their chief CCIW rivals, but the Bears can formally insert themselves into the CCIW race by duplicating their 2018 upset of the Thunder.

Pick one of the remaining 23 undefeated teams to drop their first game.

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Keith’s take: St. Olaf‘s schedule (8-17, 204th, 215th) is not much better than Wilkes’. Bethel gets it done.
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Ryan’s take: Wilkes, to Delaware Valley.  Though having a loss to a nationally ranked team, the Aggies are still likely to come out on top in the MAC in Week 11.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Picked one above and will add Wilkes to the list.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: St. Olaf. I discussed this deja vu in today’s podcast. For the second straight season, the Oles opened 5-0. They will likely once again suffer their first loss at the hands of the Royals. Winning just one of their final five contests will give the Oles their best season since 2012.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 4 St. John’s St. John’s has been somewhat inconsistent on offense, while St. Thomas has been more consistent on both sides of the ball. We’ll see if Eau Claire was a fluke or not by the end of this game.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: St. Olaf. I expect a solid rebound game from Jaran Roste and the Bethel Royals and a reminder about the pretty clear tiers that exist in the MIAC.

Pick one of the remaining 28 winless teams to pick up their first win.

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Keith’s take: Allegheny (0-5) has had a top-loaded schedule, and will get on the right track against 3-2 Kenyon.
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Ryan’s take: Buffalo State, over Rochester. In a game not as close as you’d think between two winless teams.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Buffalo State. At least we know there will be one.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Maryville. The only 2018 playoff participant still seeking its first victory of 2019, the Scots face an improved Methodist squad. Maryville’s offense finally got going in Week 6, putting up a season-high 35 points against Huntingdon. The defense will have its hands full once again against running back Vontre Howard and the Monarchs.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Gettysburg (at Juniata). Juniata has had an inconsistent path this season, making the Week 5 win before the bye potentially lead to a Week 7 loss, if the trend continues.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Allegheny. The Gators’ first half schedule was tough, but I’m not sure 0-5 is how most saw the Rich Nagy era starting. Kenyon has been a good first half story, but I think it is Allegheny’s turn to notch a win.

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.

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Quick Hits Week 4: Unleashing the Cougars

The crew is picking the Cougars to make some noise this week, as well as the Colonels, while everyone has their eyes on the clash in the OAC. 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 Greg Thomas, Wabash fan and regular D3football.com contributor.

— Pat Coleman

Photo: Centre athletics photo of Andre Evans and Luc Gendreau by Cheyenne Bunner

Which game is the Week 4 game of the week?

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Keith’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. More on the line in SAA, CCIW & CC, more talent here. Ninety and 110 points over two games, so best D wins.
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Ryan’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. I think JCU is a bit high in the poll, but I’m game to be proven wrong.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. As said on the podcast, only wish it were later in the season.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. The only game between ranked opponents; a heated rivalry between the two best teams in one of the nation’s best conferences.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union. No way to buck the trend here, even if voters have JCU higher than I do (20). To me, Mount Union punches its playoff ticket with a win here.
Guest
Greg’s take: No. 15 John Carroll at No. 1 Mount Union.It isn’t too early to call this a de facto OAC championship game. The Streaks pose the last legitimate threat to Mount Union until late November.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 24 Franklin & Marshall. If the Diplomats survive Susquehanna, they’ve got Muhlenberg and Johns Hopkins next.
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Ryan’s take: No. 22 Wheaton. Millikin has been my sleeper team since the preseason. Here’s their first big test.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 20 RPI. There’s less of a chance for any losses this week, but Keith shamed me into having to pick someone.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 17 Berry. The Vikings keep proving me wrong, but a road game at Centre is yet another stiff SAA test. Win this, and I won’t pick against them again.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 17 Berry. Centre has been beating opponents handily, but Berry has not for the last two weeks. At Centre, this almost feels like a “gimme.”
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Greg’s take: No. 17 Berry. Centre is red-hot and the Vikings are going on the road to play under the lights. This one has upset warning signs all over the place.

Who will allow more points this week than they have all season? (NESCAC excluded)

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Keith’s take: Augustana. IWU put up 31 on UW-La Crosse and 24 on Wheaton, so I think they can surpass 7 here.
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Ryan’s take: Belhaven. The Blazers haven’t yet faced an opponent as skilled at finding the end zone as ETBU.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Grinnell. With 20 points allowed in two games, the Pioneers travel to St. Norbert.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Augustana. The Vikings have allowed just seven points, but face IWU, which has averaged 27.5 points per game against stiff competition.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Texas Lutheran. 14 points in two games. And then UMHB comes to town, having scored 159 points to two games. Actually, this is the “gimme” pick.
Guest
Greg’s take: Texas Lutheran. The question here is really when UMHB eclipses TLU’s season points allowed total of 14. I say by the end of the first quarter.

Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?

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Keith’s take: Albright at Widener. Teams that haven’t been so low as .500 since 2010 come in each 0-3. Somebody wins.
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Ryan’s take: Carthage at Washington U. Last week was tough, but I’d like to see how the Bears perform in Game 2 of their new conference.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Dean vs. Becker. Dean isn’t eligible for the playoffs yet, but their 0-3 is better than Becker’s 0-3.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Augsburg at St. Olaf. The Oles could improve to 4-0, equaling last year’s win total. The program won just six games total from 2013 through 2016.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Lycoming at FDU-Florham. In fact, I’ll be in attendance. Hear more about this game from me in today’s ATN Podcast.
Guest
Greg’s take: Carthage at Washington U. After a respectable CCIW debut against North Central, I’m curious to see if the Bears can get a league win against a team that took UW-Oshkosh to the wire.

Neither Kean nor Minnesota-Morris has scored this season. Who will score more this week?

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Keith’s take: Minnesota-Morris. It’s a coin flip. Both Cougars offenses might get right against an 0-3 opponent this week.
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Ryan’s take: Kean. The Cougars’ first two opponents were much tougher than Southern Virginia will prove to be.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Kean. I wrote this question to have no easy answer and then spent way too long trying to pick a set of Cougars.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Kean. Southern Virginia is 0-3 and has allowed 27.3 ppg. The Cougars will finally get on the scoreboard and maybe even the win column.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Kean. But this may be by a whisker, with both playing winless teams.
Guest
Greg’s take: Kean. This question is for the really serious D-III die-hards.

Which unlikely 3-0 team falls to 3-1 this week?

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Keith’s take: Millsaps. Against 2-1 Sewanee. Even the “surprise” 3-0 teams (Marietta, Kalamazoo, St. Olaf) weren’t “unlikely,” so it was either this or Rowan.
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Ryan’s take: Rowan. Against a ranked team like Frostburg, the Profs will fall.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Marietta. The stadium might not be underwater but ONU will slow right by the Pioneers.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Rowan. The Profs have to face No. 6 Frostburg State on the road. The Bobcats will be hungry to get back to dominating opponents.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Ursinus. After Moravian was side-swiped by Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds will race circles around Ursinus on Saturday.
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Greg’s take: FDU-Florham. A surprise leader of the MAC, the Devils’ bid to go 4-0 for the first time since 1988 (yes I did Google that) gets denied by Lycoming.

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.

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ATN Podcast: About those locks for at-large bids

There are lots of teams looking for at-large bids to the playoffs. Problem is, there’s only six of them. If you are new to Division III, or new to playoff contention and don’t know how the D-III playoffs work, this is the week where Keith and Pat will walk you through it. Who are the best candidates for at-large bids? What is this whole pool thing about? We’ll talk it all through for you. Plus, which are the teams on the rise? 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