A little bit of rain (OK, a lot of rain), a little lightning, half the usual Thunder and a few unbeaten teams getting their first loss made up a good part of the news in Week 7. This was definitely a common sight, and in the case of the Wheaton-North Central game, it didn’t end on Saturday, and it’s still not over. We break down the first half of that game, plus the Oshkosh win over Platteville and look at first losses for Alfred, Wabash, Framingham State and UW-La Crosse. That plus more in this week’s podcast.
Pat and Keith hand out game balls, find the hidden highlights, the correct pronunciations (it basically doesn’t end in D-III), the interesting stats and much more in the D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. In addition, Keith gives his take on how Albright College chose to handle its national anthem situation.
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.
The biggest show in Division III is coming to a major league baseball stadium. Perhaps you’ve heard. But there are 100 other games on Saturday as well, and if you’re not named Tommie or Johnnie, perhaps you’re wondering if we’ll be paying any attention. Our regular Quick Hits 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 Howard Sinker. In our attempts to find a neutral Minnesotan to talk about this week, we found Howard, Minneapolis Star Tribune digital sports editor, Minnesota Public Radio sports commentator and senior instructor of Media and Cultural Studies at Macalester College.
— Pat Coleman
What’s the best game this week that hasn’t sold 30,000 tickets?
Keith’s take: Centre at Berry. Preseason, I’d have circled Stevenson-DelVal, but this SAA clash of styles takes the sliver of spotlight left.
Ryan’s take: Stevenson at No. 12 Delaware Valley. Can’t remember the last year the MAC was clear cut. This will give some clarity.
Pat’s take: No. 5 North Central at Millikin. This is a game that is usually a cakewalk but Millikin is on the upswing. It’s under the radar this week.
Adam’s take: Stevenson at Delaware Valley. The Mustangs have a chance to prove that they’ve gotten right by upsetting the No. 12 Aggies.
Frank’s take: Utica at No. 19 Brockport. Utica loves to play the spoiler, and their defense may be able to slow down Germinerio and Morris somewhat..
Howard’s take: Monmouth at Macalester. Battle of Scots in St. Paul features two MWC contenders; Mac opened with ‘hardware game’ victories vs. Carleton and Hamline.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 9 John Carroll. Host Heidelberg has hung 40 twice in road wins over solid teams.
Ryan’s take: No. 9 John Carroll. I’ve been a little uncertain of JCU so far, and last week didn’t help their case.
Pat’s take: None. And fully aware I’m doing this for a second consecutive week. But I don’t see JCU losing like others do..
Adam’s take: No. 13 UW-Platteville. The Pioneers have not impressed in either of their wins, and Lakeland has a potent offense that will test UW-P.
Frank’s take: No. 6 St. John’s. Not much of an upset, except through rankings. Every game is a must-win for St. Thomas now.
Howard’s take: No. 9 John Carroll. Tough matchup with the Student Princes of Heidelberg.
Will Wheaton miss a beat?
Keith’s take: No. This is really for the Thunder to answer; Five players are out, program is national news. But Elmhurst looks beatable amid all that.
Ryan’s take: Yes. But it really won’t be apparent until next week.
Pat’s take: No. I mean, not this week, at least.
Adam’s take: No. The players on the roster will be determined to prove that they can overcome their teammates’ absences.
Frank’s take: Yes. Focus after the trainwreck of a week will be off, and loss of five players will hurt. But Elmhurst won’t beat the Thunder.
Howard’s take: Hard thinking of Wheaton in ‘game terms’ after hazing publicity, but Elmhurst led Thunder until fourth-quarter turnover last year in 10-6 game.
Which surprise 3-0 team makes it 4-0 this week?
Keith’s take: Wooster. Scots have a tough matchup at DePauw, but might be inspired following the death of Clayton Geib.
Ryan’s take: Salve Regina. Although, it’s no cakewalk with undefeated Western Connecticut on the other side.
Pat’s take: SUNY-Maritime. The Privateers have been 4-0 once before, in the year they went 10-0. Alfred State won’t stop them..
Adam’s take: Franklin & Marshall. The Dips have a tough task at Susquehanna, but have been the surprise of the Centennial so far this season.
Frank’s take: RPI. Buffalo State’s two wins were by a total of six points. RPI has rolled. Engineers win their fourth..
Howard’s take: Cheating a bit: Knox. Knox beats Ripon to go 3-0. Surprise? Knox hasn’t won more than three in a season since 2005.
Which team won’t be able to repeat last week’s success?
Keith’s take: Mass. Maritime. Bucs held off Maine Maritime last week. Going to Framingham State is much tougher.
Ryan’s take: Berry. I think opponent Centre is the SAA’s best this year.
Pat’s take: George Fox. I think that even on the road, a WIAC team is better than what Redlands is prepared for.
Adam’s take: Rowan. Profs posted a big road win over William Paterson in Week 3, but will suffer a big home loss at the hands of Frostburg State in Week 4.
Frank’s take: Widener. Albright could’ve fit my surprising 4-0 team, as Lions have looked decent since the big Salisbury win..
Howard’s take: St. Thomas won’t win by 63, St. John’s won’t win by 49.
Official attendance in the Tommie-Johnnie game? (Price is Right rules apply)
Keith’s take: 33,316, clearly a sign from God.
Ryan’s take: 31,157.
Pat’s take: 37,535. Tell me that’s one above anyone else’s pick.
Adam’s take: 33,069. Nice.
Frank’s take: 36,106. It’s No 10 vs. No. 6. So, there had to be at least one of each in my number.
Howard’s take: 34,567.
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.
Whether you were among the excited, with no rooting interest, or among the tense, with your season hanging in the balance, the 3 p.m. hour-plus in the Eastern Time Zone on Saturday was a great time to be a Division III football fan. Three games came down to the final play, and Pat and Keith talk about them all in detail, as well as the other 13 first-round games, in this week’s Around the Nation Podcast.
This week’s podcast is sponsored by the City of Salem, hosts of Stagg Bowl XLIV. For more information about the Stagg Bowl or any national championship Salem hosts, visit salemchampionships.com.
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.