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Quick Hits: All the marbles

This is it — the last regular-season weekend of the season. Maybe there’s snow on the ground where you are. Maybe you have a bitter rival coming to town and an epic tailgate with old friends — well, that’s what Quick Hits is like for us, too. Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer and Frank Rossi. Our sixth spot each week goes to a guest prognosticator, and this week’s is Greg Thomas, our bracketology guru. He’ll be joining us through the playoffs as well, when Quick Hits shifts to predicting the final score of each game.
Photo: File photo from 2017 Shoes game, by Mick Neal, RPI athletics

— Pat Coleman

What will be the Week 11 Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: No. 25 Baldwin Wallace at No. 8 John Carroll/No. 9 St. Thomas at No. 22 Bethel. Both games match 8-1 teams; winners should be first at-large teams in field, losers’ seasons are over.
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Ryan’s take: Thomas More at No. 4 St. John’s. After the way their season began, the Saints should be stoked they’re still so relevant to the conversation.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 25 Baldwin Wallace at No. 8 John Carroll. Not only does it have all the playoff implications, but it’s a bona fide local rivalry as well.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 9 St. Thomas at No. 22 Bethel. A rivalry game with a playoff berth at stake. Nothing better in Week 11.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Salisbury at No. 6 Frostburg State. It’s the NJAC championship, and a Pool C bid could be taken from a bubble team if Salisbury wins. Hear more about it in today’s ATN Gameday Podcast.
Guest
Greg’s take: St. Thomas at Bethel. There are many good games, but this is a Top 25 showdown and a de facto elimination game between two teams that have the chops to make deep tournament runs.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 6 Frostburg State. Not because the Bobcats are vulnerable so much as their Regents Cup opponent, 8-1 Salisbury, has had a great defense and running game all year.
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Ryan’s take: No. 11 Berry. The Vikings may be sailing high right now, but Trinity has already shown this year that they can hold their own against tough competition.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 24 Linfield. Wildcats’ scare last week might give Pacific something on tape to work with.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 14 RPI. The resurgence of the Dutchmen has revitalized the Shoes rivalry. The Engineers have already clinched the LL title. Union could pull off the upset.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 11 Berry. Berry has won the SAA already, so how the Vikings will approach the game at Trinity (Texas) will be interesting. Remember, Trinity challenged HSU earlier this season.
Guest
Greg’s take: No. 14 RPI. This game is actually pretty even on paper and I believe QH is contractually obligated to have one panelist pick RPI to be upset.

Which rivalry game will have the closest score?

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Keith’s take: Dutchman Shoes. Almost all of them look like tight matchups. Union and RPI have already played one-point games; what’s one more?
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Ryan’s take: The Secretaries Cup. Coast Guard’s resurgence this year has added some new life to the annual game against Merchant Marine — and could shake up the NEWMAC significantly.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: The Game. It wouldn’t be a “Game” between Randolph-Macon and Hampden-Sydney if it didn’t have some grinding and a little bitterness to boot.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Monon Bell. The last two meetings were decided by a total of four points. DePauw will keep it close against No. 20 Wabash, trying to avoid its first losing season since 2013.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Dutchman Shoes. RPI has won more with great defense in close games this year. I think this game lines up the same way.
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Greg’s take: Cortaca Jug. This game looks like a low scoring grinder to me with a single point keeping the winner’s tournament hopes alive into Selection Sunday.

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

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Keith’s take: Alvernia at UNE. Both first-year programs have a win, but the Wolves haven’t scored since a garbage-time TD Oct. 13, and the Nor’Easters have been outscored by 117 since their win a week earlier.
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Ryan’s take: N.C. Wesleyan at Maryville. Even with a loss, the Scots are in the playoffs, but if they do lose, it’s worth noting that Google Maps has them at 485 miles from Alliance, Ohio.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Maine Maritime at Catholic. Just to hope that the alma mater doesn’t finish 0-10 this year. Go Cards!
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Shenandoah at Washington & Lee. I doubt anyone else is interested to see if my alma mater can win at least six games for the fourth straight year, a feat not accomplished since back when Garret LeRose and I were playing for the Generals.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Coast Guard at Merchant Marine. More than 600 votes determined that I’d attend the Secretaries Cup Game between these two service academies. The Mariners even have a potential playoff bid still alive.
Guest
Greg’s take: Berry at Trinity (Texas).Berry has already clinched and Trinity isn’t in the playoff picture but a Berry loss here could significantly impact the playoff fortunes of Centre, Hardin-Simmons, and Muhlenberg. All the pieces matter.

Which team plays its way in or out of a home playoff game?

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Keith’s take: North Central, in. Based on its result against Millikin, NCC has the widest range of outcomes; winnable home game in Round 1 or season over. I’ll guess the former.
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Ryan’s take: Baldwin Wallace, out. I’m guessing that the matchup with JCU is someone’s game of the week, and I think BW will be out and JCU a shoo-in for Pool C after Saturday.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: St. Thomas, in. Despite the fact that Bethel looked better against St. John’s, the Royals don’t have Jackson Erdmann at QB to test Tommie DBs.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 25 Baldwin Wallace. With a win over John Carroll, the Yellow Jackets would get in via Pool C and likely host a first round game. A loss to JCU not only means no home game, but likely no playoff appearance at all.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Frostburg State. If the Bobcats lose, they could still win a Pool C bid but drop below fourth in the East because of a lack of regionally ranked opponents in their profile.
Guest
Greg’s take: John Carroll. The Streaks are a lock for an at-large bid and a home game with a win against Baldwin Wallace. A loss, and the Streaks are most likely done for 2018.

Pick a random Week 11 game and give it a trophy name.

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Keith’s take: Tufts at Middlebury. Most of the season-ending games in the NESCAC are longstanding rivalries. This is what … the Tuftlebury Classic?
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Ryan’s take: Olivet at Albion. The Six-Letter Shuffle — or — The MIAA Founder’s Faceoff.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Alma at Finlandia, for the 445 Mile Marker Trophy. Finlandia is in the same state as almost everyone else in the MIAA, but it’s hideously far. Alma is its closest MIAA opponent, at 445 miles.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Pacific at No. 24 Linfield. The Mass Hysteria Bowl. Dogs and cats living together! No human sacrifice, please. (Yes, I know Boxer the mascot isn’t technically a dog.)
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Alvernia at University of New England, for The 2018 Debut Supremacy Cup.
Guest
Greg’s take: Benedictine vs. Concordia-Chicago, for the I-88 Trophy.The Chicagoland rivals square off for a trophy which doesn’t actually exist yet as it is perpetually under construction.

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 202: It’s a struggle

It was a struggle for UW-Oshkosh to get anything going on offense on Saturday, and in light of that, it’s a struggle for Top 25 voters. What do you do with a team which lost to a Division II opponent, but a D-II opponent which is only in its third year of football?

We also hear from the interim head coach of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and the Cru’s leading rusher from Saturday, a game in which nobody for UMHB struggled in a 91-7 win. Plus Pat and Keith hand out game balls, pick their off-the-beaten-path highlight, the risers and fallers in the Top 25 and much more.

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.
Full episode: 

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

Davenport athletics photo

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Quick Hits: Welcome to the season

Thirty-one teams didn’t start their season with the rest of us last week, and while 10 of those are from the NESCAC and would just never play in Week 1 and one was Occidental, which played a game against a Mexican team, basically the rest are getting on the field this week for the first time.

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 Ryan Carlson, former defensive end at Linfield, producer of any awesome Linfield football video you’ve seen in the past decade or so, and 2018 inductee into the school’s hall of fame.

— Pat Coleman

Which game is Week 2’s game of the week?

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Keith’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at No. 12 UW-Whitewater. Both are in the top 18 on my ballot.
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Ryan’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. I think a lot of people are curious about how good UW-L is.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 10 Hardin-Simmons at Trinity (Texas). Trinity pounded McMurry last week, but this is the much more difficult Abilene opponent.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. The Warhawks looked like the UWW of old in Week 1 and have a prove-it game in Week 2.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. The Cobbers have remained a consistent team over the last six years and can play UWW with a “nothing to lose” approach.
Ryan Carlson
Ryan’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UWW. I was going to pick Macalester at Hamline just to give my guy Adam Johnson a thrill but that might hurt my “tremendous” amount of credibility.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to be upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. Susquehanna led by 10 at the start of the fourth last year, and is at home this time.
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Ryan’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. Susquehanna looked too good last week to gloss over them.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. This is one spot where the preseason poll and my ballot diverge fairly significantly.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. UW-La Crosse is determined to keep its momentum from 2017 going, and a non-conference win over a ranked opponent on the road would be the next step.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 24 RPI. RPI struggled early against Allegheny, and with the Transit Trophy on the line, WPI could surprise some folks.
Ryan Carlson
Ryan’s take: No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan. However, UWO is playing a second year D-II and had some struggles last weekend but would losing to a D-II really be called an upset?

Which team making its debut in Week 2 will wish it had a game under its belt?

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Keith’s take: Kean. Springfield rushed for 445 yards last week, although maybe the Cougars have had an extra week to drill triple option.
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Ryan’s take: DePauw. At least they don’t have to go on the road to play Central.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: William Paterson. What might have seemed like an achievable game in Dustin Johnson’s coaching debut changed when FDU beat TCNJ.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Texas Lutheran. Opening the season against Hendrix QB Miles Thompson is no easy task. Last year, Thompson carved up the Bulldogs for 433 yards and four TDs.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Kean. Springfield got its offense humming in Week 1, meaning the Kean defense will have a tough task right of the bat.
Ryan Carlson
Ryan’s take: Linfield. I fully believe that Linfield is going to go out to Carroll College and win, but the Saints already have two games in. That just makes the challenge that much greater.

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

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Keith’s take: Hope at Defiance. In this dictionary-words matchup, eager to see step Matsakis’ (hired July 26) Yellow Jackets take after rough first week.
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Ryan’s take: Hendrix at Texas Lutheran. A good one between teams legitimately eyeing conference titles.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Lawrence at Carleton. I’ll be spending another Saturday off the beaten path, but I love all of D-III.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 7 North Central at Lake Forest. Because I’ll be there in person to see how these two teams are replacing production of their respective 2017 all-conference running backs.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Union at Coast Guard. Both teams were supposed to beat their Maine opponents last week. We’ll learn a lot about both as this game could go either way.
Ryan Carlson
Ryan’s take: Macalester … naw, Pacific Lutheran at Cal Lutheran. This the Lutes’ first game without a Westering as head coach since 1971. I just want to know if PLU is still going to do their ridiculous pregame warmup.

Who will bounce back from a Week 1 blowout and win?

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Keith’s take: Guilford. I like the Quakers hosting Methodist; oh wait, that Week 1 game never happened. 😉
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Ryan’s take: Allegheny. The Gators’ turnaround begins Saturday.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Stevenson. I’m not sure that the Mustangs are MAC contenders but I like their chances vs. Bridgewater.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Rose-Hulman. The Fightin’ Engineers took a 54-0 beating from the defending champs. A home game against Rhodes is a lot different than a road game against Mount Union.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Hobart. Hobart didn’t quit against Brockport in a lopsided affair. I think that spirit will lend to a victory vs. a decent Morrisville State team.
Ryan Carlson
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley.The Aggies should take care of business against Mass-Dartmouth but the Corsairs have a linebacker named Tony Slaughter and that is outstanding.

Which team will surprisingly be 2-0 after Saturday?

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Keith’s take: Lawrence. Rekindling a rivalry with Carleton, Vikings have a chance for first 2-0 start since, well, farther than our site goes back (1998).
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Ryan’s take: N.C. Wesleyan. Poised for another after already taking down Thomas More.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Sewanee. Yes, this means this is a bit of an upset pick as well.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: SUNY-Maritime. The Privateers had a very late coaching change this summer, but appear to be picking up where they left off after a nine-win 2017 season.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: FDU-Florham. The Devils won 12 games in the prior seven seasons.  A 2-0 start will be a unique position for them.
Ryan Carlson
Ryan’s take: Macalester. 

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.