Triple Take: Our guesses at the Round 2 scores

The road to Salem gets a little more rugged in Round 2.

Photo by Jamie Wilson,

Photo by Jamie Wilson,

Here are the matchups by Top 25 ranking:
No. 10 St. Johns at No. 4 St. Thomas
No. 9 Thomas More at No. 7 Wabash
No. 25 Cortland State at No. 2 Linfield
Huntingdon at No. 13 Mary Hardin-Baylor
No. 20 Albright at No. 1 Mount Union
No. 11 Wesley at No. 8 Johns Hopkins
Ohio Northern at No. 3 UW-Oshkosh
No. 5 UW-Whitewater at No. 6 Wheaton

The top 11 teams in our poll are all still alive, and eight of them play one another head-to-head in Round 2. One of the teams outside that group is traditional power Mary Hardin-Baylor, which is ranked No. 13 but would be expected to beat just about everyone outside the top 5. Likewise, Wesley is a lower-ranked road team in Round 2, but nobody who’s followed Division III for any amount of time would be surprised if we all picked the Wolverines to triumph.

Here are the matchups by where each team was likely seeded in its quadrant:
3 St. Johns at 1 St. Thomas
4 Thomas More at 2 Wabash
4 Cortland State at 1 Linfield
7 Huntingdon at 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor
4 Albright at 1 Mount Union
3 Wesley at 2 Johns Hopkins
5 Ohio Northern at 1 UW-Oshkosh
3 UW-Whitewater at 2 Wheaton

There are no official seeds released for D-III brackets, but we can determine them based on how the teams are ordered in the regional rankings and by selection criteria, and by where they are placed in the brackets. Only two lower seeds advanced, Ohio Northern in a mild upset at Franklin, and Huntingdon, only because trips longer than 500 miles are discouraged and so second seed Hardin-Simmons faced UMHB in the first round instead of Huntingdon, which was “seeded” seventh and beat No. 8 Hendrix.

Here’s how Triple Takes work during the playoffs. Around the Nation columnist Ryan Tipps, editor and publisher Pat Coleman and I each guess a score for each game without consulting with one another. This sets our national expectation. Then, it’s up to you prove us wrong. What fun would be a playoff in which we can predict all the outcomes? When the score on Saturday looks different than what we forecast below, that’s a signal that something significant is happening.

[The 2015 playoff bracket | Bracket challenge leaders | Surprises and disappointments]

Round 1 was easy picking. Around the Mid-Atlantic columnist Adam Turer and I each got 15 of 16 correct; Ryan and Pat each got 13. (We all missed Cortland State’s win, and Hendrix and Washington and Lee tripped up Tipps and Coleman). This round should be tougher. Turer made his picks in the comments section, and we invite you to do the same. You want to taunt us when we’re wrong? Put your picks on record before kickoff, below.

— Keith McMillan

Our Triple Take Crew: Keith McMillan
Keith McMillan
Ryan Tipps
Ryan Tipps
Pat Coleman
Pat Coleman

Keith’s take: St. Thomas 38, St. John’s 21
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 34, St. John’s 24
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 31, St. John’s 23
Consensus: It was Tommies, 35-14, on the road back in Week 4. We don’t see why this outcome would be much different, other than the margin.

Keith’s take: Wabash 26, Thomas More 24
Ryan’s take: Wabash 38, Thomas More 35
Pat’s take: Wabash 30, Thomas More 21
Consensus: This will probably be one of the most entertaining games of Round 2.

Keith’s take: Linfield 52, Cortland 24
Ryan’s take: Linfield 48, Cortland 27
Pat’s take: Linfield 45, Cortland 17
Consensus: We all respect what the Red Dragons have done this season, but two-thirds of these panelists think the Wildcats are the No. 1 team in the country.

Keith’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 57, Huntingdon 19
Ryan’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 48, Huntingdon 13
Pat’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 42, Huntingdon 10
Consensus: This is what happens when a seven seed takes on a national power.

Keith’s take: Mount Union 47, Albright 10
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 48, Albright 17
Pat’s take: Mount Union 54, Albright 6
Consensus: Don’t let the 55-23 final from Round 1 fool you. The Purple Raiders led 55-7 early in the third.

Keith’s take: Wesley 30, Johns Hopkins 28
Ryan’s take: Wesley 45, Johns Hopkins 28
Pat’s take: Wesley 34, Johns Hopkins 28
Consensus: We’re pretty sure the Blue Jays are going to score 28. We just have to see them get over the Wesley hump before we pick it.

Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 44, Ohio Northern 17
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 38, Ohio Northern 14
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 34, Ohio Northern 20
Consensus: The Polar Bears were the stars of Round 1. We don’t see the Titans starring in the ONU season highlights video.

Keith’s take: UW-Whitewater 21, Wheaton 20
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 35, Wheaton 20
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 20, Wheaton 17
Consensus: Two of us see Whitewater prevailing, but barely. Clearly we wouldn’t be stunned by a Thunder victory, either.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below, or tweet at us at @D3Keith, @NewsTipps and @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the highlights from Round 1.


ATN Podcast: Let’s wipe our hands of that first round

Phew, that was ugly. UG-ly, with a capital U. And a G. In this case, we’re talking about most of the first round of the playoffs we have a coach talking about winning ugly, and another talking about the worst conditions he’s seen for football in 37 years of coaching. Oh, and there was like one good game, so we’ll take about that. But Pat and Keith talk about the flurry of activity in the first round and breeze into the second, 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. Photo by Jim Rosvold,

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Division III playoffs: Triple Take sets the expectations for the Round of 32

Welcome to the most exciting Saturday of the postseason.

Thirty-two of the nation’s best teams meet in 16 first-round playoff games. Eight kick off at noon Eastern Time, and seven more at noon Central, meaning that for almost two hours, 15 14 of the games will be going on simultaneously. The first steps on the Road to Salem are a mad rush, and although you’ll likely be focused on just one game, you’ll care about what’s going on elsewhere.

Here’s how this works; it’s a bit different from the regular-season Triple Takes. The goal is for Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman and I, each guessing a score for each game without consulting with one another, to set the national expectation. Then, we want you prove us wrong. What fun would be a playoff in which we can predict all the outcomes? We’ll set the expectation, and when the score on Saturday looks different than what we forecast below, that’s a signal to everyone across the country that something significant is happening.

[The 2015 playoff bracket | Our surprise teams and disappointments]

Each of us will correctly predict between 11 and 15 winning teams; that’s just the nature of the Round of 32. But we’re not trying to prove who’s the smartest, emulate gamblers or earn bragging rights. We provide the picks and the line of consensus as service, to advise you on what to expect from unfamiliar teams, so that when you’re sifting through 15 game scores on Saturday afternoon, you’ll recognize a surprising result in the making. (Like last season, when we all picked Delaware Valley, a Round 1 loser to Christopher Newport, or when Texas Lutheran kept it surprisingly close with Mary Hardin-Baylor.)

— Keith McMillan

Our Triple Take Crew: Keith McMillan
Keith McMillan
Ryan Tipps
Ryan Tipps
Pat Coleman
Pat Coleman

Keith’s take: St. Thomas 49, La Verne 10
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 52, La Verne 9
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 56, La Verne 7
Consensus: It’s a great year for the SCIAC champ to dodge the NWC champ … or is it?

Keith’s take: St. John’s 35, Dubuque 17
Ryan’s take: St. John’s 38, Dubuque 17
Pat’s take: St. John’s 42, Dubuque 21
Consensus: It’ll be closer than the 45-9 Sept. 5 game, but not close enough.

Keith’s take: Thomas More 38, Washington and Lee 34
Ryan’s take: Washington and Lee 45, Thomas More 42
Pat’s take: Washington and Lee 51, Thomas More 49
Consensus: This matchup of 10-0 teams will be a shootout, and a toss-up.

Keith’s take: Wabash 34, Albion 21
Ryan’s take: Wabash 48, Albion 14
Pat’s take: Wabash 56, Albion 21
Consensus: The high-octane Britons haven’t seen a defense quite like the Little Giants’ unit.

Keith’s take: Linfield 55, Whitworth 13
Ryan’s take: Linfield 45, Whitworth 13
Pat’s take: Linfield 52, Whitworth 7
Consensus: Not all that different from the 52-10 game at the Catdome on Oct. 24.

Keith’s take: Salisbury 28, Cortland State 26
Ryan’s take: Salisbury 27, Cortland State 20
Pat’s take: Salisbury 48, Cortland State 45
Consensus: Salisbury spent four seasons going to upstate New York to beat Empire 8 teams. Cortland State runs out of close-game magic. But even so, all three think it will be close, so …

Keith’s take: Huntingdon 49, Hendrix 24
Ryan’s take: Hendrix 51, Huntingdon 45
Pat’s take: Hendrix 41, Huntingdon 28
Consensus: In the first Arkansas-Alabama playoff matchup in D-III history, two of the panelists like the upstart. It’s also the first matchup where our score guesses are wildly different.

Keith’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 30, Hardin-Simmons 24
Ryan’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, Hardin-Simmons 27
Pat’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, Hardin-Simmons 21
Consensus: It was a slow start and a furious fourth in HSU’s 29-26 win on Oct. 31. This time in Abilene, UMHB ekes it out.

Keith’s take: Mount Union 56, St. Lawrence 14
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 55, St. Lawrence 13
Pat’s take: Mount Union 52, St. Lawrence 7
Consensus: We’re not dissing the Saints. Mount Union’s allowed 34 points all season.

Keith’s take: Albright 37, Norwich 17
Ryan’s take: Albright 38, Norwich 7
Pat’s take: Albright 38, Norwich 13
Consensus: The Cadets have lost four games. No. 5 will be the highlight of the Lions’ season before a trip to Alliance.

Keith’s take: Wesley 40, Framingham State 27
Ryan’s take: Wesley 42, Framingham State 21
Pat’s take: Wesley 47, Framingham State 28
Consensus: Not a cakewalk for the Wolverines, but they eventually pull away.

Keith’s take: Johns Hopkins 42, Western New England 21
Ryan’s take: Johns Hopkins 45, Western New England 10
Pat’s take: Johns Hopkins 38, Western New England 10
Consensus: The Bears aren’t golden against the Blue Jays. This one is for the birds.

Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 63, St. Scholastica 13
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 56, St. Scholastica 3
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 52, St. Scholastica 7
Consensus: UMAC champs get the MIAC or WIAC champ in Round 1, and the results haven’t been pretty.

Keith’s take: Ohio Northern 31, Franklin 30
Ryan’s take: Ohio Northern 45, Franklin 34
Pat’s take: Ohio Northern 35, Franklin 20
Consensus: Teams that have no business being in the tournament usually prove that actually, they do. Plus, it’s an OAC No. 2.

Keith’s take: UW-Whitewater 35, St. Norbert 7
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 48, St. Norbert 7
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 35, St. Norbert 7
Consensus: So seven it is for the Green Knights, against the defending champions.

Keith’s take: Wheaton 39, Lakeland 14
Ryan’s take: Wheaton 28, Lakeland 13
Pat’s take: Wheaton 48, Lakeland 7
Consensus: You won’t even be able to tell that much of the Thunder’s offense has been banged up.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below, or tweet at us at @D3Keith, @NewsTipps and @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the highlights from Round 1.