So, we’ve become accustomed to a bracket with two flights in the first round, instead of one. Last year they told us it was no longer a one-time thing, and this year they followed through on that. But why is it that we can only keep two highly ranked teams apart for a round? Why do No. 5 and No. 8 play in order to potentially play No. 1 in the next round? You can find out more in this week’s D3football.com Around the Nation podcast.
Pat and Keith hand out game balls, find the hidden highlights, the interesting stats and then a whole bunch of bracket-specific items in the D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. You do not want to leave this podcast early, before you hear the bonus picks.
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.
We had a game with 17,000-plus fans, a top five team save its bacon in the final seconds, and just a ton of great finishes all around the nation this week. In fact, it’s pretty clear we can consider this the best week so far of the Division III football season. So Pat and Keith take some time to go through all of it — not just Whitewater-Oshkosh, but as many of those great finishes as we can find. But Keith starts this podcast on the sidelines after getting flagged for premature tweeting …
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.
We’re right at the midpoint of the Division III football regular season. Or, if you’re Mount Union, you’re about done warming up. Five weeks before this one and five weeks after, and yes, then a five-week playoff, which some of the teams we mention this week will qualify for. (Perhaps UW-Oshkosh, with quarterback Brett Kasper above, photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com) This week’s guest is former Linfield defensive end Ryan Carlson, who runs Catdomealumni.com and does all the great video highlights from Linfield games.
— Pat Coleman
Which game is the game this week?
Keith’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. Two top-five teams and potentially key to a WIAC three-way tie.
Ryan’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. UW-W’s season is a bit front-loaded.
Pat’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. That’s why I’m going. Next question.
Adam’s take: No. 5 UW-Oshkosh at No. 2 UW-Whitewater. The Titans and Warhawks have split their past four meetings. This one is a toss up.
Frank’s take: No. 13 Salisbury at Rowan. No. 2 vs. No. 5 has two teams in the playoffs, win or lose. This game, though, could control an entire region’s Pool C hopes.
Ryan C’s take: Someone will get cute and NOT say Oshkosh at Whitewater but that’s like one of those stuffy baseball writers who didn’t vote for Ken Griffey Jr. as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Of course, it’s Oshkosh at Whitewater.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 12 Hardin-Simmons (at Louisiana College). Each team is scoring about 47 points per game.
Ryan’s take: No. 12 Hardin-Simmons, especially if they’re plagued by another tight first half.
Pat’s take: No. 14 St. John Fisher. Morrisville State is 0-4, but against four quality opponents. So, could happen.
Adam’s take: No. 22 Hobart. RPI has a chance, two weeks after losing by six to No. 21 St. Lawrence. There’s no dominant team in the Liberty League this year.
Frank’s take: No. 22. Hobart has yet to play four quarters of football the way the Statesmen should. RPI has been their spoiler before and looks to do it again at home.
Ryan C’s take: No. 13 Salisbury. The Sea Gulls have been on a roll in 2016 but they’re good to drop a few games a year and this matchup against Rowan is one of them.
It’s hump week in D-III: Who serves notice that they’re going to turn things around?
Keith’s take: Ohio Northern. Polar Bears, already playing their fourth road game, finally play to their preseason expectations at 3-1 Capital.
Ryan’s take: Albion. Winless in October is an unenviable place to be.
Pat’s take: Lycoming. Taking out frustrations at FDU-Florham. (Ignoring failure to do so at Misericordia.)
Adam’s take: Whichever SCAC team off to a very disappointing start wins the Trinity, Texas (2-2) at Texas Lutheran (0-4) game.
Frank’s take: Cortland (vs. Buffalo State). The defending E8 champs struggled to beat Hartwick’s marginal defense last week but finally seize momentum.
Ryan C’s take: Whitworth. They dropped that tight game vs Central and struggled to put away La Verne and George Fox. This week they tighten it up to set up the Linfield showdown.
Pick an upset winner in a conference ATN ranked in the 20s.
Keith’s take: Norwich, surprisingly 0-4, wins at 2-2 Becker by getting struggling offense on track in the No. 27 ECFC.
Ryan’s take: Western Connecticut over Mass. Maritime, two teams on opposite ends of the No. 23 MASCAC.
Pat’s take: RIpon over Lake Forest. This is in the No. 21 Midwest Conference.
Adam’s take: From the No. 25 NACC: Concordia (Wis.) knocks off Benedictine at home this week.
Frank’s take: Western Connecticut nearly beat other co-leader Bridgewater State last week. The Colonials haven’t maximized their offensive weapons.
Ryan C’s take: Occidental over CMS. CMS is flirting with the Top 25 while a Caltech ultimate frisbee team could put up 30 on Oxy. But Oxy and CMS have played tight game after tight game and the Tigers might just have it in them.
What’s your over-under on the Guilford/Hampden-Sydney game?
Keith’s take: 56. Guilford 42-14?
Ryan’s take: 68.
Pat’s take: 49.5. Still grass at Hampden-Sydney, right? That should be fun.
Adam’s take: 54.5. The Quakers have so far had little trouble reloading at QB and WR. Now, they must replace their RB, as De’Eric Bell is lost with a knee injury.
Frank’s take: 33. With rain in the forecast, I see this traditional track meet slowing down a bit. That said, I missed the last Over/Under by about 90 points.
Ryan C’s take: 43.5.
Pretend you have all day Saturday to watch four D-III games in sequence, live. Which four?
Keith’s take: Alfred State/Dean or Finlandia/Trinity Bible in the 12-2 window, then Oshkosh/Whitewater … just for the contrast. Hardin-Simmons at LC at 7, then Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Oxy.
Pat’s take: Springfield at Union. Since the triple-option game is fast, I sneak in UWO/UWW before Puget Sound-Whitworth, the Belhaven-Sul Ross track meet and Chapman-Whittier, since I’ll need to multi-task.
Adam’s take: I’m heading to DePauw at Wittenberg, then Pacific Lutheran at Willamette, Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Occidental.
Frank’s take: No. 22 Hobart at RPI, Brockport at Utica, No. 12 Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Occidental.
Ryan C’s take: Oshkosh at Whitewater, Linfield at Pacific, Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College, CMS at Occidental (and hit In-and-Out afterwards).
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 picks that were prescient, and those that were terribly off base.