Quick Hits predicts the first round’s scores

The story goes, one day on a long ride to a playoff game at Thiel (which tells you how long ago this happened), Pat and Keith decided to pass the time by guessing not just the winner of each first-round playoff game, but the score. And there was born the expectations game: Do we expect a close game? A high-scoring game? A blowout? Does everyone agree on who will win? Those are the factors worth looking at.

Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas each take their guesses at scores for each first-round game. We also looped in the Hansen Ratings, updated with playoff experience as a factor, for anther objective take. The algorithm takes into account both home-field advantage and playoff experience, so a game such as Hardin-Simmons and Linfield, between teams with identical team ratings, ends up with Linfield given a 65 percent chance to win.

— Pat Coleman (Linfield athletics photo)


UW-Oshkosh bracket
Keith’s take: UW-Oshkosh 56, Lakeland 21
Ryan’s take: UW-Oshkosh 49, Lakeland 13
Pat’s take: UW-Oshkosh 47, Lakeland 13
Adam’s take: UW-Oshkosh 52, Lakeland 7
Frank’s take: UW-Oshkosh 34, Lakeland 6
Greg’s take: UW-Oshkosh 52, Lakeland 14
Hansen odds to advance: UW-Oshkosh, 99%.
 UW-Oshkosh in a walk, though Lakeland could score a few points.
Keith’s take: North Central 22, St. John’s 21
Ryan’s take: North Central 27, St. John’s 23
Pat’s take: North Central 31, St. John’s 28
Adam’s take: North Central 10, St. John’s 7
Frank’s take: St. John’s 21, North Central 20
Greg’s take: North Central 24, St. John’s 23
Hansen odds to advance: St. John’s, 58%.
North Central, in a close game, and a split decision.
Keith’s take: Wartburg 38, Franklin 24
Ryan’s take: Wartburg 30, Franklin 27
Pat’s take: Wartburg 45, Franklin 31
Adam’s take: Wartburg 35, Franklin 27
Frank’s take: Wartburg 44, Franklin 31
Greg’s take: Wartburg 38, Franklin 28
Hansen odds to advance: Wartburg, 79%.
Wartburg the consensus winner, though everyone respect’s Franklin’s ability to score.
Keith’s take: Trine 19, Monmouth 16
Ryan’s take: Monmouth 31, Trine 20
Pat’s take: Monmouth 31, Trine 28
Adam’s take: Trine 17, Monmouth 13
Frank’s take: Trine 48, Monmouth 40
Greg’s take: Trine 38, Monmouth 28
Hansen odds to advance: Trine, 58%.
Wide variety of opinions. Two Trine slugfest wins, two Trine defensive battle wins, two Monmouth wins.
Mount Union bracket
Keith’s take: Mount Union 56, Wash. & Lee 14
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 51, Wash. & Lee 7
Pat’s take: Mount Union 48, Wash. & Lee 10
Adam’s take: Mount Union 49, Wash. & Lee 20
Frank’s take: Mount Union 60, Wash. & Lee 10
Greg’s take: Mount Union 56, Wash. & Lee 7
Hansen odds to advance: Mount Union, 99%.
Mount Union, in a win that a No. 1 seed would be satisfied with.
Keith’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 35, Case 13
Ryan’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 31, Case 21
Pat’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 35, Case 17
Adam’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 21, Case 16
Frank’s take: Case 31, Illinois Wesleyan 30
Greg’s take: Illinois Wesleyan 28, Case 10
Hansen odds to advance: Illinois Wesleyan, 61%.
IWU generally winning handily, with one outlier.
Keith’s take: W&J 42, Johns Hopkins 30
Ryan’s take: Johns Hopkins 35, W&J 34
Pat’s take: Johns Hopkins 28, W&J 24
Adam’s take: Johns Hopkins 38, W&J 34
Frank’s take: Johns Hopkins 35, W&J 28
Greg’s take: Johns Hopkins 27, W&J 24
Hansen odds to advance: Johns Hopkins, 68%.
Wow. Consensus is the road team. But consensus is also an exciting game.
Keith’s take: Wittenberg 17, Frostburg State 14
Ryan’s take: Frostburg State 27, Wittenberg 24
Pat’s take: Wittenberg 17, Frostburg State 15
Adam’s take: Wittenberg 30, Frostburg State 24
Frank’s take: Frostburg State 27, Wittenberg 24
Greg’s take: Wittenberg 14, Frostburg State 10
Hansen odds to advance: Wittenberg, 59%.
Generally low-scoring, all around, and generally with Wittenberg by a field goal or less.
Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Keith’s take: UMHB 40, Chapman 20
Ryan’s take: UMHB 48, Chapman 10
Pat’s take: UMHB 42, Chapman 17
Adam’s take: UMHB 58, Chapman 10
Frank’s take: UMHB 37, Chapman 10
Greg’s take: UMHB 48, Chapman 7
Hansen odds to advance: Mary Hardin-Baylor, 98%.
The defending champs, by a lot.
Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons 14, Linfield 13
Ryan’s take: Hardin-Simmons 27, Linfield 14
Pat’s take: Hardin-Simmons 24, Linfield 19
Adam’s take: Hardin-Simmons 21, Linfield 17
Frank’s take: Linfield 14, Hardin-Simmons 10
Greg’s take: Hardin-Simmons 24, Linfield 10
Hansen odds to advance: Linfield, 65%.
HSU favored on the road, with Linfield kicking an undetermined number of field goa.s.
Keith’s take: St. Thomas 63, Eureka 0
Ryan’s take: St. Thomas 58, Eureka 7
Pat’s take: St. Thomas 56, Eureka 6
Adam’s take: St. Thomas 63, Eureka 13
Frank’s take: St. Thomas 51, Eureka 13
Greg’s take: St. Thomas 63, Eureka 0
Hansen odds to advance: St. Thomas, > 99%.
Tommies. Not in a mood to break scoring records.
Keith’s take: Berry 28, Huntingdon 24
Ryan’s take: Berry 35, Huntingdon 28
Pat’s take: Berry 24, Huntingdon 21
Adam’s take: Berry 27, Huntingdon 24
Frank’s take: Huntingdon 34, Berry 28
Greg’s take: Berry 28, Huntingdon 17
Hansen odds to advance: Huntingdon, 57%.
Berry. Mostly. Except for the one usual outlier.
Delaware Valley bracket
Keith’s take: Delaware Valley 38, Western NE 20
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley 49, Western NE 17
Pat’s take: Delaware Valley 31, Western NE 10
Adam’s take: Delaware Valley 35, Western NE 14
Frank’s take: Delaware Valley 30, Western NE 21
Greg’s take: Delaware Valley 33, Western NE 13
Hansen odds to advance: Delaware Valley, 95%
Delaware Valley, by a range of points but all by multiple scores.
Keith’s take: Springfield 42, Husson 28
Ryan’s take: Springfield 38, Husson 35
Pat’s take: Springfield 45, Husson 31
Adam’s take: Springfield 38, Husson 24
Frank’s take: Springfield 42, Husson 20
Greg’s take: Springfield 42, Husson 21
Hansen odds to advance: Springfield, 83%
Springfield, generally comfortable, generally in a high-scoring game.
Keith’s take: Brockport 39, Plymouth State 13
Ryan’s take: Brockport 35, Plymouth State 10
Pat’s take: Brockport 24, Plymouth State 7
Adam’s take: Brockport 28, Plymouth State 20
Frank’s take: Brockport 27, Plymouth State 7
Greg’s take: Brockport 24, Plymouth State 7
Hansen odds to advance: Brockport, 99%
Brockport, generally comfortably, generally in a low-scoring game.
Keith’s take: Wesley 27, RPI 10
Ryan’s take: Wesley 38, RPI 6
Pat’s take: Wesley 38, RPI 14
Adam’s take: Wesley 41, RPI 12
Frank’s take: Wesley 37, RPI 17
Greg’s take: Wesley 38, RPI 10
Hansen odds to advance: Wesley, 91%
Wesley makes it final: No upsets expected in this bracket.

Here’s more data from Hansen Ratings. Select any two playoff teams to see how they would compare in a real or hypothetical matchup

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


ATN Podcast 184: A step forward?

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 Around the Nation podcast.

This week, D3talent is the sponsor of the Around the Nation Podcast. Find out more on our site, or at our Fanraise store.

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 Around the Nation Podcast.  You do not want to leave this podcast early, before you hear the bonus picks.

The 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. 
Hardin-Simmons athletics photo by Scott Burkhalter
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Quick Hits: Games to keep an eye on

Lots of eyes on Iowa, where the first automatic bid of the season could be clinched, as well as on Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. But also, perhaps there’s something in Connecticut to note, or Oregon, or Washington (D.C., that is). 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 Doug Samuels. A former Division III football player at Defiance, Doug is currently a high school coach and is also content manager for FootballScoop.

— Pat Coleman

Which Week 9 game is the game of the week?

Keith’s take: Dubuque at No. 19 Wartburg. No no-brainer this week. Let’s see how Knights look vs. toughest opponent since the opener.
Ryan’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. Few young rivalries have this level of intensity to them.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 9 UW-Platteville. La Crosse showed last week it has multiple capable QBs, much like UWP.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. Doubtful the Tigers can repeat last week’s dominance, but another win could pretty much clinch the NCAC title..
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 14 Wesley at Montclair State. With the Salisbury showdown awaiting Wesley, this feels like a trap game. Not saying Wesley loses, but I think it could be closer than expected.
Doug’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg at Wabash. The Little Giants lost a close one in Week 7 and have a bad taste in their mouth with a change to get things back on track against a quality ranked Wittenberg team.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

Keith’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins. Blue Jays have hit their stride in October, but Muhlenberg is two three-point losses from being unbeaten.
Ryan’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins. The kicker being that they only made it back onto my ballot last week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 19 Wartburg. I’m basing this solely on the amount of talk from Dubuque players on Twitter after our preseason poll. Make the talk stand up.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 19 Wartburg. Dubuque is very nearly 7-0 and the 5-2 Spartans should at least make a very close game of this.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 13 Wittenberg. “The rumors of [Wabash’s] demise have been greatly exaggerated” — because “Wabash always fights.” I know… How cliché..,
Doug’s take: No. 9 UW-Platteville. Word is UW-La Crosse has their D-I transfer back at QB, and they’ve lost a few close ones. Think they break through this week.

Which team will hurt its regional ranking this week before we even get to see it?

Keith’s take: Lake Forest. Five of Foresters’ 7 wins vs. teams with two wins or fewer. Monmouth would be impressive; MWC won’t have two ranked.
Ryan’s take: Millikin. If Carthage can follow through with playing spoiler this time around.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: George Fox. And they won’t lose to Lewis & Clark — but their strength of schedule will go down.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Franklin and Marshall. Diplomats are fighting for a 9-1 season and playoff bid, but faces a surprisingly 1-6 Moravian.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Western Connecticut. Colonials might be ranked in the East at one loss — if they can beat Fitchburg. Inconsistent play suggests they might not before the big game at Framingham.
Doug’s take: If we never see their hypothetical rankings from this week, is it logical to suggest that no one’s ranking gets hurt?.

Which team bounces back after a tough loss?

Keith’s take: George Fox. After rainy, offensively challenged loss at Linfield, Bruins reawaken vs. a Lewis & Clark that’s lost three straight since 2-1 start.
Ryan’s take: Heidelberg. The Student Princes won’t be the head-scratchers they were last week.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Catholic. After being thoroughly unable to stop Springfield, CUA gets Norwich at home.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Heidelberg. The Student Princes took an unexpected beating last week, but will bounce back against Wilmington at home.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: George Fox. After a one-possession loss to the juggernaut known as Linfield, this game will be a walk in the park for the Bruins vs. Lewis & Clark.
Doug’s take: Hamline. After losing to St. Thomas 84-0, this week they get 3-5 Augsburg. Gotta think Hamline (2-5) is ready for a team they measure up with better.

Hartwick has the weekend off. So which team with Hawks in its name will score the most points?

Keith’s take: Huntingdon. Loras Duhawks (36.1 ppg) are highest-scoring ‘hawks, but Huntingdon faces 1-6 Greensboro, which allows 45.1 ppg.
Ryan’s take: Huntingdon. Opponent Greensboro gave up 59 last week, and that wasn’t even their biggest blowout this year.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Huntingdon. Greensboro won’t put up too much of a fight, so it’ll be whatever the Hawks feel like scoring.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Salve Regina. But the Seahawks might not score much against a stout Western New England defense.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Huntingdon. They may play with Pride, but Greensboro has just one win as they prepare for a rested Huntingdon Hawks. This might get lopsided early.
Doug’s take: UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks will score the most AND – bonus info here – Montclair State (vs. Wesley) will score the LEAST.

Which game featuring a ranked team will be the closest?

Keith’s take: UW-La Crosse at No. 9 UW-Platteville. Eagles have been competitive but are 0-2 in the meat of their schedule.
Ryan’s take: Wash U at No. 17 Case Western Reserve. The Bears have a lot of losses, but their competition has been fierce.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 18 Berry at Birmingham-Southern. I should double down on my first pick but BSC has been playing tight games and Berry is defense-oriented.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Elmhurst will push No. 12 Illinois Wesleyan to the brink. The CCIW is deep this year.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 24 Johns Hopkins at Muhlenberg. I foresee a one-possession decision here in favor of JHU, but I expect it to be a great game between Centennial stalwarts.
Doug’s take: Dubuque at No. 19 Wartburg. Last year, Dubuque lost by eight. They’ll have some extra motivation to knock off the ranked Knights this year and I’m betting it’s close again.

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.