Game Day: The best 90 minutes

Rob Kues
With quarterback questions, the Wheaton running game will be even more important on Saturday.

The best 90 minutes of the season, bar none, is coming our way this afternoon. That’s from about 2:10 p.m. until 3:40 p.m. ET on the Saturday of the first-round games, where the noon games all come down to their finishes and the 1 p.m. games (noon CT) soon follow. In that swath of time, we’ll be eliminating 14 of the 32 teams on the Road to Salem, with the loser of the Bethel-Wartburg game and the Cal Lutheran-Linfield game coming later in the day.

To get us through, we again lean on the live blogging capabilities of Cover It Live, and you can join in the chat itself starting shortly before game time in the EST either by typing in the chat window (no registration needed) or by using Twitter and employing the #d3fb hashtag.

31 thoughts on “Game Day: The best 90 minutes

  1. Getting ready to head to Thomas More to see the Saints take on my alma mater. My prediction: TMC 38, W&L 35. I hope I’m wrong. Follow me on twitter @adamturer for updates of this game throughout the day. I’ll try to keep the tweets as unbiased as possible.

  2. Wow Joy Solomen and and the D3 committee great job on these picks ! GREAT JOB KEEPING ROWAN out of the mix ! You are all so wise ! KUDOS ! Can there be any -MORE blowouts !!!! STAY TUNED

  3. That kind of comment is idiotic. All the blowouts involve teams that the committee had no control over because they got automatic bids.

    Learn something about the process before you comment.

  4. That’s right. The pool C picks (the only teams the committe chose) did as well as they could have. 4-2 with their only losses to other pool C teams.

  5. Exactly. Well said usee.

    Rowan had a clear way into the field, win their conferences Pool A. They didn’t. What we saw today is that all the other Pool C teams seemed more than worthy of their bids.

  6. like someone said…i think they need to cap the loss total for the automatic qualifiers. many of the pool a teams got killed!

  7. There are some intriguing matchups in the second round. The one that jumps out to me is mt union vs del valley. Delaware Valley is probably the toughest second round opponent that mt union has faced in any of its championship runs. Also thomasmore/mhb should be a good one..

  8. About DPU and Trine…

    I thought that the South bracket was very weak after #3.

    Wesley, UMHB and TMC are strong and representative of their seeds.

    I felt that the 4th and 5th strongest teams in the South Region were HSU and Louisiana College, both of whom are sitting at home.

    DPU won a very weak SCAC. The ODAC lost both games that it played.

  9. I have a simple solution to the playoff system. Teams that win their conference only get an automatic bid if they are ranked in the top 50. The top 50 can be calculated by a computer model based on wins, ranking, SOS, games played vs top 25, wins vs top 25, wins vs top 50 etc (boy I sound like the BCS). This would force teams to schedule appropriately. If this was employed this year, Rowen, PLU, and Hardin Simmons would have all likely been in the tournament field (CNU, Benedictine, St Lawrence, Endicott would have likely been out). This is also not a perfect system but seems like a no brainer to me……Thoughts??

  10. The NJAC has 3 very good teams hamst64 so if I understand you correctly, one must go 10-0 to get an automatic bid that BS who’s your team ? Rowan got screwed you just don’t have the guts to disagree w Coleman ! Rowan deserves to be there. You’re the numbnut !

  11. Take care of business, win your conference, leave no doubt.

    Getting three teams in from the same conference has happened exactly once in 12 years. You don’t want to be in that position.

  12. Bethel Won.. I drove 3 hours to watch the game. Wartburg did such a long workout routine before the game, it’s as if they didnt know they were in a run for their money. It was about 34 degrees by game time and it seemed like to me that wartburg did too much warming up and phsycing each other out before the game. instead of practicing they were almost doing everything in formation with each other. Bethel Heads east to Whaeaton, just another great matchup, with I could travel 8 hours but i’m just hoping for a St. Thomas-Bethel mematch!!! Go Royals! Go Tommies

  13. and to any wartburg fans out there, you played a great game and best of luck next year.. Just tell more people to watch your playoff games. There were almost as many bethel fans, seemed like anyways

  14. rules: Please notice that I didn’t insult you, just your comment. And yes, you do not understand correctly. Rowan didn’t have to go 10-0 to get an automatic bid, but simply 7-0 in the conference, rather than losing a game to allow a 3-way tie scenario. And I disagreed with Coleman, by the way, who thought Rowan would make the field. It was McMillan who predicted Montclair.

    Grant: I used to drive between Wheaton and the west Mpls. suburbs in around 6 hours. Maybe that helps. Should be a good game, hope you can go!

  15. Make that 9-0 in the NJAC. But if Rowan had lost to Lycoming and beaten Montclair, they’d be in, no questions. Which plays into my next comment…

    Some of these conferences are so big, there’s not much chance for teams to improve their SoS, which is why I wouldn’t support a system like the one suggested by mille125. It’s hard to “force teams to schedule appropriately” when they come from a conference that big and barely get any non-conference games. And the trend seems to be toward bigger conferences. Cortland, for example, has the same 10 teams every year because of their Ithaca rivalry. No choice. The rest of the NJAC only gets one game of their choice. But let’s look at the weaker conferences.

    ECFC – they get 3 non conference games, but the most geographically appropriate teams for them to schedule are in another weak conference, the NEFC. And the NEFC itself, although they get 3 non-c games, it’s simplest to schedule teams from the other division or from ECFC. There are a few exceptions: Endicott lost to RPI 6-3, which in most years would be pretty good for their SoS, but the LL had a weird year. Still, that probably was good preparation for Endicott’s playoff run.

  16. Hamst64, hhere in the East when someone say a comment is idiotic its an insult and you’d better cover up. So it probably a good practice not to say things like that unless yo;re ready for the repercussion. Now that thats out of the. D3 ned to examine these weak teams and 5-5 conference champs or not there needs to be a cut off for losses when teams like Rowan Montclair Cortland all split. Its not fair one team has to be out. The CRAZY scenario is if Montclair ran the table Rowan would be in no question go figure instead Cortland walks in ! What a crazy world we live in. Here’s a novel idea have a playin game if you really desreve to be there and your conference turns out like the NJAC but to die by the fate of teams you don’t even face is absurd ! If I hurt your feelings I apologize ! Just a passionate Rowan fan bc they deserve it !

  17. Thanks for saying something of substance, rules. Now I can respond appropriately.

    I totally agree that it’s not quite fair to leave out good teams like Rowan, PLU, etc. in favor of clearly weaker teams. However, it also wouldn’t be fair to say at the beginning of the season, “win your conference and you’re in”, and then change that to kick out a team with a bunch of losses. There’s no perfect system, but what we have is about the best we can get without making the postseason a week longer by instituting play-in games.

    Every team in the country has an equal shot at the playoffs at the beginning of the season, which is one measure of fairness. Another would be to take the 32 best teams in the country, but there’s a lot more subjectivity to that. In my opinion, the 32 best teams in the country would usually include 3-4 teams each from the WIAC, OAC, CCIW, 2-3 from the NJAC, E8, NWC, ASC, and then a few other top teams. If that were how the playoff teams were selected, then teams from weak conferences would have no shot, even with a perfect season (i.e. SUNY Maritime).

    Personally, I’d rather go with the “take care of business on the field” approach where you have to win your conference than with some sort of BCS approach to determining the best teams.

  18. You’re right Hamst64, there is no perfect solution but you get 60-0 scores Suny Maritme vs Alfred is that what we want ? Their conference is obviously weak and isn’t the object to have the “BEST” teams to make viewing the tournament enjoyable how fun can a blowout be ? Would they “deserve” that ? I like the SoS format this way if a team is 5-5 they worked hard played hard and and deserve to be “in”. Im just saying we wanna see good football and not be like the BCS right? I feel sorry for any team that gets in Rowan’s way next season!

  19. We saw good football in nearly half of the 16 games last weekend, and we’ll most likely see good football in all of the remaining 15 games.

    Maritime vs. Alfred may not be what we want, but Maritime sitting at home after going 10-0 because they play in a weak conference isn’t what we want either. St. Lawrence sitting at home may be what we want, but they don’t come from a traditionally weak conference, and they did take care of business in the conference games.

  20. “Im just saying we wanna see good football and not be like the BCS right?”

    Actually, what you’re proposing is to be more like the BCS, which has decreed that some conferences cannot qualify for its championship and others better be absolutely perfect, and then some, to even be considered.

    If we start deciding that not all conferences need apply, then we are more like the BCS. Just so we’re clear here.

  21. Then the solution should be don’t bother with fictional national rankings because they obviously mean nothing. While you make a valid point Pat, your delivery is as subtle and disrespectful as a lead weight. I am not proposing anything other than to not have the hopes of ANY TEAM be brought up by fictional rankings only to be completely dashed by “opponents,opponents” records. There has to be a better way. Yea you make the rules on “your” site but don’t treat other people like their dolts and ignorant. ROWAN took care of business and some obscure rule screwed them, plain and simple. Of course i wouldn’t want D3 to be like the BCS but there has to be a better for these teams that deserve to be there. And Rowan isn’t the only team I imagine that feels the way they do.

  22. I get that you don’t like me, beach, but that doesn’t mean you’re right and everyone else is wrong.

    I think you started on the wrong foot by blaming your own AD, disrespecting her by calling her a field hockey coach, then, let’s see, trashing the committee for their picks after the first round when none of the teams the committee got to pick actually lost except to other at-large picks … should I go on? People are trying to help you understand and you’re just lashing out randomly.

    Rowan did not take care of business. Winning the automatic bid is taking care of business. Anything else is leaving themselves in the committee’s hands.

    The NJAC tiebreaker is an unusual one, but if it had been a coin flip instead, would you fly off the handle less?

  23. Pat’s right, rulesdabeach. If you think “taking care of business” means losing only one game in your conference, then Wheaton, Bethel, Coe, Ohio Northern, and Hampden-Sydney all “took care of business”, as well as Montclair, Cortland and Rowan (not to mention PLU and Redlands). So if you want to stimulate worthwhile discussion, tell us which of those teams you would have left out in favor of Rowan, and why.

    The tiebreaker rule that “screwed” Rowan (OWP)was set by the NJAC, and has nothing to do with the national committee. Another common tiebreaker that they don’t use is the point differential among the tied teams in their head-to-head games, which would have favored Montclair, not Rowan. Is there another tiebreaker criterion you would suggest?

    The NJAC can’t just tell the committee to take all 3, nor can it leave the decision of who gets the AQ up to the committee. And in a year with this many strong 1-loss teams, it was not likely the committee would take 3 from a conference.

  24. The system we have is not perfect, as we all know, but it does guarantee 2 things:

    1. Every team, at the beginning of the season, has an equal chance at the playoffs, and thererfore the championship.

    2. The playoffs will include at least the 8-12 best teams in the country. Not the best 32 teams, because of point 1 and the disparity of conferences, but definitely the top teams.

    Now the Stagg Bowl this year could end up being Cortland vs. Montclair, in which case you could argue that Rowan was the 3rd best team in the country and should have made the playoffs, but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.

    The Stagg could also end up being Wheaton vs. North Central this year, and we could argue that Illinois Wesleyan was the 3rd best team in the country. Again, low odds, and an interesting discussion if it comes to that.

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