ATN Podcast: Down to the final eight

Jasper Collins
Jasper Collins caught five touchdown passes. That’s all. No big deal.
Photo by Dan Poel for

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When you have just eight games in a given week, we definitely have time to do a thorough breakdown, and a rundown of the four games coming up next week. So no, there weren’t too many surprises in this particular second round of the playoffs but the highest-ranked teams advanced in every instance.

Updated bracket, playoff features

Pat and Keith give their strengths and weaknesses for each of the eight remaining teams, looking at the matchups. Plus get Widener’s take on Salisbury and the Pride’s take on Mount Union. UW-Oshkosh linebacker Ryan Stefaniak talks about the play that turned the game, then his coach disputes that that was the turning point at all.

Plus, we talk about the retirement of legendary St. John’s coach John Gagliardi, his legacy, and explain who this Mike Grant person is everyone is talking about as the possible successor.

Keith and Pat talk about that and more in this week’s Around the Nation Podcast, sponsored by the City of Salem, hosts of Stagg Bowl XL. Tickets on sale now!

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Postgame show

Here’s this week’s reports, highlight packages and postgame interviews.

And this week’s photo galleries from our friends at

11 thoughts on “ATN Podcast: Down to the final eight

  1. Good podcast, thanks for posting. It is hard for me to see three teams like Mary Hardin Baylor, Wesley and Mount Union all be on the same side of the bracket. The performances of each I believe are showing that they are the top three teams in the nation. Whichever one of these three gets to Salem, I believe they would be a fairly big favorite to win.

    Being a Mt Union alum and fan, having seen some of the more dominant Purple Raider teams of the late 90’s and 2000’s, I like this team. I think there is something to be said for how much the seniors of this team want a title as they’ve been denied it for three years and want to go out on top. While the explosive offense of the teams of the past is impossible to deny, I’ve always liked the strong defenses Mount has been able to put together and this one is very good. The string of shutouts in the regular season was fun to see. If they can create some early turnovers against Widener it will go a long way in helping to create some space on the scoreboard.

    I will say that I would like to see Mount and MHB hook up in Alliance. But Wesley is a great team as well.

    Good luck to all this Saturday.

  2. Sometimes it can be tough to talk for that long and not stick your foot in your mouth. I said Cortland outgained Wesley; that is not true.

    Wesley did have only 360 yards and put up 56 points. I guess that’s the point I was going for.

  3. I think that the second round proved what many of us already knew. There are about 10 elite teams and then there are the rest. The scores in the third round should be a little tighter including Mt Union.

  4. Keith and Pat,

    UMHB has the most balanced offense ever this year. Check the stats guys! Also, they are passing first these days then running the football.

    UMHB linebacker J.Jones has broken most of Jerrell Freeman’s defensive records. Jerrelll is currently starting inside linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts and leading them in tackles. I’m surprised you guys barely mentioned Jones. He will be playing on Sundays.

    The team who has the fewest mistakes will win Saturday. I know I’m dreaming, but I would love for Widener to come to Belton next Saturday.

  5. If UMHB and Mount win this coming Saturday and UMHB has a stronger strength of schedule especially after the two playoff rounds why would the game not be played in Belton. If the teams are not seeded this would make more sense.

  6. app33,

    I’m guessing that you didn’t listen to the podcast interview that Pat had with the chair of the selection committee (who’s name I cannot recall). In that interview Pat asked him about the “seeding” at the top of each bracket. He basically said that Pat was astute in figuring out the top team in each bracket and how they were set up. Reading between the lines the committee had Linfield as #1 seed, UMU as #2, UMHB as #3 and St. Thomas at #4. If they all survive you have 1 playing 4 and 2 playing 3. We’ll see if they all survive to play again next week.

  7. It would be nice if Widener upset MU and UMHB beat Wesley. I would love another playoff game in Belton next week. But, I don’t think Widener can pull that off and UMHB will have to play a great game to win.

    I do think this is UMHB’s year to win it all. Finally after 14 years the Cru is not one dimensional as we can run and throw it. Yes, if we beat Wesley we will beat MU in Alliance just as we did in 04 and the Stagg and beat Linfield for the Title.

  8. My predictions,

    MU 51 WU 17

    UMHB 31 WC 21

    LC 24 UWO 21

    HU 17 ST 14

    Next round,

    UMHB 21 MU 14

    LC 24 HU 17


    UMHB 28 LC 14

  9. And reading more comments of yours — I also think we’re more than well aware of Jones. Maybe you read the feature story we did on him earlier this week?

    Appreciate the comments but I’m not sure you are following.

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