Around the Nation podcast: Your questions, Mount answers

Josh Yoder has the Linfield offense clicking as well as the Wildcats have their defense clicking.
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Mount Union answered a big challenge on Saturday but that was not the only question we had this week, nor was it the only question you had this week either. So when we put out the call for questions, we got a lot of interest in regional rankings, some questions about specific teams and some about potential at-large bids. Plus we talked about the other key Top 25 games and more in this week’s podcast.

Heidelberg got back into that game after being down 17 at halftime but were there extenuating circumstances? And why did Platteville struggle so much against Whitewater? A couple key items you should know are included in this week’s podcast. Plus we talk about the big wins Linfield and North Central put on ranked opponents as well.

You questions led us to talk about the West Region rankings, who will be No. 1 in each region, whether the East Region will be allowed to have a No. 1 seed in the playoffs this year and more. Plus we touched on the unusual in-season coaching changes and more.

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The tags below include the schools we talked about. Also, here’s your first look at the Postgame Show, with your D3reports and team interviews and highlight packages:

15 thoughts on “Around the Nation podcast: Your questions, Mount answers

  1. Pat … The Gallaudet-Becker game, that to me is just crazy. I know we’re going to go off the beaten track here for a second, but someone asked me if I’d ever seen anything like that before. I suspect I probably have. I can’t put my finger on it right now. To snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like that, when Becker is lining up for a makeable field goal with two seconds to go, a 31-yarder that would win the game. Then Gallaudet blocks that kick and returns it all the way for a touchdown, keeps an unbeaten season alive against a team that had won just one game all season — there’s just a lot of various little pieces that make that pretty spectacular.

    Keith: Well, if we’re talking about little pieces, that picture that is on the front page right now, with Becker’s uniform, those are pretty eye-catching unis. They look like a brighter version of the Jaguars.

    Pat (laughing): I remember, do you remember last year, I think it was last season or the beginning of this season, Becker kids tweeting those uniforms and asking if they were the best uniforms in Division III. And kind of getting roundly shouted down for that. But they certainly are, I think eye-catching is the right word for that, yeah.

  2. RE: Targeting Penalty. AU’s starting Defensive End received a flag for targeting and was ejected from the game Saturday against Salisbury State. The alleged violation occurred when a Salisbury RB had broken a couple tackles and by then had drawn a crowd. It was on the far side of the field so I did not see the alleged hit. I can’t see how a RB in a crowd like that would be rendered “defenseless” when he’s already broken two tackles and is fighting for more yards. It seemed to me to be much too harsh of a penalty for a kid who had NO INTENT to hurt anyone. Just doing his job of tackling a kid who did NOT want to be tackled.

  3. I am hopeful that the one-game suspension that is “automatic” in these cases would get overturned by the conference office on looking at the video of something like that.

  4. What I can’t seem to figure out is why Franklin is higher ranked than Heidelberg. I had already gone on my rant a few weeks ago about how over ranked Franklin is; either way, you look at Heidelberg who is 7-1 and only lost to Mount Union by 10 points. Franklin only lost to Mount Union by 3 points but they technically lost to Butler as well. What I can’t fully grasp is why is it that Franklin gets credibility for playing Butler close as a D1 AA school, but according to you guys the criteria for playoff doesn’t include out of region teams. Well, in your podcast Keith mentioned that Wittenberg could still get a playoff bid if they lose to Wabash and already losing to Butler earlier this year. Why are teams allowed to play D1 schools and it’s not part of the criteria, yet a team can lose and it’s washed away like the game never happened. A team like Wartburg that played Bethel and lost and they get discredited for losing to a good team as Franklin gets a free pass. The HCAC has only won I believe 1 or 2 out of conference games the last 2 years. That has to be a major role in the voting because Franklin plays their conference opponents 8 out of their 10 games, and if you don’t count Butler, then the only good team they have played all year is Mount Union? why don’t all the OAC teams get credit for playing Mount Union and losing. Can someone enlighten me why Franklin is STILL a top 15 team???

  5. the HCAC non-conference is only 21-80 record for the last 5 years and 82-154 non-conference for the last 10 years. Over the last 5 years for the HCAC they have only won 3 games vs WINNING records. They also have only 7 road non-conference wins in 5 years and those 7 wins are to teams that have an accumulative record of 21-50. Besides (6-4)Centre losing at home in 2010 and 10-2 Trine at Franklin in 2009 there are ZERO other quality wins by the HCAC in 5 years

  6. the HCAC non-conference opponent wins in the last 5 years where 21-80 but even worse their non-conference opponents opponents were a terrifying 188-347 with only 8 out of 54 opponents opponents beating teams with winning records in their entire season

  7. so for 5 years the HCAC essentialy beat 8 teams that had beaten ONE team with a winning record in their respective season.. i’m sorry but i’m just mind blown how Franklin is 9th ranked

  8. One interesting comment from the podcast.

    Keith noted that Bethel is an outlier amidst the other top 6 teams in the Top 25 in terms of ‘explosive playmakers.’

    I’ll bite and push back a bit. I just don’t think this is the case with Bethel, especially this year.

    They actually appear loaded at the skill positions. They have depth and high end players at RB and WR. Marquardt is averaging 7.5 ypc and has 10 TD’s. Hallstrom is a threat every time he makes a catch, likewise with Hilbrands. One reason no WR has monster ypg is that Peterson is doing such a great job of spreading the ball around. The field is littered with playmakers and it makes it very difficult to home in on even just 2 or 3 options. Schultz, Walker, Klitske, Neuville and Mitchell are all capable of a long score.

    One reason you might make the comment is that in the past (from 04-11 anyway-Kirchoff could sling the rock) Bethel has been a much more run dominant team. Our makeup was a physical, punishing rushing attack that controlled the pace of the game. Flannery and Porta were the definition of playmakers. But they weren’t ‘Oregon explosive.’

    Maybe there’s still some latent bias in how the national perception regards Bethel. But this is not who Bethel is this year. They are very balanced. And they are a threat in multiple ways from anywhere on the field.
    Rushing: 5.3 ypc and 200 rushing ypg, 27 TD’s
    Passing: 9.4 yards/attempt and 13.4 yds/catch for 264 ypg and 16 TD’s
    Overall: 7.1 ypp and 465 ypg to go along with almost 42 ppg

    That, and they’ve played the 9th toughest schedule in all of D3. So they aren’t putting up these numbers against weak competition.

    I guess I was just struck by the comment. Especially when during the same podcast you discussed Mount having a more ‘normal’ (by Mount’s standards) receiving corps. Whitewater has a dominant D, and their offense is coming together. But I wouldn’t regard their offense as more explosive than Bethel. Linfield and UMHB are putting up tons of points. But again, the comment was that Bethel was the only one of the top tier teams that lacked the explosive playmaking element. I would just disagree with the comparison.

  9. Great Podcast. Yes, I am one of those nerds you referred to at the end of the cast. I understand your comments about Hobart and perhaps not getting the #1 seed in the east even if they win out. Despite my devotion to the Statesmen, I too wonder if they have truly been tested yet this year. My question to you is are you basing this possibility solely on the fact that the east region may not have the quality teams that other regions have(as you stated), or have you seen Hobart play and feel the team is not worthy based on their play? Hobart has been kind of under the radar this year, but very dominant. They have allowed most TD’s when 2nd and 3rd teamers are in the game and same for the offense, so the final scores are not necessarily indicative of how dominant Hobart has been this year.

  10. I am starting to feel as if someone has a Franklin fetish?? In the end – these rankings don’t mean much. Play on the field in a few weeks will determine who is worthy of a ranking/no ranking, etc.

  11. Can’t speak for Keith, but I base my opinion on the fact that Hobart really hasn’t played anyone this year. It’s hard to tell where a team is when they are dominating a schedule with no ranked opponents, regionally or nationally.

  12. Grantbethelmn, how many posts do you need to make your point?

    Franklin lost AT Mount Union by 3.
    Heidelberg lost at home to Mount Union by 10. (And was lucky to do so, frankly.)

    Everything you have to say about a game vs. Butler is not relevant to a discussion of Heidelberg vs. Franklin.

  13. Heidelberg lost to Mount Union as did Franklin. Heidelberg beat Stronger opponents within their conference over who Franklin beat in their own conference. And Heidelberg beat Alma 52-7 in their out of conference and Franklin lost to Butler. So either way you look at it Heidelberg should be ranked higher, And I’m not some Franklin basher because I don’t like them, but rather because I want to see fairness in football. After John Carroll beats Mount Union in two weeks, all this talk will be worthless anyways

  14. @grantbethelmn, John Carroll still has to show enough stones to beat Heidelberg. Their one good win so far was a similar-to-last-year blowout against St. Norbert. Even if both teams are improved, are you sure JC has closed the gap enough to avenge a 21-point defeat, let alone going to Alliance and avenging a 32-point defeat to the Raiders (officially, it is 42, but it seems like bad form to count the 4th quarter scoring, as the game was clearly over)?

    I guess anything can happen in the wide world of sports, but to just throw down and say JC is going to beat UMU without any evidence that points to is comes off as a bit much.

  15. @grantbethelmn: “So either way you look at it Heidelberg should be ranked higher” — no, all you’ve proven is that if this were a ranking of winning percentage, Heidelberg would be higher. Heidelberg actually has not proven anything that Franklin hasn’t. Franklin and Heidelberg are each ranked ahead of all the teams they’ve beaten and behind all the teams they’ve lost to.

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