Triple Take: Predicted scores for the second round of the playoffs

Tyre Coleman needs one sack to move into sole possession of second place all-time in the history of the NCAA tracking stats, and 4.5 to move into a tie for first. (Hobart athletics photo)

Tyre Coleman needs one sack to move into sole possession of second place all-time in the history of the NCAA tracking stats, and 4.5 to move into a tie for first. (Hobart athletics photo)

Consider for a moment the quality of the 16 teams remaining in the postseason. Nine of them are still unbeaten, and six of the other seven teams have one loss. Together, the teams who will take the fields on Saturday have experienced defeat just nine times, with one of the losses coming to a scholarship-level team and another coming against Mount Union, which is one of the 16 teams still alive.

Saturday’s road teams  the ones which the bracket-makers consider the underdogs will include Linfield and St. John’s, the past two programs other than Mount Union or UW-Whitewater to win Stagg Bowls. The field still includes both the Purple Raiders and Warhawks, all eight No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, and the top 11 teams in the top 25, as well as 13 of the top 14.

In other words, this is the best of the best. The one drawback to having such an expansive playoff is that eight very good seasons come to an end this week. But they do so having satisfied the competitive urge, going against the best the 244-team division has to offer. And the eight that move on to the quarterfinals do so knowing they had to pass pretty serious tests, for the most part, to move on.

The purpose of Triple Take this week is to set the national expectation. We know most folks don’t have the time or inclination to follow all 16 of these teams, or really develop an idea of what we’re in for Saturday. It’s a much more difficult week to forecast than last, but publisher Pat Coleman, national columnist Ryan Tipps and I take a crack at this week’s scores. If you see something on Saturday that runs contrary to the picks you see below, realize you are witnessing history in the making.

— Keith McMillan

Keith’s take:  UW-Whitewater 28, Wabash 14
Ryan’s take: UW-Whitewater 31, Wabash 14
Pat’s take: UW-Whitewater 38, Wabash 14
Consensus: Unanimous. We’ve each got the Little Giants scoring a couple touchdowns, making the giants of Division III fight for their pass into the next round.

Keith’s take: Wartburg 31, St. John’s 17
Ryan’s take: St. John’s 21, Wartburg 20
Pat’s take: Wartburg 31, St. John’s 17
Consensus: Split decision. Ryan’s got the Johnnies pulling some upset wizardry in Waverly. Pat and I see the same two-TD margin for the Knights.

Keith’s take: Widener 38, Christopher Newport 28
Ryan’s take: Widener 41, Christopher Newport 24
Pat’s take: Widener 35, Christopher Newport 14
Consensus: Unanimous. We aren’t expecting these guys to need late field goals to decide it this week.

Keith’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 28, Linfield 27
Ryan’s take: Linfield 38, Mary Hardin-Baylor 34
Pat’s take: Mary Hardin-Baylor 27, Linfield 24
Consensus: Split decision. Although we all agree that two of the legendary programs in D-III should be engaged in a down-to-the-wire affair.

Keith’s take: Wesley 59, MIT 7
Ryan’s take: Wesley 48, MIT 3
Pat’s take: Wesley 55, MIT 7
Consensus: Unanimous. On a day of competitive games, we see this as a mismatch.

Keith’s take: Johns Hopkins 28, Hobart 21
Ryan’s take: Johns Hopkins 28, Hobart 24
Pat’s take: Johns Hopkins 31, Hobart 20
Consensus: Unanimous. In a clash of 11-0 teams, we expect the Blue Jays to eke out a road win, likely because the Statesmen have been cutting it close lately. Their past three wins are by 2, 5 and 7 points.

Keith’s take: John Carroll 35, Wheaton 24
Ryan’s take: John Carroll 31, Wheaton 24
Pat’s take: John Carroll 30, Wheaton 26
Consensus: Unanimous. The predictions, made separately with no knowledge of the others, look fairly similar. Expect one of the day’s best games.

Keith’s take: Mount Union 38, Washington and Jefferson 20
Ryan’s take: Mount Union 45, Washington and Jefferson 17
Pat’s take: Mount Union 42, Washington and Jefferson 20
Consensus: Unanimous. Not expecting the Presidents to be completely blown away like most early-round Purple Raider opponents are.

We invite you to add your predictions and reasoning in the comments below, or tweet at us at @D3Keith, @NewsTipps and @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the most recent round of playoffs.

10 thoughts on “Triple Take: Predicted scores for the second round of the playoffs

  1. Here are Frank and my picks from last Sunday’s ITH:

    F – UWW 40-14
    J – UWW 42-14

    F – WAR 24-20
    J – SJU 37-34

    F – WID 31-24
    J – CNU 35-32

    F – UMHB 45-40
    J – LIN 45-40*

    F – UMU 50-20
    J – UMU 55-21

    F – JCU 40-30
    J – JCU 55-24

    F – WES 47-14
    J – WES 52-7

    F – JHU 27-24
    J – HOB 27-24**

    Only agreed on half the field but I admittedly went for more underdogs, so to speak. The * on the Linfield score was I never gave an actual prediction given at the time of recording the TLU-MHB game hadn’t restarted. I still stick by that pick. The Cru didn’t look great and the Cats had an extra day of prep and rest, plus the emotions of playing for Parker Moore is a X factor you can’t discount.

    The ** is I moved my HOB prediction in the blog to 21-17 (still sticking with the Statesmen ;). The temps will be around freezing tmw and there’s a 30% chance of snow. Both defenses are very strong so I expect a low scoring, grind of a game.

  2. Can’t argue with the logic around the unanimous prediction regarding Hobart. I haven’t seen Johns Hopkins. They both easily won against their common opponent and Hobart has been less than stellar in its’ last 3 games . However, Hobart beat the E-8 champs in round 1 despite 4 first half turnovers and with a very dominating second half. Also, home field is an advantage especially in the playoffs and especially in the cold weather. Hobart 17 JHU 10.

  3. As I noted in the WIAC Boards early in the week before the D3 Gangs’ predictions, said the D3 Gang could forget that SJU is all bout defense and go more for Wartburg. . Time will tell but Keith and Pat both see Wartburg putting up 31 points. I may need to eat crow, but it ain’t going to happen. I think SJU has allowed opponents an average of under 12 points a game. In the last 4-5 games have allowed less than 8 points. I wonder if maybe the D3 Gang and others too focused on the SJU quarterback’s inconsistency and sometimes shaky pocket presence and not seeing all the receivers. Believe SJU will not pass and eat up clock using numbers 31, 1 and occasionally Martin. SJU has some smart coaches and the coaching staff is running on all cylinders this year. To me, this is a typical SJU championship team. Great secondary, great runner and sometimes sloppy but very capable offense. SJU 23 – Wartburg 21.

  4. Maybe with exception of MIT/Wes – these are some of the best second round match ups I remember in quite a while. And who know, MIT has a lot of smart people, perhaps they’ll design a scheme to make their match up unexpectedly good (that’s why they play the game!)

    Predicted winners: Wesley, Hopkins, Linfield, UWW, St Johns, Widener, Wheaton and Mt Union

    * Wartburg has beaten 2 MIAC schools, I don’t think it’ll be a third for the season, but if they do, perhaps they’ve been under rated all season long.

    and ** is it me, or does Mt and UWW’s bracket seem extra stuffed (as in tough programs) relative to the other two brackets??

  5. UW-Whitewater 42, Wabash 20
    St. John’s 28, Wartburg 21
    Christopher Newport 31, Widener 28
    Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Linfield 31
    Wesley 56, MIT 10
    Johns Hopkins 35, Hobart 21
    John Carroll 38, Wheaton 31
    Mount Union 49, Washington and Jefferson 24

  6. Whitewater 41 Wabash 14
    Wartburg 24 St. John’s 21
    Widener 35 Christopher Newport 14
    Mary Hardin-Baylor 38 Linfield 28
    Wesley 59 MIT 14
    Johns Hopkins 35 Hobart 21
    John Carroll 31 Wheaton 27
    Mount Union 45 Washington & Jefferson 14

    I’m hoping i’m wrong with John Carroll winning cause i dont want a rematch so i’ll be rooting for Wheaton tomorrow.

  7. I can’t predict St. John’s games very well any more. There is no way I thought they’d beat St. Thomas and Bethel handily. They aren’t your father’s Johnnies these days. They are tougher team than they used to be but not nearly as explosive offensively. Hard to say what will happen from now on.

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