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: Rivalries taking center stage

Whether playing for a playoff spot, playing out the string, playing for a bell (Monon or Victory), or playing in a rivalry with no trophy at all, there should be lots of intrigue here in Week 11.

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 guest is Brendan McKinnon. A former wide receiver at the Coast Guard Academy, Brendan also ran a college football site on Fox Sports’ Yardbarker blog network for five seasons.

— Pat Coleman

What’s this week’s Game of the Week?

Keith’s take: No. 19 Concordia-Moorhead at No. 6 St. John’s. Other games could set more playoff dominoes in motion, but this matches better teams and is essentially a play-in.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 Concordia-Moorhead at No. 6 St. John’s. Two regionally ranked teams vying to stay in the Pool C hunt. What’s not to love?
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Wabash at DePauw. This year, it’s Wabash’s opportunity to play spoiler, as DePauw is somehow in the top half of the North Region rankings.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at St. John’s. The playoffs start a week early for these two ranked MIAC teams. Winner is in, loser is out.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: MIT at No. 20 Springfield. This game carries Pool B & C implications, as a Springfield loss would open up a Pool C slot.
Brendan’s take: The Secretaries’ Cup (Coast Guard-Merchant Marine) on ESPN3. It’s finally back at the end of the season where it belongs.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

Keith’s take: No. 14 Case Western Reserve. Last week’s dominance should have made us all believers, but the visit to 7-2 Carnegie Mellon is by far their toughest road test to date.
Ryan’s take: No. 14 Case Western Reserve. For all the talk of their playoff chances, a loss to Carnegie Mellon would take stress off the selection committee.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 24 UW-La Crosse. Plenty of teams in the bottom few spots of the West Region rankings have taken extra losses so far. They could add to the list.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 12 Wittenberg. Wooster has an explosive offense and will want to push the pace in a shootout. The Tigers have already clinched the NCAC title.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 14 Case Western Reserve (at Carnegie Mellon). The Week 10 bye for the Tartans might be exactly what the team needs to bounce back and upset Case.
Guest’s take: No. 14 Case Western Reserve. Trap games and rivalries are a bad combination.

Pick a winner in a head-to-head game for an automatic bid.

Keith’s take: No. 7 Delaware Valley (vs. Widener). The Pride have a chance, and it would disrupt Pool C, but the Aggies’ defense is playing too well to blow the shot at 10-0.
Ryan’s take: Delaware Valley, over Widener. The Aggies have impressed all season and won’t slow now.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Monmouth. There’s really only one way the Midwest Conference championship game will go.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Monmouth. The Scots win the only true conference championship game and secure the MWC bid.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 7 Delaware Valley (vs. Widener). As much as I favor upsets, I can’t see this game being a real challenge for the Aggies, with their balance on both sides of the ball.
Guest’s take: Johns Hopkins has the Centennial Conference locked up against McDaniel.

Who salvages a subpar season with a win in its finale?

Keith’s take: No. 23 UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks should beat UW-Eau Claire easily to finish 6-1 in the No. 1 conference, with losses to 10-0 and two 9-1 teams.
Ryan’s take: Washington U. Tough, tough schedule led to a bad record. If they’re not too beat up, Bridgewater should net them a win.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Wabash. Because Bell.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Coe. Last year’s 10-0 season is a distant memory. A win over Buena Vista would at least avoid finishing in the cellar alone.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Stevenson (vs. Lycoming). The Mustangs started ranked in the Top 25, only to risk falling to .500 with a loss Saturday — a loss I believe they avoid.
Guest’s take: UW-Platteville. The Pioneers will end their skid and finish with a winning conference record.

Alma mater excluded, pick a winner in a rivalry game.

Keith’s take: Union or Wabash. Two of D-III’s best rivalries are back now that both sides are good at the same time again. We’ll see some weirdness Saturday.
Ryan’s take: Cortland. The Jug game this year pits two pretty evenly matched teams.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Coast Guard. Glad this game is being showcased on ESPN3. It should be an entertaining one.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Randolph-Macon. The Yellow Jackets’ strengths (rushing and rush defense) exploit Hampden-Sydney’s biggest weaknesses.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Wabash (at DePauw). I mean, this game is listed to start at 1:07 p.m. If it started at 1:06, I’d favor DePauw, of course.
Guest’s take: Ithaca has more to play for; they’ll break their long losing streak to Cortland and win the Cortaca Jug.

Who heads into the playoffs without momentum?

Keith’s take: Lakeland. The Muskies won’t lose to Rockford, and even if the Muskies, a first-round game at somewhere like UW-Oshkosh awaits.
Ryan’s take: Chapman. Because being robbed of a final game to polish your skills on the field is a tough pill to swallow.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Lakeland. Heading for a game against a top seed somewhere, without Michael Whitley at full mobility? Ballgame.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 10 Brockport. The Golden Eagles will be without starting QB Joe Germinerio, so expect a low-scoring game against St. Lawrence in Week 11.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Ithaca (vs. Cortland). This allows me to pick Union in the Dutchman’s Shoes game vs. RPI, giving the Bombers the LL AQ. Yet, Ithaca’s 2-2 vs. E8 teams this year.
Guest’s take: Western New England. They haven’t faced a playoff caliber opponent in two months.

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.