Around the Nation Podcast 224: Prelude to a bunch of barnburners

If the second round of the playoffs is your big turkey dinner with all the trimmings and every side you could want, then the first round is like that tray of vegetables and dip that you end up nibbling on while you wait. You can smell that turkey, the stuffings, the greens, the bread, but you have to wait.

We all have to wait. And now, not only do we have to wait, but we’re hungry.

Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan get you all lined up for Saturday’s first-round games, with the usual previews from Adam Turer and Frank Rossi. Plus, we hear one Division III quarterback remind us exactly why it’s so important to be able to run the ball in the playoffs, and we’ll talk with Mark Baltz, the Division III coordinator of officials. He tells us how officiating crews get selected and what type of evaluations they go through in the playoffs, not to mention how far they can travel. Plus, there’s a well-known former NFL player who is now a Division III football head coach, and Andrew DiDonato, the head coach at Grove City, has some advice for Earlham and all those who are trying to pick a football program up off the mat.

That and more in the Around the Nation podcast. 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.

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Link: Our full NCAA playoff coverage
Mentioned in the podcast: Around the Nation on officials: It’s a thankless job, but these folks do it

Photo: Conor Davies running with the ball, trying to escape a Union safety. (RPI athletics photo)

Theme music: DJmentos.

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