ATN Podcast 296: A new era of parity?

In 2019 the second round of the Division III playoffs featured a number of blowouts, and this year, yes, there were two big wins, perhaps not coincidentally by the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in our Top 25 poll, but a bunch of other games that were one-score or two-score games.

That strikes us as being fairly unusual … and also awesome. Whether that holds up in the quarterfinals remains to be seen, but it’s a start. Could there have really been eight teams in the bracket capable of winning it all? Is Mount Union actually vulnerable after giving up 35 points on Saturday? Does Linfield have what it takes to get past Mary Hardin-Baylor on another long trip?

Plus, every week it becomes time for more and more players to hang up their cleats — some by choice, and some who simply run out of time. We talk to both types in this week’s podcast.

Plus, Ralph Isernia, head coach at RPI, perhaps the most unlikely quarterfinalist, joins us for a playoff-worthy expanded Tight Five to talk about the adversity his team has gone through just in getting this far and the personal sacrifices players have made to come back for this year. That and more in the latest Around the Nation podcast.

Related link: Despite a year apart, RPI is thriving

Plus, we hand out game balls from the weekend that was Division III football. We talk about who will rise in the Top 25 poll based on their performance in the first two weeks of the playoffs. And we tackle the question: Is this more parity? Is it just about teams with super seniors?

Pat Coleman and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest Around the Nation Podcast. The Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

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Theme music: DJmentos.
Photos: Caleb Williams,; Dan Hunter,

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