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ATN Podcast 305: Early D-III powers bring coaches back to D-III

Wittenberg played in the Stagg Bowl four times in the 1970s, winning two of them. One of those wins was against Ithaca, which played in four of the first eight Stagg Bowls and has played in seven overall, winning three of them. The teams even met in Stagg Bowl IV.

While this is not your father’s Wittenberg or Ithaca, these programs haven’t exactly gone away, either, and are still relevant. At least one is in the playoff hunt every year, it would seem. And each this year has a new head coach, which is why we tabbed Ithaca’s Michael Toerper and Wittenberg’s Jim Collins to join us on Podcast 305. This continues the series, now blatantly intentional, of offseason conversations with new coaches at Division III contenders, one started in Podcast 302 with North Central’s Brad Spencer.

We asked the listeners for suggestions as to which coach or coaches we should talk to next, and we also opened up the floor for listener questions. Pat and Greg tackle the following:

  • What team is likely to be a surprise playoff team in 2022?
  • How has the pandemic changed Division III football?
  • What’s more beneficial to a struggling program, playing a nine-game schedule or having a 10th against a juggernaut?

Some heavy questions, plus Greg finds out what’s on Pat’s Division III football bucket list. Pat Coleman and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Apple Podcasts: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Google Podcasts: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
iHeart Radio: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Stitcher: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Spotify: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast

Theme music: Power 2 by DJmentos.
Photo:

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ATN Podcast 304: Mules in Spain; Meeting Peter Jennings

We are under 100 days until the kickoff of the 2022 season and as the offseason continues, so does our series of conversations with new Division III coaches at nationally prominent schools. This month, we chat with Peter Jennings, who moved this spring from UW-Whitewater, where he was offensive coordinator, to become head coach at UW-Oshkosh. He talks about competing in the toughest league in Division III — and in the WIAC, that isn’t just coachspeak, it’s verifiable.

Before we get to him, though, we have a guest calling in from Barcelona, Spain. That’s where Muhlenberg was this week, playing a local club team and generally soaking up the atmosphere oceanside, seeing the sights, and learning some history. Nate Milne, the Mules head coach, sounds like a history teacher when he talks about the importance of taking his team on a foreign tour, and that’s for good reason.

Plus, Pat and Greg have some advice for someone who might go to Spain and not bring their spouse, Peter Jennings discusses the proper pronunciation of WIAC, and we answer listener questions: Which conference is most likely to suffer because of fewer at-large bids? Will a one-dimensional team ever win the national title again?

Pat Coleman and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Apple Podcasts: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Google Podcasts: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
iHeart Radio: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Stitcher: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Spotify: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast

Theme music: Power 2 by DJmentos.
Photo: Muhlenberg football

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ATN Podcast 303: New UMHB coach; scheduling big; SOS

We’re continuing our offseason series diving into interviews with new coaches at Division III football powers, as we check in with Larry Harmon, the new head coach of the defending national champion, Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Much like last month’s guest, new North Central coach Brad Spencer, Harmon had been an assistant coach at his school for years, including defensive coordinator for the past 17. Harmon talks about what the expectations are for the Cru’s title defense, the transition into taking over the UMHB program, and what the team learned from spring ball. Plus, UMHB made some of the biggest news of the Division III offseason in April, announcing an ambitious non-conference schedule of Muhlenberg and UW-Whitewater.

Plus, three words: ASC-WIAC Challenge?! Sounds like it could happen.

That leads us into the other podcast conversation, where we dive into exactly what strength of schedule means, why it’s broken, and what it would take to fix it. We have that conversation with Logan Hansen, @LogHanRatings, the former Wartburg player whose ratings have been refined over the past decade to provide a quality ranking of Division III football programs.

The current SOS metric could take a couple of minor tweaks to fix obvious flaws, and we talk about those, but it needs a wholesale replacement which involves measuring home-field advantage, and yes, margin of victory. Logan talks about how that works, why running up the score won’t work, and much more in our conversation.

Plus, Pat and Greg talk about the various big games on the schedules that have been announced so far.

Pat Coleman and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Apple Podcasts: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Google Podcasts: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
iHeart Radio: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Stitcher: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast
Spotify: D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast

Theme music: Power 2 by DJmentos.
Photo: North Central athletics