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ATN Podcast 316: All eyes on Platteville, plus regional rankings

Some things we can’t seem to avoid talking about every week this season:

  • The Cortaca Jug game in Yankee Stadium
  • The University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This week, Platteville made headlines again, and for the second week in a row, extremely positive headlines as the Pioneers shook up the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 17-14 win against then-No. 3 UW-Whitewater. What in the name of Dan Arnold is going on with this program? How did the Pioneers go from losing back-to-back games by an average of 40 points, to these two consecutive wins against River Falls and Whitewater?

We’ve had these questions. We assume you’ve had these questions. So we ask these questions. We ask them of Ryan Munz, the Platteville head coach, who is our guest on Fast 5, plus maybe a couple of extra minutes at the top of the podcast.

Plus, it’s really time to dig into how the playoffs are set up in Division III football. If you’re new to Division III, this is a must-listen. Even if you’ve been following for a few years, a refresher might be helpful and yes, some things have changed, even if they are small things.

In all, 69 schools merit serious mention in this week’s podcast. That includes the way in which Cortland beat Utica, how North Central handled Washington U., Austin College and Beloit breaking long losing streaks, not to mention Bowdoin pulling off an unexpected victory as well.

In addition, Pat and Greg hand out game balls, spotlight the unexpected in Stat of the Week, make guesses about Week 9 games and more. There’s a list in small type at the bottom of this page of all the teams that are talked about.

Fan question in the mailbag from @mikey_shoultz: What team from the bottom 10 ranked conferences in your conference rankings has the best chance to win a playoff game?

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:

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UW-Platteville athletics photo

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ATN Podcast 311: Breaking through to the other side?

In a week where some of us didn’t really expect any upsets, instead we got a couple of big ones, where Loras got two shots at a last-second field goal to beat Central, and Case throttled Washington & Jefferson’s offense. Plus, two of this week’s No. 1 votes went to unlikely places. Why did Hardin-Simmons get a No. 1 vote, and why does it not really actually matter?

We talk with Albion coach Dustin Beurer after his team won handily at Rose-Hulman on Saturday to improve to 3-0. He tells us he had one big takeaway from last year’s playoff loss to UW-La Crosse, and what his players had to do to get better, and it may not be what you would expect. He talks about that, the backup who is now leading them for the near future, and how he keeps the tradition of the Britons’ 1994 national title alive for his players, in our Fast Five segment.

Albion broke through into the Top 25 this week, but can the Britons break through and win a playoff game this year?

Plus, are pass breakups the new assists? What actually happened at quarterback for Hobart in Week 2? Pat and Greg talk about key stories from each region. Look at the bottom of this page to see all the teams listed. That’s who we talk about in this podcast, and probably more.

Fan question in our mailbag from Brock Reisler @brockreisler: Is the ARC Wartburg’s league to lose now? Does yesterday’s Loras/Central say more about the Duhawks or Dutch? #d3fb

Is this a breakthrough game for Loras? Or does this talk more about Central?

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.

Greg gave his game ball to Gallaudet’s Brandon Washington. Here’s what was said:

Greg: My game ball’s going to Brandon Washington, a sophomore slot at Gallaudet. Washington rushed 28 times for 160 yards and one touchdown. He also completed three of five passes for 80 more yards and two more touchdowns. And he caught two passes for 60 more yards. And one more touchdown. The receiving touchdown would be the go ahead score in the Bison’s 34 to 31 win over the University of New England, a phenomenal effort by Washington and for passing, running, and receiving touchdowns all in the same game, he gets my game ball.

Is there a name for that, Pat? Is that a hat trick? A triple crown? What do they call that?

Pat: I don’t have a good name for it. We’ll have to find that out. If you have a good name for it. Hey, tweet it at us using the #d3fb hashtag. Great performance for Gallaudet going all the way up to Biddeford, Maine also, and coming away with that 34-31 win.

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:

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Photo by Owen Funke for Loras athletics; Savannah Waddick for Albion athletics

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Quick Hits Week 6: Where the rubber meets the road

Week 6 features key games at the top of the MIAC, NJAC, PAC, SAA, and SCIAC. Not every team is playing for control of their league, and our panel also takes a look at teams likely to get their seasons jump started as the season moves into the second half.

Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas.

— Greg Thomas

Which game is the Game of the Week?

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Keith’s take: No. 12 Wesley at No. 14 Salisbury.  There are MIAC, WIAC, SCIAC and SAA games that could fit here, but the Route 13 Rivalry winner will have a second victory against a playoff-caliber team and a clear path to the NJAC title and playoffs.
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Ryan’s take: No. 12 Wesley at No. 14 Salisbury. Two undefeated rivals sharing the top spot in the conference — made even more interesting by the NJAC being down this year and no guarantee the loser will make the playoffs with one loss.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 6 Bethel at No. 4 St. John’s.  Next question.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 12 Wesley at No. 14 Salisbury. The Wolverines have reversed their fortunes from 2018 and found ways to win close games. The Sea Gulls have struggled to put opponents away late but have hung on to remain unbeaten. This should be a nail-biter with the winner holding the inside track on the NJAC championship.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 12 Wesley at No. 14 Salisbury. One will be in a great NJAC race position. One will need to start counting Pool C bids and hope to win out.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 6 Bethel at No. 4 St. John’s.  Several good games on the docket this week, but 4 vs. 6 is a rare bird, indeed. The first of three titanic MIAC games this season, and the weather will give this one the late season feel it deserves.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

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Keith’s take: No. 8 Berry.  Not that I think the Vikings aren’t favorites at home, but there’s not as much distance between them and unranked, unbeaten Hendrix as the poll might suggest.
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Ryan’s take: No. 25 Case Western Reserve. Though, admittedly, I’ve got W&J ranked on my ballot and not Case, so I wouldn’t see a Presidents’ win as being all that much of an upset.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: None.  With six ranked teams playing each other, not so many teams left in upsettable positions.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 25 Case Western Reserve. Either the Spartans create separation and set themselves up for a title tilt at Carnegie Mellon in Week 11, or the Presidents prevail and create some #PACtion chaos. A W&J win could create a five-way tie atop the conference standings.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 25 Case Western Reserve (vs. Washington & Jefferson). The merry-go-round in the PAC continues as W&J needs this win to stay alive.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 15 Redlands.  The Bulldogs are on the road at a sneaky good Chapman squad that might be flying a bit under the radar. This is a dangerous game for Redlands.

Which ECFC teams get their first wins?

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Keith’s take: Castleton. The six ECFC teams are 2-22, but only the Gallaudet-Castleton winner is guaranteed a W. Vermont is a long way from D.C., and I’ll take the Spartans at home, and that’s it.
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Ryan’s take: Castleton and Dean.  The Spartans can lean on their dual-strength offense against Gallaudet, and it shouldn’t be overlooked that Dean’s Terrell Watts is the conference’s best quarterback.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Anna Maria.  I think the AMCATs are a little further ahead in their program building than Alfred State is.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Castleton and Dean. The Spartans’ defense has kept them in close games this season and the offense should be able to do enough to defeat Gallaudet. The Bulldogs’ defense has been a weakness, but so has SUNY-Maritime’s offense. The defenses hang on for wins this week.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Castleton.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Castleton. The wait for win number one goes on for another week for Gallaudet, Dean, and Anna Maria.

Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?

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Keith’s take: Occidental at Whittier.  The Tigers haven’t beaten an NCAA team since defeating the Poets 56-38 on Oct. 29, 2016, but it could happen here in 2019.
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Ryan’s take: Bowdoin at Amherst.  Last week’s narrow loss to NESCAC top dog Wesleyan puts winless Bowdoin’s outing against Amherst on my upset radar.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Brevard at Methodist.  The Tornadoes aren’t playoff-eligible yet but are unbeaten and interesting.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Heidelberg at Marietta. The middle of the OAC is crowded, with both of these teams coming off their first loss of the season. How will they respond, knowing that playoff berths are likely already out of reach with the toughest part of the conference schedule still ahead of them?
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Misericordia at Widener. I explain why in this week’s ATN Friday Podcast.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: St. Vincent at Thiel. This might be the one. It’s been a long time since Thiel has been able to Taste the Feeling of victory.

Which team with a tough first half starts the second half of the season on a positive note?

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Keith’s take: Lycoming is one point from being winless, but should start the second half off with a win over Alvernia, which hasn’t scored more than 13 in a game since Sept. 14.
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Ryan’s take: George Fox.  I did think the Bruins would be better-positioned at this point, but while the defense has largely been solid, the offense is only now starting to click. That fact alone can help turn things around.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Husson.  The Eagles are just 1-3 so far but Curry has to travel to Maine to play them.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Rowan. The Profs have played as well as any 0-4 team in the nation. Their opponents are a combined 13-4. Rowan’s last two losses were on the road to then-ranked opponents by a combined total of four points. The Profs take their frustration out on Kean in front of a home crowd this week.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Rowan (vs. Kean). Give them this much: the Profs schedule a rough beginning set of opponents. This should be their first win.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Christopher Newport. This has just not gone the way the Captains thought it would. They should break a long touchdown drought and get one in the win column this weekend.

Which team with a strong first half starts the second half on a negative note?

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Keith’s take: Chapman  begins the middle third of its season with its first loss when Elias Hackney and Redlands take care of business.
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Ryan’s take: Westminster (Pa.).  The Titans’ four wins so far have come at the expense of teams that are a combined 2-16. Upcoming battles against Grove City (this week), W&J and Carnegie Mellon will prove difficult.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Puget Sound. Linfield’s struggles don’t go as far as losing this game.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Central. The Dutch are off to an impressive 4-0 start, but the schedule is heavily backloaded. Central closes the season against the other top three teams in the ARC (at Simpson, Wartburg, at Coe), but can’t get caught looking past a battle-tested 2-3 Dubuque squad this week.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Hobart (vs. RPI). The Statesmen failed to kick in the Union game, and RPI has bounced well since the 6-3 loss vs. WPI.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 12 Wesley. The Wolverines have been walking a tightrope for a few weeks now and I think their Route 13 rivals are going to deal the Wolverines their first loss of the season.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Fridays, where Pat and Keith review the Quick Hits that were prescient, and the Quick Misses that were terribly off base.