post

ATN Podcast 308: Best things to watch in 2022

We’re getting ready to kick it all off with the first week of Division III football games for 2022 this weekend, and this week’s podcast takes you around to the big stories and big things we’re watching across Division III this season. We take it on, region by region. What’s fun in the 1? What’s new in the 2? What do we see in the 3? What’s in store in the 4? Who’ll thrive in the 5? What’s in the mix in the 6? Pat and Greg run it all down, along with special guest Frank Rossi of In the Huddle weighing in on Regions 1 and 2.

Plus, we know — we know, sometimes it’s hard to pay attention in the offseason. If that’s you, never fear — Pat runs down the big news from the offseason, in song form. Yes, in song form — picture the Yakko’s World song from Animaniacs, and if that doesn’t resonate with your generation, just know we tested it against a 9-year-old, a 20-year-old, a 39-year-old and a 49-year-old and they had all heard the original. Lyrics below, in case it’s too fast to follow!

There are a number of big games — rest assured we’ll talk plenty about UW-Whitewater at St. John’s and Muhlenberg at Mary Hardin-Baylor in other ways before those games kick off, so we focus on two additional games to watch.

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:

Theme music: Power 2 by DJmentos.
Photos: Delaware Valley athletics photo; Westminster (Pa.) athletics photo by by Jason Kapusta; Wittenberg athletics photo by Nick Falzerano

Full lyrics to D3 world: 

UMHB won the national title and blew the ’19 champs away
And 36 weeks later, offseason’s over and let’s all get ready to play
Coach Fred retired and Jeff Thorne got hired at D-I so both guys are gone
So how many coaches still left have a title? It turns out the answer is none.

Hilbert is taking the field this season, with seven games all on the slate
And 229 others are hoping a postseason trip is their fate

(Sorry, NESCAC, let us know when you are ready for the playoffs)

The Carousel turned and coaches were spurned with many more moving around
Defiance keeps turning, Alvernia’s learning it’s hard to get teams off the ground
Jim Collins is back and the bottom of the PAC sees new coaches at Bethany and Thiel
Three guys from Columbia, while at UW-Platteville they gave an assistant a deal.

Oh and Whitewater’s offense guy went up to Oshkosh and now calls the Titans his team
Then Titans assistants went 84 miles west and make up the whole Pointer scheme

(Seriously, four coaches on the website and three are former Oshkosh assistants)

No one got drafted, yes D-III got shafted, with two guys on free-agent deals
While HSU managed to find an opponent for happier playoff reveals
The first month’s obsession will make an impression, with Whitewater up at St. John’s
Then hosting the Cru, while there’s Muhlenberg too, Wheaton, Trinity chase Walnut and Bronze.

Hopefully COVID won’t be a big deal and we can play all of our games!
And 16 weeks later we’ll know all the scores and then you can learn lots of new names.

(No big Week 1 showdown for Mount Union.)

And here’s what we have for the ’22 season en route to Stagg Bowl 49
The Cru down in Belton with defense reloading and Kyle King, QB divine
The Raiders in Purple might almost be sleepers with two titles in the last nine
and YOU DUB DUB Whitewater lost some big players but probably looks to be fine

Remember the Stagg Bowl is now in Annapolis, that’s where you’re wanting to be.
No matter what happens at least more than just two teams
have some good chances
to win a few playoff games,
If the committee will give them a bid
So you better just go win your league.

post

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:

post

Quick Hits Week 4: Cracking the win column

This week the panel looks at a top-12 clash in the OAC, some big games down south, and which teams are poised to get their first win of 2019.

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?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. 2 Mount Union at No. 12 John Carroll.  On the pod I took SJF-Ithaca, but I think this is the right call.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: No 8 Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus.  The Gusties hung tough with St. John’s already, and Bethel will need to be ready for its first real test of the season.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Franklin & Marshall at No. 24 Susquehanna.  Also in contention for the longest game when listed on scoreboards.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 2 Mount Union at No. 12 John Carroll. After thrashing Baldwin Wallace last week, the Purple Raiders face their biggest test of the regular season. If the Blue Streaks can’t put up a fight, expect The Machine to pick up even more top votes in next week’s poll.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 2 Mount Union at No. 12 John Carroll. Mount was moved to the No. 1 slot on my ballot last week, and John Carroll did a huge leap on it. I’m curious to see how this plays out, even if it’s a close JCU loss.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: St. Norbert at Monmouth. It’s a rematch of last year’s MWC championship. And the one before that. And maybe a preview of this year’s MWC championship. These teams know each other well is what I’m saying.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. 24 Susquehanna.  I hate when panelists do the none thing, and F&M is averaging 41 points a game.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: No. 13 Ithaca.  Oppenent St. John Fisher is already better than they were last year, and there’s a sense of returning to form. And the Bombers have crept up unusually high in the poll.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor.  I actually feel we are unlikely to have any upsets at all, but HPU is improving and UMHB has struggled.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 24 Susquehanna. If there’s any week to pick “None” this is it. But what’s the fun in that? I’ll take undefeated Franklin and Marshall to contribute to the Centennial Conference chaos.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 18 Johns Hopkins. I think the topsy-turvy season for Hopkins continues here against a Dickinson team that has been a little inconsistent, but that has the pieces needed to win at home.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: No. 25 Hobart. It took a pretty furious rally for the Statesmen to survive winless Rowan last week. This week, Montclair State closes the deal.

Which 0-3 team cracks the win column this weekend?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Hiram. Of the 35 choices, I like Hiram, as its level of competition has been tougher so far than Kenyon, this week’s opponent.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Bridgewater State.  The Bears line up against Fitchburg, which statistically has the worst defense in the conference.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Belhaven.  In the battle of 0-3 teams, taking the one that looked good last week.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Belhaven. The Blazers put a scare into Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday. If they can get the offense on track, they should be able to defeat fellow winless ASC foe McMurry.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Belhaven. Their three losses have been by a combined 30 points, but they include a close 10-point loss to UMHB last week. Their experience should lead to a win.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Belhaven. It’s hard to see the Blazers’ 23-13 loss at UMHB last week and not think they’re close to a cracking the win column in 2019. Hosting McMurry is a great opportunity.

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

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Southwestern at Texas Lutheran. I am very fascinated by Southwestern’s hot start, yet Texas Lutheran is no easy W.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Southern Virginia at Bridgewater.  The Knights are 2-0 for the first time in … ever. Curious to see if lightning will strike a third time.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Defiance vs. Anderson.  I think Anderson is beyond the point where it can be Defiance’s only win, but watching to be sure.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Mount St. Joseph at Franklin. Listen to my preview on today’s podcast. The Grizzlies will try to extend their win streak over the Lions to 10 games. Mount St. Joe has the edge at quarterback. Will that be enough to shake up the HCAC standings?
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Western New England at University of New England. For a second-year program like UNE, a huge upset like this would be a signature win. But UNE has a small chance here. WNE can’t look past this game.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Denison at Wabash. It’s Homecoming. It’s Senior Day. It’s a critical conference game for both teams. And it’s also the first of the last five games at the current iteration of Hollett Little Giant Stadium.

Pick a winner in a LL vs. E8 game.

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Cortland. SUNY Buffalo State and SUNY Cortland are in different conferences, and tiers. The Dragons outscoring opponents 94-7, and will get top 25 consideration soon.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: St. Lawrence over Hartwick.  The Saints’ Tyler Grochot puts up good numbers even in losses — he’ll be hard for the Hawks to stop.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Alfred.  There are a bunch of games that seem like pretty easy picks in this group, so I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of upsets instead.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 13 Ithaca defeats St. John Fisher. A battle of unbeatens, a turning point for two resurgent programs trying to reclaim the top spot in the East Region. I think this is Ithaca’s year.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: St. Lawrence (vs. Hartwick). The Saints got their first win last week and have played stronger generally based on schedule comparisons and scores. Home cookin’ seals this deal for them.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Cortland over Buffalo State. In their first season out of the E8, the Bengals are on the verge of a four-game non-conference sweep courtesy their former conference rivals. The good news is that they’re still 0-0 in league play.

Which Week 3 upset victim gets back on course this week?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Ursinus.A surprise 44-38 loser to Juniata last week, Ursinus gets a chance to get right against 0-3 Moravian.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Washington & Jefferson. The game won’t come down to the fourth quarter for the Presidents, like it has two of the past three weeks already.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Ohio Northern. I’m not confident in any of them, but will take ONU to beat Otterbein.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Washington & Jefferson. Most of last week’s upset victims have an unwelcome bye week. They would much rather be on the field with the opportunity to get back on the winning path. The Presidents face a hungry Grove City team, which just had its nine-game winning streak snapped by Case Western Reserve.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Washington & Jefferson (at Grove City). That said, I think Grove City plays them very close, unlike last year and unlike last week’s disappointing Case Western Reserve loss.
Greg Thomas
Greg’s take: Ohio Northern. Back home and under the lights, the Polar Bears shake off last week’s shocker and get a win over winless Otterbein.

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.