That was a pretty great first round, not gonna lie. A Top 10 team nearly went down in the first round, one team came back from 18 down and another from 24, plus two games went to overtime — one of which went to three overtimes. Chapman and Linfield made the last game of the day a great capper to a thrilling day.
Pat and Keith run down all 16 of the first-round games, rank the second round games from least to most intriguing and hand out game balls. The player who returned a fumble for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown, and threw for a touchdown in overtime? Yeah, probably find him on that list. The guy who won the biggest quarterback duel of the day? OK, yes, him also. Plus we get you sounds from around the bracket.
Pat and Keith talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.
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:
The story goes, one day on a long ride to a playoff game at Thiel (which tells you how long ago this happened), Pat and Keith decided to pass the time by guessing not just the winner of each first-round playoff game, but the score. And there was born the expectations game: Do we expect a close game? A high-scoring game? A blowout? Does everyone agree on who will win? Those are the factors worth looking at.
Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas each take their guesses at scores for each first-round game.
Consensus: Unanimous predictions here for an easy run to the second round for the Sea Gulls.
Keith’s take: Union 31, Case 21 Ryan’s take: Union 38, Case 17 Pat’s take: Union 24, Case 17
Adam’s take: Union 34, Case 24 Frank’s take: Union 31, Case 21 Greg’s take: Union 27, Case 17
Consensus: Clean sweep for the Dutchmen, generally by about 10 points.
Keith’s take: Muhlenberg 45, MIT 10 Ryan’s take: Muhlenberg 45, MIT 14 Pat’s take: Muhlenberg 56, MIT 6
Adam’s take: Muhlenberg 45, MIT 3 Frank’s take: Muhlenberg 42, MIT 14 Greg’s take: Muhlenberg 42, MIT 7
Consensus: The Mules should overwhelm the Engineers and trot on in to the second round.
Keith’s take: Brockport 22, W. New England 19 Ryan’s take: W. New England 24, Brockport 21 Pat’s take: Brockport 24, W. New England 13
Adam’s take: Brockport 20, W. New England 14 Frank’s take: W. New England 27, Brockport 20 Greg’s take: Brockport 26, W. New England 10
Consensus: Split decision for Brockport, but this game looks to be close.
Mount Union bracket
Keith’s take: Mount Union 63, Hanover 7 Ryan’s take: Mount Union 63, Hanover 3 Pat’s take: Mount Union 56, Hanover 10
Adam’s take: Mount Union 48, Hanover 24 Frank’s take: Mount Union 59, Hanover 7 Greg’s take: Mount Union 61, Hanover 10
Consensus: No surprise here, Mount Union is predicted to advance easily.
Keith’s take: North Central 40, Wabash 25 Ryan’s take: North Central 42, Wabash 10 Pat’s take: North Central 56, Wabash 10
Adam’s take: North Central 38, Wabash 14 Frank’s take: North Central 45, Wabash 21 Greg’s take: North Central 45, Wabash 21
Consensus: North Central’s top-ranked offense sweeps the board with a comfortable win over Wabash.
Keith’s take: Wesley 17, Framingham State 14 Ryan’s take: Wesley 28, Framingham State 20 Pat’s take: Wesley 41, Framingham State 24
Adam’s take: Wesley 21, Framingham State 20 Frank’s take: Wesley 21, Framingham State 20 Greg’s take: Wesley 24, Framingham State 21
Consensus: Wesley is the unanimous pick, but five of our panelists see a one score game.
Keith’s take: Del Val 28, Bridgewater 24 Ryan’s take: Del Val 41, Bridgewater 21 Pat’s take: Bridgewater 17, Del Val 15
Adam’s take: Bridgewater 21, Del Val 14 Frank’s take: Del Val 27, Bridgewater 24 Greg’s take: Del Val 17, Bridgewater 10
Consensus: Split decision for Delaware Valley, with the panel largely seeing a close game that could go either way.
We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below, or tweet at us at @D3Keith, @NewsTipps and @d3football. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks and the highlights from the weekend’s playoff games.
Welcome to Quick Hits 2019! If you’ve just discovered us, this is where we get together six Division III writers and observers to give you their takes on where the best games are each week, which ranked teams are on upset alert, and many other rotating categories throughout the season. Without further delay, here are our first set of Hits for 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’s take: No. 18 Wittenberg at No. 21 W&J. There are better teams in action, but no matchup that already has these playoff implications. Its winner files away a potential future win over regionally ranked opponent, and the loser’s Pool C hopes are already shot.
Ryan’s take: No. 6 Johns Hopkins at No. 24 Randolph Macon. The 2018 postseason Cinderellas: one for its deep run, the other for its epic upset. We’re all eager to see what they bring for 2019.
Pat’s take: No. 18 Wittenberg at No. 21 W&J. At least one of these rankings is wrong, and we’ll know by sundown on Saturday.
Adam’s take: No. 18 Wittenberg at No. 21 Washington and Jefferson. I always get excited for and appreciate Week 1 games that could just as easily be Week 13 or 14 games. Kudos to both teams for taking on the challenge.
Frank’s take: No. 6 Johns Hopkins at No. 24 Randolph Macon. Emotion for Hopkins without Jim Margraff on #d3fb Opening Night in a battle of Top 25 teams – it’ll be a big night.
Greg’s take: No. 18 Wittenberg at No. 21 W&J. These are the second and third winningest teams all time in Division III with over 1,500 wins between them. The winner has a great chance at banking a regionally ranked win which will come in handy in about 11 weeks.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 13 Brockport. Hobart is tough at home, but this is about seeing how the Golden Eagles replace the seven all-Region players it lost. Is Brockport a reload program?.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 RPI. Two teams on different trajectories: RPI graduated a huge number of starters, and Allegheny has lots coming back to upset the Engineer apple cart.
Pat’s take: No. 10 Bethel. It would be unethical of me to say more, however.
Adam’s take: Aurora defeats No. 25 St. Norbert. Don Beebe’s head coaching debut is a memorable one.
Frank’s take: No. 17 John Carroll (by UW-Stevens Point). Honestly, it’s unlikely we see any upsets, but this is the one I feel least sure about.
Greg’s take: No. 20 Centre. Hanover has 20 starters back from a conference championship team. Centre is going to have a lot of debutantes. Experience can carry the Panthers to a win.
Which team in Kickoff’s bottom 25 will start 2019 with a win?
Keith’s take: No. 232 Alvernia. This one could go either way and I’d be right, but I think the Golden Wolves win in Washington against No. 235 Gallaudet.
Ryan’s take: No. 235 Gallaudet. Granted they’re playing a team only three spots removed, yet the Bison have more than half their starters back and won’t fall off as much as some predict.
Pat’s take: No. 235 Gallaudet. The Bison lost in Alvernia’s first-ever football game last fall, but Alvernia still has lots of lineup questions to answer in Year 2.
Adam’s take: The winner of No. 238 Cornell vs No. 248 Iowa Wesleyan. I’ll put my faith in the Rams.
Frank’s take: No. 235 Gallaudet (vs. Alvernia). Assuming the game gets played, the return of senior QB Timel Benton from injury will help the Bison win Game 1.
Greg’s take: No. 240 Kenyon. The Lords are headed to the nation’s capital with a 26-game losing streak, but a whole new energy under new head coach James Rosenbury. Kenyon is going to pay this long road trip off with a win.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Concordia-Moorhead at UW-La Crosse. These two play insane schedules already, and then lined one another up for a Week 1 doozy.
Ryan’s take: Southwestern at Sewanee. The Pirates are stacked on defense and have school-record potential this season, while the Tigers don’t struggle the way they used to in games. A very fun opener to watch!.
Pat’s take: Buena Vista at Hamline. The Thursday night opener comes to the Twin Cities, so I’ll be there, after work, that is.
Adam’s take: Guilford at Huntingdon. The teams combined for 106 points last year in a game that didn’t count. Lightning forced the offensive onslaught to be called a no contest. The rematch could be just as high scoring and will hopefully enter the record books.
Frank’s take: No. 14 Delaware Valley at Kean. What seems like a gimme-game for DelVal could be interesting as they adjust to life without Darden.
Greg’s take: Redlands at George Fox. The Bulldogs begin their NWC gauntlet this week. Head coach Mike Maynard is sitting on 197 career wins and could set up a shot at win number 200 when Redlands hosts Linfield in two weeks.
Which 2018 playoff team starts 2019 on the wrong foot?
Keith’s take: Hanover, which won the HCAC in Week 11 last season, gets a Week 1 visit from No. 20 Centre this year. :eek emoji:.
Ryan’s take: No. 21 Washington & Jefferson. This will be a good year for Wittenberg (despite a noticeable gap on offense) as well as a return to the playoffs. W&J has a tough outing to avoid starting 2019 the way it ended in Round 1 of 2018.
Pat’s take: No. 25 St. Norbert (at Aurora). This is another upset possibility, for sure.
Adam’s take: Hanover. The Panthers were a surprising 2018 playoff participant and face a tall task against No. 20 Centre. The Colonels needed a fourth quarter rally to eke past the Panthers in last year’s opener, but the offense should come out of the gates hotter in 2019.
Frank’s take: MIT (vs. Carnegie Mellon). The Battle of the Brains could go to CMU as both teams replace graduated QBs.
Greg’s take: Denison. The Big Red are entering the post-Gebele era, while Ohio Northern welcomes back 2017 All-American running back Christiaan Williams. The Polar Bears are going to be a big challenge for a team trying to stay on top of the NCAC.
Who has the most successful head coaching debut?
Keith’s take: Wes Beschorner at UW-Eau Claire. There could be a ton of points scored when Beschorner, a former offensive star and whiz assistant, gets a visit from Loras.
Ryan’s take: Mike Barainyak at Widener. The Pride haven’t been in the MAC discussion for several years — now a fresh and positive approach, coupled with lots of veterans returners, will change that against Rowan.
Pat’s take: Jason Aubry, Concordia-Chicago. In the battle of new head coaches, taking CUC over Beloit.
Adam’s take: Greg Chimera, Johns Hopkins. The aforementioned Beebe isn’t the only rookie head coach with a chance to knock off a ranked opponent. Chimera will lead his alma mater to victory in his debut, knocking off No. 24 Randolph-Macon.
Frank’s take: Mike Barainyak (Widener). After the 2018 “Blame Google” debacle, the Pride seniors get their first win against Rowan with more cohesion internally.
Greg’s take: Greg Chimera, Johns Hopkins. Judging against expectations, other first time head coaches are likely to have more impressive wins this weekend. This first game without Jim Margraff, however, is going to mean just a little bit more to Chimera and the Blue Jay community.
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.