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.
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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.
This week our Quick Hits panel delivers takes on Johnnie-Tommie, of course, but also points out upsets brewing out east, undefeated runs coming to an end, and which teams are going to go home victorious for the first time this season.
Our regular crew is Keith McMillan, Ryan Tipps, Pat Coleman, Adam Turer, Frank Rossi and Greg Thomas.
— Greg Thomas
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
Which game is the Game of the Week?
Keith’s take: Johnnie-Tommie. I might have gotten it wrong on the pod, but I’m right here. Given the rankings and the atmosphere, don’t think you can go anywhere else for GOTW.
Ryan’s take: The Johnnie-Tommie Game. As Pat would say … next question.
Pat’s take: The Johnnie-Tommie game. Not to go MIAC two weeks in a row, but to be honest, you have to.
Adam’s take: Johnnie-Tommie. This should be unanimous. Next question.
Frank’s take: No. 4 St. John’s vs. No. 11 St. Thomas. It’s a survival game for St. Thomas and a major rivalry game — you can’t ask for much more than that.
Greg’s take: Johnnie-Tommie, yes. But also Hobart @ Ithaca, Middlebury @ Wesleyan, Wartburg @ Simpson, Delaware Valley @ Wilkes, and Alfred @ Cortland make for a nice undercard.
Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?
Keith’s take: No. 9 Ithaca. The Bombers (5-0) would probably have to play their worst game of the season to lose to visiting Hobart (4-1), but I don’t like to cop out and say none for this question.
Ryan’s take: No. 19 UW-Platteville. Opponent UW-Stout has been playing better than their record would show, and Platteville is coming off a difficult loss last week.
Pat’s take: No. 12 Salisbury. Rowan has played well against a tough schedule and Salisbury can’t possibly execute as well as it did against Wesley.
Adam’s take: No. 22 Cortland. The Red Dragons have looked impressive, but against inferior competition. The first real test of the season comes in Week 7 against 5-1 Alfred. The Saxons are 4-1, coming off a bye week, and are faced with a must-win.
Frank’s take: No. 22 Cortland (vs. Alfred). Alfred had a bye week in Week 6, while Cortland struggled with Morrisville St. With 21 sacks in five games, the Saxons’ defense needs to reach Cortland QB Brett Segala to win this.
Greg’s take: No. 16 Delaware Valley. If there is a serious challenger in the MAC to the Aggies, it’s got to be the undefeated, home standing Wilkes Colonels.
Pick a winner from a game between unbeaten conference opponents.
Keith’s take: I think Del Val handles Wilkes, which is 5-0 against a schedule that’s 6-16 in its other games, and ranked 209th by one metric and 230th by another.
Ryan’s take: No. 22 Cortland, over Alfred. The Red Dragons’ margins of victory have been impressive all year, though this week starts the first game in a very tough back half of the season.
Pat’s take: St. Norbert, vs. Beloit. This might be the biggest gimme on the board.
Adam’s take: Monmouth. The Scots haven’t lost an MWC South contest since 2014. After laboring through an unexpected bye week due to Grinnell cancelling its season, the Scots will take out their frustration on Illinois College.
Frank’s take: Anna Maria (vs. Dean). This ECFC game could go a long way in deciding the conference winner, since there are just five league games per member. Anna Maria “rings the bell” in Paxton, Mass.
Greg’s take: No. 18 Wartburg. I’m higher on the Knights than the Top 25 is overall and I expect they’ll be able to weather the Storm on Saturday.
Which game are you following that nobody else on this panel is following?
Keith’s take: Morrisville State at Utica: The Mustangs nearly knocked off Alfred and Cortland the past two weeks. They are going to catch someone napping.
Ryan’s take: The middle of the NCAC. With 4-1 OWU squaring off against 3-2 DePauw, and 4-1 Denison against 3-2 Wooster, we’ll get a whole new (clearer?) picture of the conference after this weekend.
Pat’s take: The panel is pretty solid. But I know that if I don’t punch in the score of the Central-Buena Vista game, nobody else will either.
Adam’s take: Misericordia at FDU-Florham. For the second straight season, the Cougars have opened conference play with a win streak. Impressive after the program failed to string together consecutive wins through its first six years. I’ll be keeping an eye on Misericordia as long as the streak is alive.
Frank’s take: Springfield at Merchant Marine. The Mariners can’t get caught looking ahead to a potential NEWMAC undefeated showdown in Week 8 at WPI. Springfield needs to win the game to survive in the NEWMAC race.
Greg’s take: Washington U. @ No. 5 Wheaton. Wheaton has a game in hand against their chief CCIW rivals, but the Bears can formally insert themselves into the CCIW race by duplicating their 2018 upset of the Thunder.
Pick one of the remaining 23 undefeated teams to drop their first game.
Keith’s take: St. Olaf‘s schedule (8-17, 204th, 215th) is not much better than Wilkes’. Bethel gets it done.
Ryan’s take: Wilkes, to Delaware Valley. Though having a loss to a nationally ranked team, the Aggies are still likely to come out on top in the MAC in Week 11.
Pat’s take: Picked one above and will add Wilkes to the list.
Adam’s take: St. Olaf. I discussed this deja vu in today’s podcast. For the second straight season, the Oles opened 5-0. They will likely once again suffer their first loss at the hands of the Royals. Winning just one of their final five contests will give the Oles their best season since 2012.
Frank’s take: No. 4 St. John’s St. John’s has been somewhat inconsistent on offense, while St. Thomas has been more consistent on both sides of the ball. We’ll see if Eau Claire was a fluke or not by the end of this game.
Greg’s take: St. Olaf. I expect a solid rebound game from Jaran Roste and the Bethel Royals and a reminder about the pretty clear tiers that exist in the MIAC.
Pick one of the remaining 28 winless teams to pick up their first win.
Keith’s take: Allegheny (0-5) has had a top-loaded schedule, and will get on the right track against 3-2 Kenyon.
Ryan’s take: Buffalo State, over Rochester. In a game not as close as you’d think between two winless teams.
Pat’s take: Buffalo State. At least we know there will be one.
Adam’s take: Maryville. The only 2018 playoff participant still seeking its first victory of 2019, the Scots face an improved Methodist squad. Maryville’s offense finally got going in Week 6, putting up a season-high 35 points against Huntingdon. The defense will have its hands full once again against running back Vontre Howard and the Monarchs.
Frank’s take: Gettysburg (at Juniata). Juniata has had an inconsistent path this season, making the Week 5 win before the bye potentially lead to a Week 7 loss, if the trend continues.
Greg’s take: Allegheny. The Gators’ first half schedule was tough, but I’m not sure 0-5 is how most saw the Rich Nagy era starting. Kenyon has been a good first half story, but I think it is Allegheny’s turn to notch a win.
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.