Around the Nation Podcast 216: Committee chair explains it all

Are you new to Division III football? Is your team in playoff contention for the first time in a while? Are you a coach of a team which hopes to be in the playoffs someday? Or do you feel like you’re an expert when it comes to the Division III football postseason?

If you fit any of these categories, this episode of the Around the Nation podcast is a must-listen. That’s because we have brought in Division III football national committee chair (and Lake Forest head coach) Jim Catanzaro to talk about how the playoff process works, how teams are paired up, and everything you need to know about the playoffs. If you’re a head coach, he’ll tell you what the members of the committee want to see from a playoff contender’s non-conference schedule when considering them for an at-large bid to the playoffs. Do you think that the current selection criteria aren’t enough for a committee to make a decision on so few non-conference games? He’ll let you know what other factors might get used, and how much “human element” is involved.

That and more in the latest Around the Nation podcast. The 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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Photo: Centre players make a stop vs. Rhodes. (Centre athletics photo by Kyle Piercy)

Theme music: DJmentos.

What the committee chair said

When a former WIAC head coach became the chair of the Division III football committee, it’s understandable why strength of schedule was more important this year.
Photo by Larry Radloff,

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With the selection show cut down to less than eight minutes of actual content, there’s no analysis, no breakdown, just a reading of teams and a few nuggets of info. So it’s up to the rest of us to try to generate that, get the committee chair on the phone, try to get some questions answered, etc. Duey Naatz, the athletic director and former head football coach at UW-Stout, gave more than a half-hour of his time to our friends at In the HuddLLe, the weekly show covering the Liberty League and East Region football. Frank Rossi and James Baker are the interviewers on the clip below.

Definitely worth a listen, as there are several insights to be had regarding the emphasis on strength of schedule, how deep you might go within a region for at-large bids and much more. This conversation is also available as part of the Around the Nation podcast, Continue reading

One more week until regional rankings

It will be another week until the NCAA releases regional rankings. In a sense, that isn’t so bad because we have some great games this week that will help determine the pecking order, especially in the North and West regions.

I also wanted to remind people of some changes in the playoff selection process this year. One of the main criteria they use to rank and select and eventually seed teams has changed, because instead of using strength of schedule solely in regional games, now every game against a full Division III member counts in strength of schedule.
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