Heading to Ohio

We don’t usually travel to Mount Union in the regular season. In the most general terms, we want to go where the news is, and in the past 10 years there hasn’t been much in Alliance, Ohio, this time of year other than a Mount Union victory.

Nothing wrong with Mount Union winning, you know, it’s just that it’s hard to justify the trip when it’s likely to be just another check mark in the ‘W’ column.

But this week I’m breaking with that tradition and heading to Alliance, because of a comment Mount Union coach Larry Kehres made to me during an interview this summer. Kehres asked me, “Have you ever been to Mount Union?”

I was a little taken aback at the question, wondering if he had more than one interview scheduled that day and forgot which one this was. I’ve been there probably 10 times. I think I said, “Sure, I’ve been there.”

He responded, “Well, you haven’t been to Mount Union until you’ve been here at night.”

So I looked at the schedule: two home night games for Mount Union, against Muskingum and Baldwin-Wallace. So off I got. Baldwin-Wallace hasn’t had much success on defense this season and it doesn’t look like a great game on paper, but heck, I’ll have seen Mount Union at night. I’ll be broadcasting audio of the game Saturday night, along with Brandon Stewart.

In the afternoon I’ll be heading over to Meadville, Pa., to see Allegheny host Wabash. By the end of the trip, my all-ime list of schools I’ve seen play will be at 119, halfway to the current Division III total of 238. Adding Baldwin-Wallace and Allegheny, plus Allegheny’s stadium will make 66 schools’ stadiums in which I’ve seen a D-III game.

It’s going to take a while to get those other 119 teams, though.

Playoff roster won’t change

Because of concerns regarding the increasing cost of travel, the NCAA Division III championships committee pushed back a recommendation to increase the playoff roster size from 52 to 56 players.

“The rationale for adding another baseball player to the roster, and four more players to the football roster, is valid,” Redlands athletic director Jeff Martinez, the chairman of the committee, said in a story in the NCAA News. “The games have changed — in baseball, the need is relief pitching; and football is a vertical game with more receivers, more personnel packages.

“But, you have to weigh, is it more important to put more people on every sideline, or to be able to afford an additional charter flight or two when air-travel conditions make doing so unavoidable? We cannot control the air situation, and we have every indication that it’s going to get more challenging before it gets less challenging.”

It will have to wait until the next budget cycle, in 2010-11.