2006 Around the Nation columns

January 8, 2007 2006 Year in Review From Catholic at Shenandoah on a Thursday night in August to the Stagg Bowl 160 miles down Interstate 81 nearly four months later, 2006 was more than just another season that ended with Mount Union as champion.

December 14, 2006 Sizing up the finalists Except among the purple-clad throng of fans that usually heads south to Salem this time of year, UW-Whitewater enters Stagg Bowl XXXIV as the sentimental favorite.

December 8, 2006 Fisher enjoying uncharted waters Three of this year's semifinalists were playing at this time last year. Three of them started the season ranked in the top 10, and finished the regular season ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the nation. At this time last year, St. John Fisher's season had been over for weeks.

December 7, 2006 Wolverines thankful for second chance Last year was last year. That was actually the way Wesley coach Mike Drass approached Saturday's game with Mary Hardin-Baylor, a team the Wolverines beat 46-36 in the 2005 second round before doing so again in last weekend's quarterfinals, 34-20.

November 30, 2006 The familiar faces are just that Although they've done it this season in three different manners – near-perfection, just-enough-to-win and resilient road warriors – the Purple Raiders, Profs and Johnnies are back where they almost always are: The Division III quarterfinals.

November 22, 2006 Tartans have new team to remember One thing stands out while coming down the stairs toward Carnegie Mellon’s locker room: A portrait of the 1990 Tartans, who finished 10-0 and lost in the playoffs to Stagg Bowl-bound Lycoming.

November 16, 2006 Playoff picks, surprises, disappointments The party most of us have been waiting for is finally upon us. Whether you see the playoffs as “let’s see how far my team can go” or “who is going to play Mount Union in the Stagg Bowl?” there’ll be plenty more drama over the next five weeks than there ever will be waiting on a bunch of computer-savvy math professors and know-it-all sportswriters.

November 9, 2006 On final stop, the fans tell the story With the chance to position themselves for the NCAA playoffs on the line, it became apparent by the middle of last Saturday's third quarter that Rowan and Cortland State were content to lean on stellar defenses and play not to lose.

November 2, 2006 Texas hospitable ... to defense The recognizable names from the past two Stagg Bowl runners-up were all offensive players. After Saturday's 7-3 Whitewater victory, the nation's Division III onlookers should get familiar with defensive tackle Ryan Kleppe and his fellow Warhawks, as well as free safety Josh Kubiak and his fellow Crusaders.

October 25, 2006 A playoff run through Iowa About once a season, Keith McMillan hits the road and files a column about what it's like in a Division III corner of the country that many readers may never have a chance to visit. This is his experience last weekend in Iowa, where the goal was to catch four teams in three hours.

October 19, 2006 Warhawk weekend turns quickly Saturday could not have been going much better for Justin Beaver and No. 2 UW-Whitewater. And then Beaver went down with a broken collarbone.

October 12, 2006 2006 midseason report In previous seasons, we have taken as many as three weekly columns to break down conference races as we approach the stretch run. This year we'll devote October columns to ATN's Run to the Playoffs tour, which means we'll make our midseason report shorter and sweeter.

October 5, 2006 Recipe for a revival When Kurt Ramler became Carleton head coach in February, he says it wasn't just an attempt to get back to Minnesota, or the MIAC, a conference he dominated as St. John's quarterback in the mid-'90s. It also wasn't just to get out of a losing situation at Heidelberg or take the first head coaching job that came along.

September 28, 2006 Confidence key to regaining success A few seasons of playoff-level success create healthy expectations in a program. But those runs can also lull players into a false sense of entitlement.

September 21, 2006 Big week in the Empire State If you’ll allow me to kick aside the whole “Empire State” thing for a moment and borrow from Missouri, I’ve got a fresh state motto for New York, for Saturday only. The Showdown State.

September 14, 2006 Inside a cross-country showdown Christopher Newport, looking at going 0-2 against a challenging early schedule it was thrilled to play, stared at Mary Hardin-Baylor's first-and-goal from inside the 1 with 1:37 left. The Captains, on their third punter, gave up possession nursing a 15-10 lead and watched the Crusaders move 40 yards in 40 seconds to get in position to win.

September 6, 2006 Good games hide below radar Coaches often say a team’s biggest improvement comes between its first and second games. Seventy-four of 151 teams in action last week lost. Forget simply improving. They want to avoid a demoralizing 0-2 start.

August 31, 2006 It's never too early to learn Around the Nation is your avenue to a little national perspective on a division that can be plenty fragmented, and with good reason, since it stretches from Maine to California and the Pacific Northwest to the Dirty South (old folks, pardon the slang).

August 30, 2006 2006 preseason conference rankings What began as an Around the Nation every-other-year tradition became a Kickoff '05 staple. For conference previews in Kickoff '06, Pat Coleman and I reprised our rankings of Division III's conferences, 1-25, excluding a 26th conference, the NESCAC, because of its policy of not playing out-of-conference opponents.

August 30, 2006 ATN's 2006 conference rankings What began as an Around the Nation every-other-year tradition became a Kickoff '05 staple. For conference previews in Kickoff '06, Pat Coleman and I reprised our rankings of Division III's conferences, 1-25, excluding a 26th conference, the NESCAC, because of its policy of not playing out-of-conference opponents.

Ryan Tipps

Ryan is D3football.com's Senior Editor and begins as National Columnist in fall 2014. He was the Around the Mid-Atlantic Columnist from 2007 to 2011; has worked on all but one of the preseason Kickoff publications; has done game-day writing and photography and the pregame broadcast at the championship Stagg Bowl in Salem for almost a decade; and has taken photos at the Final Four for D3hoops.com. He's also on the selection staff for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award.

2001-2013 columnist: Keith McMillan.

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