September 18, 2013

Poll positions: There's some movement coming

More news about: Linfield | Mary Hardin-Baylor | St. Thomas
Another good week by Linfield and the spread of No. 1 votes could change again, although it's more likely the UMHB-Wesley game will have an impact.
Linfield athletics photo 

After a Week 2 where not much changed in the top 25, we're looking forward at a Week 3 where there's almost guaranteed to be some movement.

No. 5 Wesley travels to No. 4 Mary Hardin-Baylor in the game of the week, and a thorough victory by the Cru might shift some No. 1 votes their way. The 25 voters are currently split four ways among their No. 1 votes -- more than I can ever remember, which makes sense since the poll began in 2003 and has mostly been running during the era of Mount Union and UW-Whitewater dominance.

Eleven votes are going toward those Purple Raiders, with the rest going deeper purple: Seven for No. 2 St. Thomas, six for No. 3 Linfield and one for the Cru. It appears one voter switched from UST to UMU after Week 2, after the split was 13-7-5 Mount Union-St. Thomas-Linfield in the preseason. 

The third-ranked Wildcats host fellow West Coast power Cal Lutheran, ranked No. 22, Saturday as well, so that should influence both the top and the bottom of the poll. No. 15 UW-Whitewater vs. also-receiving-12-votes Buffalo State could cause some movement as well, since someone has to lose and some of those votes are likely to go somewhere else.

A closer look at the points reveals there isn't a lot of bunching in the rankings except at the top, which is opposite of what we're normally used to as well.

Kickoff subscribers got a 1 to 244 ranking, and poking around those might be even more fun. Nobody likes it when everything is just as we expect, and No. 243 Hendrix winning its opener (granted, against No. 239 Westminster, Mo.) nearly beat No. 34 Birmingham Southern as well.

Some of the big upsets to date have involved No. 112 Texas Lutheran winning at No. 60 Trinity (Texas), No. 58 Christopher Newport beating No. 16 Salisbury and No. 137 Stevenson beating No. 52 Albright. 

The Lions, which opened up with a win over preseason No. 50 Kean, dropped 56 places in the Compughter Ratings, which I honestly had never seen before today. But as with all ratings, rankings and polls, any information taken with a grain of salt can reveal some interesting insight.

The up/down movers and shakers are the most interesting part of Compughter to me. Nobody fell further than Albright, though Mount Ida, Simpson and Rhodes each tumbled at least 50 spots as well, but Luther shot up 79 spots -- to 133.

Compughter goes to 235 -- appearing to rule out the NESCAC, although perhaps that's a function of them not having played any games yet. Computer ratings can rank everyone every week, which is perhaps more relevant to the masses given the number of decent teams in D-III and scarcity of elite ones.

As long as we're looking at different ratings for fun and only for fun, there was no need for me to speculate about the top 25 movement in the first few paragraphs. Atomic Football has already predicted the rest of September, so we know Buffalo State has just a 16.9 percent chance of beating visiting UW-Whitewater, and is going to lose 29-16 (which seems reasonable, actually).

Spoiler alert. UMHB wins 34-21, but Wesley bounces back the following week with a 39-21 win at Birmingham-Southern, which has only an 11.2 percent chance of winning that game at home. Linfield beats CLU 45-23, so why don't you go ahead and take your significant other out this Saturday instead.

comments powered by Disqus

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.

Previous Columns

October 23, 2014
Finding a freshman phenom
When a freshman steps on campus, he could be the next Nate Kmic, or he could be gone before the end...
October 19, 2014
Snap judgments: Finding clarity
We found out some things about how the NJAC race will play out, as well as the ODAC and HCAC. And...
October 16, 2014
Distance no deterrent to Mighty Mikey, Merchant Marine
The Mariners' football team 'adopted' a young cancer patient a few years ago, and although young...
October 12, 2014
Snap judgments: Putting the -ack in ODAC
You can tell when someone doesn't know Division III, because they pronounce the ODAC as O-D-A-C. But...
October 9, 2014
Re-ranking the conferences for 2014
Keith McMillan ranked conferences for years for D3football.com. This is Ryan Tipps' first crack at...
October 5, 2014
Snap judgments: Where's the dropoff in Division III?
Saturday's loss by St. John Fisher and losses earlier this season by Bethel and North Central serve...
October 2, 2014
It’s the size of the fight in the dog
This past week, Maranatha Baptist had to cancel a game because it didn't have enough players. And...
September 28, 2014
Snap judgments: Signature wins come in upsets
St. John's and UW-Stevens Point took center stage for their upset victories, but Christopher Newport...
September 25, 2014
The phrase that stays
From DePauw Never Quits to Wabash Always Fights to Every Man a Lute, some Division III schools...
September 21, 2014
Snap judgments: Taking a new look at the poll positioning
The perception seems to be that at about Week 3, most Top 25 voters do major teardowns and rebuildin...
September 17, 2014
Startups come back for seconds
The three teams that started up Division III football programs last season are now in the midst of...
September 14, 2014
Snap judgments: These underdogs brought some bite
There were some near-upsets on Saturday, but in the end, almost all of the higher-ranked teams came...
September 11, 2014
Monarch linebacker forced to follow his heart
Forced from the middle of the action to a supporting role on the sidelines, Methodist linebacker...
September 7, 2014
Snap judgments: Right/wrong foot
There are two ways to start the season -- with a win, or a loss. Now, not every win necessarily puts...
September 2, 2014
Division III football: A gentleman's game
Hampden-Sydney and Wabash, two all-male schools, are squaring off in football this weekend for the...
March 3, 2014
Analyzing the NJAC and E8's big moves
Wesley and its Capital Athletic Conference brethren join forces with five New Jersey schools to form...
November 24, 2013
Look who stole the show in Round 1
Many of those who shined in the first round of the 32-team playoffs weren't the nationally elite...
November 21, 2013
Playoff picks, surprises, disappointments
ATN assembles a team for an annual look at who might surprise and disappoint us in the 32-team...
November 16, 2013
On this day, they were all big games
Keith McMillan has instant reactions both inside and outside the playoff picture on the final day of...
November 13, 2013
A pre-regional rankings primer
Keith McMillan introduces the committee and their roles, analyzes Pools B and C and takes reader...
November 10, 2013
Snap judgments: Seen from the other side
Millsaps may well have a story for the ages out of Saturday's win vs. Centre, as will Cornell and...
November 7, 2013
Poll positions: What to make of regional rankings
If you haven't seen regional rankings before, or your team hasn't been a contender in recent years,...
November 3, 2013
Snap judgments: The aftermath
With so many games featuring two ranked teams, we should see a lot of movement in Sunday's Top 25...
October 24, 2013
Poll positions: Doing some number crunching
The Top 25 doesn't exist to steal anybody's joy. It is merely a prism through which to view...
October 20, 2013
Snap judgments: Cycling up
Maryville and TCNJ are atop their respective conferences, the John Carroll defense isn't the only...
October 13, 2013
Snap judgments: A blurry picture developing
Not literally -- we get great pictures from our associated photographers and SIDs, but that won't...
October 8, 2013
Poll positions: Streaking up the rankings
Keith McMillan looks at why one computer ranking is making the case for a blue team No. 1, and not a...
October 6, 2013
Snap judgments: Bounceback seasons
Olivet, St. Lawrence, North Park, Husson, Western Connecticut ... the list of improved teams this...
October 3, 2013
Re-ranking the conferences
With September's games, and the vast majority of non-conference play in the books, Around the Nation...
September 29, 2013
Snap judgments: Look away from the Top 25 scores
At first glance -- like say, the scores page, with the top 25 scores the initial finals that catch...
September 26, 2013
History lesson: Engineering rivalries
Week 4 is perhaps the most odd Saturday on the schedule. There aren't many great rivalries, but...
September 24, 2013
Poll positions: How the voters reacted
A kick going wide left produced a wide variety of reactions, but when Wesley got taken down a peg,...
September 22, 2013
Snap judgments: Week 3
The Tommie-Johnnie rivalry is back, UMHB's defensive line is pretty darn good, the MIAA has a better...
September 19, 2013
History lesson: Wesley vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor
Now that longtime rivals Wabash and DePauw are both in the North Coast, and Mount Union and...
September 18, 2013
Poll positions: There's some movement coming
The top of the poll didn't change much last week but Saturday's games could have a significant...
September 17, 2013
Off the beaten path
Just because a team isn't in the Top 25 running or mentioned in the podcast or doesn't have a Play...
September 11, 2013
Poll positions: Why teams shuffle
In Around the Nation, Keith McMillan discusses a nonstandard way of assembling the ballot after Week...
September 8, 2013
Snap judgments
Keith McMillan's Around the Nation column returns. You'll see ATN several times a week, including on...

Other Columnists