/columns/around-the-nation/2013/snap-judgments-week-8

Snap judgments from the first big week

Sunday's snap judgments are Monday's delayed reactions. Still, after such a big week, we deserve some.

Week 8 was really the first huge week of the 2013 season, nationally. There had been games that were important to particular programs, or to conference races, but Week 8 was the first time there'd be so many, from coast to coast.

Or, more accurately, from Wheaton-Illinois Wesleyan to Lakeland-Concordia (Wis.). (CUW's Austin Damaschke at right.)

Week 9 is going to continue the theme. Former Heidelberg linebacker Neal Renna said:

Well, sure, it's big when No. 1 plays at No. 9. Of course, this Saturday also features No. 2 Linfield at No. 25 Willamette, No. 4 North Central at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan and No. 8 UW-Platteville at No. 6 UW-Whitewater, so game of the week candidates abound.

With the NCAA committee's regional rankings due out this week, playoff talk heats up, and everything's big for contending teams from here out. Week 9 may be crazy, but here are some more things about Week 8 that didn't make the podcast.

• Approximately 94 percent of D-III is based in either the Eastern or Central Time Zone, so West Coast games are occasionally buried among the onslaught of everything else in the division happening. But Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, a week after getting notice for a 62-yard field goal, denied Whittier its first win ... in five overtimes.

The Stags kicked a field goal to tie the game at 26 with eight seconds left. And then the fireworks began. Here's the play-by-play of all five overtimes

The teams traded touchdowns three times, then each missed a field goal in the fourth overtime, with Whitter's kick missing from 49. Matthew Aven missed a potential game-winner from 35 yards in the fourth OT, but CMS eschewed a fourth-and-1 at the 16 in the fifth OT and let Aven kick from 33. And the Poets came away crushed when they attempted to match the field goal, from 36, and again missed wide left.

• Mississippi College is 3-4 but technically tied atop the ASC with No. 3 Mary Hardin Baylor at 3-0 in conference games.

• Meantime, former ASC member Texas Lutheran is 6-0 after beating the Choctaws, and might be 7-0 if its game with Southwestern Assemblies of God hadn't been called off because of a three-hour lightning delay. TLU gets perhaps the stiffest test on its schedule when it hosts Louisiana College (5-2) this week.

TLU's strength of schedule is 215th nationally (sixth if you search by teams with "Luther" in their names), which is why they aren't getting any top 25 love. Their new SCAC schedule allows them to dodge the big dog in Texas in a season when playing UMHB might be a game worthy of national attention.

• We didn't mention the NACC clash between Lakeland and Concordia at all, but the Falcons fell behind 14-0 and scored five straight TDs on the way to a 45-28 win. Factoring in the one-point win over Benedictine earlier this season, the Falcons are on the path to a playoff spot. In the North and West, however, having two losses overall is going to get you sent somewhere like Mount Union or UW-Whitewater in the first round, which is neat until the game actually starts.

• It's a game we wanted to see last season when Ohio Wesleyan was on the way to 9-1 instead of 4-3, but they face Wittenberg this week. The Tigers need not to stumble to keep the Week 10 (Nov. 9) showdown with Wabash a matchup of unbeatens.

• Big games get you talked about, as do big rivalries. The top 25 teams I've paid the least attention to over the past several weeks are No. 7 Hobart, No. 11 Franklin, No. 12 Johns Hopkins, No. 14 Wabash and No. 17 Wittenberg. It's not that they've played badly, but that they've played so well -- beating teams they're expected to beat, by mostly handy margins -- that it attracts little attention. I'd take that as compliment.

• Most surprising conference leaders: Guilford, Wesleyan, Maryville and Rhodes (co-leader with Millsaps, with the Lynx set to host the Majors in Week 11). Albion, which was 6-4 last season, is 5-2 and out in front in the MIAA, but that conference is still a multiple-contender, anybody-can-win league.

• The multiple-contender, anybody-can-win, but the champ might-be-unranked club: The ODAC, MAC, IIAC, NJAC and MIAA.

• The multiple-contender, one-of-three-or-four-can-win, come-on-let's-play-these-big-games-already-club: The OAC, WIAC, CCIW and NWC.

• UW-Whitewater has a pretty great defense, allowing 51 points through seven games. And that's more than double the 23 John Carroll has allowed.

• Of the 15 remaning winless teams (Allegheny, Alma, Anderson, Berry, Hamilton, Lawrence, MacMurray, Misericordia, St. Vincent, Southwestern, Sul Ross State, Tufts, UW-River Falls, Whittier, Wilmington), all could finish the season that way, since Hamilton and Tufts don't play each other. The most likely to win is Misericordia against FDU-Florham in Week 11.

Adam Turer

Adam Turer graduated in 2006 from Washington and Lee University, where he was a two-year starter at free safety. He lives in Cincinnati and covers area high school sports in addition to his full-time job as an attorney. Adam has contributed to D3football.com since 2007 and is in his second season writing Around the Nation after spending four seasons writing Around the Mid-Atlantic.

2014-2015 columnist: Ryan Tipps.
2001-2013 columnist: Keith McMillan.

Previous Columns

November 16, 2017
Playoff picks, surprises and disappointments
Who are the teams that will surprise in this year's playoffs? Who will be the disappointments? And...
November 12, 2017
Playing up to expectations
Our projections and predictions were impressive. Let's take a look back at the teams we thought...
November 9, 2017
End of a long road
Barry Streeter ends his 39-year head-coaching career with his final game on Saturday, and Regis...
November 5, 2017
Going out on a high note
Dozens of seniors played their final college football game yesterday. Many had to balance the sting...
November 2, 2017
Cru's success is infectious
Mary Hardin-Baylor's 2016 national title may well have lit a fire under the rest of the Crusaders'...
October 29, 2017
Built for the stretch run
Some programs had backloaded schedules this year. These final few weeks are their time to prove...
October 26, 2017
Surviving the quick change
There were quite a few late-season coaching changes, and it meant an end to one program as well as a...
October 22, 2017
Let's have a breakdown together
Three games on Saturday provided clarity in the playoff picture. There is still much to be decided...
October 19, 2017
No longer beasts, East trying to break back through
No East Region team has finished the season in Salem since 1999, and it has been 10 years since an...
October 15, 2017
Occidental not giving up yet
The Tigers cancelled yet another home game, this time on homecoming weekend. Emotions are running...
October 12, 2017
Bruins' long road to respect
Seven-plus years of planning, four-plus years of practice and three-plus years of competition have...
October 8, 2017
Picks and polls
Interceptions won some games and clinched others across Division III this weekend. Adam Turer looks...
October 5, 2017
Re-ranking the conferences in 2017
When conference memberships shift as much as they have this year, ranking the conferences becomes an...
October 1, 2017
Through the eyes of the quarterback
What is it like to pass for over 500 yards in a game, or over 1,400 yards through four games? Few...
September 28, 2017
Hot starts create unlikely unbeatens
As we head into the final weekend of the season’s first month, 39 teams sit at either 3-0 or...
September 24, 2017
An emotional week
Loss, scandal, history, and catharsis. This week had everything. From Wooster honoring their...
September 21, 2017
Rivalry showdown takes center field
Don't let the unique location or record-breaking attendance numbers distract you. The Tommie-Johnnie...
September 17, 2017
Feeding the beasts
Several teams remained undefeated by following a familiar formula: get the ball in your best...
September 14, 2017
Back from hiatus
Three former All-Region players spent 2016 on the sidelines. One was actually on the sidelines after...
September 10, 2017
How to pull off an upset
It takes aggression. Fourth downs, fake punts, and two-point conversions all factored into the...
September 7, 2017
Digging in for Duke
Muhlenberg head coach Mike Donnelly has been forced to the sidelines this year as he fights acute...
September 3, 2017
Remembering how to win again
Week One did not disappoint. Snap Judgments returns, getting you caught up on the Top 25 upsets,...
August 31, 2017
This season signifies one last shot at Salem
If you've never been to Salem for the Stagg Bowl, 2017 will be your last chance, at least for a...
December 20, 2016
Year in review: The year everything changed
We had a brand-new Division III national champion for the first time since 2007. Mount Union lost a...
November 17, 2016
Playoff picks, surprises, disappointments
Around the Nation has assembled a team of prognosticators for an annual look at who might surprise...
November 13, 2016
Snap Judgments: Hellos and goodbyes
Today is going to be bittersweet for many. We take a look at the teams that announced their arrival...
November 10, 2016
Out of the darkness, light
Sometimes, things don’t go your way. Sometimes, your highest expectations are crushed by...
 • More Division III football news releases

Other Columnists