2012 playoffs: Linfield bracket

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Linfield Wildcats
Seed: No. 1, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 3, Week 11 2012
Location: McMinnville, OR
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1659
Stadium: Maxwell Field (2250)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NWC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 5
Head coach: Joe Smith (Linfield '93)
Career record: 58-13
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-2-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 14-7 (2000, 2002-05, 2009-11)
NCAA D-III championships: 2004
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, NWC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They're getting pressure on the opposing quarterback, stuffing the run game, and Mickey Inns is in rhythm throwing the ball.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They're turning the ball over and committing penalties that area either stalling drives or extending the opposition's drives. The Wildcats average nine penalties per game.
This season's turning point: Finding out they can still play at a high level without injured running back Josh Hill and defensive lineman Tyler Steele.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 153.8/330.9
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 70.2/199.4
How far can they go? A return to the Stagg Bowl for the first time since 2004 is certainly possible.


UW-Oshkosh Titans
Seed: Likely No. 2, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 5, Week 11 2012
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 8734
Stadium: Titan Stadium (10000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: WIAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 27
Head coach: Pat Cerroni (Carroll '92)
Career record: 36-23
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: First appearance
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, WIAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: The offensive tempo is fast and the defense is focused an attacking the football.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The offense goes three-and-out on consecutive drives or the defense is missing tackles and allowing to much open space.
This season's turning point: The Titans weathered the third-quarter storm at UW-Whitewater and blanked the Warhawks the rest of the way to win 28-13.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 251.6/243.6
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 97.9/192.6
How far can they go? Anything less than the quarterfinals would be a significant upset. Anything beyond the quarterfinals might also involve a significant upset.


Concordia-Chicago Cougars
Seed: Likely No. 3 seed, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: River Forest, IL
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1025
Stadium: Concordia Stadium (1500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NATHC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 107
Head coach: Lonnie Pries (Concordia, Ill. '93)
Career record: 42-28 (.600)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: Multiple 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: First appearance
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, NATHC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They can spread out the opposing defense and get the ball to their wide receivers in space so they can utilize their speed.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They can't tackle well enough and allow too many yards after contact, especially on first down. Size in general will be an issue for the Cougars against most of their potential opponents.
This season's turning point: The Oct. 13 game at Concordia (Wis.). The Cougars tied the game with 3:44 remaining and then dodged two late bullets (a blocked field goal at the end of regulation, an interception in the end zone on CUW's drive in OT) before Danny Colapietro kicked a season-long 44-yard field goal to win it.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 235.6/250.5
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 212.2/219.4
How far can they go? They may not live up to their seeding.


Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
Seed: Likely No. 4, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 8, Week 11 2012
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2001
Stadium: William Rolland Stadium (4000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: SCIAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 12
Head coach: Ben McEnroe (Cal Lutheran '92)
Career record: 35-11 (.761)
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 3-3-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-3 (2009-11)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, SCIAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Eric Rogers does his thing on offense, which he's been doing despite playing with a broken hand, although the offense is balanced. They're able to get some stops on defense.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They have to throw on every down and don't play defense all four quarters. If Whittier can put three touchdown drives of 70 yards or more up in one quarter and La Verne can do the same, what could a playoff team do?
This season's turning point: Needs to come at this point in the season after the Kingsmen defense has been gashed down the stretch. Giving up more than 400 yards per game won't get it done here.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 217.9/308.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 195.4/229.7
How far can they go? Depends on which North Central team shows up. A one-and-out is a distinct possibility for a team that seemed destined for the Top 5.


North Central (Ill.) Cardinals
Seed: Likely No. 5, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 14, Week 11 2012
Location: Naperville, IL
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2167
Stadium: Bendetti-Wehrli Stadium (5500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: CCIW
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 6
Head coach: John Thorne (Illinois Wesleyan '69)
Career record: 87-23 (.791)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 6-7 (2005-08, 2010-11)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, CCIW champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They are getting to the quarterback with their front four. They led the CCIW with 32 sacks but don't blitz much. Wabash (last year) and Wheaton solved that by keeping extra blockers in to give the quarterback time to find receivers with longer developing routes against their zone.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: If they are not getting the defense off the field on third down. In their worst losses over the past two seasons opponents combined to convert over 51% on third down. They usually hold opponents to about 26% on third downs. Offensively if they are passing the ball more than they are running it and if they are turning it over, they are in trouble. They have been a 60-40 team run vs. pass.
This season's turning point: The end of the Little Brass Bell game, where Wheaton elected not to press ahead for the touchdown necessary to win the CCIW tiebreaker, leaving North Central to get the automatic bid.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 209.1/217.6
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 97.3/161.8
How far can they go? They could be making back-to-back trips to the west coast.


Pacific Lutheran Lutes
Seed: Likely No. 6, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 20, Week 11 2012
Location: Tacoma, WA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 3109
Stadium: Sparks Stadium (3500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NWC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 63
Head coach: Scott Westering (Pacific Lutheran '81)
Career record: 47-34
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 8-3 (1998-2001)
NCAA D-III championships: 1999
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: They're creating turnovers on defense and featuring a balanced offensive attack. The Lutes ran for just 67 yards combined in their two losses.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They're allowing teams to run the ball on them and not hitting big offensive plays.
This season's turning point: Beating Willamette 41-27 in Week 8 after having lost to the other two tougest teams on their schedule previously, Cal Lutheran and Linfield. They knew they could hang with a good team but hadn't put one of them away.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 138.6/273.4
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 90.0/247.2
How far can they go? The first meeting was close, so it's not impossible to think the Lutes could pull off the upset and reprise 1999 for a couple rounds.


Bethel Royals
Seed: Likely No. 7, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 21, Week 11 2012
Location: Arden Hills, MN
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2699
Stadium: Royal Stadium (3500)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: MIAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 17
Head coach: Steve Johnson (Bethel '79)
Career record: 172-78-1 (.690)
Base offense: Multiple pro
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 6-6 (2000-01, 2003, 2006-07, 2010)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: Jesse Phenow can handle a full load in the backfield, freeing up Brandon Marquardt to catch passes and relegating freshman Marshall Klitzke to relief duty.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Their receivers get pushed around and the offense gets one-dimensional, or the defense has trouble containing a mobile quarterback.
This season's turning point: Concordia-Moorhead players running onto the field to celebrate their win against Bethel before the game was over, giving the Royals new life.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 135.6/196.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 126.9/158.4
How far can they go? To Oshkosh, but not further.


St. Scholastica Saints
Seed: Likely No. 8, Linfield bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Duluth, MN
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2492
Stadium: Public School Stadium/MN-Duluth (5000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: UMAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 169
Head coach: Greg Carlson (UW-Oshkosh)
Career record: 30-20 (.600), 147-99-2 overall
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2011 (0-1)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, UMAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They're converting for six in the red zone and Tyler Harper is doing enough in the passing game to keep defenses honest.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The offense can't get a push up front and ends up in third-and-long situations. Special teams gives up good field position, putting the defense on edge.
This season's turning point: Winning in overtime at Presentation, a puzzling result against a team that finished 2-8. The Saints then edged Minnesota-Morris and saw their name drawn at random for the UMAC automatic bid.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 200.3/157.0
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 88.3/170.2
How far can they go? One and out. But every playoff experience is a chance for this program to grow and someday become a threat to win a playoff game.


UW-Whitewater bracket | Mount Union bracket | Wesley bracket | Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos