2005 Around the Nation columns

January 27, 2006 105 ways to remember 2005 As a new year begins and the 2005 football season begins to fade into the recesses of your memory and ours, perhaps just a few moments will stand out

December 8, 2005 Rowan, Wesley not ready to roll over Are you ready to pair purple powerhouses in the Stagg Bowl, figuring Mount Union and UW-Whitewater will coast this week? Rowan and Wesley would just as soon have you doubt them.

December 1, 2005 Eager for another shot Linfield and UW-Whitewater are meeting for the first time ever and Bridgewater hasn’t played Wesley in more than a decade, but the playoff round of eight isn’t all about unfamiliarity. Capital led Mount Union in the fourth quarter of their Oct. 1 Ohio Athletic Conference matchup before the Purple Raiders pulled away.

November 23, 2005 Thiel finds its playoff colors Being new to the postseason — and to football success at all, really — didn’t catch folks in Greenville, Pa. off guard. They were ready for Thiel’s playoff debut Saturday against Johns Hopkins, perhaps more so than the Blue Jays.

November 16, 2005 Picking playoff surprises, disappointments Almost 200 of the teams that kicked off in September are done. But Division III finally got its 32-team bracket, which means no more first-round byes, as there were in the 28-team system from 1999-2004, among other things.

November 10, 2005 Finally, a look at the NESCAC It had to be done. Those of us outside the New England Small College Athletic Conference needed answers. I convinced publisher Pat Coleman to send me to Amherst last week to get a look at Trinity (Conn.) in the midst of their Division III-best win streak, now at 29 games and counting.

November 3, 2005 You lost by 50? So what? What a term paper title this would make. How to rebound from a blowout: advice for St. Olaf, by Wesley.

October 27, 2005 Conferences fit to be tied Conference title races and the playoff picture are supposed to be coming into focus now. But Saturday dealt our safe assumptions the biggest blow in years. A Mount Union regular-season loss?

October 20, 2005 Checking the line with another nine It seems we’re just starting to figure things out, and we’re getting ready to wrap up. I know players feel that way. But instead of waxing nostalgic about how a college football career can be fleeting, let’s enjoy what we have left.

October 13, 2005 A look around the playoff races As mentioned last week, most of you probably focus your attention on one team each Saturday. Perhaps you have time to follow its opponents, or the conference standings, but wrapping your mind around all 231 teams is too much to even think about. That's precisely what Around the Nation is for!

October 6, 2005 Two good games, one great trip After this weekend’s trip to see UW-Eau Claire play at UW-Whitewater, then North Central hosting Wheaton later that evening, I came to a few conclusions:

September 29, 2005 This season's early surprises Like any season, 2005 has been full of it on the field, but we’ve received a couple of administrative shockers as well. Before we get into five things not to be caught off guard by and an Around the Nation full of number-crunching, let’s take a brief look back at September’s biggest surprises, from least-stunning to most:

September 21, 2005 Salisbury sprinting to the top Starting the season by beating three Top 100 teams with a combined 2004 record of 22-10 has thrust Salisbury to the top of the Mid-Atlantic heap. If you compare Saturday’s 44-24 win at Christopher Newport to the 21-14 loss perennial power Rowan dealt the Captains, it might even make the Sea Gulls the best-looking team on the East Coast.

September 15, 2005 Winning with offense What wins championships? You’re doggone right. Defense. So how come so many of the teams in or hovering near the Top 25 can’t seem to play any?

September 9, 2005 When your QB's a newbie When it comes to quarterback, few teams are fortunate enough to have a star like Brett Elliott returning, like top-ranked Linfield does. But there is an inordinate amount of returning talent at the position in 2005.

September 1, 2005 10 things we can learn in Week 1 It hardly seems like we should be less than 48 hours away from the kickoff of another college football season. Yet, from the moment The College of New Jersey and Muhlenberg or Curry and Worcester State kick off on Friday night through the Dec. 17 Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., we’ll be riding shotgun.