2007 Around the Nation columns

January 28, 2008 Year in Review: Where we missed In 2007, the Division III football world not only grew, but grew interconnected. Around the Nation went coast-to-coast and border state-to-border state, along the way meeting fans who best knew each other through message-board monikers, and others who had taken an interest in each other’s teams or were hanging out on their own time, largely without our help.

January 9, 2008 Year in Review: Standout players, teams What better way to ring in 2008 than to look at the 2007 football season in another light? Given some time to reflect, now that the Stagg Bowl, as well as the holidays, are history, Around the Nation looks at the individuals and teams that stood out.

December 25, 2007 In short or long, 2007 was a blast Perhaps we should have foreseen the exciting finish to 2007, since it was a highlight reel full of surprises from the very start. Long before UW-Whitewater pulled the upset in Salem, during its third consecutive Stagg Bowl matchup against Mount Union, this season was intriguing.

November 13, 2007 Our playoff picks, surprises, disappointments Now that we’ve gotten over the initial shock of the bracket shakeup – you know, just when we had the committee completely figured out, they go and do this – let’s take a good, hard look at it.

November 8, 2007 When a title rides on a rivalry The very first recruiting letter I’d ever received was from a place in Virginia I’d never heard of, but through the frequency of the mailings I got to follow along a slightly bumpy road on this team’s quest for its conference championship.

November 1, 2007 Natural bowl, pines and a large crowd There’s really never a bad time to see a game at what is oft described as the best game-day atmosphere in Division III. And the Johnnies and Tommies went ahead and obliged us with an unexpectedly exciting game to boot.

October 25, 2007 Central's nervous system can't be rattled From far away, the things taking place in and around Pella, Iowa, seem to border on the absurd.

October 18, 2007 Surprises, disappointments, turning points With the four weeks left before the playoffs in mind, I thought I’d try a new tack for the review. Several hundred games into the season, Around the Nation producing a comprehensive review of everything that’s happened so far is wishful thinking. So let’s highlight some things you might have missed, and point out things you ought not to miss during the stretch run.

October 11, 2007 Everything's bigger, including Homecoming They say everything’s bigger in Texas. And while the cliché greets visitors on T-shirts before they leave the airport, my recent trip to Abilene, home of McMurry and Hardin-Simmons, served to confirm what Around the Nation has been learning all season. This Division III thing is bigger and more important to people than I ever imagined.

October 4, 2007 Why D-III's system works best After a Saturday where the phone rang furiously with updates from La Crosse, Wis. during then-No. 3 UW-Whitewater’s come-from-behind victory against then-No. 6 UW-La Crosse, I arrived home to find a smoldering wreckage of a Top 25.

September 26, 2007 How we ranked the conferences Even the most thorough preseason examination of available information only goes so far toward telling us what will really happen, before results begin to trickle in and we invoke the cliché 'That's why they play the games.'

September 20, 2007 Wild weekend at the Catdome So this weekend’s trip to Linfield led me to the conclusion that having D3football.com publisher Pat Coleman and I in the house is the Division III equivalent of bringing ESPN’s Game Day crew to town.

September 13, 2007 Truly loving the love of the game In Division III, we like to say we “play for the love of the game.” It’s pretty much our motto.

September 6, 2007 In openers, hope springs, or falls, eternal Great expectations. In Week 1, everyone has them. And half of them went home last weekend thoroughly disappointed, dreams of an undefeated season dashed.

August 30, 2007 At long last, let's play ball There isn't much else we at D3football.com can say to those of you have been waiting, whether you're parents of a freshman eager for your son's first Division III game, or you're a die-hard who's been salivating since last December (or November, for those who tune out the playoffs) to see your team crack helmets again.