2016 Around the Nation columns

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 regular season game for the first time since 2005, fell short of Salem for the first time since 2004, and failed to win the OAC for the first time since 1994. Adam Turer reviews it all in Around the Nation.

November 17, 2016 Playoff picks, surprises, disappointments Around the Nation has assembled a team of prognosticators for an annual look at who might surprise and disappoint us in the 32-team playoff.

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 in 2016, and the coaches who said goodbye on Saturday. Also, a message for the players who took off the shoulder pads for the final time yesterday.

November 10, 2016 Out of the darkness, light Sometimes, things don’t go your way. Sometimes, your highest expectations are crushed by unanticipated disappointment. But even if your team goes 0-for-2016, there's reason for hope. Around the Nation talks to five coaches who have brought their programs up from the bottom.

November 6, 2016 Snap Judgments: Merry Clinchmas The playoff field is nearly halfway set. Twelve teams are in, which means there are several teams who need to take care of business in the regular season finale, and others who will be sweating out results. A lot is on the line in Week 11.

November 2, 2016 Heart of the Heartland Melissa Johnson has spent more than three years battling pancreatitis and complications from surgeries. In the midst of all this her husband, Nick, took over as head coach at Earlham. And his perseverance has been an inspiration for his family, his players and coaches around the HCAC.

October 30, 2016 Snap Judgments: Don't forget about us When one team dominates a conference, it's easy to forget about the second place team. JCU, Muhlenberg, and Whitworth continue to excel despite being the underdog once a year in conference play. That breakthrough will come, eventually, as it did in the HCAC this fall.

October 27, 2016 September's stumblers now rolling Some of September's most disappointing teams have been able to reverse their fortunes. Heading into the final month of the season, their goals set in August are still very much on the table.

October 23, 2016 Snap Judgments: Controlling your own destiny With three weeks of regular season play remaining, 16 playoff contenders remain undefeated. For fans of teams that are still in the mix but no longer control their own destiny, it might be time to start looking ahead. Snap Judgments breaks down the conference frontrunners and tiebreaker scenarios heading into the homestretch.

October 20, 2016 Handling the political football A summer on Capitol Hill, an internship at a national convention, or a spring abroad at an embassy can shed light on how much work goes on beyond the commercials and 24-hour cable news. The preparation, teamwork, and sacrifice these D-III football players observed isn’t so different from a football season.

October 16, 2016 Snap Judgments: Don't sleep Week 7 had wire-to-wire excitement. We can't wait to see what Week 8 brings. After over 12 hours of football, Adam Turer breaks down the exciting finishes and resulting conference leaders and logjams from a fantastic Week 7.

October 13, 2016 Remembering a fallen brother At Wittenberg, or Lake Forest, a helmet sticker hardly suffices to counteract the emotion of losing a teammate. But both teams are dealing with the loss in the best way they know how.

October 9, 2016 Snap judgments: Are we having fun yet? Saturday was thrilling. Week 6 had several exciting finishes that will be remembered for a long time. The bar has been raised for Week 7. A recap of a fun Week 6, plus a review of one Top 25 ballot in this week's Snap Judgments.

October 6, 2016 Finding a home in purple With the returning offensive player of the year, St. Thomas might not have been a place a running back would choose to transfer to this summer. But Josh Parks did, and circumstances put him in the lineup, where he's shown he can shine.

October 2, 2016 Snap judgments: What do we know? Conference play is in full swing. Some results created clear separation, while others caused more confusion and chaos. For the second week in a row, a 22-game losing streak was snapped. All that and more in Week 5's Snap Judgments.

September 29, 2016 Re-ranking the conferences for 2016 It’s not easy to compare conferences. Some are no-brainers. Guess what? The WIAC, with three teams in the top ten, is the toughest conference in the country. After that, it gets more interesting.

September 25, 2016 Snap Judgments: Survival Saturday Saturday showed that Top 25 teams are far from infallible. Seven teams had to eke out single-digit victories, while three others fell to unranked opponents. As the line between the Top 25 and everyone else blurred, the top four purple powers showed why they are perennial Stagg Bowl contenders. That and more in Snap Judgments.

September 22, 2016 Ohana means family Eventually, the final score will be forgotten. Certain plays will fade away. But the experience that players and coaches from Pacific and Occidental shared in Hawaii this past week created memories that will last a lifetime.

September 18, 2016 Snap judgments: A humbling Week 3 Saturday featured multiple marquee matchups of ranked teams taking to the road. There were long travels home after humbling defeats. That and more in Snap Judgments.

September 15, 2016 The playcaller and the playwright A theatre professor spent two seasons behind the scenes with the UW-Oshkosh coaching staff and football team. What came out of it was a drama that captures the essence of the debate about football's place at a small college.

September 11, 2016 Snap judgments: Time to dig deep No team expects to open the season 0-2. Conference play will afford these teams the opportunity to reach their goals, but they need to create some confidence and momentum before it's too late. More in Snap Judgments.

September 7, 2016 Fuentes walks off, a decade later Julio Fuentes was paralyzed in the opening game of his sophomore season for Alfred. Ten years later, he returned to serve as an honorary captain for the Saxons. What happened next is unlikely to be matched as the most inspirational moment of the season.

September 4, 2016 Snap judgments: The excitement is back Week 1 had it all. Impressive debuts from coaches and players, thrilling comebacks, and Top 25 upsets. Adam Turer recaps the opening weekend's action in his first edition of Snap Judgments.

September 1, 2016 Football is here: Get fired up! New Around the Nation columnist Adam Turer introduces himself to the national audience, introduces a new segment where you'll hear from players first-hand and looks forward to one of Week 1's most anticipated games.