Author Topic: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era  (Read 42601 times)

Offline Ralph Turner

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The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« on: July 01, 2007, 07:41:31 pm »
Our East Region friends have started this board for their region.  How about a South Region board for the same time period.

1)  2004 UMHB -- (13-2) Did it Ginger Rogers style.  (Refers to the old joke, who was the better dancer...Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers?  Rogers did everything that Astaire did, backwards and in high heels.)  Was a Pool C bid, back when there were only 3.  Beat #7 Trinity by 29, #3 HSU by 14, #5 W&J by 36 and #1 Mount Union by 3 on the road.  Lost to Elliott's #2 Linfield in the Stagg, 21-28.

2)  2001 Bridgewater -- (13-1)  #1 South Region seed.  Made the trip down to Salem and lost to MUC in primetime on Saturday night, 27-30.

3)  2007 UMHB -- (12-2) #4 South Region seed only because they had the "cojones" (a little Texas lingo there) to schedule a home-and-home with the 2005 Stagg Bowl runner-up two years before the game was played.  Defeated a strong #6 seed (sic) Trinity team for the "Barbed Wire and Mesquite" (unofficial title of the Texas Sub-bracket), and annihilated a #8-seeded NCWC team that won its first playoff game ever at #1 seed Washington and Jefferson.  (NCWC was only in its 4th year of play!)  The Cru avenged their losses at Wesley, 27-10, in the Regional Finals.  In the semi-finals, UMHB dug a big hole in losing the regular season UWW game and then lost to the 2007 Stagg Bowl champs, 16-7 in a great game notably for the "Texas unfriendly" conditions in Whitewater in the semis.

34)  2002 Trinity -- (14-1)  Beat UMHB 48-38, W&J 45-10, won at Bridgewater 38-32, beat St John's 41-34.  Star QB celebrates too hard on Paseo del Rio and Stagg is history.  (MUC wins 48-7, on a very windy day).

45)  1999 Trinity -- (12-1) #1 Seed and gets bye.  Beat Western Maryland and  HSU (40-33) before losing to Stagg winner Pacific Lutheran, 28-49 in Semis.

56)  2000 HSU -- (12-1)  Had the bye and #1 seed in South and is #2 in the playoffs.  Beat Western Maryland 32-10 and Trinity 33-30.  Lost to Finalist SJU, 14-38 in Abilene.
 
67)  2005 Wesley -- (12-2)  Cinderella.  Gets a Pool B bid.  Beats Ferrum, wins at UMHB, beats Bridgewater and then messes up the shoe thing on the snow/ice at Whitewater, 6-58.

78 )  2006 Wesley -- (13-1)  #1 Seed. Beat Dickinson, CMU* and UMHB before losing at UW-W (7-44) in the proper shoes.

89)  1999 HSU -- (12-1) Beat WashU and W&J before losing (33-40) at Trinity in South Region finals.

910)  2002 UMHB -- (10-1)  "Bracketgate" game.  UMHB is #5 in polls and #3 South Region Seed.  Sent to Trinity (#4 in polls and #2 South Region seed) in the first round because of geographic proximity.  Loses at Trinity 38-48.

1011)  2003 Bridgewater -- (12-2) Squeaked out of a weak but very balanced South Region and then lost at MUC 0-66.

(Revised after the 2007 Stagg Bowl.)

(* Thanks to WCLegacy for the proofreading and the correction.)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 08:20:57 pm by Ralph Turner »

Offline K-Mack

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2007, 11:45:47 pm »
Ralph,
 I like your list, and not much to quibble (word fo teh day?) with off the top of my head.

 Bracketgate game, you should mention, was a first-round matchup.

 The D3football.com era begins in 1999 ... one thing you could mention, however, is that the MAC was South Region for much of this time, so maybe that squeaks someone like Widener 2000 into the top 10, or maybe you want only to include the current South Region teams.

 I see you mostly have Stagg Bowl teams, regional champions and such on the list too. Probably wise.

 The 66-0 Bridgewater team really wasn't that bad; that score (and it could've been 74-0, easy) was the result of schematic disaster that was actually rooted in a good idea. Bridgewater (built on speed, remember) would cover Mount Union receivers 1-on-1 so it could rush enough people to keep the Purple Raiders' QBs from sitting back and picking them apart. However, MUC seemed to pick up the blitzes, and the twin 6-foot-4 WRs made catches against Bridgewater's smaller CBs all day, and it got ugly in a hurry.

 Definitely the 2001 Bridgewater team and the 2004 Mary Hardin-Baylor team are two of the best in a long time. I wouldn't beef with anyone who flipped the order there, although UMHB's road run was definitely the more impressive accomplishment, and the Rowan/Bwater semifinal too ... yeah, I'll agree with UMHB at No. 1, but that Lutz/Cruz, etc. team was a powerhouse.

 I still think UMHB running the ball down 14 at MUC in the 4th quarter, and it working, was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in D3 football. Had it not been for The Catch (immortalized on UMHB football building walls) though, I wouldn't remember it as such.

 Just some ramblings to support your rankings, I suppose.
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 11:00:58 am »
Good morning K-Mack,

I thought about that 2000 Widener team as I looked at the MAC teams.  Their regular season loss was to "Western Maryland" who was soundly defeated by HSU in the playoffs that year.

I also thought about the 2003 Lycoming team which beat ASC Tri-Champ ETBU in OT only to fall to Bridgewater the next weekend.

I thought that the South Region in 2003 was very balanced but not very stellar.  UMHB, HSU and ETBU were tri-champs.  ETBU beat Trinity in the first round at home in OT.  #1 seed Lycoming beat ETBU in near-freezing weather at home in OT.  Bridgewater beat a "Lanetti-less" Lycoming 13-9 in Williamsport PA.  Many ASC fans thought that both UMHB and HSU "matched up" better versus Lycoming.  With only 3 Pool C bids to give that year, a better ASC tri-champ may have been sitting home, but that there wasn't a "touchdown's worth" of difference between those 6.

The South Region has been very well balanced.  I think that the first 10 are solid picks, but the next 10 get very difficult.

Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 11:17:08 am »
Good morning K-Mack,

I thought about that 2000 Widener team as I looked at the MAC teams.  Their regular season loss was to "Western Maryland" ...

Great game, by the way -- Keith and Ray Martel and I called this game. Memorable for a wind that baffled Widener return man Jim Jones, who fumbled two punts and had to fall on a third to maintain possession.
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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2007, 12:50:42 pm »
Usually with every "Best" top 10 list, there always a "worst" top 10 list.  Is there even a possibility of having a worst list?  I think there will have to be another list at the time of d3football's 10 year anniversary.  Maybe that one will be on a more national scale.

Offline Josh Bowerman

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 02:16:37 pm »
That's a slippery slope, Pride.   :)
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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 02:22:48 pm »
That's a slippery slope, Pride.   :)

I am not encouraging it.  I am only saying there is usally an opposite to goes with every list.  "Best"/"Worst" "Underrated"/"Overrated" "Best Stock Picks"/ "Worst Stock Picks" etc.  You get the picture  :)

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2007, 02:28:57 pm »
Ralph,
 I like your list, and not much to quibble (word of the day?) with off the top of my head.

 Bracketgate game, you should mention, was a first-round matchup.

 The D3football.com era begins in 1999 ...

 I see you mostly have Stagg Bowl teams, regional champions and such on the list too. Probably wise.


 Definitely the 2001 Bridgewater team and the 2004 Mary Hardin-Baylor team are two of the best in a long time. I wouldn't beef with anyone who flipped the order there, although UMHB's road run was definitely the more impressive accomplishment, and the Rowan/Bwater semifinal too ... yeah, I'll agree with UMHB at No. 1, but that Lutz/Cruz, etc. team was a powerhouse.

 I still think UMHB running the ball down 14 at MUC in the 4th quarter, and it working, was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in D3 football. Had it not been for The Catch (immortalized on UMHB football building walls) though, I wouldn't remember it as such.

 Just some ramblings to support your rankings, I suppose.
Keith, thanks for the kind words...

I stayed pretty "close to the top of the playoffs" on that punditry.

With the geographic proximity issues, I wonder if the 2004 HSU team that split with UMHB shouldn't be in the "Top 10 list".  After all, they gave UMHB as good a game as anyone else that season.  I don't want to seem too provincial altho' I am proud of the ASC teams and how we have done in the playoffs as we have had to contend with the "Texas sub-bracket".

Offline Josh Bowerman

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2007, 02:33:21 pm »
That's the only team I'd have added, Ralph--given they were the only team other than Linfield to beat UMHB that season, that is.

I think your list is pretty solid, though.
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 04:12:52 pm »
Josh, 2004 HSU was ranked #3 at the end of the regular season.

We may need to look more carefully.

Offline Josh Bowerman

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2007, 04:19:39 pm »
Maybe, but getting it done in the playoffs is still the measure of greatness, in any sport.

I do think the fact that the AA continues to pair up Texas (and more specifically, ASC teams) in the first round of the playoffs does merit at least a caveat, though.   :)
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Offline SU97

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2007, 09:33:24 pm »
While I would like to be able to add value to this thread in regards to the Bridgewater 2001 and 2003 teams, the truth is, I've only seen Bridgewater twice - the inagural SU home game (a 40-16 spanking) in 2000 (technically it was at local Sherando HS) and the BC2005 model that ran through us like a buzzsaw. 

In fact, I was sort of there for the BC2004 version that packed 7,000+ into Shentel Stadium...  was enjoying a quality pre-game beverage session with some fellow SU grads and we had the pre-game show on in the parking lot, provided by oldies95 radio, and thought we should head up to the stadium when we decided to crack one more cold one...  well, BC ran back the kickoff, recoved an SU fumble and were up 14-0 before we had even put the cooler away.  It was something like 4 minutes into the game...  At that we all decided to bag the game and head down to old town funchester.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 09:36:29 pm by SU97 »

Offline K-Mack

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2007, 02:02:24 am »
Ralph and Josh,
 I agree about the South Region in '03, the games were 42-41 and 13-9 and such. I also think you can fairly take a look at a Texas team that took an early-round exit to a Texas team who went on to do big things. Maybe not very high on the list, but one could consider them.

 Was '99 impressive at all? Drawing a blank on who ... oh yeah, you mentioned Trinity getting in PLU's way.

 That might be my favorite champion. A lot of fun Stagg Bowls, but that team was real unique.

 In any case, I digress.

 What about the top 10 playoff games of the era?

 (expects more digression)

 P.S., Funchester, ha!
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 07:50:14 am »
...

 Was '99 impressive at all? Drawing a blank on who ... oh yeah, you mentioned Trinity getting in PLU's way.

 That might be my favorite champion. A lot of fun Stagg Bowls, but that team was real unique.

...
I think that the historical context of the 1999 season is what makes those references so important.

In 1998, HSU's only loss was to a D2 and they stayed home, along with a bunch of others.

In 1999, I think that the "old guard" of D3 may have been surprised when these new members of D3 (and I would include Trinity TX as guilty by association) easily handled traditional D-3 powers (soon to be D-IV powers ? ), Washington-St Louis and W&J.  The UAA went 6 years without a football playoff bid after the WashStL loss to HSU.  Then HSU beat W&J, an even more highly respected football power.

One can look back at the 1999 playoffs and see that the geographic center of D-III football supremacy moved westward and southward.

Trinity's move in the 1999 playoffs probably confirmed their place in the highest echelon  of D-III for the next decade.

PLU's win definitely attracted attention that the new D-III members from the old NAIA power Columbia Football Conference would be annual forces with which to reckon.

Since that time, Trinity, the ASC and the Northwest Conference have been at the top of D-III football playoff considerations.

Offline gordonmann

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Re: The Top 10 South Region teams of the D3football.com Era
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2007, 10:18:13 am »
Great work, Ralph.  I can't think of anyone better suited to put this one together.

I like your pick of UMHB version 2004 over Bridgewater version 2001. 

UMHB had big wins on the road, none bigger than the upset in Alliance.  Then they pushed Linfield to the limit.  As you pointed out on the West Region Top 10 list, that game hinged on a couple key plays.

The same could be said about the Bridgewater (Va.) Stagg Bowl but their trip to Salem was somewhat less impressive (narrow win over a good Trinity team at home, win over Widener at home, and the clock game at Rowan). 

Based on the video, the Eagles got an incredible break against Rowan and probably should not have won considering when the break happened (end of the game eliminating the "we could have made other adjustments" argument).

You can't detract from the talent of the Bridgewater team or what they accomplished.  You can't discount how they played in the Stagg Bowl.  But you can discount the way they got there in a subjective list such as this one.

Besides, your list has some internal consistency with the others (Rowan 2001 as top east team and Linfield 2004 or SJU 2003 as top west team).  And consistency is nice. :)