2013 playoffs: Bethel bracket

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Bethel Royals
Seed: No. 1, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 6, Week 11 2013
Location: Arden Hills, MN
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2699
Stadium: Royal Stadium (3500)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: MIAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 8
Head coach: Steve Johnson (Bethel '79)
Career record: 183-79-1 (.698)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 7-7 (2000-01, 2003, 2006-07, 2010, 2012)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, MIAC
You'll know they're playing well if: Erik Peterson runs because he wants to, rather than needs to, and uses multiple targets, while the defense stuffs the run and forces turnovers.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The passing offense is focused around Mitch Hallstrom to the exclusion of Jay Hilbrands and Jared Schultz, an opposing quarterback breaks containment and the kicking game is tested.
This season's turning point: Battling back after St. Thomas scored 21 points in the third quarter and scoring twice to beat the Tommies.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 199.1/259.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 131.9/173.5
How far can they go? At least to the semifinals, and if so, expect a better result than previous trips to Alliance.


North Central (Ill.) Cardinals
Seed: Likely No. 2, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 4, Week 11 2013
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: 107-27 (.799)
Base offense: Up-tempo spread
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 7-8 (2005-08, 2010-12)
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: Spencer Stanek picks the opposing defense apart, especially with big target Peter Sorenson.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: A defense that doesn't allow long drives suddenly can't get off the field.
This season's turning point: After UW-La Crosse returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown to cut the Cardinals' lead to 21-17, North Central went right back down the field and scored to go back up by 10 on the next drive, then forced a three-and-out and went back down the field for another score.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 237.7/265.1
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 117.1/136.9
How far can they go? They haven't been challenged much this year, so the question will be what happens when they face some adversity. Might take a couple rounds before they do get tested.


UW-Platteville Pioneers
Seed: Likely No. 3, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 7, Week 11 2013
Location: Platteville, WI
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 5900
Stadium: Pioneer Stadium (10000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: WIAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 11
Head coach: Mike Emendorfer (William Penn '86)
Career record: 57-82 (410)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: First trip
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: The run game is an afterthought and nobody really misses it, while the opponents are throwing too, with less success.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They can't stop the run and the unnecessary points they give up keep an opponent in the game longer than necessary and something comes of it.
This season's turning point: Zach Litchfield's field goal splitting the uprights as time expired to lift the Pioneers to a 17-16 win at UW-Oshkosh and all but securing the playoff bert.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 149.7/338.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 142.7/206.6
How far can they go? First D-III playoff trip should yield first win, though probably not a second.


Illinois Wesleyan Titans
Seed: Likely No. 4, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 14, Week 11 2013
Location: Bloomington, IL
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2113
Stadium: Wilder Field at Tucci Stadium (3500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: CCIW
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 28
Head coach: Norm Eash (Illinois Wesleyan '75)
Career record: 173-89-1 (.660)
Base offense: Pro set
Base defense: 4-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 3-4 (1992, 1996, 2009, 2011)
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: Rob Gallik has a little time to throw and the offense takes its time.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Neither running back is effective, and the opposing quarterback has all the time he wants because the defense is not getting into the backfield.
This season's turning point: Driving 95 yards in 15 plays and using more than half of the fourth quarter to put Wheaton away in a 30-19 win.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 177.0/219.0
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 96.1/190.5
How far can they go? Two years ago, IWU had a chance to go to Minnesota for a second-round game. This time they will.


Wartburg Knights
Seed: Likely No. 5, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 19, Week 7 2011
Location: Waverly, IA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1729
Stadium: Walston-Hoover Stadium (4800)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: IIAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 46
Head coach: Rick Willis (Cornell '88)
Career record: 127-33 (.794)
Base offense: Three-wide
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 5-8 (1982, 1993-94, 1999, 2002-04, 2008)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, IIAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Both quarterbacks are healthy. Logan Schrader and Taylor Jacobsmeier give Wartburg's offense a new dynamic when they can be used interchangeably or put on the field at the same time.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They feel they have no option but to throw or run Schrader for yards they must have. The defense can't get off the field. Bethel threw for 301 yards in a Week 2 Wartburg loss and Coe ran for 286 in a Week 8 loss.
This season's turning point: Persevering after spending the entire second half trailing Central before coming back to win 16-14, avoiding what would have been a second consecutive loss.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 195.3/205.1
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 137.2/192.9
How far can they go? Probably a one-and-out situation.


Albion Britons
Seed: Likely No. 6, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Albion, MI
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1940
Stadium: Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium (4244)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: MIAA
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 104
Head coach: Craig Rundle (Albion '74)
Career record: 157-116 (.575)
Base offense: Multiple I
Base defense: 4-2-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 5-8 (1977, 1985, 1991, 1993-94, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2011)
NCAA D-III championships: 1994
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, MIAA
You'll know they're playing well if: They force the opponent to go to the air to beat them.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: There's no time for receivers to get open and the passing game consists of a bunch of checkdowns and dumpoffs.
This season's turning point: When Hope's game-tying field goal attempt hit the upright in Week 11, securing the Britons' ticket.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 143.3/232.7
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 190.9/244.7
How far can they go? This is a one-and-out trip


Concordia (Wis.) Falcons
Seed: Likely No. 7, Bethel bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Mequon, WI
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1963
Stadium: Century (2500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NACC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 73
Head coach: Greg Etter (Minnesota-Mankato '87)
Career record: 23-27 (460)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-3 (2003, 2006-07)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, NACC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Austin Damaschke is making all the throws and using his legs because he wants to, rather than needs to.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The opponent can shorten the game by pounding the ball on the ground.
This season's turning point: Getting into conference play after going 1-2 to open the season outside the league. CUW played a lot of close games and gave up a lot of yards but mostly bent rather than breaking.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 184.9/291.9
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 196.4/241.2
How far can they go? They won't leave the state.


St. Scholastica Saints
Seed: Likely No. 8, Bethel 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: 138
Head coach: Greg Carlson (UW-Oshkosh)
Career record: 156-100-2 (.609)
Base offense: One-back
Base defense: 4-2-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2011-12 (0-2)
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: The offense is crisp and throws short- and medium-length passes without issue.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They can never establish the run, while the opponent can do so with runs from either team.
This season's turning point: Getting an 8-yard touchdown run from Tyler Harper as time expired in the first half at Greenville, putting the Saints up 21-7 and into a position to weather than eventual comeback attempt as CSS won the UMAC title from Greenville, 21-7.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 245.7/186.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 121.1/163.5
How far can they go? Out and back. Not their time yet, though that can still be coming.


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Dec. 19: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 43, at Mount Union 34
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 19: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 43, at Mount Union 34
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos