Realignment Craze Is All Business

Preseason Football All-Americans. DI Playing Game of Risk. Three Named to USTFCCCA Hall of Fame

AUGUST 10, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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1. Realignment Craze Is All Business

by Richard Johnson, Sports Illustrated

While on vacation, University of Michigan regent Jordan Acker had a conversation about the realignment chaos with former Wolverines All-American linebacker Jarrett Irons. According to Acker, Irons was giving his perspective about how hectic the moves will make schedules and the pressures that will increase on the athletes in the newly 18-team college superconference currently known as the Big Ten. It got his mind going, so he went to the cabin he’d been sharing with his family, fired off a thread on Twitter and closed his laptop. Hundreds of text messages later, he realized he’d struck a nerve.”

» Behind The Scenes: “The NCAA and its schools act like they aren’t businesses, whereas other companies do not hide behind pretense. Acker wants a world where everyone admits to it.”

» Reality Check: “The NCAA is a member-run organization, and the members are the schools. That offers everyone involved a significant amount of cover when things go wrong. The NCAA office can say it serves at the behest of the membership, while the schools can point at the NCAA to claim that’s where blame ultimately lies.”

2. Preseason All-Americans

Last December, 77 out of 104 players named to the 2022 All-America team were listed as seniors, but these days, people listed as seniors are not always out of eligibility. In fact, more than one-third of last year's senior honorees are still playing Division III football, and a number of additional players are in Division I, at places such as Oklahoma State, Delaware and New Hampshire.

Check out the top returning players in Division III football on the 2023 Preseason All-America team

First Team Offense

QB-Braxton Plunk, Mount Union
RB-Jhe’Quay Chretin, Aurora
RB-Cornell Beachem Jr., Mount St. Joseph
WR-Wayne Ruby Jr., Mount Union
WR-DeAngelo Hardy, North Central (Ill.)
TE-Alex Larson, Saint John’s
OT-Jeske Maples, North Central
OG-Carson Barrett, Mount Union
OC-Jarod Thornton, North Central
OG-Travis Cepalis, Tufts
OT-JR Woods, Johns Hopkins

First Team Defense

DE-Justin Blazek, UW-Platteville
DT-Dawson Dietz, Washington & Jefferson
DT-Dan Lester, North Central
DE-Luke Schuermann, Johns Hopkins
LB-Caleb Harmel, Trinity TX
LB-Owen Grover, Wartburg
LB-Robert Coury, Carnegie Mellon
CB-Antwain Walker, North Central
S-Caleb Brubaker, Salisbury
S-Griffin Pendry, Heidelberg
CB-Raylens Boutin, Brockport

First Team Specialists

K-Christian Hutra, Springfield
P-Owen Tapia, Chapman
RET-BJ Stewart, Trinity TX


A new day is dawning for D3Playbook and we’re excited to share more in the upcoming days. I thank you for all your continued support over the past four years and look forward to bigger, better things for the 2023-24 academic year.

3. Conferences Playing Game Of Risk

by Rick Burton, Sportico

On a recent vacation to Montana, our adult family sat down to play the game Risk. That’s the one where two to six players engage in “diplomacy, conflict and conquest” on a world map featuring 42 territories. As one source notes, “players may form and dissolve alliances” while trying to “occupy every territory on the board and eliminate the other players.”

Except for the 42 territories, it sounds like this month’s version of the NCAA.”

» Situational Awareness: “Viewed with a board game mentality, it probably isn’t easy assessing unsupportable infantry pieces at Oregon State, Washington State, Cal, Stanford, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Wake Forest, Pitt, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Virginia Tech, to name a handful. You can almost hear certain college presidents frantically calling for reinforcements or making clear they will defect if given the right offer.”

» Worth Noting: “Make no mistake, this is not, for the moment, about educating young men and women. This is all about branding, prestige and millions in media rights fees. We’ll get around to the business of educating folks later.”

4. Lightning Round

🗞 News. Mount Union’s John Homon, St. Olaf’s Phil Lundin and Carleton’s Donna Ricks named to USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame.

🗞 News. Massachusetts lawmakers approved a roughly $56 billion state budget proposal last week that invests millions of dollars for the initial stages of a tuition-free community college program.

5. Comings and Goings

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