Regarding this weeks ATN article.
I'm not buying the 'too many schools in a small location' argument. It completely ignores the population of many of these states. Massachusetts, PA, NJ, NY are not exactly hard up for people. Yes, they've got a lot of colleges (some very good ones by the way), but they've got loads of people as well.
Case in Point. Keith mentions Massachusetts having 20 DIII schools. Here's a fair comparison:
Massachusetts: population 6.6 million
Iowa: pop 3 million – 19 small college teams*, FCS: UNI, Drake
Minnesota: pop 5.2 million – 16 small college teams, 8 D II (doesn't even take into consideration the pillaging UND, NDSU, SDSU & USD do with MN HS players)
Wisconsin: pop 5.6 mill - 16 Small college teams
That sure looks like apples to apples to me. You could even make the case that the latter 3 have it tougher given the schools and population numbers. But you don't hear us crying and we've put some very competitive teams on the national stage.
And if you take the last 20 years. It hasn't been just Mount & UWW. You have to include UWLax, SJU, PLU, & Linfield as national champs.
Bottom line, I think the East just needs to improve. Rowan was right on the cusp for years, as the article states. Ithaca made hay for a while. What, the population suddenly decreased out there since the 80's and 90's? Teams from the East can and have competed in the past. They don't have any real limitations from what I can see.
I don't think this is anything more than better football players and coaches in the other regions.
*Small college teams = DIII or NAIA. You have to consider NAIA schools in this equation because they are a definite recruiting hurdle DIII schools with NAIA fb neighbors face. Much more so than even D II and FCS.