But I will say this...if you don't think Utica, if they all of a sudden were part of the NEFC tomorrow, wouldn't be the overwhelming favorite to win the league, then you would be about the only one.
No, I don't think Utica would be the overwhelming favorite to win the league, and furthermore I don't think I'd be alone in that opinion, although I'll leave it to the other fine folks on this board to weigh in. I think they'd be a contender, certainly, but the overwhelming
This year after Salve opened the season with wins over Union and Montclair, I think most of us took it for granted that they would cruise to the NEFC title. Instead they lost two
NEFC games (one of those admittedly being the conference title game), again after beating teams that would go on to finish in the upper echelon of their respective conferences.
The great thing about this debate is that we don't KNOW for certain. I think there's enough data to support my side. You think otherwise. We are at an impasse for now.
And if you look back...I never brought up the NJAC, MAC, or LL. Just the E8. I stand by my beliefs that Salisbury through Utica would be the overwhelming favorite if they played in the NEFC.
Understood. I have referenced the other conferences because there are actual 2012 data points comparing NEFC to those conferences, and unfortunately there were no matchups between NEFC and Empie 8 teams this year. Since we do have some crossover between the LL and E8 and can evaluate their strength relative to one another (the E8 is admittedly the stronger of the two), it still seems relevant to mention NEFC vs. LL/NJAC as a way to compare the NEFC to "other conferences" since you are so hung up on the "NEFC teams don't ever play anyone besides each other" thing.
I just don't like what the ECFC and now the MASCAC (who is almost exclusively made up of NEFC schools) did to get another AQ...plain and simple.
I agree, but they've been doing the rest of D-3 a favor for the last decade by NOT breaking apart and only taking one AQ. Who are we to decide whether it's cool for them to split up and take their second AQ as allowed by the rules?
At some point though, you are going to have 3 different teams from the NEFC, ECFC, and the MASCAC all finishing with 9-1 type records at the same time where none of them won their conference champion, and none of them playing a difficult non-conference schedule (staying in-house against NEFC, ECFC, and MASCAC schools). Some lazy NCAA regional ranking system will probably have 5 or 6 of these teams (the 3 conference champs and the 3 one loss teams) in their top 10, while other stronger conferences beat the hell out of each other all while playing a difficult non-conference schedule.
I agree with your fears that a lazy NCAA regional ranking system will someday put a 9-1 NEFC or MASCAC runner up into the rankings that hasn't played outside the league(s), which is more or less what we did see this year with the ridiculous four-teams-from-the-NEFC regional ranking near the end of the season. I do, again, want to make the distinction between the NEFC and ECFC, because the gap between the two is just as large as the E8-NEFC gap if not larger. Again, NEFC #4 Endicott beat ECFC co-champ Castleton State 66-14.
However, I think you're overrating some of the other Eastern conferences "beating the hell out of each other" much the same way Bombers has made this point a few times in this discussion. This isn't the SEC, even the "power" Eastern conferences have plenty of flawed teams, and if a particular Eastern team is a threat to make a splash in the playoffs against top-notch competition...they'll still survive that "beating the hell out of each other" and emerge somehow.
Understand...I am not necessarily arguing that a 2nd place or 3rd place team from the E8, LL, NJAC, or MAC deserved to get a Pool C nod this year. But there were several teams throughout the nation that absolutely deserved it more than Bridgewater State did.
This, again, I agree with. Never disputed that point. Only point I've been arguing is that you think the top six Empire 8 teams would be overwhelming
favorites in the NEFC. They'd all be contenders, for certain, but I don't think your middling teams are guaranteed to beat the NEFC champs so easily.