bleed, i think you are misreading gordon's post. I don't think he agree with jk at all, but is using his quote as a basis for his post.
Wesley dad is right. I wasn't agreeing with Jknezek or complaining about the purple reign. I was asking a question about his premise (D3 = significant advantage for some schools). Notice I'm not even calling that advantage "unfair" here, just significant and important in determing champions over time. Jnezek's use of "unlevel" seems more appropriate.
Jnezek did a nice job analyzing variety of champions in men's soccer and football. D3 apparently has less variety of champions.
What percentage of the 239 DIII colleges have qualified at least once for the playoffs in the last 15 years? My guess is less than 40%, at least a fifth of which have never advanced beyond the first round. Consequently the vast majority of DIII colleges should concentrate their efforts on putting together a suitable regular season schedule and not concern themselves with whether the playoffs are "fair".
Frank's thinking is similar to mine, I think. Maybe it's a byproduct of our NESCAC affiliation where the schools elect not to participate in the playoffs. Here's my view on this question, if anyone cares.
Each year only a small number of football programs have a legitimate chance to win a national championship in football. Maybe that number is six as Jknezek suggests. Whatever it is, it's a small number. Certainly less than 1 percent of the membership.
While the coaches and players on the other teams are certainly trying to win every week, and some of them use the national championship as a goal, the majority of Division III members as institutions
are not trying to win a football championship. They view football as an important part of a college that has institutional goals that likely have nothing to do with who plays in the Stagg Bowl.
Maybe the real goal is for the football team to be competitive within their region or conference because it helps recruiting. Maybe they want the football team to just beat the archrivals that alumni care about the most, because it helps fundraising. Maybe they just want the football team to have a big roster, because it drives enrollment and helps with the male-female distribution.
That doesn't mean the college administrators don't care if they don't win. But they aren't going to put the same level of resources in their football program as other schools who are trying to win a national championship, because that's not really their goal.
And that's okay.
It's okay if Mary Hardin-Baylor spends far more on their program than someone like Bluffton (and they do if you look at the federally reported figures). It's okay if Wesley has way more players on its roster than Martin Luther. It's okay that Mount Union has more full time coaches than the NEFC schools, who sometimes have no full time coaches. It's okay if some schools have beautiful new facilities and others play in stadiums that were built in the 1970s and barely reach compliance with modern code standards. It's okay that some schools have high tuition and can offer large financial aid packages to the students, including football players, while others have low tuition or maybe offer comparatively little financial aid. It's even okay that some schools choose to end their seasons after 8 games and not participate in the playoffs at all.
These are all decisions that create institutional advantages and they all matter over time. Yes, individual players, coaches and even plays make a difference in a season. But I think Larry Kehres would tell you that he alone is not the reason Mount Union has had this long of success. Mount Union has institutional advantages as a result of the decisions its leaders have made.
It's okay for schools to have different goals and different commitments to pursuing them. Yes, it results in a lack of parity and it doesn't make people feel any better when they get throttled by Mount Union or Whitewater or Wesley or whomever each November. But that's the nature of the varied Division III membership. This isn't 32 NFL teams in a league of owners where football is the core function. This is 240 colleges for which football is a small (even if important) part of their whole operation.