December 21, 2003
Resisting the irresistable force

Congratulations to St. John's and their head coach John Gagliardi for doing what my Trinity Tigers could not do last year: beat the best team in college football in the Stagg Bowl for the Division III national championship.

Yes, I said the best team in college football. How good are the Mount Union Purple Raiders? Try this: Yesterday's loss was their third in eight seasons. Since 1996, when they embarked on a 54-game winning streak, which was immediately followed by a just-now-broken 55-game winning streak, they have won 109 games and lost two. Head coach Larry Kehres is 192-17-3 in 17 seasons there, 162-7-1 since 1990. And that's without scholarships. Wake me up when Bob Stoops, or any other coach, can match that.

It's fitting, therefore, that the team Mount Unions lost to is coached by the man with more victories in college football than anyone else. Gagliardi, for whom the award for Best Division III Player is named, is 414-114-11 in 55 years of coaching. This is is fourth championship.

Finally, notice once again that every division of college football except for IA has a playoff and thus determines its champion in a proper fashion. Div III, whose members seldom play more than 10 regular season games, take 28 teams for the playoffs, with four #1 seeds getting a first round bye. The others take 16 teams. If you limited IA to 11 regular season games and eliminated conference championship games, you could have a 16-team playoff with no team playing more tham 15 times, a total that is already possible now (12 regular season games, an exempt preseason game, a conference championship, and a bowl). Whatever arguments there are against such a system, "too many games" is the silliest.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 21, 2003 to Other sports | TrackBack