Category Archives: Mailbag

Mailbag: Why does the KCAC struggle in football?

I get some pretty good questions from our readers via e-mail. When it allows, I’d like to start sharing some with you.
Let’s start with this one:
It seems like KCAC schools rarely, if ever, defeat other NAIA schools from similar conferences e.g. Heart of America, either during nonconference play and especially in the postseason NAIA football playoffs? Why is the caliber of football different (in the KCAC) than other surrounding conferences, including some of those schools in Kansas? Kansas JUCO football is as good as any nationally? Division 2 football is also great in Kansas. 
Clifford S. Depew
Wichita
That is a really great question and one I have wondered about myself for some time.
The biggest thing I’ve found is that there are too many teams, too close to each other, competing for the same players.
With 10 schools within 3 hours of each other — and eight of them within an hour of each other — there is a major congestion of campuses and, in some cases, not much to distinguish one campus from the next. Aside from Friends and KWU, the schools are generally in very rural areas that can lessen their appeal to college kids … not to mention 7 of the 10 schools have an enrollment under 1,000.
At Baker, Benedictine or Mid-America Nazarene – all HOA schools – they can offer an enclosed atmosphere on campus, if that’s what you want as a student, but then you also have access to a larger metropolitan area.
It also seems like junior colleges, more than the Division II’s, impact the quality of football at the KCAC schools. The eight in-state jucos need to fill their rosters with 45 Kansas kids and out of high school, most of the time, these kids are the same ones that the KCAC schools recruit. The amount of money you can save getting your first two years of college done at a juco, where they pay tuition and books, is staggering compared to how much those same two years will cost you at a KCAC school.
In the state of Kansas, where the schools traditionally need to get the majority of their players from in order to be successful, there is a lot of high-school football talent. But there is not an infinite number and it gets diluted very quickly with over 20 schools trying to fill their rosters.
-TA