In 2019 a CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) and a WIAC (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) team squared off in the national championship for the first time in history. However, where do these conferences rank in our top 5 conferences in the history of Division 3 college football?
The way these conferences were ranked (in ascending order) is based on past national champions and runner-ups as well as playoff teams each conference has produced.
5. CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin)
The CCIW consists of 9 colleges from Illinois and Wisconsin, that features schools such as Wheaton (ill), the 2019 national champions North Central (ill), and Augustana. They have had a combined 5 National Championships since the conference was aligned (1976).
This past season was a little strange in comparisons to years past, Wheaton went 10-0 and won the conferences as well as gaining the #2 seed in their region for the playoffs. Dating all the way back to when the conference was aligned, Wheaton has had 11 playoff appearances which ranks #1 in the CCIW. Despite the 10 appearances the furthest they have made it in the playoffs is to the quarterfinals.
North Central (ill) is responsible for the CCIW’s first Stagg Bowl since 1986. This past year saw a wild playoff run that started with them being the #4 seed in the region and taking down perennial powerhouse Mount Union in the 2nd round. This magical run ended in a 41-14 win against UW-Whitewater in Shenandoah, Texas. North Central has had 8 playoff appearances in their history.
Augustana makes the top 3 schools in the conference based off of history. The rich history of the Vikings is deep with a span from 1983-1986 being a back to back to back to back champion. Year in and year out you can count on them to be competitive in the CCIW.
CCIW Fun Fact: In 2019, North Central prevented Mount Union from advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs since 1994.
4. ASC (American Southwest Conference)
The ASC is the home to 12 members spread throughout the Gulf Coast region - with member schools in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Members of the ASC vary between private and public as well. Three schools in this conference usually dominate the rest.
Powerhouse Mary Hardin-Baylor is a member and is consistently in the mix for the Stagg Bowl and is also home to one of the best stadiums at the Division III level. In the past two decades, the Crusaders have won the conference title 15 times. That stretch under Coach 2 national titles (2016,2018) as well as been runner-ups twice (2004,2017). Notable alumni to make it to the NFL include Jerrell Freeman and Nate Menkin.
Texas Lutheran is a smaller Division III school where about 33