At nearly 500 miles apart, two small Midwestern cities play host to a pair of college campuses. At the heart of each campus lies two of the nations most dominant college football programs.
I'm not talking about Ohio State, Notre Dame, or even Penn State. Instead, The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Whitewater, WI) and University of Mount Union (Alliance, OH) are in a league of their own.
Wisconsin-Whitewater and Mount Union have combined for nineteen national championships and twelve runner-ups across the last three decades. The insane thing is that they both compete at the NCAA Division-III level. This means that nine of the twelve runner-ups were against each other.
Fifteen of the twenty Div. III championship trophies given out since the turn of the century reside on these two campuses. The scary part is that this trend doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
But it's time to break down each program individually and see who the real "title town" is.
Whitewater, Wisconsin has a population of roughly 14,700 and it seems the entire town floods in to fill a stadium with a capacity of 13,500 to watch their beloved Warhawks play.
Believe me when I say that those fans have had a lot to cheer for. The Warhawks have accumulated 6 national championships, 4 runner-ups, and 36 conference titles. In their 15 playoff appearances they have been nothing shy of dominant, collecting a 51-9 playoff record.
125 consensus All-Americans have called Whitewater home in this programs lengthy history. The Warhawks have a resume that stacks up with the best of them and have cemented themselves atop the D-3 college football landscape.
Located just 20 minutes from the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the oldest college football stadium in Ohio. Built in 1913, Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio continues to play host the Purple Raiders home games. This part of the country is filled with football history but none more successful than Mount Union.
123 All-Americans have contributed to .657 win percentage and helped Mount Union become 1 of only 17 programs at all NCAA levels reach 800 wins. They have totaled 30 conference titles and 28 of the last 30. They have 13 straight undefeated seasons in conference play.
The Purple Raiders have had TWO SEPARATE win streaks of 110 games and 112 games which is an NCAA record by far. For comparison, Oklahoma has the D-1 record at 47 consecutive wins.
With 13 National Championships and 8 runner-ups Mount Union is one of the winningest programs in history under father son duo Larry and Vince Kehres. Only Princeton, Yale, and Alabama have more and most of these were before football as we currently know it. In the modern era it has been all Purple Raiders.
A 30 year dynasty is something even Saban has not been able to do.
Since 1996, one of these two teams have appeared in every Stagg Bowl but two. Mount Union looks to find new life in the post Kehres era where the program lost just 30 games in 35 years. Something tells me they will be just fine.