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The way I see it, there are four DI national championships. USA Rugby runs two of them, and the other two are startups. The debate over which one is the 'real' national championship is unwinnable, but that won't stop anyone from trying.

So I've complied some raw data to compare these competitions, and we'll stack the Varsity Cup straight up to D1A and compare the ACRC to D1AA.

One of the criteria we look at is the number of conference champions a postseason competition includes. And not just the pure number of champions, but the number of champions versus how many it could have had.

For example, seven conferences are represented in the Varsity Cup. (Technically it's eight, but BYU isn't eligible to win the Utah CRC title, so I omit that one, and the two independent teams: Navy and Notre Dame.) Of the seven conferences that could have seen their champions compete in the VC, six did. The only conference represented in the VC that doesn't have its champion in the independent postseason is the West, as Air Force finished third.

In contrast, there are six conferences that could have seen their champions in the D1A postseason, but only three are in the postseason. The Big Ten saw its champion disqualified for eligibility violations, the Rugby East champ, Kutztown, opted to play 7s instead, and the Allied Champ, Oklahoma, spent its travel budget on the Varsity Cup instead.

There are 16 conferences whose champions could have played in the D1AA postseason, but only seven are. Conferences like the Southwest, Empire, Atlantic Coast and East Coast have seen their champs opt out.

In contrast, the ACRC got six of its possible seven conference champions, with Indiana - then still eligible - turning down its bid after winning the Big Ten.

Another figure we look at is the average conference finish of each participant team. D1AA had to reach pretty deep in the bag to find many of its participants, with three playoff teams missing their own conference playoffs. Georgia finished third in its division of the SCRC, and Brown and Princeton did the same in their divisions of the Ivy, so their best-possible overall conference finishes would have been 5th. We assign them that when figuring the average conference finish of D1AA playoff participants.

For BYU, Notre Dame and Navy in the VC and Army (which missed the Rugby East season due to suspension) in D1A, we just don't figure them into the average.

We also provide the RUGBYMag ranking of each team in each postseason.

Varsity Cup
Champs: 6/7
Avg Conf. Finish: 1.55th
Ranked Teams: 8
Avg. Rank: 9.375

Cal - PAC Champ
Dartmouth - Ivy Champ
Central Washington - NCRC Champ
Clemson - ACRL Champ
Texas - Southwest Champ
Oklahoma - Allied Champ
UCLA - PAC 2nd
Utah - PAC 3rd
Air Force - West 3rd
Notre Dame - Independent
Navy - Independent
BYU - NA

D1A
Champs: 3/6
Avg. Conf. Finish: 2.45th
Ranked Teams: 9
Avg. Rank: 12.33

Life - Mid-South Champ
Colorado - West Champ
St. Mary's - California Champ
Colorado State - West 2nd
Santa Clara - California 2nd
Arkansas State - Mid-South 2nd
San Diego State - California 3rd
Lindenwood - Mid-South 3rd
Davenport - Mid-South 4th
Cal Poly - California 4th
Wyoming - West 4th
Army - NA

D1AA
Champs: 7/16
Avg. Conf. Finish: 2.25th
Ranked teams: 4
Avg. Rank: 16.25

Bowling Green - MAC Champ
West Virginia - Keystone Champ
Iowa State - Heart of America Champ
Central Florida - South Independent Champ
South Carolina - Southeastern Champ
Stanford - Pacific Western Champ
Long Beach - Gold Coast Champ
Missouri - Heart of America 2nd
Middle Tennessee - South Independent 2nd
LSU - Southeastern 2nd Oregon - Northwest 2nd
U. San Diego - Gold Coast 2nd
Arizona - PAC 4th
Princeton - Ivy South 3rd
Georgia - Southeastern East 3rd
Brown - Ivy North 3rd

American Collegiate Rugby Championship
Champs: 6/7
Avg. Conf. Finish: 1.14
Ranked teams: 4
Avg. Rank: 18

Bowling Green - MAC Champ
Kutztown - Rugby East Champ
West Virginia - Keystone Champ
Stony Brook - Empire Champ
Middlebury - East Coast Champ
Clemson  - Atlantic Coast Champ
Penn State - Rugby East 2nd