After slogging through this discussion over the past several days I thought I would do a little digging and give myself more background on the topic (I know, weird). Admittedly, I am not an Indiana native, and over the past decade or so I've had to peruse my way through many-a websites, forums, almanacs, and more to try to keep pace with the ins, outs, abbreviations, and nicknames (I still can't read a STC thread on the EIAC to save my life)... let alone feel brave enough to post confidently in any PP-themed topic. So today I did what I do best: Look up a bunch of stuff, put it in a spreadsheet, and try to make sense of it. Some (most? all?) of it may not be completely relevant to the topic at hand, but I at least want to share the empirical data that I was able to glean out of my research. Frankly, it was very interesting to me and I'd hate for it to go go to waste for anyone who is like me... interested, but ignorant. I'm assume much of this has very likely been covered in bits and pieces all over this forum over the years, but I feel compelled to share this non-biased information (these are those fact-things people keep talking about) to those that might appreciate it and may not be aware of everything out of this particular set of data. This isn't a resolution, just information.
To start I put a time frame on it, somewhat arbitrary, but hopefully enough to at least gather a representative sample size. So the past ten years of Indiana football, 2010-2019. I broke out all of the PP schools listed at the start of this thread, separated by current enrollment (no SF figured in, just enrollment for a base line), and then proceeded to populate the schools' post-season results. I used Almanac Sports (I can't thank this man enough for putting THAT thing together) to populate the spreadsheet, year by year, to see how well each of the schools did in any given season. I also tried to help myself understand how teams were beat, versus how far they went. For example, for 2015 Brebeuf I note "LS Chatard" so that it told me "Lost Sectional (to) Chatard" and I could at least see that, while they may have been knocked out early, it was by the eventual State Champs. It has pretty colors, all that jazz. Someone's probably done this before, but hey, I had free time and a beer or two in the fridge.
Anyway, what I was most surprised to find (and maybe/likely not a shock to many/most) was the 2010-2012 back-to-back-to-back State Championships from 1A LCC, 2A Luers, 3A Chatard, and 4A Cathedral. Not being from here, remember, I have little to no background on the history of football in the state, so this was a bit of a shocker. I mean, I've known they were good in stretches and all that. But this? I'd be interested to dig deeper on these dynasties going back another decade, but I'm not that big of a masochist. Maybe. We'll see.
To put a finer point on it, 12 of the 15 State Championship games (the other three being won by the 5A schools of Fishers, Carmel, and Lawrence Central in that span) were by four teams. That's 80% for those keeping track at home. Now, it looks like there are about 20 PP schools right now and about 300 public schools (I know, some ebb and flow with schools over the decade, but bear with me for the sake of keeping things mathematically easy from 2010 to 2019). That means ~6% of the teams are PP and ~94% public. Out of that whole 100% (320 schools), 1.25% of the teams in Indiana won 80% of the football State Championships in that period. OR, if you take the 5A out of the equation since they were still playing by class... 1.25% of the teams in Indiana won 100% of the championships they were able to play for. That blows my mind. I'm not passing judgement here, I'm looking at this very objectively... with a very blown mind. Not to mention the State Runner Up teams... in the 1A-4A sample, that's 19 PP teams playing for 12 championships... only five public schools were even in the mix. Crazy.
So then comes 2013 and all the "fixes" (equalizers?) that were brought to the table. To be fair, it did look to shake things up on the spreadsheet. Maybe not enough if you're in one camp, maybe too much if you're in another camp. No camp has said it has been perfect, to the best of my knowledge, and that's not what brought me here anyway. I just wanted some data and background.
In the past seven years 1A has seen five different champs (four of them public); but LCC still added two more trophies after a short stint in 2A.
2A has seen five new champs, four of them public, and none of them Luers again. Ritter was able to bring home two in Leurs' absence.
3A has had three public schools win in the past seven years, but Chatard keeps doing Chatard things (two more 3A trophies), Memorial added one, Andrean added one.
In 4A there have been six different champs in the past seven years, three of them public. Dwenger added two to the case, Roncalli added one, and Memorial added one.
5A has seen stints from Roncalli, Cathedral (back-to-back 5A champs), and Dwenger, but otherwise has had four public schools share the other five trophies.
6A had a two year stint from Cathedral, and doing pretty well at it. No hardware. Yet.
In the first sample (2010-2012) the PPs make up 80% of all State Championship winners, 63% of all SSC winners, 42% of all RC winners, and 23% of all Sectionals Champs. Since 2013, PPs now make up 33% of all State Champs, 25% of all SSC, 23% of all RC, and 18% of all Sectional Champs. The SF has certainly changed the landscape at the very top level, but there are still years where PPs (6% of the schools) bring home 50% of the State Championships (three times in seven years, to be exact). But what I find interesting is that the sectional champion piece of the pie really hasn't budged much (was 23% in 2010-2012 to 18% in 2013-2019). The rest of the hardware take home, by round, has more than halved, but sectionals are still somewhat similar. I can't quite wrap my head around what to infer from that yet. Perhaps sectional alignments and SF bumps just let another PP fill the void where they normally have trouble getting that Sectional win. Swap a great PP for another really good PP, so to speak. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride... until SF.
Frankly, there is quite a bit on the spreadsheet with SF points, etc. that made it very interesting for me, but I don't know that muddying the waters further at this point with more numbers really advances the conversation. Much of it probably covered elsewhere at some point in the past, but I did enjoy working through each team's history, line by line, to bring myself a little more reference to these threads. Again, this isn't an argument one way or the other, but more of a "Hey, I was today year's old when I learned this...". Nor is it an exhaustive work... I could have certainly missed some things since I didn't proof anything, plus I'm no statistician in the mathematical sense. I think it is fairly accurate, but don't go citing me in your thesis any time soon.
TL;DR version... PPs are good at football, collectively. SF dampened the top end of PP state champ dynasties. Sometimes.