the one data point i struggled for a long time to reconcile, but finally reconciled, was rail's west chester pa squad, which won 8 titles in 9 years, running uptempo - i think the whole way, but i started at the tail end, and so i only know first hand that he ran it at the end, but i think hes said he ran it the whole way on the forums. hard to remember back that far now but i think that is a fair characterization.
well, the reconciliation to me is two fold. first, fatigue was less of an impact back then. and second, the talent gap he enjoyed was obscene. you could pull down 2 star d1 players, and he was. very few coaches used pulldowns and people would joke that rails's teams could not only win d2 championships, but d1 championships, too. i am pretty confident the talent gap he had was *at least* triple and very possibly higher, over the say #5 team in the country, compared to the talent gap i had at SIUE. ive never claimed to be the best recruiter or even close, i was always about being able to make the most of what you had, and strong teams through synergy between players and the system you ran (the system means much more than offense/defense, to me).
so, what i struggled to reconcile is how a program as dominant as mine, was clearly hurt, over so many trials, by running uptempo - yet his won 8 of 9 running uptempo. well, i think the talent advantages werent even close, they werent comparable at all. and even though those 2 programs have the most dominant runs of all time, outside d1, and thus are in that sense the most comparable programs you have at that level, and even though SIUE's triangle press was *exactly* modeled after rail's triangle press west chester program (well, it started that way, that was always my initial goal, if you are going to imitate - why not imitate the best - but then things evolved over time) - i think our situations were actually pretty different.. he won largely through focusing on building incredible advantages in talent, where uptempo is way more appropriate. often my extremely dominant teams were just not that much better than the others, just by raw talent, i won primarily through team planning and coaching, with much smaller talent gaps, where uptempo is way less appropriate.
anyway, i guess ill stop rambling now, i just always thought the W Chester PA vs SIUE case study was one of the most interesting of everything i looked at, because of how similar they were in so many ways, yet, so different in others. it always killed me - i KNEW uptempo was hurting my team, i was 100% positive, running uptempo seemed the worst mistake you could make. and it seemed useless on all my other teams, too - yet i could not assume rails misplayed his teams, you dont badly misplay your team and win 8 titles in 9 seasons. so it was definitely nice to finally come up with a resolution to that conundrum, for me.