resources. When it comes to college athletics, the fact that most privates are "have nots" isn't relative to ND because ND is a "have."
On a different but related topic, with big time football, the barrier to entry may be high for privates, but those private schools that compete seem to have done so fairly well on average over the last 30-40 years, and particularly the last 20 or so years. By my count, there are 12 privates in the 5 major conferences. Of those 12, 3 (ND, USC, and Miami) are what would be considered elite programs of the last 40 years. 1 (Stanford), while certainly not an elite program over the long haul, has managed to put together a run of three straight top 7 finishes and has had several other 7+ win teams. BC, Baylor, Syracuse, and Northwestern have had some good teams and some bad teams in the last 20 years. Wake, Duke, and Vandy have been perennial doormats, but even Wake managed to put together a three year stretch of 28-12. TCU is tough to classify because they've spent most of the last 20 years not playing in a major conference. If you compare that record to the 55+ public universities in the major conferences, I'm guessing it'd be pretty comparable. Those 55 would have about the same percentages in terms of top, middle, and bottom teams.