ACC Directors Cup Analysis: Capital One Cup Comparison

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

We've looked at what the new teams in the ACC bring to the table as far as the Directors Cup is concerned, so now lets take a quick glance at the Capital One Cup to see if there are any differences.

After spending the last couple of weeks looking at the ACC's Directors Cup performance, we wanted to go down a slightly different route today by looking at the Capital One Cup.

Now, if you're an all-sports junky like I am, you probably look at the Capital One Cup as the bastard love child of ESPN and a Virginia Tech fan. It gives a lot of points for good finishes in certain sports (Group B), and a good chunk fewer for finishes in other sports (Group A). The Directors Cup, by comparison, gives 100 points to the national champion in every sport.

Its unclear how the folks at the Capital One Cup decide which sports fall into each of the two groups. That would be part of the problem I have with it. But putting that aside, let's take a look at the groupings and the way the scoring is done:

  • Group A Sports for Men:
    • Cross Country
    • Water Polo
    • Skiing
    • Rifle
    • Indoor Track & Field
    • Wrestling
    • Fencing
    • Swimming & Diving
    • Ice Hockey
    • Gymnastics
    • Volleyball
    • Tennis
    • Golf
  • Group B Sports for Men:
    • Soccer
    • Football
    • Basketball
    • Lacrosse
    • Outdoor Track & Field
    • Baseball
  • Group A Sports for Women:
    • Field Hockey
    • Cross Country
    • Water Polo
    • Skiing
    • Rifle
    • Indoor Track & Field
    • Fencing
    • Swimming & Diving
    • Ice Hockey
    • Bowling
    • Gymnastics
    • Volleyball
    • Tennis
    • Golf
    • Rowing
  • Group B Sports for Women:
    • Soccer
    • Volleyball
    • Basketball
    • Lacrosse
    • Outdoor Track & Field
    • Softball

Right, so the two Track and Fields are separate.Tennis, which basically every school has, is relegated to Group A with the likes of skiing and rifle. But I digress. The scoring structure is like this:

Finish 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Group A Points 20 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1
Group B Points 60 36 30 24 18 15 12 9 6 3

So according to this, a school that finishes 4th in Lacrosse deserves more points than the team that wins the NCAA National Championship in Tennis. I'm certainly more of a lacrosse fan than, say, Will. But even I find that ridiculous.

Sorry, I keep going back to that.

Also keep in mind that the Capital One Cup has only been around for three years. So we don't have a full decade of data to look at like we did for the Directors Cup.

So how do all the ACC teams do? Let's take a look. Here's the men:

Capitalonecup-men_medium

And here's the women:

Capitalonecup-women_medium

So what do we see?

  • The two charts are remarkably similar. I guess the Title IX folks will be happy to see that.
  • Louisville looks remarkably better in the men's sports.
  • Virginia also looks better in the men's sports, but not as significantly.
  • North Carolina is really good at a lot of sports.
  • The two charts also look remarkably similar to the Directors Cup charts. My complaining earlier notwithstanding, maybe the Capital One Cup isn't so bad after all?
  • When compared with the Directors Cup, Maryland and Syracuse should be very happy that the Capital One Cup exists.

A few things that you can't tell from the charts:

  • Wake Forest and Pittsburgh did not earn a single point on the men's side. That means no top-10 finishes for either school on the men's side in any sport during the three years of the Capital One Cup.
  • Clemson (6 total points), Georgia Tech (16 total points), N.C. State (19 total points) and Miami (3 total points) all averaged less than 10 points per year on the men's side.
  • N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh did not earn a single point on the women's side. Once again, that means no top-10 finishes for any of those three schools on the women's side in any sport during the three years of the Capital One Cup.
  • Yes, that means that Pittsburgh had no top-10 finishes in any sport, men or women, over three years.
  • Georgia Tech (3 total points), Wake Forest (24 total points), and Miami (9 total points) all averaged less than 10 points per year on the women's side.

Pittsburgh must hate the Capital One Cup as much as I do.

While the best programs are from the Old Guard, some of the worst are as well. So based on the Capital One Cup results, its hard to criticize the new teams that much. Syracuse moving "above the line" in the Capital One Cup helps the new guys to have three teams "above the line" for the men and two for the women. That compares to five each for the old guard - which admittedly has more programs to choose from.

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