The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Capital One Cup Criticism

Yesterday, we shared the exciting news of the Capital One Cup victory by the North Carolina women.  But did you know that not everyone likes the Capital One Cup?  Indeed, fans of the Big 10 (remember, the Confidential’s motto for the Big 10 is “first in money and nothing else”) are unhappy that the Capital One Cup (gasp!) assigns different points to different sports.  Here is our response to that…

Get over yourselves!

Or, at the very least, handle “not winning” with a little more honor than the fox in the Aesopian fable.  (See the Fox and the Grapes).

You are probably thinking to yourselves–surely, nobody REALLY cares that much about the rules of the Capital One Cup, right?  Well, check out the commentariat over at Big 10 centric Frank the Tank.  Some do not like the fact that all sports are not weighed equally.  Others consider it “B.S.” created by ESPN and Capital One.  Still others are fine with unequal point allotment, just not the way that the Capital One Cup does it.  The bottom line, however, is that Big 10 fans do not like the Capital One Cup because it is yet another measure that shows that the Big 10 simply cannot “win.” Except at money generation, of course.

Big 10 fans may not like the fact that Capital One and ESPN have combined forces to unleash this competition.  However, this is the same group of fans who think that money generation is more important than having interesting, competitive schools.  Why take Kansas, with its elite basketball program, when you can have Rutgers, and its elite proximity to a big city that ignores it?  Why care about championships when the BTN is writing checks?  And so on.  The hypocrisy regarding involvement of sponsors is notable.

But even more perplexing is the opposition to weighing sports unequally.  On what planet is a title in “men’s rifle” equally as impressive as winning a football national title?  This is not to say that winning a men’s rifle championship is unimportant or not an superb accomplishment for the participants.  But football players compete under a media microscope.  They perform in front of tens of thousands of fans.  There is a reason that millions of people watch college football on television, whereas few watch “rifle” competitions.  There is certainly not equality in terms of how much fans care about the various sports.

Further, there is certainly a disparity in the amount of funds that must be invested in different programs to be successful.  It costs a lot more to run a football program than it does to run a soccer program.  That is just reality.  And maybe football is “worth it” because it pays for all the other sports, but isn’t that a reason to give more weight to football?

Of course, anyone can criticize the specific method use by the Capital One Cup standings.  Perhaps football and basketball should be tier 1, with a tier 2 and tier 3 for other sports.  Arguments can be made as to whether this sport or that sport should be elevated or demoted within the tiers.  That is certainly fair criticism.  On the other hand, Monsanto could create its own cup prioritizing sports based on how likely they are to be played near corn–if it allowed Big 10 schools to be competitive, they would not be complaining nearly as much.  As usual, the criticism is rooted in failing to win.  The Big 10 should be used to that by now.

In the end, the “controversy” surrounding the Capital One Cup is little more than proverbial sour grapes.  Give credit where it is due–North Carolina’s women won the Capital One Cup.  The eventual men’s winner–be it Indiana or anyone else–deserves a ton of credit for winning that too.

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20 thoughts on “Capital One Cup Criticism

  1. acchomer on said:

    Louisville won the mens basketball national championship, women’s basketball national runner up, football BCS Sugar Bowl Champions, Swimming national championship, and baseball is in the college world series right now. how are they not in first place?

    • Baseball has not been factored in yet, but that is perplexing. Under Big 10 fans theory, those five sports are just five of 20. Stanford or Michigan should be equally praised for work done with swimming, rifle, etc.

  2. One reasonable weighting might be to give each sport 1 point PER scholarship athlete. Of course, that would give HUGE weight to football, followed by a bunch of women’s sports.

    • Yes. It is very hard to figure out a system. Stay tuned, though. The Confidential has something coming for tomorrow on this very subject.

  3. M. Caffrey on said:

    The funny thing is that if it were not for the commentariat at Frank the Tank and other B1G blogs that were boasting about how great they were because of the Capital One Cup standings and how important they think that ranking is, then I don’t think anyone else would give a crap about the current standings.

    To be fair, I’m not a fan of the way the Capital One Cup distributes points – but only because I believe that sports that have an actual playoff or tournament deserve more points than one that bases its final results on the polls.

    I understand how polls can be useful for determining who finishes 3-10 in a tournament setting, but it leaves a lot of room for argument if a team like Syracuse is more deserving of the #3 spot or Wichita St. (who lost to the eventual Champion). It’s certainly splitting hairs, but a logical conclusion can be made and supported.

    But when you get to FBS football, it’s completely screwed up:

    Why should the winner of the Sugar Bowl (Louisville) finish behind the team they thoroughly defeated in that game (Florida)?

    Also, why should the winner of the Cotton Bowl (Texas A&M) be placed above the winner of a BCS bowl (Louisville, Florida St.)?

  4. Charlotte Simmons on said:

    “Why take Kansas, with its elite basketball program, when you can have Rutgers, and its elite proximity to a big city that ignores it?”


    New Jersey is strategically located in the center of the Eastern Seaboard, and is one of the nation’s strongest hubs for manufacturing. New Jersey is also a competitive global gateway for exports, while also positioned within a day’s drive to 130 million consumers and a high concentration of businesses. New Jersey also employs the third most workers in chemical manufacturing in the nation behind California and Texas, with more than 123,000 jobs within industries classified as advanced manufacturing. In 2011, New Jersey ranked #6 for space and defense systems manufacturing employment, according to TechAmerica Foundation’s Cyberstates Report. in 2010, New Jersey ranked #1 for broadband telecommunications and #2 for information technology jobs by the Kauffman Foundation & Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. New Jersey consistently ranks as one of the top states in the IT industry, with a highly trained workforce of more than 260,000 scientists and engineers, and some 5,000 information and communications technology companies within the state.

    Among other reasons.

    • That’s great if you want to locate a business there. What exporting of goods will the Big 10 be accomplishing? What manufacturing? And so on.

      The Big 10 is an athletic conference, first and foremost. This whole CIC thing needs to be examined. If it is driving the bus, then the Universities of the Big 10 need to lose their tax exempt status. Tired of $$$ being the driving force behind action, but then the schools hide behind their educational/charitable missions. I call BS.

      • M. Caffrey on said:

        Regarding the CIC, what difference does it really make if the schools of the CIC all compete against each other in sports?

        I realize there are certain branding/marketing advantages that you can have if the schools are prominently featured winning National Championships, etc…but can’t Universities all form similar research consortiums outside of their conference?

        For example, you could have a consortium of smaller, private schools like Stanford, Syracuse, Duke, USC, etc… granted the research dollars may not be as high as the large state-funded schools, but it could serve a similar purpose.

      • Charlotte Simmons on said:

        The Big 10 is a conference comprised of universities, first and foremost, and students need jobs when they graduate.

    • M. Caffrey on said:

      It looks like Charlotte is among the “group of fans who think that money generation is more important than having interesting, competitive schools.”

      Also, how many Capital One Points does a school get for finishing 1st for broadband telecommunications? It sounds like it should be worth the full 60 points.

      • Charlotte Simmons on said:

        No, I am a person who believes that Rutgers is an interesting school that has the potential to be competitive. Plus it has similar characteristics as other Big Ten schools and complements Penn State and Maryland in a variety of sports. Nothing to do with money.

        • M. Caffrey on said:

          No, I am a person who believes that Rutgers is an interesting school that has the potential to be competitive.

          It’s never too late for them to start being competitive. It took them 20+ years to finally win a share of a watered-down Big East, but I’m sure that Rutgers fans can expect different results against PSU, OSU, and Michigan.

        • Charlotte Simmons on said:

          But that is looking backwards, not forwards.

          After all, tomorrow is another day!

  5. Charlotte Simmons on said:

    By the way: Money is important, otherwise it becomes difficult to sponsor many non-revenue sports such as lacrosse, soccer, etc without depending on donors and state tax dollars. But I see no reason to rag on Rutgers. Not everyone can be No. 1 but it helps when conference money is shared among all conference schools. Athletes in non-revenue sports benefit as a result.

    • Not ragging on Rutgers for joining the Big 10. Ragging on the Big 10 for taking Rutgers.

      • Charlotte Simmons on said:

        But why is Rutgers such a bad addition? (This is a sincere question, because I don’t follow college sports that much.) Granted, it is not the same as adding prestigous ACC schools like Duke, North Carolina, Virginia or Georgia Tech. But many Big Ten schools have students coming from that part of the country (as out-of-state students). These same students probably have hometown friends that stay behind and study at Rutgers (and also Maryland). I assume that the same exists for ACC students.

  6. Charlotte Simmons on said:

    Anyway, congrats to the Capital One Cup victory by the North Carolina women!

    Peace, Dudes

  7. Pingback: The Confidential Cup! | ATLANTIC COAST CONFIDENTIAL

  8. sonofssarek on said:

    I can honestly say that I have never heard of the capital one cup until now.

    But, if it has anything to do with espn, it must be absolute trash. Beer pong cup > capital one cup.

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