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.