Florida's women's athletics teams have won the 2014 Capital One Cup, the organization announced Thursday, having won national titles in softball and gymnastics to go with top-10 finishes in six other sports.
And with that victory, Florida becomes the first school to win both men's and women's Capital One Cups — another laurel for the multifaceted #EverythingSchool.
Florida's men's teams won the inaugural Capital One Cup in 2011, then became the first school to repeat as men's champions in 2012. No other school has won more than two Capital One Cups, and the Gators will be alone in that distinction no matter what happens in the College World Series to shake up the men's standings: Stanford, the only other school with two Capital One Cups, is not even in the top 10 of this year's men's standings, and would have needed to win the national title in baseball to take the throne.
And, frankly, the Capital One Cup doesn't do Florida as many favors as it could. The capricious scoring structure will probably hinder Florida more often than it helps, believe it or not.
The competition groups both genders' sports into two tiers, and awards three times as many points for top-10 finishes to teams from what it calls Group B than it does to top-10 teams for Group A. For men, the Group B sports are baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, outdoor track, and soccer — and because Florida doesn't field lacrosse or soccer teams, it misses out on a potential 120 points from those two sports.
For women, Group B consists of basketball, lacrosse, outdoor track, soccer, softball, and volleyball, while gymnastics is in Group A. Florida's fourth-place finishes in lacrosse and outdoor track actually earned the Gators women more points than a national title did in gymnastics.
While there are good reasons for some of the Capital One Cup's selections of Group A and Group B — fewer schools have gymnastics teams than lacrosse teams, for examble — the structure of the competition can feel arbitrary, and tends to reward champions of a select few sports more than all-around brilliance. (Athletic directors, Jeremy Foley included, would mostly quietly aver that the NACDA Directors' Cup means far more than the Capital One Cup.) Fortunately for Florida, the Gators women had both in 2013-14, and finished with 152 points, second in Capital One Cup history to Stanford's 152.5 in 2012.
And Florida State fans who crowed about FSU's Cap One Cup standings all year should probably get some crow on the grill. Florida's men's teams, saddled with the handicap of a terrible football season that scored zero points to FSU's 60 for winning the national title, have stormed all the way back to sit in third place (PDF) — one spot and 18 points ahead of the 'Noles — for the men's 2014 Capital One Cup, with baseball points yet to be awarded. If the Gators don't slip beyond third, something that is only seemingly possible if Virginia wins the College World Series, Florida will become the first program to win one Capital One Cup and finish in the top three for the other one in a single year.
I didn't dub Florida the #EverythingSchool purely because it was catchy. I was simply calling it what it is.