The Capital One Cup

What is it? Where does Louisville rank in the men's and women's results?
Capital One Cup, presented at the ESPYs
Capital One Cup, presented at the ESPYs / Kevin Winter/GettyImages

The Capital One Cup is an annual honor given to Division 1 Men’s and Women’s programs. Sponsored by Capital One, the winners receive half a million dollars in scholarships. Winners receive points for Top 10 results in specified sports.

The scoring system puts sports in two tiers with points assigned by the final finish for the year. Points are awarded for finishing from first through tenth.

The tier with the most points available includes sports like volleyball, basketball, baseball, football, softball, and soccer. Other sports such as field hockey, swimming, and track are in the other tier.

Points are either based upon championship results or final place in a number of year-end polls (dependent on the sport). The final winners are determined at the end of the spring sports season and the announcement is made at the ESPYs.

The program has been active since 2010 and Louisville women have never received the honor. Florida State, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Clemson, and North Carolina represent the ACC in the top 20.

Notre Dame is 27th and ACC newcomers Stanford (2nd)  and California (30th) are also included. Texas (90 points) is leading. Louisville women’s sports are at #19 with 23 points.  

The volleyball team accounted for 15 of those points. The team had an Elite 8 loss to Pittsburgh and finished 6th in the final AVCA rankings. Basketball fell out of the final Top 25 poll after a disappointing loss to MTSU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Soccer had a signature win versus #25 Duke but finished mid-pack in the ACC and outside the top 150 in the NCAA rankings. The softball team was barely above .500 overall and unranked in the final coach’s poll.

Louisville men have not received the honor either but got close in 2013 due to the success of men’s basketball. The year Louisville is nowhere to be found for obvious reasons. Basketball flamed out as we all know. Baseball did not get on the bus to Omaha.

After a strong and promising start (and future!), football fell out of contention for a top-10 poll finish. Soccer won 12 games overall but only two in the ACC. The golf team finished 10th in regional play.

Clemson is second behind Michigan (60 points for the football championship). Stanford and California, coming soon to the ACC are #5 and #10 respectively.

These rankings are not the full measure of the success of Louisville athletics. But, I do think it speaks to the strengths on the women’s side not only at Louisville but the ACC overall.

Continued success in football and baseball, and a return to glory in basketball will certainly go a long way to fuel success for the men. The new additions to the ACC starting in 2024 are bringing something to the table, too!