With their victory over Vanderbilt to advance to the College World Series final, the University of Florida has clinched at least second place in the inaugural Men’s Capital One Cup to be presented during the 2011 ESPYs. The Cup is presented annually to the top college athletics program in the country. In addition to the Cup, the winning school will receive $200,000 to fund student-athlete graduate level scholarships.
The Gators are guaranteed at least 36 points for finishing in the top 2 in the country. Points for the major men’s sports (football, basketball, and baseball) are tripled which makes the baseball finish extremely important. The only team that can beat the Gators is the Virginia Cavaliers. Both Virginia and Florida will vault past the current standings leader Auburn. Going into the College World Series, they led the Gators in points 58-57, so Florida must finish higher than UVA in order to clinch the cup.
The Gators started off poorly in the Capital One Cup standings by not earning any points in the Fall season. In the Spring season they posted 20 points for being Indoor Track and Field National Champions, 12 points for a 5th place finish in swimming and diving, and 3 points for finishing tenth in the basketball poll. In the Spring, they gained 20 points by finishing third at the outdoor track and field championships and 2 points in tennis.
Being in the top two is even more impressive for the Gators considering that they only compete in 9 of the 13 sports that count towards the standings. They automatically miss out on 120 out of the 460 available points. Stanford has already clinched the Women’s Cup. The Lady Gators finished 4th with a score of 86 points.
Update: With the South Carolina victory over Virginia, the Gators have clinched the Cup.