football
ago

Steady Slipping in the Cup Standings

Alhgklk8iwvfxiyupu4m
From Dooley (left) to Damon (right) to McGarity (center), in the quest for the “cups” of college sports (both of them), UGA athletics have steadily slipped with each succeeding athletic director.

By Patrick Garbin--Twitter @PGarbinDT

I was intrigued with the recent post on The Dawgvent started by @drdon50 regarding Georgia’s current ranking for the annual NACDA Directors’ Cup, whereby points are awarded to athletic programs based on their finish in polls/championship events. Stanford has won the cup for the last 20-something years in a row, which brings up a good point by @LawDawg86: Twenty sports are considered (10 men, 10 women) for the cup standings, yet Georgia participates in 18, meaning the school receives two “zeros.” The highly-ranked schools, like Stanford, compete in more than 20 sports, often excelling in country club athletics, Olympic sports, and the more obscure.

“Not defending the AD, just pointing out all the facts,” LawDawg86 concluded. In agreement—not defending or attacking Greg McGarity—I wanted to discover the facts regarding the NACDA Directors’ Cup standings and how Georgia performed during the tenures of its last three athletic directors.

The standings began being released annually with the 1993-94 academic year and have continued over the last 23 years: 11 years under AD Vince Dooley (1993-94 through 2003-04), six years under AD Damon Evans (2004-05 through 2009-10), and six years under AD McGarity (2010-11 through 2015-16). As mentioned, since schools compete in a varying number of sports, I decided to consider only the Southeastern Conference, and just the 12 schools which have been members for the duration of the time being measured (1993-94 to present), because schools in the SEC more or less/nearly compete in the same sports.

For the final 11 years Vince Dooley was athletic director, Georgia’s average national ranking in the Directors’ Cup was No. 11½, while the Bulldogs had a 2.6 average finish of the 12 SEC teams at the time. Their average point total was good for a solid second-place finish in the conference, trailing top-ranked Florida by an average of 117.7 points:

SEC Standings for NACDA Directors’ Cup (1993-94 thru 2003-04)
Ranking School Avg. Pts Back from No. 1 Avg. SEC ranking Avg. National ranking

1st

Florida

---

1.3

4.8

2nd

GEORGIA

117.7

2.6

11.5

3rd

LSU

213.5

3.9

16.6

4th

Tennessee

226.8

3.7

16.7

5th

Auburn

290.0

5.3

22.6

6th

Arkansas

338.9

6.3

27.2

7th

South Carolina

354.0

7.1

30.8

8th

Alabama

360.0

6.8

31.1

9th

Kentucky

440.6

8.5

41.5

10th

Vanderbilt

597.9

10.6

85.1

11th

Ole Miss

613.2

10.8

77.4

12th

Miss. State

613.9

11.0

79.5

During the six years Damon Evans was athletic director, Georgia averaged 12.7 and 2.8 annual rankings in the national and SEC standings, respectively. Still, although the Bulldogs again finished second in the conference in average point total, it was a distant second behind the Gators with No. 3 Tennessee and No. 4 LSU close on their heels:

SEC Standings for NACDA Directors’ Cup (2004-05 thru 2009-10)
Ranking School Avg. Pts Back from No. 1 Avg. SEC ranking Avg. National ranking

1st

Florida

---

1.0

4.7

2nd

GEORGIA

173.8

2.8

12.7

3rd

Tennessee

206.0

3.0

14.0

4th

LSU

242.0

3.3

16.0

5th

Auburn

347.9

5.3

22.2

6th

Alabama

465.1

7.0

30.0

7th

Arkansas

487.5

6.5

31.0

8th

Kentucky

532.7

8.2

35.3

9th

South Carolina

580.3

8.2

39.5

10th

Vanderbilt

751.6

10.3

58.5

11th

Ole Miss

777.1

10.7

62.5

12th

Miss. State

920.7

11.7

102.5

The past six years under Greg McGarity, the athletic program slipped to an average national ranking of No. 15½ in the cup standings. However, although Georgia was a distant, distant second behind Florida by more than an average of 300 points, and with LSU and Arkansas close behind, simply, the Bulldogs remained at No. 2 in the SEC (it’s the Tennessee enthusiasts who should be really alarmed!):

SEC Standings for NACDA Directors’ Cup (2010-11 thru 2015-16)
Ranking School Avg. Pts Back from No. 1 Avg. SEC ranking Avg. National ranking

1st

Florida

---

1.1

3.2

2nd

GEORGIA

311.3

2.5

15.5

3rd

LSU

343.8

3.0

18.2

4th

Arkansas

422.6

4.5

22.0

5th

Alabama

471.3

6.0

25.3

6th

Kentucky

472.1

5.3

24.8

7th

Auburn

568.8

7.0

32.2

8th

Tennessee

598.9

7.3

34.0

9th

South Carolina

660.1

8.5

39.0

10th

Vanderbilt

772.6

10.2

51.2

11th

Miss. State

837.8

11.2

59.3

12th

Ole Miss

865.8

11.5

62.0

Notwithstanding, and again as LawDawg86 mentioned, when it comes to the NACDA Directors’ Cup, finishing first in sports like football, basketball, and baseball results in the program receiving the exact same number of points as, say, finishing first in bowling, equestrian, and the like. For this reason, there are those, like myself, who prefer the Capital One Cup standings.

Like the previous cup, the Capital One Cup also rewards points throughout the school year based on how individual sports teams finish in polls and championship events. However, sports are divided into two groups based on popularity and pool of competition, with Group B scoring three times the amount of points as Group A. For example, a national championship in football (Group B) receives 60 points compared to a national championship in tennis or golf (Group A) which earns 20 points. Also, there are separate Capital One Cups for men's and women's sports. The award started in 2010-11, or McGarity’s first year as athletic director.

Accordingly, SEC standings based on the sports’ popularity and pool of competition during the first six years of Greg McGarity's tenure resulted in Georgia finishing a distant fourth behind No. 1 Florida, No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama, with No. 5 Arkansas not too far behind (still, for measurement purposes, excludes Texas A&M and Missouri):

SEC Standings for Capital One Cup (2010-11 thru 2015-16)
Rank School TOTAL Points Men's Points (SEC rank) Women's Points (SEC rank)

1st

Florida

1,090

506 (1st)

584 (1st)

2nd

LSU

534

261 (3rd)

273 (2nd)

3rd

Alabama

525

276 (2nd)

249 (4th)

4th

GEORGIA

379

118 (9th)

261 (3rd)

5th

Arkansas

359

220 (4th)

139 (6th)

6th

Kentucky

296

187.5 (5th)

108.5 (7th)

7th

Auburn

225

137 (8th)

88 (8th)

8th

South Carolina

219

147 (6th)

72 (t-9th)

9th

Vanderbilt

216

144 (7th)

72 (t-9th)

10th

Tennessee

187

32 (12th)

155 (5th)

11th

Miss. State

53

47 (10th)

6 (11th)

12th

Ole Miss

44

40 (11th)

4 (12th)

In Capital One Cup results the last six years, you’ll notice, UGA’s women athletics was a respectable No. 3 in the SEC, with an 18.2 average national ranking. It’s the men sports which dragged the Bulldogs down, ranking only 9th out of 12 conference schools with just 118 points, while averaging around a lowly No. 42 national ranking.

What’s more, the 2017-18 academic year hasn’t got off to the best of starts for UGA athletics as the Bulldogs through January 10 had a combined zero Capital One Cup points for their men and women’s teams, whereas Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn, and Ole Miss—to name a few—have already totaled 36, 18, 9, and 8 points, respectively.

Edit