SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman’s men’s programs and Samford’s women’s programs continue to lead the Southern Conference all-sport races after the completion of the winter championship seasons.
The Commissioner’s and Germann cups are awarded annually to the Southern Conference schools fielding the league’s best all-around men’s and women’s sports programs, respectively. Scoring is conducted on a percentage basis, with only the top seven sports for each school counting toward its season total. The SoCon sponsors 22 total sports, with the league’s three co-ed rifle teams counting toward the Commissioner’s Cup standings and the two women’s rifle teams counting toward the Germann Cup.
Each sport is worth 10 points, with each spot in the standings given equal measure relative to how many schools sponsor that particular sport. For sports that determine a regular-season champion, a two-point bonus is awarded for winning the league tournament. Each school’s total for the year is divided by 70, the maximum number of points possible when counting seven sports, to find its percentage.
Furman’s men, seeking their first Commissioner’s Cup since winning their only one in 1990-91, improved upon their lead from the fall thanks to third-place finishes in men’s basketball and indoor track and field. The Paladins, who won the cross country and men’s soccer championships and a share of the football crown in the fall, now have 43.03 points, good for a .615 percentage.
Three-time defending Commissioner’s Cup champion ETSU remains in second place but lost some ground to Furman, seeing its deficit increase from 0.022 percentage points to 0.041. The Bucs tied the Paladins for third in the men’s basketball standings this season and finished fourth in indoor track and field. Coupled with a share of their first-ever football title and runner-up finishes in cross country and men’s soccer in the fall, ETSU has 40.21 points and a .574 percentage.
Wofford moved up one spot to third on the strength of regular-season and tournament titles in men’s basketball. The Terriers, who also claimed a share of the football title in the fall, have 36.10 points and a .516 percentage.
Samford, which finished second in indoor track and field, climbed one spot to fourth at .399, while The Citadel was the biggest mover in the winter, jumping five spots to fifth thanks to sponsoring all four winter sports. The Bulldogs posted a third-place finish in rifle and own a .346 percentage.
VMI, which also sponsors all four winter sports, improved on its fall showing by one spot, moving to sixth at .339.
Mercer, which sponsors just one winter sport, fell four sports to seventh at .328, followed by wrestling tri-champion Chattanooga (.315), men’s basketball runner-up UNCG (.308) and indoor track and field champion Western Carolina (.275).
In the Germann Cup race, the top three from the fall standings stayed the same, although leader Samford saw its lead dwindle. The Bulldogs, seeking their first women’s all-sport title since 2014-15 and third overall, won the indoor track and field championship in the winter. Samford, which also won the regular-season women’s soccer title, capped a runner-up volleyball finish with a tournament title, and finished third in cross country in the fall, has 42.01 points for a .600 percentage.
Three-time defending Germann Cup champion Furman inched closer on the strength of a runner-up finish in women’s basketball and a fourth-place at the indoor track and field championship. The Paladins, who won the cross country championship and added third-place finishes in women’s soccer and volleyball in the fall, have 39.64 points and a .566 percentage, shaving .033 percentage points off their fall deficit.
ETSU, which won the volleyball regular-season championship in the fall, added third-place finishes in basketball and indoor track and field to push its total to 38.15 points, good for a .545 percentage.
Chattanooga moved up one spot to fourth after sharing third place with ETSU in the women’s basketball standings. The Mocs (.378) are followed closely by Mercer (.367), which jumped three spots despite fielding just one winter sport, capturing regular-season and tournament titles in women’s basketball.
Western Carolina, runner-up in the indoor track and field championship, remains sixth at .356, followed by Wofford at .351. UNCG, which finished second in the women’s soccer regular season and won its second straight women’s soccer tournament title in the fall, is eighth at .346, with VMI (.156) and The Citadel (.115) rounding out the standings.
The Commissioner’s Cup was inaugurated in 1970 and the Germann Cup was first awarded in 1987. The latter is named for former SoCon Commissioner Ken Germann, who served as commissioner of the Southern Conference from 1974-86 and spearheaded the effort to introduce women’s athletics to the league.
Six schools have won the Commissioner’s Cup in the 49-year history of the award, including current members ETSU (2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16 and 1982-83), Chattanooga (2014-15 and 2004-05) and Furman (1990-91).
Five schools have won the Germann Cup in its 32-year history. Among current schools, Furman owns a league-best 16, including 12 straight from 1992-2004. Samford has won two (2014-15 and 2009-10) and Chattanooga won in 2007-08.
Commissioner’s Cup (through winter sports)
1. Furman 0.615
2. ETSU 0.574
3. Wofford 0.516
4. Samford 0.399
5. The Citadel 0.346
6. VMI 0.339
7. Mercer 0.328
8. Chattanooga 0.315
9. UNCG 0.308
10. Western Carolina 0.275
Germann Cup (through winter sports)
1. Samford 0.600
2. Furman 0.566
3. ETSU 0.545
4. Chattanooga 0.378
5. Mercer 0.367
6. Western Carolina 0.356
7. Wofford 0.351
8. UNCG 0.346
9. VMI 0.156
10. The Citadel 0.115