A new scoring system was in place for the 2014-15 season, modeled after the one used in determining the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. Scoring is now done on a percentage basis, with only the top seven sports for each school counting toward its season total. The SoCon sponsors 11 men’s sports and nine women’s sports. The new scoring format was approved by the SoCon’s directors of athletics at the league’s annual fall meetings.
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, the two-point bonus for winning the league tournament will remain in place. Each school’s total for the year will be divided by 70, the maximum number of points possible when counting seven sports, to find its percentage.
Aside from East Carolina and William & Mary tying for the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup in 1969-70, this year’s race is the closest ever. The Mocs accrued 51.58 points from their counting seven scores, good for a percentage of .7369. Mercer accumulated 51.57 points for a percentage of .7367, giving UTC the cup by a scant two ten-thousandths of a percent.
Chattanooga, which fields eight men’s sports, was buoyed by its wrestling, football and basketball programs. The wrestling team won the regular-season and tournament titles, while football claimed the regular-season title and basketball finished second.
The Commissioner’s Cup win is Chattanooga’s second overall and first since the 2004-05 season.
Mercer vaulted from seventh in the winter standings into the runner-up spot. The Bears counted a regular-season soccer title and the baseball regular-season and tournament titles as well as a runner-up finish in lacrosse and a third-place finish in basketball.
Samford finished third in the Commissioner’s Cup standings and could have won the cup had its baseball team won the tournament and claimed the two bonus points. The Bulldogs finished with 50.76 points and a .725 percentage.
The outcome of the cup came down to the last day of the baseball tournament, as Samford fell to Mercer in the title game, locking things up for Chattanooga, which doesn’t field baseball or lacrosse and had held the clubhouse lead since the conclusion of the men’s golf tournament.
ETSU finished fourth in the standings, jumping from ninth after the winter cycle with a strong spring season. The Bucs won regular-season and tournament titles in tennis and the golf tournament, finishing with 49.22 points and a .703 percentage. ETSU also finished second in cross country in the fall.
Wofford, which won the men’s basketball regular-season and tournament titles, landed fifth in the final standings. The Terriers, who finished third in baseball, finished with 48.11 points and a .687 percentage.
Fall leader Furman finished sixth in the standings with 47.99 points and a .686 percentage. The Paladins won the cross country championship and finished second in the tennis regular season.
Western Carolina, which won the indoor track and field title and finished second in outdoor track and field, finished seventh with 46.65 points and a .666 percentage. VMI was eighth at 40.15 points and a .574 percentage, followed by UNCG (33.94, .485) and The Citadel (29.53, .422).
Samford won its second Germann Cup, and first since 2009-10, with 66.24 points, good for an impressive .946 percentage. The Bulldogs won the regular-season women’s soccer title as well as the tennis regular-season and tournament titles. Samford was the runner-up in volleyball, indoor and outdoor track and field, and softball, and won the volleyball tournament.
The Bulldogs finished no worse than third in any of their seven counting sports and had such a successful season that they were even able to drop a third-place finish in golf.
Chattanooga moved up two spots to finish second with 61.19 points and an .874 percentage. The Mocs won the softball regular-season and tournament titles and finished second in golf and tennis. UTC also won the women’s basketball regular-season and tournament crowns in the winter.
2013-14 Germann Cup champion Furman finished third this year with a percentage of .835 (58.42 points). The Paladins won the volleyball regular season and the cross country and golf championships.
ETSU finished fourth at .769 (53.81 points), while Western Carolina finished fifth (45.95, .656) on the strength of titles in indoor and outdoor track and field.
Mercer, which finished second in soccer and won the soccer tournament and finished third in basketball, wrapped up the year in sixth place with 38.75 points and a .554 percentage. UNCG was seventh at .459 (32.13 points), followed by Wofford at .327 (22.88), The Citadel at .217 (15.17) and VMI at .212 (14.83).
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 its 46 years of existence, including current members Chattanooga (2004-05 and 2014-15), ETSU (1982-83) and Furman (1990-91) and former members Appalachian State (34 times), William & Mary (five times) and East Carolina (four times).
Five schools have won the Germann Cup in its 29-year history. Furman owns a league-best 13, including 12 straight from 1992-2004. Appalachian State won the first six and 10 total, while former member College of Charleston won three titles, Samford now has two and Chattanooga has one. There has not been a back-to-back champion since Appalachian State claimed consecutive titles from 2005-06 to 2006-07.
Commissioner’s Cup (final)
1. Chattanooga .7369
2. Mercer .7367
3. Samford .725
4. ETSU .703
5. Wofford .687
6. Furman .686
7. Western Carolina .666
8. VMI .574
9. UNCG .485
10. The Citadel .422
Germann Cup (final)
1. Samford .946
2. Chattanooga .874
3. Furman .835
4. ETSU .769
5. Western Carolina .656
6. Mercer .554
7. UNCG .459
8. Wofford .327
9. The Citadel .217
10. VMI .212