SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman’s men’s and women’s programs continue to lead the Southern Conference all-sport races after the completion of the league’s 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 this year’s addition of women’s lacrosse, 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.
There was no movement at the top of the Commissioner’s Cup standings from the fall, as Furman (39.25 points, .561 percentage) and ETSU (37.72, .539) remain first and second, respectively, and Samford and Wofford remain tied for third (29.08, .415).
Furman’s men, seeking their first Commissioner’s Cup title since winning their only one in 1990-91, turned in a third-place finish in basketball and a fourth-place finish in indoor track and field in the winter. In the fall, the Paladins won their fifth straight men’s cross country title, tied for second in the football standings and finished third in men’s soccer.
Two-time defending Commissioner’s Cup champion ETSU closed the gap on Furman with a runner-up showing in basketball and a third-place indoor track and field finish. In the fall, the Bucs won their second straight men’s soccer regular-season title and finished second to Furman in cross country.
Samford’s men turned in a second-place finish at the indoor track and field championship to keep pace with Wofford and offset the fact that it doesn’t field the winter sports of rifle or wrestling. Wofford’s winter season was highlighted by a fourth-place tie in the basketball standings.
UNCG jumped one spot to fifth on the merit of its regular-season and tournament titles in basketball. The Spartans now have 26.58 points and a .380 percentage. Western Carolina (.367) moved up two spots to sixth with its indoor track and field title, while VMI (.333) also moved up two spots with an assist from its fourth-place finish in the rifle standings.
The Citadel (.323), which finished third in the rifle standings, climbed two spots to eighth, while Chattanooga (.295), which doesn’t sponsor track or rifle, dropped two spots to ninth despite a second-place showing in wrestling.
Mercer (.287), which doesn’t sponsor three of the four winter sports, dropped five places to 10th despite a fourth-place tie in men’s basketball.
The Germann Cup standings were virtually unchanged from the fall, with ETSU and UNCG swapping positions serving as the only differences.
Two-time defending Germann Cup winner Furman remained in front with 43.53 total points and a .622 percentage after adding a third-place indoor track and field finish and a fourth-place basketball showing to its impressive haul from the fall, which included outright crowns in cross country and volleyball and a shared regular-season title in women’s soccer.
Samford remained second and made up a little ground on the strength of its third straight indoor track and field title. The Bulldogs have 38.43 total points and a .549 percentage. Samford shared the women’s soccer regular-season title with Furman and finished second to the Paladins in cross country.
ETSU (37.31 points, .533) moved up one spot to third with a runner-up finish in basketball and a fourth-place indoor track and field showing, while UNCG (.411) dropped one spot to fourth.
Chattanooga (.366) is fifth, followed by Western Carolina (.350), Wofford (.317), basketball regular-season and tournament champion Mercer (.303), VMI (.238) and The Citadel (.110).
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 48-year history of the award, including current members ETSU (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 31-year history. Among current schools, Furman owns a league-best 15, 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 0.561
2. ETSU 0.539
T3. Samford 0.415
T3. Wofford 0.415
5. UNCG 0.380
6. Western Carolina 0.367
7. VMI 0.333
8. The Citadel 0.323
9. Chattanooga 0.295
10. Mercer 0.287
Germann Cup (through winter sports)
1. Furman 0.621
2. Samford 0.549
3. ETSU 0.533
4. UNCG 0.411
5. Chattanooga 0.366
6. Western Carolina 0.350
7. Wofford 0.317
8. Mercer 0.303
9. VMI 0.238
10. The Citadel 0.110