USC tops Capital One Cup standings

After the completion of the fall athletics season, the Capital One Cup standings were released this week, placing USC in the the top 10 for both women’s and men’s sports.

The women’s teams currently rank in second place nationally, riding high off of a national championship win by the soccer team. The victory earned the women 60 points, putting the women second only to the Stanford team’s score of 83.

The men’s teams, meanwhile, earned a combined 30 points for finishing in the top 10 of both football and water polo. This distinction placed them seventh in the overall standings, tied with Denver, North Dakota State and Oklahoma. First place in the standings, held by both Clemson and Stanford, is a long ways off at 78 points, but the final rankings won’t be released until the end of this semester.

The Capital One Cup has honored the top NCAA Division I men’s and women’s athletic programs since 2010. The winner of the award brings home both the Capital One Cup trophy and $200,000 in scholarship funds for the school’s athletic programs.

The Trojans took home the women’s award last year, and look to repeat again this year as they emerge at the top of the rankings early in the year. Last year’s victory was the first in program history, bolstered by top 10 finishes by eight of the women’s teams. The program won with a total of 96 points, edging out the Stanford women with 90 and the Penn State women with 83.5. The finish was the most highly contested result since the program’s launch.

Last year’s victory was possible due to NCAA championship victories by beach volleyball and women’s water polo. The volleyball and golf teams also tied for fifth in the NCAA, with lacrosse coming in fourth, swimming coming in sixth, track coming in ninth and indoor track coming in 10th. With one national championship already in the bag for the Trojans, the team will look to finish ahead of Stanford again this season.

This is the highest ranking for the USC men’s program since the 2013-14 season, when the Trojans finished sixth overall. Last year’s team finished 32nd overall despite a second place finish by water polo, a third place finish by golf and top 15 finishes from tennis, track and swimming. However, strong finishes by the football and water polo programs have the Trojans back in the top 10 ranking.

The results of this year’s Capital One Cup won’t be announced until the summer, after the completion of all NCAA competition for the year. The winners will honored at the ESPYS, an annual awards show for athletics hosted in July.