By Jackson Taylor
Last year when the University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks and University of Nebraska at Lincoln Huskers faced off in a late November basketball match, it felt like the whole state was tuning in, anxious to see how the newly-minted Division I Mavs would hold up against a worthy in-state opponent. Most who attended the game at Pinnacle Bank Arena remember the scare that the Mavericks gave the Huskers in the first half, leading 21-6 at one point. Although UNO eventually lost the game, 80-67, the fact that they were able to compete with a program like Nebraska-Lincoln, proved that their move to D-1 was the right decision.
With the release of the Capital One Cup Standings this summer, this decision was further reinforced as UNO ranked 67th overall ahead of schools like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Minnesota-Duluth, who tied for 79th.
The Capital One Cup standings are released annually to statistically rank each of the best men’s and women’s D-1 college athletics programs in the country. Points toward the Capital One Cup are earned and tracked throughout the year based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches’ polls.
This year traditional powerhouses dominated the top spots with Virginia, Oregon, Ohio State and Florida rounding out the top 4. UNO was able to crack the list primarily thanks to its Frozen Four appearance in hockey, but was also helped by solid seasons from men’s sports across the board.
To say that the Capital One Cup standings is the end-all for arguing a university’s athletic superiority is somewhat off base. However, making the list ahead of several big name universities shows that UNO fits right in at the Division I level.