The W.A. Erwin Cup: Rules

The W.A. Erwin Cup is year-long competition between Duke and UNC to determine which school had the superior year in athletics. It takes every sport into account, and leaves no stone unturned. This is the people’s alternative to the insufficient Carlyle Cup. Don’t miss part one, which reviewed the history that led us to this point and explained the origin story of W.A. Erwin.

Now, it’s on to the rules! Please note that these rules are sort of like the draft you turn in just before the final draft. We welcome reader feedback. If you see a flaw in the system, or just have an idea for improvement, let us know in the comments. It will be helpful, I promise, and we’ll give you special recognition for having made an amendment.

Part Two: RULES

Some review from the earlier post: unlike the Carlyle Cup, we’ll be striving to give each sport its appropriate weight. Men’s basketball is obviously the king of the hill, with football second. After that, the sports will be roughly equal. Also, we’ll award points for ACC regular season and championship titles, NCAA final fours, and national titles.

For our purposes, a “rivalry win” means a game between Duke and UNC. Obviously. Here’s the system.

The First Tier 17 sports

Includes: m/w cross country, m/w fencing, m/w golf, m/w swimming/diving, m/w tennis, m/w track & field, wrestling, volleyball, rowing, field hockey, women’s lacrosse

In sports where the two teams meet head-to-head:

*One and a half (1.5) points for a rivalry win at home or a neutral venue.

*Two (2) points for a win on the road.

*Three (3) additional points for capturing an ACC regular season or tournament championship. Five (5) points total if both are captured.

*If the teams meet just once in the regular season (wrestling, volleyball, field hockey) an additional 1.5 points can be gained from finishing higher in the ACC standings, provided neither school wins either ACC title OR faces off in the ACC championship tournament. This is to ensure that at least three (3) points are at stake for every sport.

*Six (6) points for a Final Four berth. (Or a top four finish, if the sports’ format is different.)

*Nine (9) points for a national championship. National championship points replace Final Four points.

*Four (4) point bonus for any rivalry win in the NCAA tournament.

Others:

*In track and field, only the ACC Indoor and Outdoor championship will be counted, and a team wins 1.5 points only for a higher finish, for a possible gain of six (6) total points in the sport. ACC championship and Final Four/national title points still apply.

*In rowing, golf, cross country, and swimming & diving, only the ACC championship counts. Three (3) points to the higher finisher, other championship point totals apply. In fencing, the one meet a year between the schools will count for the three (3) points.

The Second Tier – 5 Sports

Includes: baseball, men’s lacrosse, women’s basketball, m/w soccer

*Three (3) points for a rivalry win at home or at a neutral venue. (A series win in baseball.)

*Four (4) points for a win on the road. (Again, a series win in baseball.)

*Four (4) additional points for capturing an ACC regular season or tournament championship. Seven (7) points total if both are captured.

*If the teams meet just once in the regular season (m/w soccer, men’s lacrosse) an additional 3 points can be gained from finishing higher in the ACC standings, provided neither school wins either ACC title OR faces off in the ACC championship tournament. This is to ensure that at least six (6) points are at stake for every sport.

*Eight (8) points for a Final Four berth. (Or a top four finish, if the sports’ format is different, or a College World Series appearance in baseball.)

*Twelve (12) points for a national championship. National championship points replace Final Four points.

*Six (6) point bonus for any rivalry win in the NCAA tournament.

The Third Tier – Football

*Eight (8) points to the winner of the rivalry game, ten (10) if it’s a road win.

*Three (4) points for making a bowl game, and a three (3) bonus points for winning.

*Five (5) points for winning an ACC division title, and five (5) more for winning the ACC championship game. This would result in a BCS bowl berth, meaning it replaces the category above. Winning the BCS game is worth ten (10) points.

*Fifteen (15) points for winning a national championship.

The Fourth Tier – Basketball

*Eight (8) points for a home win in the rivalry game, ten (10) points for a road win.

*Eight (8) points for a neutral-floor win in the ACC Tournament.

*Six (6) points for winning the ACC regular season championship. Six (6) points for winning the ACC tournament.

*Fifteen (15) points for a Final Four berth.

*Twenty (20) points for a national championship. National championship points replace Final Four points.

*Thirty (30) points for the first ever rivalry win in the NCAA tournament.

And that’s the breakdown! Just for fun, I figured out how it would’ve played out in 2010-11, when UNC won the “Battle of the Blues” 14-12.

The result:

Duke: 71
UNC: 74

While figuring this out, which seriously took like two hours, I was down to the last two sports; men’s and women’s track and field. Duke was up 71-70. And man, was I hoping they could hold the fort. Alas, they did not; in both, UNC finished higher than Duke at the ACC outdoor and indoor national championships.This, of course, is not an official result. The first W.A. Erwin Cup will be won this spring.

Will is going to set up a page that monitors the Erwin Cup standings throughout the year, and the score will be displayed permanently in the right sidebar of the blog. I would also like to start a trend of people taking some kind of photo of themselves holding a “W.A. Erwin Cup” sign at games or matches where a point is at stake. If anyone does this, your picture will be displayed prominently here.

Also, we will get an actual Cup at some point and find someone to award it to.

Brace yourselves for the war to get real, my friends. The ghost of Erwin is riding tobacco road, and he won’t be appeased until a winner is crowned.

This entry was posted in Duke, Miscellaneous, UNC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The W.A. Erwin Cup: Rules

Register |

  1. jchenkel says:

    How about another middle tier for certain sports? With this scale a National Championship in baseball counts the same as a home basketball win – seems a little odd. Maybe put baseball/softball, soccer on a middle tier?

    I’m pretty pumped for this, though. I’m planning my Erwin Cup photos already.

    1. The second tier is a very intriguing possibility. Draw it up for me. How would you fit it in between the points of the first and third? I’m trying to think, and I can’t think of any other sports you’d have beyond baseball/soccer.

    2. Jake L says:

      I think lacrosse and women’s basketball would both have to be in the middle-tier for sure.

      1. Oh yeah, I was assuming women’s ball. And solid call on lacrosse. Basically, those are the sports whose national tournaments are on tv. Some of the others may have televised championships, but not the whole tourney. Soccer, strangely enough, is the least televised of all those sports. Are the sweet 16 and elite 8 on tv?

        1. TarHeelAlex says:

          Fox Sports South seems to televise women’s soccer games for the SEC. One time last year I was flipping through the channels on a Tuesday and it was replaying a Alabama-Florida game from the weekend before. On that note, I would think an ACC network if ever created would have plenty of daily content in the area of the other sports (though it obviously is missing the football value the Big Ten has).

          I do agree with a middle tier that includes baseball and men’s lacrosse and maybe soccer, while also including women’s basketball, lacrosse and soccer. To me these seem to be the more popular other sports, at least here at UNC. How good is field hockey at Duke?

        2. Jason Henkel says:

          Well basketball is Tier 1 and football is Tier 2 – those are givens. You set up a sort of bottom tier for a bunch of sports in your Exceptions section. That leaves the rest in a middle, fourth tier.

          You could split that out so we have five tiers and Tier 3 is: Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, and Men’s Lacrosse. Soccer might not be televised as much but around here I’d say it’s bigger than a lot of the others. A lame attempt at suggested scoring is as follows:

          *Three (3) points for a rivalry win at home or at a neutral venue. (A series win in baseball.)

          *Four (4) points for a win on the road. (Again, a series win in baseball.)

          *Four (4) additional points for capturing an ACC regular season or tournament championship. Six (6) points total if both are captured.

          *Six(6) points for a Final Four berth. (Or a top four finish, if the sports’ format is different.)(Or a CWS appearance for baseball, which is technically only top 8, but a big deal.)

          *Ten (10) points for a national championship.

          *Five (5) point bonus for any rivalry win in the NCAA tournament. (I think some kind of bonus like this seems reasonable for all the sports – for winning on the biggest stage against your biggest rival.)

          So mostly those are the regular Tier 4 numbers, just bumped up a bit higher. Points for a National Championship would be on par with a road win in basketball, slightly more than a road win in football, but less than a Final Four in basketball and quite a bit less than National Titles in basketball or football. If that’s getting too aggressive, I could even see this Tier 3 just being limited to baseball and women’s basketball.

          By the way, I’m only counting 23 sports that the schools have in common. Carolina can just take the forfeit points for gymnastics and softball, unless I’m missing something. All in agreement? Eh?

        3. Jason, I like that. What do you think, Will? Is the scoring too high for the middle tiers now? Should it be raised for the revenues?

          Alex, I always thought Duke field hockey was pretty good, but a look at last year’s sweet 16 bracket shows they didn’t make the tournament. So UNC is obviously way better.

          And you’re right, 25 is wrong, I’ve only got 24:

          Men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming/diving, tennis, track & field, wrestling

          Women’s: basketball, fencing, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, swimming/diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball

          I wonder if I split up swimming and diving in my first go-round? I’ll figure this out and edit it today. Also, I can’t believe Duke doesn’t have a softball team.

        4. Okay, I just updated this with Jason’s 3-tier system. I tinkered with the point totals a little bit. Give it a read and see if I forgot anything.

  2. CountFloyd says:

    Great idea! I have a suggestion regarding the “W.A. Erwin Cup” sign you want people to hold up at the appropriate events; at least for a while it would probably be a good idea if the signs had tobaccoroadblues.com on it, so people could easily look up what this deal is all about.

    1. Good call, Count. I’ll get into this further the first time we have a game with points on the line.

    2. William says:

      Maybe I can design some good logos/posters that people can print off easily and/or stick onto signs that they make for the games.

      1. sanfransoxfan says:

        “We can use my father’s barn!” (Erwin points to the first to get this off the wall reference?). But seriously William, that is a great suggestion.

      2. I love it. I’ll get the design tattooed on my forehead.

  3. Craig J says:

    I was going to post some sort of constructive comment here, but Mr. Erwin just gave me a tongue-lashing and now I have to get back to work in the mill.

    1. Shave your bread!

  4. John K says:

    Looks great to me.

    I think this is a bit much since it’s possible that one team has a down year in one sport (say a 1 beating an 8) and then this could pretty much decide the whole sports year for the university. :Thirty (30) points for the first ever rivalry win in the NCAA tournament.

    Besides, what about the 2nd time they meet in the tourney?

    1. I think you read it wrong, John. The 30 points is the two schools meet in the NCAA for the first time in history. And since Duke and UNC will never be placed in the same bracket, regardless of seeding, it would have to be in the Final Four. I think 30 points is pretty fair in that case.

      1. How about specifying that 30 points is for the first final four matchup (still think it’s high, but willing to be outvoted). Currently you have ‘Seven (7) points for a neutral-floor win in the ACC Tournament.’ How about doubling that to 14 or 15 points for (the rare circumstance) when they would meet in a non-final four ncaa game, just to cover the base. Also, it still begs the question…how about the 2nd time they meet in the final four (it could happen). Maybe 20 points?

        1. I’m going to pull rank on this one. Even if they met in the first round, which would never happen, the insanity of a Duke-UNC NCAA match-up would trump anything that happened all year. The winner of that game would have bragging rights until it happened again, which might be forever. 30 points is an accurate reflection of how important it would be. It’s honestly so huge that I would almost root against it happening. The relief from winning might not out-weigh the possible stress of losing.

          You’re right, though, once it happens we might have to reduce future point totals. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, though.

  5. You da boss…thanks for your efforts, look forward to the competition, and when I make it back to chapel hill in the spring for a wedding, I’ll find the nearest sporting event if possible and hold up a sign!

  6. Steve M says:

    Looks really good overall. I was wondering as I read it if you might have retro-tested it based on the last several years. I would think Duke’s ’09-’10 successes (lacrosse and hoops natty’s) would have swung it our way…

    I might suggest that a men’s Final Four berth should be more than 12 points. If I’m reading it right, if Duke and UNC played in the ACC tourney finals, the winner would get 14 points (8 for a neutral court ACC tourney win plus 6 for the ACC tourney championship).

    While that would certainly be a big win and worthy of those kinds of points, I would still rate a Final Four berth equal or better than that, especially given that there would be no points awarded for the first three NCAA wins required to get there.

    Looking forward to following this…

    1. Steve, really good point. I might have to go 15 for the basketball Final Four. Is it okay if I wait until after this year to implement it, though?

      Just kidding.

      Kind of.

      1. jchenkel says:

        Wow, I dont know how I let that one slip – good call, Steve. Roy doesn’t give a crap about the ACC tourney so that would have put us at a disadvantage.

        I think the rules are lookin good Shane.

        1. Yeah, I made a basketball Final Four worth 15 points, so even a perfect storm ACC title wouldn’t out-score it. I also added some little caveats to the first and second tier to make sure every sport in the first tier is worth at least 3 points and each in the second is worth at least 6. Basically, to use tier 2 as an example, I stipulated that if the teams only played each other once during the regular season (worth 3-4 points, depending on home/road win), and there were no other points scored by either team (i.e., they didn’t win an ACC regular season or championship title, and they didn’t play a rivalry game in the ACC tournament, or make the national Final Four), then a team would also get 3 points for finishing higher in the ACC standings. That way at least 6 points would be at stake, and you wouldn’t have a situation where baseball was worth 9 and men’s lacrosse was worth 3.

          With that in mind, I raised each of the 4 track points events from 1 to 1.5, so men’s and women’s are worth 3 points each.

          This is starting to look like a final version.

  7. First, I know Spencers sells big “trophy” like cups. Second could there be special bonus points for personal accolades like POY, All-American, Coach of the Year, MOP or something around those lines?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *