SDSU wins first Showdown Series
SIOUX FALLS — South Dakota Corn Utilization officials announced Tuesday that South Dakota State University has won the inaugural “South Dakota Showdown Series” – the yearlong collegiate athletics and academic competition between SDSU and the University of South Dakota.
The Showdown Series, presented by South Dakota Corn, uses a point system in which each school can earn a maximum of 24 points per year based on head-to-head competition and Summit League championship finishes in 17 men’s and women’s sports. Academics play an essential role as well, and the university compiling the most points by the end of the school year receives the specially designed traveling trophy. South Dakota State bested the University of South Dakota 14-13 in the athletic/academic competition, with both schools excelling on the academic front, earning three points apiece toward the final points earned.
“With the help of the South Dakota Utilization Council, SDSU and USD were able to showcase academic and athletic excellence all season long,” said SDSU Director of Athletics Justin Sell. “We are excited to be the inaugural winners of the Showdown Series and look forward to future years of competition.”
The Jackrabbits earned one Showdown point for the following wins: soccer (W) Oct. 21; cross country (M) Oct. 27; basketball (W) Jan. 6; basketball (W) Jan. 30; basketball (M) Jan. 31; swim & dive (M) Feb. 20; swim & dive (W) Feb. 20; tennis (W) April 11 and golf (W) April 22. Additionally, SDSU earned two points for winning the Nov. 17 football game and three points for academic success, totaling 14 overall points. USD earned 10 athletic points and three academic points to total 13 overall.
Throughout the school year, fans were able to visit www.sdcornshowdown.com to track progress and see point totals for their favorite school. That site now displays the final point totals and itemizes each school’s point earned.
“We are pleased to be a part of the inaugural Showdown Series and look forward to the Jackrabbits and Coyotes’ barn burners next year,” said South Dakota Corn Council President Brian Smith. “The Showdown Series has provided a unique opportunity for us to team up with the largest universities in South Dakota to tell agriculture’s story.”
In addition to the athletic/academic component, SDSU, USD and South Dakota Corn designated Feeding South Dakota as the nonprofit organization to benefit from the rivalry series’ launch. As a result, nearly 2,000 meals were provided to those in need throughout the state via monetary donations made by fans of both schools throughout the year. Feeding South Dakota is the state’s primary hunger-relief operation and feeds thousands of people every year.
Winning the inaugural South Dakota Showdown Series caps a banner year both in competition and in the classroom for Jackrabbit Athletics. SDSU won both the Summit League Commissioner's Cup and Dr. William Steinbrecher Men's All-Sports Award, while the football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball teams qualified for NCAA postseason play. In addition, the Jackrabbits were awarded the Summit League Academic Achievement Award.