UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Another superlative fall sports season has boosted Penn State into fourth place in the latest Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.
The Nittany Lions moved into the Top 5 on the strength of the women’s volleyball team’s fifth NCAA semifinal or championship match appearance in the past six years and the women’s soccer team advancing to the NCAA College Cup championship match.
The final Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup fall standings will be announced in mid-January.
Penn State won five Big Ten Championships this fall in field hockey (regular season and tournament), men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Five Penn State head coaches were selected Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Penn State was among only four institutions to have teams score points in five NCAA Championships this fall, being joined by Michigan, North Carolina and Stanford.
Michigan leads the Directors’ Cup standings with 348 points, followed by North Carolina (342), Stanford (324.50), Penn State (323.50) and UCLA (306). Florida State, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Princeton and Oregon round out the Top 10.
The Nittany Lions have finished in the Top 25 in all 19 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, placing No. 12 in 2011-12, to earn their 14th Top 15 finish. Penn State is one of only nine programs nationwide that has finished in the final Top 25 in every Directors’ Cup standings, being joined by Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas and UCLA.
Penn State has won 22 NCAA Championships since 1993-94, its first full year in the Big Ten Conference, more than double every other Big Ten institution. Iowa is second with 10.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings were developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in as many as 20 sports — 10 women’s and 10 men’s.