The Division I college sports year is effectively concluded, with only the baseball national championship to be decided between the Fighting O’Connors of Charlottesville versus Jay Cutler’s alma mater.
Depending on the outcome, Virginia could finish as high as third in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings that measure overall athletic achievement. Stanford already clinched its 103rd consecutive title, owing to its annoying excellence in everything from football to tennis to Nobel laureate beer pong.
Division I programs in our corner of the world are done for the year, with only minor place jockeying once baseball points are awarded.
Old Dominion presently is 122nd, but with points from its NCAA baseball tournament appearance, the Monarchs figure to vault to approximately 107th, which would rank third among Conference USA schools.
W&M got big points in women’s cross country, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field — take a bow, Elaina Balouris and Emily Stites — and men’s soccer. Chris Norris’ bunch made the NCAA tournament last fall.
Old Dominion earned points from baseball, men’s soccer, wrestling and field hockey. Alan Dawson’s program and the field hockey dynasty begun by Beth Anders are NCAA staples. Steve Martin’s wrestling program continues to build. Baseball under Chris Finwood earned the program’s first NCAA berth since 2000.
Hampton fielded NCAA teams in volleyball for the first time, women’s hoops for the fifth consecutive year and earned several points from men’s track and field — looking at you, Trey Holloway.
William and Mary’s top-100 finish represents a steady climb in the past three years, up from 128 last year and 205 in 2012. The Tribe finished top-100 in 2010 and ’11.
In the past eight years, ODU ranged from a high of 79 in 2012 to a low of 196 in 2009. This was the Monarchs’ first year in Conference USA after jumping from the CAA.
Hampton finished in the low 200s each of the past four years. The Pirates’ high was 105th in 2007.
The Directors’ Cup standings are largely a reflection of resources. Forty of the top 41 schools are from the five power conferences: ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12. The exception is Louisville of the American Athletic Conference, and the Cardinals are hardly outliers, being late of the Big East and headed for the ACC next year.
BYU (42) is the highest-ranked school outside the power conferences. Denver (43) of the Summit League is the highest non-Football Bowl Subdivision program.
Towson (110) is second in the CAA and newcomer College of Charleston will finish third, in the 130 range, after its NCAA baseball Super Regional appearance. Drexel (160) is next, followed by James Madison and Delaware, among a big group of schools with 75 points tied at 181.
For what it’s worth, CAA newcomer Elon is 148th in its final year in the Southern Conference.
Tulsa (88) and UAB (99) are the top two teams from Conference USA. South Carolina State (T-181) is the top-ranked MEAC program. HU, Maryland Eastern Shore and Bethune Cookman are all tied with 55 points apiece and figure to finish in the 212-215 range, once final points are awarded.
Here's the link to the Directors' Cup standings website: