Arizona Wildcats earn a Top 20 spot in Directors’ Cup all-sports rankingby Anthony Gimino on Jun. 27, 2012, under Sports
Arizona, having received 100 points for winning the Men’s College World Series — the final NCAA championship of the school year — finished 19th nationally in an all-sport rating of athletic departments.
This is the Wildcats’ second consecutive Top 20 finish in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup, which has been in existence since the 1993-94 school year.
Stanford, which was second to North Carolina in the first year of the rankings, has won in every season since then, 18 in a row.
The Cardinal, which won national titles in women’s soccer, women’s water polo and women’s lightweight rowing eight, finished with 1,448.25 points. Florida was second with 1,314 points.
Arizona finished fifth among Pac-12 programs behind Stanford, No. 3 UCLA, No. 7 USC and No. 11 Cal. Oregon, at No. 24, was a sixth Pac-12 school in the Top 25. Arizona State was 30th.
Arizona had 827.25 points, not far behind No. 18 Georgia (833.25). Arkansas, which was third at the CWS, was nipping at UA’s heels, finishing with 811 points to claim the No. 20 spot.
The Directors’ Cup standings includes the top finishes in the NCAA postseason for a department’s top 10 men’s and top 10 women’s programs. One hundred points are awarded for an NCAA title, with a minimum of five points given to an NCAA appearance, depending on the size of the bracket. For football, points are awarded based on the final USA Today Top 25 poll and bowl game results.
Arizona failed for the first time in the Directors’ Cup to get any points from the two biggest sports — football and men’s basketball. Those sports combined for 98 points in the previous school year for the basketball’s team appearance in the West Regional final and the football team’s bowl appearance.
This year, in addition to the baseball title, the Wildcats scored well with men’s and women’s swimming (top five finishes in each), indoor and outdoor men’s and women’s track and field, and a Super Regional appearance for softball, among other sports.
Arizona was 16th in the 2010-11 school year, its first season under athletic director Greg Byrne. The Wildcats had not been in the Top 20 in the previous four seasons, so the overall program appears to be headed in the right direction as it tries to get back to its 1990s’ heyday.