Penn State No. 2 in Learfield Directors' Cup standings
UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State Athletics is off to another superlative start in the Learfield Directors' Cup, earning his highest fall finish since 2005-06.
The Nittany Lions are No. 2 in the final fall 2017 standings on the strength of five teams qualifying for their respective NCAA Championships and the football team winning the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. The Penn State women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams captured Big Ten Championships this past fall.
Penn State posted its highest fall finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup since placing No. 2 in 2005-06. This year marks the seventh time the Nittany Lios have finished either No. 1 or No. 2 in the final fall Directors’ Cup standings in the survey’s 25-year history.
The Nittany Lions earned their 13th Top 5 fall placing overall and their 11th consecutive Top 10 fall finish. The Nittany Lions have finished in the Top 10 in the final fall standings in 21 of the 25 years of the Directors’ Cup.
Penn State and Stanford are the nation’s only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past 11 years.
Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup and is followed by Penn State (386), Wisconsin (352.5), UCLA (332), Michigan (319.5), Michigan State (313.5), North Carolina State (303.5), USC (280.5), Colorado (269.5), and Texas (269).
The Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences dominate the 2017 fall Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, with each conference having four institutions in the Top 10.
During the 2017 fall semester, Penn State won Big Ten women’s volleyball championship and the women’s soccer team captured the Big Ten Tournament title. The field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams all competed in their respective NCAA Championships and the football team won the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
Penn State and Stanford were the only schools to have three teams advance to the NCAA quarterfinals among this past fall’s five team bracketed NCAA Championships.
Five of Penn State’s fall teams were ranked in their respective Top 10 (final ranking): women’s volleyball (3), women’s soccer (5), field hockey (6), football (8) and women’s cross country (10).
Penn State student-athletes continued to raise the bar in their academic achievements during the fall semester, delivering a school record 117 Academic All-Big Ten honorees from the seven fall teams, including a record 35 football student-athletes. A total of 45 Nittany Lions were approved to graduate in December, lifting the total to 177 student-athlete graduates during the 2017 calendar year.
Penn State is among only nine institutions nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 24 Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.
Penn State has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent, which ties the Nittany Lions’ all-time high. Nine teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the November 2017 report, up four from the five squads in the 2015 NCAA Graduation Rates Report.
The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 200 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including Emily Ogle (women’s soccer) and Haleigh Washington (women’s volleyball) during the 2017 fall semester.
Penn State’s 49 NCAA Championships all-time (77 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State’s 30 NCAA titles since 1992-93 lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 106 Big Ten Championships since capturing their first title in 1992-93, a total that ranks third in the conference over the past 25 years.