PSU rises to No. 2 in Learfield Directors' Cup standings
UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State Athletics is off to another superlative start in the Learfield Directors' Cup, moving up to No. 2 in the latest standings.
The Nittany Lions rose to No. 2 on the strength of the Big Ten Championship women’s volleyball team advancing to last week’s NCAA Championship semifinals.
The Nittany Lions are on track to post their highest fall finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup since placing No. 2 in 2005-06. Penn State has an opportunity to earn its 13th Top 5 fall placing overall and is seeking its 11th consecutive Top 10 fall finish. The Nittany Lions have finished in the Top 10 in the final fall standings in 20 of the 24 years the Directors’ Cup has existed.
The final fall standings will be announced in mid-January, with Penn State in line to earn additional Learfield Directors’ Cup points from its No. 9 ranked football team. The Nittany Lions face Washington in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on December 30.
Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup with (468) points and is followed by Penn State (315.50), UCLA (307), Michigan (294.5), Wisconsin (279), Colorado (269.5), Michigan State (255), North Carolina State (252.5), Princeton (242) and North Carolina (230).
The Big Ten leads all conferences with four schools in the Top 10.
During the fall semester, the Penn State women’s volleyball team won its 17th Big Ten Championship and the women’s soccer team captured its seventh 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.
Five Penn State fall teams were ranked in their respective Top 10 (final regular season ranking): women’s cross country (10), field hockey (6), football (9), women’s soccer (5) and women’s volleyball (3).
Penn State and Stanford were the only schools to have three teams advance to the NCAA quarterfinals among this fall’s five team bracketed NCAA Championships.
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, 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 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.