Virginia in 26th place in latest Directors' Cup standings

As winter come to a close, Virginia (and Homer) look toward a strong spring performance - Brian Schwartz

Can the Hoos get back atop the leaderboard with a strong push in the spring?

In the latest release of the Directors' Cup standings, Virginia stands at 26th place in the nation. The Hoos are 5th in the ACC, behind UNC, Florida State, Duke, and, amazingly, Virginia Tech. These standings cover all winter sports except for bowling, gymnastics, and hockey - thus, UVA has finished its potential winter sports scoring with 156 points. After earning 235.5 in the fall, Virginia has 391.5 overall.

The Directors' Cup quantifies overall success of college athletics programs. Universities receive between 0 and 100 points for performance in each sport, from football to fencing, for up to 20 programs. Then, at the end of the academic year, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics sends a nice-looking trophy to Stanford, who has won the Cup in each of the past 18 years. The award has been around for 19 seasons, with UNC taking the inaugural Directors' Cup.

Before Wahoo fans panic, remember that spring is by far Virginia's strongest sports season. Virginia Tech has put up a strong showing so far this year, but the Hoos will easily move ahead of the Hokies in the spring. In fact, UVA's 26th place postion is about on par with past seasons. After all winter points were calculated, Virginia was in 30th in 2012 and 20th in 2011 but finished in 15th and 7th place, respectively. In 2010, UVA saw its best all-time finish, placing 3rd in the nation.

This winter, Virginia earned points for an 18th-place finish in women's swimming, 27th in men's swimming, and 21st in wrestling. The Hoos did far better last winter, earning points for track and field and basketball to finish with 242.5 winter points. However, the program's strong fall this time around (and weak fall last season) puts it in about the same postion as last season (actually within 8 points).

Maybe this is easier with a little chart:

Virginia Past Directors' Cup Performance

Year Fall Points Winter Points Spring Points Overall Points Final Finish
2009-2010 337 273.5 642.75 1243.25 3rd
2010-2011 244 225.5 622.5 1092 8th
2011-2012 157 242.5 510.5 910 15th
2012-2013 235.5 156 ??? ??? ???

UVA fans could probably expect a spring output similar to last season's. While lacrosse will lag behind that pace, baseball, tennis, and rowing all look to bring home large point hauls this year. Another finish in the ballpark of 15th overall should be on tap, barring any disasters or miracles.

Going forward, Virginia needs more consistency from its fall and winter programs. Struggles from soccer and field hockey in the fall have been particulary harmful to the program's standing. Points from football and basketball would be a nice bonus as well.

UVA has finished in the top 15 in each of the past 4 seasons, and 5 out of the last 6. Since the start of the Cup in 1994, Virginia is one of just 14 programs that has always placed in the top 30.

Overall in 2013, Stanford sits comfortably in first place, followed by Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, and UNC.

Current standings are available here....or you can check out historical finishes here.

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