Over winter break (how come we in the real world don't get this anymore?), the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup released their second-to-last fall standings update. Behind a strong finish in men's cross country, the Cavaliers are third in the ACC and 12th overall, with a total of 235.50 points. This penultimate update includes all fall sports except for football, from which Virginia will not receive any points.
At this point last year, the Hoos had 132.00 points. The 2011-12 Cavaliers finished 27th in the final fall standings with 157 total points, earning 25 from football.
This year, Virginia's point totals come from men's cross country (14th place overall finish for 61.5 points), field hockey (5th, 60 points), women's soccer (9th, 64 points) and men's soccer (17th, 50 points). By comparison, last year Virginia did not earn any points for men's cross country (though earned 34 for the women's 20th place finish) or field hockey. Last year's program finished 5th in women's soccer (73 points) and 33rd in men's soccer (25 points).
Of course, last year was a somewhat disappointing year for the Hoos on the Directors' Cup front, as Virginia finished 15th, the first time since the 2007-08 season that they were outside the Top 10. In 2010-11, when Virginia finished seventh overall, the Hoos had 244 points at this point (no points from football).
In 2009-10, when the Hoos finished a program-best third in the standings, they had earned 337 points from the fall, in large part with the help of thanks to 100 points coming from the men's soccer national championship, and 83 points coming from a third place finish in field hockey.
Virginia has won at least one national championship in each of the past three academic years (2012 Rowing, 2011 Men's Lacrosse, 2010 Rowing, 2009 Men's Soccer). Will the Hoos be able to keep the streak alive? If so, which program do you think has the greatest chance of bringing home the hardware? Men's Tennis is constantly knocking at USC's door for a title, while Rowing has proven themselves to be a perennial national contender. Could this be Women's Tennis's breakout season to build on last year's success? Can the men's lacrosse or baseball teams return to their winning ways? Hoos got the best shot?