Penn State Ranked Third In Latest Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings
After a successful fall and an even stronger winter season, Penn State moved into third place in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, an annual ranking of overall success in collegiate athletics. The Nittany Lions have 820 points in the cup, just 3.5 points behind second-place North Carolina, and a distant 206.5 points behind the dominant leader, Stanford.
Penn State’s current position puts it atop the Big Ten, although Wisconsin is lurking in fourth with 748.5 points. The Nittany Lions were in fifth place following the fall sports season, but were aided by a third-place finish by Penn State men’s gymnastics at the NCAA National Championship, including freshman Thad Lawson’s NCAA championship in the floor exercise. Men’s and women’s fencing, as well as wrestling’s second and sixth-place respective NCAA finishes also played a role in vaulting Penn State past UCLA, the school previously in third place.
The final standings for the winter season will be released later this month, and will take into account the women’s gymnastics team, who recently competed in the NCAA regionals in Oklahoma. The Nittany Lions finished fourth in the cup’s final fall standings, which was the school’s first top-five fall finish since 2010-11. Penn State has placed in the top 10 of the final rankings in 11 of the competition’s 22 years, including a fifth-place spot in last year’s rankings. The school’s success comes as no real shock, as Penn State is one of only nine schools to finish in the top 25 in every year of the cup’s existence. The Nittany Lions’ 26 national championships since its first full year in the Big Ten also gives it the most national titles of any Big Ten school over that time period.
Photo: Mark Selders/GoPSUSports