UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics is off to another superb start in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings.
The Nittany Lions are No. 3 in the final fall 2018 standings on the strength of five teams participating in their respective NCAA championships and the football team earning a third consecutive New Year’s/CFP bowl berth. The Penn State women’s soccer team captured the Big Ten championship this past fall.
The Nittany Lions earned their 14th top-five fall placing overall and their 12th consecutive top 10 fall finish. Penn State has delivered back-to-back top-three fall finishes (No. 2 in 2017) and nine top-three fall finishes overall The Nittany Lions have placed in the top 10 in the final fall standings in 22 of the 26 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 12 years.
Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup and is followed by Michigan (380.5), Penn State (337), Wisconsin, (320), BYU (315), Wake Forest (311), Duke (296), Washington (294.5), Notre Dame (280), and North Carolina State (268).
The Big Ten and Atlantic Coast conferences lead the 2018 fall Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, with each conference having three institutions in the top 10.
During the fall semester, the Penn State women’s soccer team captured its 19th Big Ten championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, losing, 1-0, to eventual champion Florida State. The field hockey, men’s and women’s cross-country, and women’s volleyball teams all competed in their respective NCAA championships, with the volleyball squad being ousted from the NCAA Tournament by eventual champion Stanford. The football squad earned its third consecutive New Year’s or CFP bowl berth, playing in the Citrus Bowl.
Five Penn State fall teams were ranked in their respective top 15 nationally (final regular season or final ranking): women’s volleyball (7), women’s soccer (8), field hockey (9), women’s cross-country (13) and football (17).
Penn State is among only nine institutions nationwide to have finished in the top 25 in all 25 Learfield Directors’ Cup final standings.
Under the leadership of Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, 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 posted an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent the past two years, which ties the Nittany Lions’ all-time high. Eight teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2018 NCAA Graduation Rates Report.
The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 204 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including women’s soccer student-athletes Kerry Abello and Emily Ogle and football student-athlete Blake Gillikin during the fall semester.
Penn State’s 50 NCAA championships all-time (78 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 31 NCAA titles since 1992-93, including a third consecutive NCAA Wrestling Championship, lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 108 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93.