With the final standings set to be released after the 2013 baseball College World Series, the winner of the 2012-13 Division I Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings has been determined with Stanford claiming its unprecedented 19th consecutive award as the top intercollegiate athletic department in the nation.
In the closest race of the 20-year old program, Stanford collected 1261.25 total points, just 41.50 points ahead of second place Florida. Stanford football's Rose Bowl Game victory bolstered the department's finish in a title chase that ultimately came down to the final weeks of the spring season. Strong showings in women's tennis and women's track & field ensured that the Cup will remain on The Farm for another year.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports 10 women's and 10 men's.
The Cardinal captured the women's tennis title after defeating the fifth-, fourth-, first- and third-seeded teams in five days to become the lowest seeded team (12) to win the title. The championship didn't necessarily catch Stanford off-guard with the Cardinal claiming its 17th NCAA title while extending another unprecedented stream for Stanford.
Stanford has extended its streak of seasons with at least one NCAA title to an astounding 37.
The overall race, however, was so close that numerous Stanford athletes and officials believed the streak would end.
"I didn't even realize about the Directors' Cup until Monday night," said Stanford track athlete Kori Carter, who helped wrap up the latest trophy by scoring 18 of the 33 points totaled by the women's team at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last weekend in Eugene, Ore. "We all thought it was a lost cause."
The points garnered by the women's sixth-place finish in track helped keep the Cardinal in the lead.
"We're all happy for each other," said Carter. "I've gotten so much love from Stanford and I'm proud of every team. I see basketball and football players at my meets. It's great being part of the best sports program in the nation."
The Cardinal had four scores omitted due to the maximum 10 allowed for both women's and men's sports - women's field hockey, women's lacrosse, women's rowing and softball.
Stanford will be honored at the 2013 NACDA Convention during the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup luncheon sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee June 14.
Florida finished second with 1219.75 total points. Overall, the Gators tied for the men's outdoor track and field title and captured the women's gymnastics championship. The Gators had one score omitted due to the maximum 10 allowed for both women's and men's sports - women's cross country.
Michigan fell to third in the standings with 1138.25 total points. The Wolverines took home both the men's gymnastics and men's swimming titles during the year. Michigan had two scores omitted due to the maximum 10 allowed for both women's and men's sports women's field hockey and women's outdoor track and field.
Fellow Pac-12 member UCLA climbed into fourth place with 1127.25 total points with baseball still competing. To date, the Bruins have two runner-up finishes, men's water polo and men's tennis. The Bruins had two scores omitted due to the maximum 10 allowed for both women's and men's sports - women's basketball and softball.
Penn State sits in fifth place with 1100.00 total points.