The 2010 fall season will end with Stanford facing a challenge to win yet another Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.
With seven NCAA championships completed, North Carolina has retained the lead in the third Division I fall standings with 335 points. The Tar Heels had five top-20 finishes in all tournaments they advanced to, including a 17th- place finish at the recent women's volleyball championship.
Stanford, hoping to win a 17th straight Directors' Cup in 2011, used a fifth-place showing in women's volleyball to add to its point total and claim the second-place spot with 319 points.
Florida State is in third with a total of 303 points. The Seminoles finished 17th in women's volleyball.
Ohio State sits in fourth place with 294 points, trailing Florida State by just seven points. The Buckeyes turned in a ninth-place result in women's volleyball.
Penn State enters into the top five after capturing its fourth straight women's volleyball national championship. The Nittany Lions have 275 points.
Seven of the eight fall NCAA championships have been completed with the following institutions capturing titles: men's cross country (Oklahoma State); women's cross country (Villanova); women's field hockey (Maryland); women's soccer (Notre Dame); men's soccer (Akron); men's water polo (USC); and women's volleyball (Penn State).
Stanford should make a move during the winter with its women's basketball team expected to finish among the nation's best.
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 final Division I fall standings will be released Thursday, January 12, 2011, and will include both the FCS and FBS football standings. Stanford should pick up some big points in football, no matter what happens in the Orange Bowl.