The ACC may be dismissed as one of the weaker conferences in college football, and for good reason, but the ACC as a whole is unmatched when it comes to overall athletic success.
Four ACC teams were ranked in the Top 10 of the final Division I LEARFIELD Director’s Cup standings, seven were ranked in the Top 25 and 12 in the Top 55 — all the most of any conference in Division I college athletics.
The LEARFIELD Director’s Cup is a combined effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today to award teams points based on finishes in the fall NCAA championships.
The finishes in men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, FBS and FCS football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo are factored into the standings.
Pitt finished 10th in the LEARFIELD Director’s Cup standings, earning 83 points for a third-place finish in women’s volleyball, 73 points for a fifth-place finish in men’s soccer, 63 points for a 13th place finish in FBS football and 29 points for a 32nd place finish in men’s cross country.
Pitt’s women’s volleyball team made a historic run to the Final Four this season, completing the best season in team history. Pitt football earned its first BCS/NY6 Bowl appearance since the 2005 season and won the ACC championship for the first time in team history. Pitt men’s soccer advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to cap an excellent season.
“Our teams enjoyed an outstanding fall season capped by three NCAA Championships,” Jim Phillips, the ACC commissioner said in the ACC press release. “The continued excellence shown by our student-athletes is inspiring, and I look forward to continuing to watch our winter programs compete with our spring competitions right around the corner.”
Notre Dame finished second in the standings, followed by North Carolina (sixth), Florida State (ninth), Pitt, Wake Forest (13th), North Carolina State (16th) and Louisville (25th) in the Top 25.
BYU won the Director’s Cup in a somewhat surprising finish for a West Coast Conference team — and football independent.