Re-alignment series: how do new league members stack up in overall athletics excellence (Directors’ Cup)?


Iowa State sponsors 18 intercollegiate sports. A handful of them generate most of the headlines, but each of them is important in helping define the success of Cyclone Athletics.

One of the best measures for overall competitive success is the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. It is a comprehensive annual measure of athletics achievement (based upon post-season finish) on each college campus.

Iowa State strives to be a Top 50 program in the Cup every season and, in special years, challenge for the Top 30.

How do the schools, which jumped to new conferences through the re-alignment process, compare for all-sports achievement? Here are their most-recent five-year average finishes in the Directors’ Cup:

1.    SEC (avg. 27th) – Texas A&M (11th), Missouri (43rd)

2.    Big Ten (28th) – Nebraska (28th)

3.    Big 12 (46th) – West Virginia (43rd), TCU (49th)

4.    Pac-12 (63rd) – Colorado (58th), Utah (68th)

5.    ACC (87th) – Syracuse (76th), Pitt (97th)

6.    Big East (91st) – SMU (72nd), Boise State (73rd), San Diego State (82nd), Houston (105th) and UCF (122nd)

The Big 12’s new members – TCU and West Virginia – have been Top 50 programs on average for the last five years. The Horned Frogs and Mountaineers compete on a national level in many sports. Their profiles will mesh nicely in the Big 12.

Be sure to read the fourth blog in this series on re-alignment Thursday when we review geographic proximity of league members.

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