The Pac-12 hasn't won a football national championship since USC in 2004, but in the big picture of college sports, it's the top conference. Again.
Seven Pac-12 programs finished ranked in the final Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup top 25, the most of any conference. Stanford, of course, won its 19th consecutive cup after claiming a national championship in women’s tennis, and top-four finishes in women’s cross country, women’s soccer, men’s gymnastics and women’s water polo. The football team also won the Rose Bowl.
With its baseball national title earned earlier this week, UCLA moved up to finish third for the second straight year. In addition to the baseball crown, the Bruins posted top-four finishes in six other sports -- men’s and women’s water polo, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics and women’s golf.
USC placed 14th overall after sweeping the men’s and women’s water polo titles. Oregon was 15th with 929.75 points after picking up a pair of NCAA titles in women’s cross country and women’s indoor track and field and winning the Fiesta Bowl.
Five top-four finishes helped California to finish 17th, while Arizona State and Arizona rounded out the top 25, finishing 18th and 23rd, respectively.
Washington finished 28th, Colorado was 56th, Oregon State 69th, Utah 77th and Washington State tied for 192nd.
The success of the Pac-12 in the Directors' Cup was bolstered by the capturing of eight NCAA titles, most among all conferences. In addition, 10 Pac-12 league members finished among the top four in 22 NCAA championships, while the Big Ten was next with its league members placing among the top four in 18 NCAA championships.
The 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.
Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on the NACDA website at www.directorscup.org.
Conference Top-25 Schools
1. Pac-12 (12) 7
2. SEC (14) 6
3. Big Ten (12) 5
4. ACC (12) 4
5. Big 12 (10) 2
6. Big East (15) 1