The very good news, though, is that Alabama Athletics Department continues to rank among the top 10 per cent of all NCAA Division I athletics programs in both the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup and the Capital One Cup.
The Crimson Tide ranked 25th in the Learfield Director’s Cup for the 2014-15 academic year, marking the seventh time in the past decade that Alabama has earned a place among the top 25.
“I’m proud of the way our teams continue to thrive in the competitive arena,” UA Director of Athletics Bill Battle said. “A total of nine of our teams finished in the top 20 nationally, including four – football, gymnastics, softball and men’s swimming and diving – that finished in the top 10. I’m equally proud of the success our students continue to earn in the classroom and the time and effort they devote to helping make the world around them a better place.”
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, begun in the 1993-94 academic year, encompass the combined men's and women's programs.
Alabama finished the 2014-15 academic year ranked 25th out of 289 schools in the all-sports rankings. In the Directors' Cup, 20 total teams (10 men and 10 women) can be scored for the final standings. The Crimson Tide has 21 teams (9 men and 12 women) in 17 sports programs. Stanford, this year's winner and the winner of the last 21 Directors' Cups, fields 37 total varsity teams.
Alabama scored 315 points in the spring, 282 points in the winter standings, and 158 points in the fall in the Learfield rankings. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences with seven teams finishing in the top-25. In addition, all 14 SEC schools were in the Top 66 overall.
Alabama’s men and women both ranked in the top-35 in Capital One Cup now in its fifth year. The men checked in at No. 30 on the strength of top-10 finishes in football (4th) and swimming and diving (10th) while the women were 32nd after top-10 finishes by gymnastics (4th) and softball (6th).
Points toward the Capital One Cup are based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches' polls. The Capital One Cup counts only top-10 national finishes and uses a tiered points system. That tiered system awards greater value to "marquee sports" (football, basketball, etc.) and lesser value to others.
Under the Capital One system, 106 NCAA Division I men’s teams and 97 women’s teams earned points. In the SEC, eight men’s teams and 10 women’s team figured among the Capital One Cups top 35.
Three years ago, the Tide's women's teams posted what remains their highest finish in the Capital One Cup standings, taking third place following the 2011-12 season - led by NCAA team titles in gymnastics, women's golf, and softball. Overall, Alabama has won nine national team titles since 2009.