Boise State Reaches The Top 50 In The Nation

In a school year that featured stratospheric advances by Boise State, it is only fitting that the Broncos set yet another record, finishing #49 in the Learfield Directors' Cup Standings released this morning.

Boise State finished 49th in the country in this year's Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings in an announcement by the NCAA this morning.  The Broncos, who doubled school records for Top 25 teams in a year (8) and Top 25 finishes (6), recorded their highest-ever finish in the Director's Cup, which previously had been #63 in the 2002-03 school year. 

Boise State finished with 449.30 points, ahead of West Virginia, Utah, Clemson, Indiana, Texas Tech, Colorado, Oregon State, Kansas and Boston College to name a few.  Boise State 's record finish of #49 is a coup for Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier and his staff—the Broncos beat out 229 other schools in the Directors' Cup Standings.  The Cup Standings award points based on a complex formula that rewards teams for finishing high in national championships in all sports except football, whose points are determined by the final USA Today football poll.  The #1 team in each sport is awarded 100 points and the remainder of the top teams receive points according to either a "bracket" or "non-bracket" system.  Bracket refers to if the sport's champion is determined by a series of games or contests between teams in a bracket, ala the NCAA college basketball tournament.  A non-bracket sport is one in which teams are awarded points based on individual achievements, such as wrestling or track and field.

This season, Boise State scored points in football, gymnastics, wrestling, men's tennis, women's tennis, both men's and women's outdoor track and field and women's indoor track and field. 

The Broncos finished 13th in the final USA Today football poll of coaches and were awarded 63 points based on a 64-team non-bracket format .    Since football is the only sport that doesn't allow schools an equal chance of winning the national championship, teams ranking in the final USA Today Top 25 are awarded points in descending order as outlined in the scoring methodology linked above with #25 receiving 49 points.  All bowl game winners not ranked in the Top 25 receive 45 points and all other bowl teams not ranked in the Top 25 receive 25 points.

At the conclusion of the football season ( 1/12/09 ), Boise State made its debut in the standings at #85 with those 63 points.  At that time, champions had been crowned in men's and women's cross country, women's field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball and men's water polo. 

The Broncos climbed to #40 in the March 26th Standings thanks to arguably its best performance ever in winter sports.  These standings also included men's and women's fencing, women's hockey, women's rifle, women's gymnastics, women's skiing, women's swimming, men's and women's indoor track and wrestling.  Boise State finished tied for 13th in women's gymnastics (59.30 points), 19th in women's indoor track (worth 55 points), 27th in men's indoor track (46.5) and 12th in wrestling (64 points), adding 229.30 points in the winter sports for a total of 288.30.  At that point, Boise State was ahead of Arizona, Colorado, Boston College, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma to name a few.

Despite not placing in the next six sports (men's and women's basketball, women's bowling, women's fencing, men's gymnastics and men's hockey), Boise State still ranked 47th in the April 22nd Standings.  The next update (May 28) included women's golf, women's lacrosse, men's lacrosse, men's and women's tennis, men's volleyball and women's water polo.  Thanks to strong performances by the men's tennis team (9th  worth 64 points) and the women's tennis team's finish of 17th (50 points), the Broncos moved up to #41. 

When the next-to-last standings were released ten days ago that included women's rowing, women's softball and men's and women's outdoor track and field the #25 performance by the men's outdoor track team (worth 47 points) positioned the Broncos at 47th in the Cup Standings.  The final sport to be decided was baseball, of which Boise State does not field a team.

Stanford was the overwhelming #1 with 1,455 points to outdistance second-place North Carolina 's1184.25 points.  The Cardinal were national champions in men's gymnastics and women's rowing and finished second in women's volleyball and men's water polo, third in men's cross country, women's soccer, women's basketball, men's swimming and women's water polo, fourth in women's swimming, #7 in men's outdoor track, eighth in women's cross country and in women's gymnastics, ninth in both men's and women's tennis, women's softball and in women's fencing, 11th in men's indoor track, 12th in women's indoor track, 20th in men's golf, #40 in women's golf, 43rd in women's outdoor track and #51 in wrestling.   For years, Stanford has been the standard to which all other athletic programs are measured.

Oregon won national championships in both men's cross country and men's indoor track, Washington captured women's softball and women's cross country championships, Texas A & M won both the men's and women's outdoor track national titles, Maryland won the national title in women's field hockey, Florida took the Football Bowl Subdivision crown, Richmond won the Football Championship Subdivision title, North Carolina won both the men's basketball and women's soccer crowns and Penn State was #1 in women's volleyball and women's fencing. 

USC won national championships in men's water polo and men's tennis, Connecticut won women's basketball, Nebraska was tops in women's bowling, Georgia won the national title in men's gymnastics, Boston University won men's hockey and Wisconsin was victorious in women's hockey.  West Virginia was the women's rifle champion, with Denver taking women's skiing, California #1 in women's swimming, Auburn winning men's swimming, Tennessee taking the women's indoor track championship, Iowa tops in wrestling and LSU winning the national title in baseball.

Arizona State won the national title in women's golf, Northwestern stood alone as the women's lacrosse champion, Syracuse was #1 in men's lacrosse, Duke was crowned women's tennis champion, UC Irvine won men's volleyball and UCLA won the national championship in women's water polo.  The Pac-10 captured 11 national titles as a conference, far and away tops in the nation.  The next closest was the SEC with five.

Boise State was 77th in the 1993-94 Director's Cup Standings when the Broncos were in the Big Sky Conference and they were 86th the following year and #89 in 1995-96, their final year in the Big Sky.  Boise State made its debut in the Big West Conference in 1996-97, placing #65 in the Cup Standings.  Boise Sate was 96th the following year,  #86 in 1998-99, 84th in 1999-2000 and fell to #114 in its final year in the Big West Conference. 

To see how far the Broncos have come in such a short time, witness Boise State 's #118 finish in the Director's Cup Standings in 2001-02, their first year in the Western Athletic Conference.  They rocketed up to #63 in 2002-03, then finished #66 the following year, #65 in 2004-05 and #65 again in 2005-06 when Boise State was the top WAC school in the Standings.  Boise State was second in the conference in 2006-07 to #62 Hawai'i , but the Broncos dipped to #97 that year.  Last year, Hawai'i again was the highest WAC team at #53 followed by #63 Fresno State and #77 Boise State .  The top finish by a WAC school was 29th by SMU in the 2000-2001 school year while Fresno State finished 33rd in the Cup's first year (1993-94). 

North Carolina won the inaugural Directors' Cup in 1993-94   Stanford won the following year and every year since making 15 consecutive Cup titles for the Cardinal.

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