OSU's Best Finish Ever In All-Sports Rankings

I really didn't notice just how fantastic the overall sports year was until interviewing Mike Holder, who pointed out that every sport at Oklahoma State made it to postseason NCAA competition except softball and equestrian. Equestrian has an excuse in that it is not an NCAA-recognized sport.

Sometimes the frustrating finish in football and in men's basketball can overshadow what is accomplished throughout the athletic department. But finishes like advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in women's basketball and the super regional in baseball, plus the men in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track compiling an overall second-best program in the country performance adds up to a lot of tremendous efforts on the part of student-athletes.

That is now reflected in the post-school year standings for the two major all-sports awards that are handed out. Oklahoma State placed 22nd in the final 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings to mark its best finish in the national all-sports ranking system that dates back to 1993-94.

I'm a little partial to the Learfield competition as the Cowboys Radio Network is a division of Learfield Sports. It also uses both men's and women's sports in its tabulation. The Capital One Cup has two separate standings by sex. On the men's side, OSU had it's highest finish with a tie for 19th with Oklahoma. The women were not ranked.

Making those finishes more impressive is the fact that OSU sponsors only 15 of the 20 varsity sports eligible for consideration in the Learfield standings. No school that finished in the top 25 had fewer sports eligible. Also, OSU's 16th varsity sport, equestrian (a strong performer in 2013-14), is not counted as part of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.

"We have done well in many areas at Oklahoma State because of the quality of our people," Holder said. "Our student-athletes, coaches, fans and supporters all play a role in the successes that we enjoy and we are thankful to have the kind of people around our program that we do."

Within the Big 12 only Texas (6th) and Oklahoma (19th) finished ahead of the Cowboys and Cowgirls efforts. Remember on the men's side in the Capital One Cup, the Cowboys were tied with Oklahoma at 19th. Texas was 13th in the Capital One Cup and the next best Big 12 school was TCU, which finished in a seven-way tie at 43rd.

Oklahoma State won five Big 12 Conference championships during the 2013-14 academic year - men's cross country, men's indoor track and field, wrestling, equestrian and baseball – and qualified for the postseason in 15 of its 16 varsity sports. Ten different OSU teams appeared in the top 10 of the national rankings of their respective sports this season.

A total of 22 OSU student-athletes earned All-America recognition and six were honored as Big 12 Player of the Year during the 2013-14 academic year. Additionally, OSU crowned 16 individual Big 12 champions and had four of its coaches tabbed as Big 12 Coach of the Year.

OSU was the only school in the country to have a player selected with one of the top 10 picks of both the NFL Draft (Justin Gilbert – eighth) and the NBA Draft (Marcus Smart – sixth) and was one of only four schools nationally to appear in a football bowl game, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship and the super regional round of the NCAA Baseball Championship.

Prior to this year's 22nd-place finish, OSU's best showing was 24th in 1997-98.

2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Final Standings
1. Stanford, 1482.00
2. Florida, 1216.50
3. Notre Dame, 1128.25
4. Virginia, 1118.50
5. Penn State, 1113.00
6. Texas, 1093.00
7. UCLA, 1078.50
8. USC, 1063.75
9. Duke, 1051.00
10. Texas A&M, 1022.00
11. Kentucky, 1016.25
12. Florida State, 994.25
13. Michigan, 983.25
14. North Carolina, 976.00
15. Oregon, 943.00
16. Georgia, 938.75
17. Alabama, 926.50
18. Wisconsin, 912.25
19. Oklahoma, 902.75
20. California, 878.75
21. Minnesota, 875.25
22. Oklahoma State, 867.00
23. Nebraska, 845.50
24. LSU, 833.75
25. Ohio State, 824.00


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