The results are in for the 2018-19 Learfield IMG College Directors Cup, an award that recognizes institutions maintaining a broad-based athletics program, achieving success in many sports, both men’s and women’s.
For the 2018-19 athletics year, IU finished No. 32 in the country, reflecting the second biggest year-over-year move up the rankings among Big Ten schools. Indiana ranked sixth in the league in the 2018-19 standings.
That’s the good news.
The question will be — with men’s soccer, men’s and women’s swim and dive and baseball all dealing with major losses on their respective rosters — can the momentum be sustained?
Moreover, when viewed holistically over the last five years, IU athletics is doing very little to distinguish itself when compared to other power five conference schools.
Yahoo’s Pat Forde published an average of the Directors Cup standings over the last five years and ranked the 65 power five schools accordingly.
The rankings shown below reflect the school’s standing in the Big Ten (and among the power five conference schools) on average over the last five years according to the Yahoo report.
1. Ohio State (5th) — The best, but slipping. That’s a shame.
2. Michigan (7th) — Now apparently a baseball school, a sport in which they can actually beat Ohio State.
3. Penn State (9th) — Apparently Happy Valley is pretty happy about most sports not called basketball.
4. Wisconsin (21st) — This is bearable as long as long as football and men’s basketball continues their decline.
5. Minnesota (23rd) — Curling and luge are the big hits here, or something.
6. Nebraska (36th) — No longer a football school, the Huskers now specialize in volleyball to stay relevant.
7. Illinois (37th) — Apparently good at something. Next.
8. Northwestern (41st) — Lacrosse saved the day here. Not a good look for IU to be trailing Northwestern…
9. Indiana (43rd) —
“Best sports: men’s swimming, men’s soccer. Trajectory: up. The Hoosiers made the biggest move forward of any Big Ten program not named Rutgers, vaulting up 17 spots year-over-year. Top-five finishes in both men’s swimming and soccer led the way, plus a top-10 women’s swimming finish. Imagine where Indiana could end up if it ever gets men’s basketball back on track.”
Ouch. That last sentence stings a little.
10. Maryland (45th) — After a men’s soccer title, Maryland is finally good at something other than lacrosse.
11. Michigan State (47th) — Not much going on at an elite level here beyond men’s basketball. Sorry Sparty.
12. Purdue (48th) — Slipped 16 spots, and Carsen Edwards might have saved them from being the worst power five athletic department in the country.
13. Iowa (50th) — The same story for the last century –basically really good at wrestling and that’s about it. Yippee.
14. Rutgers (63rd) — If you are surprised then you aren’t paying attention.
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