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Arkansas Leads SEC with Top 20 Ranking

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Leads SEC with Top 20 Ranking

FAYETTEVILLE – For the first time in six years, the University of Arkansas is ranked among the top 20 in the final fall standings of the Learfield Sports Directors Cup. The standings were released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The Razorbacks are ranked 19th nationally and lead all Southeastern Conference programs after earning a total of 213.5 points in fall semester sports.

This is the first time Arkansas has ranked in the top 20 in the final fall standings since the 2006-07 athletic year. Arkansas is ranked ahead of all 13 other SEC programs, with Texas A&M (21st) and Florida (30th) being the only other conference programs within the top 30 of the Directors Cup.

The Directors Cup is a competition that tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletic programs for their athletic performances throughout the year. Directors Cup standings are divided into three intervals reflecting fall, winter and spring sports. The first edition of the winter standings will be released on March 27.

The final fall standings reflect points awarded for men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, women’s volleyball and field hockey.

Coach Chris Bucknam and the men’s cross country team earned 64.5 points after finishing 12th in the nation at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Coach Lance Harter and the women’s cross country team tallied 60 points after a 15th-place finish at nationals. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams won their respective SEC championships before going on to earn top-15 national finishes.

Coach Colby Hale and the Razorback soccer team earned 64 points for a run to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. This year’s bid, marked the first time the Razorback soccer program advanced to the NCAA Tournament and the first time the program tallied points in the Directors Cup. The team finished the season with a record of 15-8-1 and ranked 24th nationally in the Top Drawer Soccer Postseason Rankings.

The Razorback Volleyball program also contributed to the fall total. The Razorbacks advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second-consecutive season in 2013. Arkansas finished the regular season with a 16-14 record competing against one of the nation’s toughest schedules under head coach Robert Pulliza. The NCAA tournament appearance earned the Razorbacks 25 points in the most recent standings.

In 2012-13, the University of Arkansas finished in the top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors Cup for the third straight year and the fifth time in the past six years. The Razorbacks finished No. 21 and accumulated a school record 830 total points to extend the most successful stretch of Directors Cup success in school history. In addition to last year’s 21st-place finish, the Razorbacks finished 20th in 2011-12, 24th in 2010-11, 25th in 2008-09 and 24th in 2007-08.

The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.

SEC Final Fall Directors Cup StandingsRank (National Rank) -Points

1. Arkansas (19th) -213.5

2. Texas A&M (21st)-198.0

3. Florida (29th) – 173.0

4. South Carolina (42nd) – 130.0

5. Missouri (44th) – 125.0

6. Alabama (45th) – 123.5

7. Ole Miss (46th) – 123.0

8. Auburn (50th) – 117.0

9. LSU (53rd) – 111.5

10. Kentucky (58th) – 100.0

11. Vanderbilt (63rd) – 98.0

12. Georgia (68th) – 93.0

13. Mississippi State (133rd) – 45.0

14. Tennessee (145th) – 27.0



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