VU's athletic success in elite company

Dec. 6, 2011

The success of college programs on the field is annually measured by the Director's Cup, which ranks the performance by every Division I institution in an academic year.

Vanderbilt finished 56th last year, and has its sights set on a higher finish this year.

The goal of improving is very much attainable given the start to the athletic season this fall. After a sixth-place finish at the women's NCAA Cross Country Championships and a trip to the Liberty Bowl forthcoming, Vanderbilt is off to its best start in fall sports since the Director's Cup was established before the 1993-94 academic year. The women's cross country team received 72 points for placing sixth. The football team will receive 25 or 45 points depending on the outcome of its game.

The Director's Cup doesn't measure success by the calendar year, but if it did, Vanderbilt's 2011 calendar year would be among the best nationally and the best in school history.

Vanderbilt has had unprecedented success in 2011. It is one of only eight schools in the country that had its baseball team and men's and women's basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament, and its football team qualify for a bowl game in the last year. The only other program from the SEC to accomplish this feat was Georgia. Below is the entire list.

Florida State
Kansas State
North Carolina
Texas A&M

The performance by those four programs was complimented by outstanding success in others. The bowling team came within a whisker of claiming its second national championship, and finished runner-up last spring. The women's golf team placed 10th at the NCAA Championships, earning a top 10 NCAA finish for the second year in a row - a first for the Commodores. The men's and women's tennis teams also advanced to the NCAA Tournament with the women going to the Sweet 16. It was the 12th Sweet 16 appearance in the past 14 years for the program.

Traditionally, Vanderbilt has made its charge up the Director's Cup standings in the spring. If that trend continues, Vanderbilt could be destined for its best finish yet given the success it has had this fall.

Here is a look at Vanderbilt's annual finish in the Director's Cup since its first academic year of 1993-94. For more on the Director's Cup, click here.

56th in 2011
59th in 2010
67th in 2009
59th in 2008
33rd in 2007
64th in 2006
71st in 2005
28th in 2004
54th in 2003
80th in 2002
68th in 2001
132nd in 2000
107th in 1999
96th in 1998
67th in 1997
61st in 1996
79th in 1995
164th in 1994

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