The Pac-12 and the Director's Cup

The past few days have seen some caterwauling grumbling in various circles about Stanford's death grip on the Director's Cup and NCAA championships, especially in the Pac-12.  Some fans have claimed that Stanford has an unfair advantage because of money and donors to facilities to the sheer size of the athletic department (34 sports compared to less than 20 at some schools).  One of the most compelling arguments, and easiest to disprove, is the argument that NACDA's scoring system for the Director's Cup is flawed.

To prove that, yes, Stanford just is better than everyone else, at least in the conference, I decided to do sport-by-sport comparisons with the 12 schools using only the sports in which that school fields a team.  Only have 18 sports that are NCAA-regulated and awarded points by the Director's Cup?  That's ok, we'll just compare those 18 sports only between the two schools and see how Stanford would have fared then.  By having so many teams, Stanford is able to show some comparison.  About the only sport that Stanford does not have that other schools in the Pac-12 do have that are run by the NCAA is skiing (new schools, that gives you a significant point advantage).

So without further ado, let's take a look at the comparison results that helped Stanford net its 17th-straight Director's Cup.  Note that for the purposes of this comparison, the 10-sport rule (where only 10 sports for each gender are given points) was disregarded.

Stanford_logo_mediumSTANFORD
Stanford fields the following NCAA teams (points from Director's Cup in parentheses):
Men -- Baseball (64), Basketball (0), Cross Country (80), Fencing (60), Football (80), Golf (40.5), Gymnastics (100), Soccer (0), Swimming & Diving (85), Tennis (73), Track & Field (69.75/73.5), Volleyball (0), Water Polo (0), Wrestling (66)
Women -- Basketball (83), Cross Country (51), Field Hockey (25), Golf (51), Gymnastics (46.5), Lacrosse (25), Rowing (90), Soccer (90), Softball (64), Swimming & Diving (80), Tennis (90), Track & Field (59.25/69.75), Volleyball (73), Water Polo (100)
Stanford total: 1789.25

Arizona_medium ARIZONA

Arizona fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (50), Basketball (73), Cross Country (0), Football (25), Golf (45), Swimming & Diving (80), Tennis (0), Track & Field (62.25/72)
Women -- Basketball (0), Cross Country (57), Golf (60), Gymnastics (46.5), Soccer (0), Softball (64), Swimming & Diving (75), Tennis (25), Track & Field (71.25/75), Volleyball (25)
Stanford total: 1323.25
Arizona total: 909

Asu_mark_1_m_medium ARIZONA STATE
ASU fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (64), Basketball (0), Cross Country (0), Football (0), Golf (56), Swimming & Diving (53), Track & Field (0/46), Wrestling (73.5)
Women
-- Basketball (25), Cross Country (0), Golf (57), Gymnastics (0), Soccer (25), Softball (100), Swimming & Diving (56), Tennis (50), Track & Field (32/55), Volleyball (0), Water Polo (0)
Stanford total
: 1416.25
ASU total
: 717.5


Cal_medium CAL

California fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (78), Basketball (0), Cross Country (12), Football (0), Golf (54.5), Gymnastics (80), Soccer (73), Swimming & Diving (100), Tennis (64), Track & Field (26.5/46), Water Polo (70)
Women -- Basketball (0), Crew (85), Cross Country (0), Field Hockey (0), Golf (64.5), Gymnastics (0), Lacrosse (0), Soccer (25), Softball (78), Swimming & Diving (100), Tennis (64), Track & Field (14/5), Volleyball(90), Water Polo (90)
Stanford total: 1663.25
Cal total: 1219.5


Colorado_medium COLORADO

Colorado fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Basketball (0), Cross Country (45), Football (0), Golf (0), Skiing (100), Track & Field (0/6)
Women -- Basketball (0), Cross Country (72), Golf (22), Soccer (0), Tennis (0), Track & Field (14/56.5), Volleyball (0)
Stanford total: 910.75
Colorado total:
315.50

University_of_oregon_logo_medium OREGON

Oregon fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (0), Basketball (0), Cross Country (54), Football (85), Golf (15), Tennis (0), Track & Field (45/90)
Women -- Basketball (0), Cross Country (72), Golf (49), Lacrosse (0), Soccer (0), Softball (64), Tennis (0), Track & Field (100/66.75), Volleyball (0)
Stanford total: 1136.75
Oregon total:
640.75

Osu_logo_medium OREGON STATE

OSU fields the following NCAA teams:
Men --Baseball (64), Basketball (0), Football (0), Golf (34.5), Soccer (0), Wrestling (53)
Women -- Basketball (0), Cross Country (0), Golf (0), Gymnastics (70.5), Rowing (0), Soccer (50), Softball (0), Swimming & Diving (0), Track & Field (0), Volleyball (0)
Stanford total: 1008
OSU total:
272

Ucla-color_medium UCLA

UCLA fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (50), Basketball (50), Cross Country (0), Football (0), Golf (72.75), Soccer (73), Tennis (64), Track & Field (0/37), Volleyball (0), Water Polo (0)
Women -- Basketball (50), Cross Country (0), Golf (100), Gymnastics (90), Rowing (0), Soccer (64), Softball (50), Swimming & Diving (54), Tennis (83), Track & Field (21.5/38.5), Volleyball (50), Water Polo (72.5)
Stanford total: 1428.25
UCLA total:
1070.25

Usc_trojans_medium USC

USC fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (0), Basketball (5), Football (0), Golf (63.75), Swimming & Diving (72), Tennis (100), Track & Field (21.5/62.25), Volleyball (25), Water Polo (100)
Women -- Basketball (0), Cross Country (0), Golf (74.25), Lacrosse (0), Rowing (70), Soccer (50), Swimming & Diving (85), Tennis (50), Track & Field (0/73.5), Volleyball (83), Water Polo (55)
Stanford total: 1347.25
USC total:
990.25

Utah_medium UTAH

Utah fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (0), Basketball (0), Football (51), Golf (0), Skiing (90), Swimming & Diving (0), Tennis (0)
Women -- Basketball (25), Cross Country (0), Gymnastics (75), Soccer (0), Softball (0), Swimming & Diving (0), Tennis (25), Track & Field (0/0), Volleyball (0)
Stanford total: 1049
Utah total: 266


Uwlogo_medium WASHINGTON
Washington fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (0), Basketball (50), Cross Country (0), Football (45), Golf (40.5), Soccer (0), Tennis (50), Track & Field (55.5/52)
Women -- Basketball (0), Crew (49), Cross Country (42), Golf (58.5), Gymnastics (59.3), Soccer (73), Softball (64), Tennis (50), Track & Field (0/17.5), Volleyball (73)
Stanford total: 1248.25
Washington total: 779.3


Washington-state-cougars_medium WASHINGTON STATE
WSU fields the following NCAA teams:
Men -- Baseball (0), Basketball (0), Cross Country (0), Football (0), Golf (0), Track & Field (14/46)
Women -- Basketball (0), Crew (26), Cross Country (0), Golf (0), Soccer (0), Swimming & Diving (0), Tennis (0), Track & Field (0/32.5), Volleyball (0)
Stanford total: 1144.75
WSU total: 118.50

----------

A few notes:
  • Wazzu, wow.  The point differential in sports that the Cougars play between them and Stanford was a whopping +1026.25.
  • It's interesting to note that Colorado did better than three other Pac-12 schools despite having the least number of funded programs.
  • That said, CU's skiing title saved them, as without it, it is the 11th best department in the conference (tenth if you take away Utah's 90 points for its runner-up finish in skiing).
  • Basketball's scoring was peculiar.  You only scored points if you went to the NCAA tournament.  This meant that teams that were arguably better than some of the at-large (and automatic qualifiers) teams in the tournament, such as Colorado, were denied points while some teams, such as USC, were awarded points despite losing in the first round.
  • Stanford's women's teams just blew away the rest of the conference.  All 15 teams scored at least 25 points.  No other school had that kind of success, either for the women or the men.
  • In a direct comparison between common sports for women, Stanford's women's teams scored more points than ASU, Colorado, UO, OSU, Utah, and Washington State did for their schools' combined men's and women's scores.
  • USC's fall in men's volleyball really hurt their standings.  All season long, the Trojans were the top-rated team in the country.  After being upset in the MPSF championship game, they were again upset against by UCSB in the NCAA tournament.  If they had won the championship, it would have bumped the Trojans 4 spots, ahead of UCLA to tenth place overall.
  • UCLA was the only school other than Stanford penalized by the 10-sport rule.  Since the Bruins had 11 women's teams scoring points, they dropped their lowest fall women's score, 50 points from the volleyball team.
  • Despite falling behind Cal and UCLA in the overall standings, USC had the smallest point differential with Stanford.  It was one point better than UCLA at +357.  Cal was +443.75.
  • Someone over at AtQ asked if UO had won the BCS title and both basketball titles if they would be able to overtake Stanford.  In the overall standings, definitely not (the net gain in points would only be 215 points for the Ducks).  In terms of comparing the sports common to both schools, it would reduce the point differential with Stanford from +496 to +281, good enough for second place in the Pac-12 in terms of differentials.
  • In the end, Stanford having 30 sports available to pull points from didn't matter, at least to Pac-12 teams.  While some sports at Stanford did worse than their counterparts at other schools, other sports made up the difference and then-some for Stanford when comparing the common sports between Stanford and a conference mate.
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