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UCLA Athletics: Fantastic Fall Reflected in #2 Ranking in Directors' Cup

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UCLA's best fall season in Olympic Sports in years, and the best finish in football in years, is reflected in the final fall standings for the Directors' Cup, and shows up as well in the Capital One Cup standings. Congrats to all the Bruin student-athletes who contributed.

Bruins get in front and stay in front
Bruins get in front and stay in front
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are two primary competitions to determine the best overall NCAA sports programs. Guerrero clearly cares about one- the Directors' Cup, because this triggers a bonus payment so that he can restock whatever he needs to restock. The other is the Capital One Cup, which uses a different metric and crowns a best men's program and a best women's program. Guerrero has not shown much public interest in this, other than making sure that he is in any photo op when we win, as we did in men's sports thanks to the Omaha CWS victory in 2013.

The Directors' Cup awards points for any finish in any sport from #64 to #1, with 100 points for a 1st place finish, and 90 points for a 2nd place finish (11% premium for winning it all). The scores are determined for each school for all sports, and that school's top 20 scores are combined for an overall point total. Breadth, not depth, is rewarded. Stanford always wins this trophy. So rather than require Guerrero to finish 1st for a reward, he is rewarded if we finish in the top 10% (!!), with a bump for finishing in the top 10.

But enough about Blockero. UCLA had a phenomenal fall season across the board. In the final fall standings, the Bruins are #2 in the country, with only Stanford having a higher point total. This is a fantastic performance. Hats off to all the Bruin team members who contributed so much for their teammates and our school.

UCLA's point total of 497.5 includes the following amounts by sport-

Men's Water Polo- 100 points (1st place finish- #112 !!)

Men's Soccer- 90 points (national runner-up in the College Cup)

Women's Soccer- 73 points (tied for 5th, with loss in semifinals)

Football- 67.5 points (10th place, per polls)

Women's Volleyball- 64 points (tied for 9th, with loss in sweet 16- again, breadth not depth is rewarded)

Men's Cross Country-  56 points (18th place- breadth not depth again)

Women's Cross Country- 47 points (27th place- breadth not depth again)

I would argue that finishing 10th in football should provide more than a 20 point premium compared to finishing 27th in women's cross country. But I don't set the rules. I am just reporting the results.

For comparison, last year we were in 16th place after the final fall standings, with a women's soccer title (100 points), a loss in the round of 16 in men's soccer, a 16th place position in the polls in football, and no points from water polo, volleyball or cross country. So Bruin teams performed better across the board. Congrats again.

This is the first time we have been in the top four since fall 2011, when we won women's volleyball and finished 2nd in men's water polo. And this is the first time that we have been in the top two after the fall season since 2003. Fantastic.

Turning to the Capital One Cup, after the fall season, UCLA is #4 in men's sports, and tied for #12 in women's sports. The Capital One Cup has several differences. First, sports are placed in two buckets, with more points awarded for finishes in "major" sports. Second, points are awarded only if you finish in the top 10 in a given sport. And third, there is a much bigger difference between finishing 1st (60 points for major sport) and 2nd (36 points for major sport)- 67% premium for winning it all. To me, the Capital One Cup reflects more what fans would consider to be success. But we do follow the Directors' Cup also, to see how Guerrero is doing.

For the Capital One men's standings, UCLA is at 59 points, one point behind Ohio State (60 points for winning football), North Dakota State (60 points for winning FCS football), and Virginia (60 points for winning men's soccer). UCLA earned 20 points for winning men's water polo (minor sport per Capital One- not sure it is a 1/3 sport compared to FCS football, but again I don't make the rules), 36 points for runner-up in men's soccer, and 3 points for 10th place finish in football.

On the women's side, UCLA has 18 points. All these points come from finishing 5th in the final rankings in women's soccer.

It is unusual, based on recent years, for the men's teams to be performing better than the women's teams at UCLA. But there is plenty of opportunity for the women to catch up.

As a final note, I am still stunned that Bryce Alford would have taken the time to write on a blackboard "Mission Complete" after winning three conference games against so-so opponents, all within the LA limits. His actions epitomize managing expectations. Our fall teams won on the field, not on the blackboard.

Congrats again to our phenomenal fall sports student-athletes. Go Bruins !!