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Penn State athletics among best in the nation this year

Penn State was one of the most successful athletic programs in the country this year.



Penn State athletics, LEARFIELD Directors' Cup
Penn State wrestlers pose for a photo with their national championship trophy in the finals during the sixth session of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

On Wednesday, the final standings were released for the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, which recognizes the top college athletic programs in the country each year. Penn State athletics was among the nation’s best for the 2022-23 year, finishing No. 15 overall. Using extremely productive fall and winter sports seasons to secure the placement, Penn State is one of three Big Ten programs to finish in the top 15.

Penn State athletics finishes 15th in final LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup standings

Penn State was propelled to its top 15 finish in the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup standings by extremely successful fall and winter sports seasons. The Nittany Lions maintained top-10 status for much of the year, including climbing as high as third following the post-winter update.

The Nittany Lions were in sixth place following the fall sports season, securing 309 total points. Women’s field hockey led the way, racking up 83 points in the rankings during the program’s NCAA Semifinal run. Penn State football was also a significant contributor, tallying 72 points as part of its 11-2 season that culminated with a Rose Bowl victory. Women’s volleyball added another 64 points to the fall sports total.

Penn State followed up a successful fall with a dominant winter sports season. With its 10th national championship in 12 years, Cael Sanderson and the Penn State wrestling program contributed 100 of the Nittany Lions’ 493 points over the winter. Penn State basketball added an additional 50 points during its March Madness run, while the men’s hockey team contributed 60 points for its NCAA Tournament appearance.

Penn State athletics slipped slightly in the rankings during spring sports, only recording 209 points. Over 80 of those points were collected by the men’s lacrosse team during the program’s second Final Four appearance. Men’s volleyball, which also reached the NCAA Semifinals, added 55 points.

Stanford finished first in the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup standings. Two other Big Ten programs, Ohio State and Michigan, finished No. 3 and No. 11, respectively. This year marks the 20th top-15 finish in the Directors’ Cup for Penn State athletics in the last 29 years.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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