Orange Fizz


Syracuse men’s hoops and football hurt Directors’ Cup standings

It’s hard to truly define what universities are the “best” at sports. But every year since 1993 the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics tries its best to do just that with the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup. Division One schools gets points based on how their athletics teams perform, and those scores are combined for the rankings

With all 2023-24 school year NCAA championships wrapped up now, the final standings for this past year have been released, and Syracuse placed 44th. While tied for the third-highest finish ever for the Orange, it still was only the eighth-highest finish of ACC schools.

Some Syracuse sports, like Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Cross Country and Field Hockey, brought in high point totals to boost up the standings. Syracuse finished with 538 points, which are obtained by postseason qualification and performance. But of all those points, only 25 came from two of Syracuse’s marquee programs – football and men’s basketball.

Of the ten teams that brought points for Syracuse, football was one, with their bowl appearance at the Boca Raton Bowl.

But a crushing defeat to South Florida would grant SU only 25 points in the Director’s Cup standings. This was tied for 53rd best among programs.

Syracuse men’s basketball was even worse. After failing to make March Madness for a third straight year and declining a NIT bid, there was no postseason play for SU. This meant no points in the standings.

While at the end of the day, the Directors’ Cup does not mean much, it is one of the easier ways to look at how Syracuse stacks up to other ACC and national competition.

Teams like Syracuse Women’s basketball, who had 50 points after a Round of 32 appearance in March Madness, made huge jumps this year and it showed in the standings.

Syracuse Men’s Basketball and Football meanwhile are in postseason droughts. Basketball hasn’t made it to the Big Dance since 2021 and football hasn’t won a bowl game since 2018. With a second-year head coach in Adrian Autry and a first-year head coach in Fran Brown, the tide may be turning for two of Syracuse’s biggest programs. Postseason appearances and wins are the best way to prove that.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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