Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Updated Standings

The college athletic year is down to one remaining event, the College World Series.

The closest that TigerBlog has come to attending one was the NCAA regional he went to in Lafayette, Louisiana, with the Princeton baseball team in 2016. When TB went back to the entry he wrote prior to the trip, he saw that there was this comment:

This will be a Mardi Gras atmosphere. The crowd is is always amped and Cajun fans have never met anyone they didn't like. Tailgating is strong here. Please allow yourselves ample time, pregame to walk through the tailgating area. You will not go away hungry or thirsty. Your ball club and the fans that travel to the game will really enjoy themselves. Have a safe trip down and good luck! 

All he can say is that truer words have never been spoken. Every single word, for that matter, was 100 percent prescient, especially the part about the people and the fact that you will not go away hungry and thirsty. You couldn't walk 10 feet through the tailgate area without having someone offer you something, especially if you were wearing the gear of the visitors. It was crazy. Seriously, each stop TB made on his short walk through the parking lot resulted in an offer of some local seafood combination, and they were all amazing.

Princeton head coach Scott Bradley was even offered tuna during batting practice from a Louisiana fan. It was a tuna that he'd caught that morning, by the way.

Is the College World Series the same kind of atmosphere? 

The longest the CWS can go would be until next Monday, and then there will be no more college athletics until fall sports begin in August.

The end of the athletic year will bring with it the final standings of the NACDA Learfield Directors' Cup standings. If you're not familiar with the Directors' Cup, its goal is to identify the top overall athletic programs in the country using a point system based on NCAA tournament success across multiple sports.

Princeton has had a great history with the Directors' Cup, having finished as the top Ivy League school 23 of 26 times. Beyond that, Princeton has also often been the highest finishing FCS school and even highest-finishing non-BCS school.

The most recent standings were announced last weekend, which includes every sport other than baseball. Where was Princeton ranked? How about 15th in all of Division I.

The best finish Princeton has ever had for a full year was 21st, in 2002. Princeton has been in the 20s five times and the 30s 10 other times. Most recently, Princeton was 30th in 2018-19, and then there were no standings in 2019-20 and very, very limited Ivy League athletics in 2021-22 due to the pandemic.

Will Princeton be able to beat its all-time best of 21st? The Tigers are directly ahead of a few teams that reached the baseball tournament but not the World Series, some losing in the regional and some in the Super Regional. The teams in the World Series itself are either already ahead of the Tigers (five of them) or not within the maximum 100 points for a sport of the Tigers (the other three).

As near as TB can tell, a team will get 25 points for reaching the tournament, 37.5 for winning a game, 50 for being the regional runner-up and 64 for winning a regional and then losing in the Super Regional. 

Princeton has 868.25 points. If TB is figuring it correctly (he took those point totals from last year's standings), then Tennessee, UCLA and LSU will pass Princeton. At the same time, no other schools will, and that would leave the Tigers in 18th place for a final standing.

TB will stipulate that he could be wrong about this. The official final numbers will be out next week, a day after the baseball tournament ends.

No matter what happens, though, Princeton is assured of being the top finishing non-Power Five school, FCS school and, once again, Ivy League school. The only other non-Power Five school in the top 35 right now is BYU, who will be a Power Five school once it official begins competing in the Big 12 a year from now.

TB will follow up on this when the final standings are released. 

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