‘A remarkable athletic season’: Where BYU landed in final Directors’ Cup standings for 2020-21 school year
Cougars’ athletic director Tom Holmoe said it was an ‘unprecedented time’ for BYU sports, but the athletic program mostly flourished during the pandemic
Ten years after BYU’s first season as a college football independent and move to the West Coast Conference in most other sports, the school’s overall athletic department continues to thrive.
The Cougars have been above average in the two marquee sports — football and men’s basketball — the past decade, but haven’t done anything spectacular save basketball’s Sweet 16 appearance in the Big Dance in 2011 and football’s 11-1 run and eventual No. 11 national ranking last year.
However, no other non-Power Five program in the country comes close to matching BYU’s overall level of success in athletics.
“It has been a remarkable athletic season, in a truly unprecedented time. A huge congratulations to our resilient, tough, committed, passionate, fun-loving student-athletes and coaches for all that they were able to accomplish.” — BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe
The latest indication of that is the final Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings for the 2020-21 school year, which were released Friday, after the College World Series wrapped up in Omaha, Nebraska, with Mississippi State claiming the last available national championship.
BYU finished 17th this year, the Cougars’ highest finish since 2001-02. It is BYU’s eighth top-25 finish and third-highest finish in BYU athletics history.
“It has been a remarkable athletic season, in a truly unprecedented time,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a school news release. “A huge congratulations to our resilient, tough, committed, passionate, fun-loving student-athletes and coaches for all that they were able to accomplish.”
BYU was in sixth place when the winter sports standings were released on June 3, but did not perform as well as hoped in the spring sports to remain in the top 10. For just the second time in Cup history, a school other than Stanford finished the year atop the standings.
Texas won with 1,252 points. BYU had 871.25 points, 100 points away from being in the top 10.
“To be 17th in the nation, among the athletic programs we are among, is something for all of Cougar Nation to be proud of,” Holmoe concluded.
A total of 19 teams can be scored for the final standings, and four must be men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and women’s volleyball.
The Cougars picked up 264.5 points in the spring, getting 90 from men’s volleyball (runner-up to Hawaii in the national championships), 50 from softball, 67.5 from women’s track and field and 57 from men’s track and field.
All 16 schools above BYU in the final standings got more points than the Cougars in the spring sports. After the fall sports standings were released, the Cougars were No. 2.
BYU’s women’s cross-country team won the national championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on March 15.
BYU football provided 66 points after attaining its highest ranking since 1996. On April 29, the man who helped engineer the one-loss season, quarterback Zach Wilson, was selected with the No. 2 pick of the NFL draft by the New York Jets.
Led by honorable mention All-American Alex Barcello, BYU’s men’s basketball team garnered 25 points by making it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.