Michigan falls in updated Directors’ Cup standings

For weeks, it has appeared that Michigan’s dream of a Directors’ Cup were waning. Now, with the NACDA’s latest score update reflecting nearly every spring sport, that dream is officially dashed.

Despite holding a lead of more than 150 points through the fall and winter sports, the Wolverines did not hold their lead through spring sports. In fact, both Stanford and Texas passed Michigan, and the Wolverines are poised to finish third after finishing as regional runner-ups in baseball, the only sport not included in the update.

In the updated standings, Texas led with a staggering 1,376.50 points. Stanford was second with 1,279.25 points, while Michigan had 1,195.25 points. The Wolverines are going to be able to hold off No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Florida and No. 6 North Carolina no matter the baseball score, securing their third consecutive top-three finish and seventh overall since the award’s introduction in 1994.

It’s worth noting that Michigan still had a solid spring. The Wolverines saw their women’s water polo and men’s tennis teams make national quarterfinal appearances, their rowing team once again registered a top-10 NCAA championship finish, they made NCAA Tournament appearances in women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball and women’s golf. In terms of Directors’ Cup points, all seven sports registered top-20 finishes, giving Michigan 17 such finishes on the year.

But particularly in the spring, Texas and Stanford showed that, to win the Directors’ Cup, schools need to win national titles. In the spring alone, the two schools combined for five national titles, four national runner-up finishes and are both still alive in the baseball College World Series. Texas in particular had an incredible spring, winning titles in women’s tennis, men’s golf and rowing, finishing second in softball, men’s track and field and women’s track and field, vaulting from sixth in the post-winter standings to a runaway leader Thursday.

Assuming Michigan indeed finishes in third place overall – only corrections in scoring would alter that from being the case at this juncture – it would be the Wolverines’ second-straight third-place finish and third straight top-three finish. Previously, Michigan’s only other top-three finishes came in 2000 (third), 2004 (second), 2008 (third) and 2016 (third).

Impressively, the Wolverines finished third without winning a national title and with only one runner-up finish (wrestling). Instead, Michigan registered 17 top-20 finishes and 13 top-10 finishes, winning a school-record 13 conference titles in the process.

The full scores and standings can be found here.

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