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The Directors Cup: Soccer boosts Knights

Soccer, soccer, soccer! Thank you, men and women for preventing a Rutgers shutout in the all sport competition.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

If you read my stuff here, you know I try to promote and report on all the sports, not just football and hoops.  I understand that there are people who just yawn and say, 'That's nice' and then go back to reading about the football team.  But as we've also mentioned, the Big Ten is also about more than just those two sports.  And our sister blog sites here feel the same way.

Now, some people do not appreciate the fast and loose attitude of OTE and their non-stop thumping of Rutgers.  The point, though, is that all the sports do count.  And if you don't want to use OTE as the metric, try the Directors' Cup.  It's been around since 1993 and it is a measure of across the board excellence in athletics in each division of NCAA competition along with the NAIA.

On December 3, the first fall D1 rankings came out.  Guess where Rutgers was?  It wasn't.  In D1, there were only 72 schools that earned any points in the fall at that point.  And that confused me since both our soccer programs did very well.  But then I read more to clarify my confusion.

The Directors' Cup philosophy states that it is intended to promote broad based excellence:

[The Directors' Cup is a]".... program that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's, in which all sports that the NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA offers a championship, along with Division IA football, and all student-athletes that compete in those sports, are treated equally.

So how do we get zilch?

To be fair, the two sports where we did very well, men's and women's soccer, were not part of the scoring.  Those tallies came out on December 17.  And Rutgers got more than a few points in the scoring.  A final four will do that.

And it does point out that Rutgers needs an across the board boost in its athletic program.  When you don't have teams ranked, you don't get points.  When you don't get teams into the post-season, you don't get points.  Rutgers had two teams make the post-season, and both soccer teams were the only RU teams scoring in the Directors' Cup.

When the counting was done after the soccer season, Rutgers was at No. 25, a far cry from being nowhere after the first tallies came out.  After a run to the College Cup, Rutgers women's soccer earned 83 points by finishing No. 3 nationally. Men's soccer also earned an NCAA Tournament invite and placed 17th to pick up 50 more points. RU has a total of 133 with the final standings being released following the academic year in early July.

By comparison, at the end of the fall season in 2014-15, Rutgers stood at No. 66.  It scored points with football (bowl appearance) and women's soccer.  But it was behind powerhouses like Creighton, North Dakota State, New Hampshire, and Iona.  IONA! And the Gaels - at No. 36 -  did that on the strength of both their men's and women's cross country teams.

We may mock a certain school that is situated in the middle of the snow belt of New York, but they do pretty well in this ranking system.

And, likewise, the evil people who play in Gampel Pavilion in the middle of Connecticut.

And, yes, No. 10 is Princeton.

There are still two more rounds of scoring this fall, the next on Christmas Eve with results from women's volleyball, and then January 14 after the bowl games.  Rutgers will likely score zero additional points so that No. 25 rank could drop.

Rutgers in the Current D1 Ranking

Current Big Ten Rankings