The Learfield Director’s Cup Winter standings were rolled out today, and the Syracuse Orange finished 46th overall -- and ninth in the ACC. Eight teams in the conference finished in the top 35. North Carolina was the top-ranking ACC athletic program, at sixth, while Notre Dame, NC State and Louisville also made the top 20.
Last winter, Syracuse was 10th, riding the strength of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams reaching the Final Four. This season, the men’s team failed to make the NCAAs, while the women’s team was eliminated in the second round.
While this is certainly not what we’ve become accustomed to since joining the ACC — the Orange have set numerous program records for overall performance in the last few years — the athletic season is also far from over.
The softball team may not be able to earn us much in terms of points this year, but track and field, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse all have plenty of possibilities for additional points, or even championships.
Last year, Syracuse finished 21st overall, which was its highest finish to-date.
Considering how the program was typically outside the top 50 as recently as a few years back, and the fact that two championship-caliber teams (lacrosse) haven’t even gotten to the postseason yet, I’d say this isn’t the worst thing for the Orange. Coming in at 46th is still a respectable showing. We’re also well ahead of Boston College (70th) and Pittsburgh (79th), so that’s also a win in many ways.
Congrats to all of the Syracuse teams that have already completed their seasons for 2016-17. Now let’s close strong with lacrosse (and track). The first spring standings will be released on May 25.