SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— With major contributions from the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team and women's volleyball team, UCSB found itself tied for 49th place in this year's abbreviated Learfield IMG College Director's Cup. The Gauchos checked in as the top program from the Big West Conference and were the highest non-football playing school in the rankings, beating out a bevy of Power 5 programs and football powerhouses.
Each year, Learfield IMG College ranks institutions from Division I, to the junior college level, based on athletic performance. Institutions are awarded points for advancing to the either the NCAA, NAIA, or two-year college championships. This year with the winter and spring sports seeing a shortened season, only fall sports were used in the organization's scoring.
UCSB finished tied with South Carolina of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a total of 123 points thanks to a quarterfinal run in the NCAA Tournament by men's soccer, which finished 5th, and a second round appearance by women's volleyball, which finished 17th. The Gauchos finished 14 points ahead of the next Big West team in Hawai'i and topped UC Davis, Cal Poly, and Cal State Fullerton by a wider margin.
The Gauchos surely would have climbed even further up the ladder had their winter and spring seasons continued as men's volleyball, women's water polo, and baseball were all on track to make the postseason and push for an NCAA title. The men's and women's tennis teams were just about to begin Big West play where the programs are a mainstay atop the conference, and the men's and women's basketball teams were just about to begin the Big West Tournament where they would have had an opportunity to make the big dance.
Stanford finished as the top team in DI pairing four top-10 finishes with three national championships in women's soccer, women's volleyball, and men's water polo.
For the full DI standings, click here.