North Carolina Tar Heels Finish Atop Learfield Directors Cup Fall Standings

The North Carolina Tar Heels had a successful fall campaign across the athletic department and have finished No. 1 in the Learfield Directors Cup Fall Standings.
North Carolina v Clemson
North Carolina v Clemson / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

The North Carolina Tar Heels Athletic Department has had plenty of success on the field during the 2023-2024 season and the release of the Fall Division I Learfield Directors' Cup Standings that success was verified.

The Fall Directors' Cup standings take on-field success from the following sports into consideration: Men's and Women's Cross Country, Field Hockey, Men's and Women's Soccer, Women's Volleyball and Football.

The Men's Cross Country team finished sixth at the NCAA National Championships in the fall, while the women finished fifth in the Southeast Regional Championship but did not advance to the NCAA Championship. The UNC Field Hockey team had the most successful fall for the North Carolina Athletic Department, winning the National Championship in the first season under Erin Matson.

Both North Carolina soccer teams had successful seasons. However, both seasons ended in the NCAA Tournament in heartbreaking fashion. The UNC Men's Soccer program suffered a 1-0 loss to Oregon State in the NCAA Quarterfinals, and it was revealed later that the Beavers had used an ineligible player. The UNC Women's Soccer program led No. 1 seed BYU 3-0 in the NCAA Quarterfinal round with just under 30 minutes remaining, but a great comeback by the Cougars eliminated the Tar Heels from the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament appearances and top-10 finishes by Men's Cross Country, Field Hockey, and both soccer programs positioned the Tar Heels in a great position to compete to finish near the top of the fall Learfield Directors Cup Standings heading into the FBS Bowl Season.

The Tar Heels trailed Stanford entering the college football bowl season by a score of 371 to 347.5. A Duke's Mayo Bowl win over West Virginia would have scored North Carolina another 45 points. Unfortunately, due to opt outs and a completely different roster than what we saw from the Tar Heels most of the season, it was a 30-10 loss to the Mountaineers.

However, a bowl game loser who does not become ranked in the final USA Today Poll still receives 25 points in the Learfield Directors Cup standings. This added 25 points to the already 347.5 the Tar Heels had scored, giving them 372.5 to finish the Fall scoring season. Since Stanford was 3-9 and not bowl eligible, they didn't receive any points from the college football bowl season.

North Carolina will hope for strong winter and spring seasons to compete to finish at the top of the Learfield Directors Cup Standings for the 2023-2024 year. In 2022-2023, the Tar Heels finished 8th, making it the fourth consecutive top-10 finish. Stanford has won every Directors' Cup except for two years: the first one in 1993 and in 2022. The Tar Heels won the first award in 1993 while Texas won in 2022.

To view the scoring structure for the Learfield Directors Cup, please click here.

Next. UNC Basketball: Latest ESPN Bracketology Update. UNC Basketball: Latest ESPN Bracketology Update. dark

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