Sun Devil Athletics off to solid start in annual Directors' Cup

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Paced by a top-20 finish from the Sun Devil football program in the final USA Today/Coaches Poll, the Arizona State University athletics department currently finds itself ranked 57th in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup rankings following the release of the final Fall standings on Thursday.

The Sun Devil finished the Fall campaign with 106.00 points and currently sit 57th in the overall ranking as the athletics department enters its historically strong Winter and Spring sports schedules. Last season, Arizona State was ranked 58th with 95 points when the final Fall standings were released and went on to finish 18th overall.

The Pac-12 South Champion Sun Devil football team finished 20th in the final Coaches Poll, earning 54 points toward the annual competition. It was the highest finish for the ASU program since earning 63 points following the 2007 football season.

The Sun Devil men's cross country team earned 27 points toward the Fall tally with a 32nd-place finish after being one of the first teams to miss on out an NCAA Championship bid – which only 31 teams earn in one of the toughest postseason qualifying formats of all sports.

The ASU women's volleyball also earned 25 points toward the Sun Devils' cause after advancing the to the NCAA postseason and earning a 33rd-place finish overall following an opening round loss to BYU – who advanced to the Sweet 16 in the competition.

ASU has a chance to make a push in the winter standings, which are set to be released March 27 after the completion of the men's and women's indoor track and field championships.

Men's and women's basketball, along with wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming and diving, will also add to ASU's total for the winter.

Currently the ASU basketball programs are off to an impressive start, with a combined 25-5 record between the men and women and both teams and postseasons berths for both a possibility.

The ASU women's gymnastics team will open its final year under long-time head coach John Spini ranked 25th nationally as they take on Sacramento State and San Jose State on Sunday.

The Devils are also expected to score a lot of points in the spring as perennial powerhouse programs baseball, softball, track and field, and men's and women's golf, get underway. 

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today to honor the top athletic department in the nation. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports — 10 women's and 10 men's. The Sun Devils finished 18th in last years rankings, the best finish since a fourth-place run in 2007-08.

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