With the conclusion of the College World Series on Tuesday night, won by Florida over LSU and former Irish baseball coach Paul Mainieri (1994-2007), the 2016-17 collegiate year in athletics ended with Notre Dame ranked No. 23 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup.
A total of 213 different schools tallied points in the competition, with 100 the highest possible score for winning a national title in a team event. Point totals range on how far a team advances in the NCAA Championships in their respective sports.
Notre Dame finished No. 17 last year after a school-record three consecutive Top 10 placements in 2013 (No. 9), 2014 — No. 3, the school's best showing in the 24-year history of the event — and 2015 (No. 10).
Twenty total team sports — 10 for men and 10 for women — are counted in the final standings. For the 23nd consecutive year, or since 1995, the Stanford Cardinal captured the Cup. The University of North Carolina won the first such presentation in 1994.
Notre Dame’s 801.00 points were fourth among the 15 Atlantic Coast Conference schools, behind No. 5 North Carolina (1,154.00), No. 13 Florida State (921.75) and No. 19 Virginia (862.00), with Louisville fifth in the ACC at No. 26 overall (767.50).
The school year is divided into three seasons. Fall sports end with the College Football Playoff champion, winter concludes with men’s and women’s gymnastics in late April, and spring is capped with the College World Series.
This year, the winter sports carried the freight for the Fighting Irish, accounting for 55.4 percent of the score.
At the conclusion of the fall sports campaign on Jan. 12, Notre Dame stood only No. 35 with a score of 155. The total came from 66 points when women’s cross country finished No. 11 nationally, 64 points from men’s soccer, which advanced to the Sweet 16, and 25 points for women’s soccer moving into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The previous year the Irish had accumulated 275 points in the fall, or 120 more than this season.
This winter significantly bolstered Notre Dame’s standing all the way up from No. 35 to No. 9 with a whopping 444 points:
• 100 points for winning the combined men’s and women’s fencing national title.
• 83 points in men’s hockey for advancing into the Frozen Four (per the scoring chart, in 16-team NCAA Tournament brackets the third- and fourth-place teams receive 83 points).
• 73 points in women’s basketball for moving on to the Elite 8, where it lost by one point to Stanford.
• 50 points in men’s basketball, which moved into the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished No. 20 in the final USA Today poll, after the tourney.
During the winter, Notre Dame also picked up 49 points from men’s swimming, 40.5 points from indoor women’s track, 29 points in women’s swimming and 19.5 in indoor men’s track.
Warm-weather schools often make a bigger jump during the spring sports season, and that is where a number of them eclipsed Notre Dame, which tallied 202 points in the spring competition:
• Men’s lacrosse finished with the most points with 60 while advancing to the Elite 8.
• Women’s tennis accounted for 50 points while tying for the 17th position.
• Women’s rowing added 42 points for a No. 16 placement.
• Finally, women’s lacrosse and softball added 25 points apiece for their play in the NCAA Championships.
Here was the final top 10:
1. Stanford — 1563.00
2. Ohio State — 1343.75
3. Florida — 1252.50
4. USC — 1251.25
5. North Carolina — 1154.00
6. Michigan — 1133.25
7. Texas — 1067.75
8. Penn State — 1046.75
9. Oregon — 1027.00
10. Kentucky — 1025.00
23. Notre Dame — 801.00