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December 27, 2012
Wolverines atop Directors' Cup standings
After exciting finishes in volleyball, men's and women's soccer and men's and women's cross country, the Michigan athletic department is in pole position to notch perhaps the biggest upset in NCAA athletics this school year.
Since North Carolina won the inaugural National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup in 1993-94, Stanford has claimed the prize every year.
The Cardinal have won the cup - given annually to the collegiate athletics department whose varsity teams combine to perform the best over the season - in each of the last 18 school years.
But the Wolverines may be on their way to changing that.
Michigan sits atop the standings after the fall season, amassing 348.0 total points this fall, six more points than second-place North Carolina. Stanford is in third place overall, compiling 324.0 points this fall.
The Wolverines earned 75 points for a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships in women's cross country; 51 points for men's cross country' 25 points for field hockey; 64 points in women's soccer; 50 points in men's soccer; and an incredible 83 points for earning a spot in the NCAA Final Four in volleyball.
Obviously, the race to the cup is far from over. Stanford has several strong sports in every season.
But the Wolverines, enjoying pleasant surprises such as the volleyball finish, find themselves in an unlikely place in the Directors' Cup.
Can they keep up the pace? Both basketball teams seem to be well on their way to strong finishes; men's swimming could secure major Directors' Cup points; and many other sports are primed to make a late-season run.
Will Michigan take home the award? Only time will tell.