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Florida finishes fourth in 2014-15 Directors' Cup, seventh straight top-four finish

The Gators had a relative down year, and still finished among the nation's elite teams.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Florida will finish fourth in the 2014-15 Learfield Sports NACDA Directors' Cup standings when they are announced later this week, the school trumpeted Tuesday.

While the standings are not final, Florida's score and standing are, as a result of the Gators' baseball season-ending loss at the 2015 College World Series. The third-place finish the Gators will share with TCU will net Florida 83 points, and vault the school past North Carolina for fourth in this year's standings; neither Vanderbilt nor Virginia can top Florida by winning the College World Series.

Florida could not have caught Stanford, UCLA, and USC — the trio of Pac-12 schools that top this year's Directors' Cup rankings — even with a national title in baseball. But the Gators, with repeat national championships in women's gymnastics and softball, did earn as many national titles as Stanford (which prevailed in women's golf and women's water polo) in 2014-15, and twice as many as UCLA and USC combined (the Bruins topped the Trojans for the national championship in men's water polo).

Stanford's lead was unassailable from the winter season onward, as the Cardinal boasted the only program nationally with over 1,000 points (teams can score a maximum of 100 points per sport) through late April, and the Directors' Cup will head to Palo Alto for the 21st consecutive year as a result.

But Florida charged hard this spring, compiling 583.50 points from nine sports, second only to USC's 710 points from 10 sports, and vaulted from seventh in this year's final winter standings to that fourth-place finish.

This was also a relative down year for the Gators, who got no points from men's basketball (for the first time since 2008-09) or women's basketball, and also finished outside the top 25 of the Directors' Cup rankings (which vary in their calculation from sport to sport) in men's and women's cross country, football, men's tennis, and men's and women's golf.

And yet: Florida is the only school nationally to rank in the top 10 in each of the last 32 national all-sports rankings, and the only school other than Stanford to rank in the top five each year this decade.

Florida is also virtually peerless in its region. The Gators are one of just three SEC programs to record a top-five finish in the competition since 1993-94, when the National Association of College Directors of Athletics took over administration of all-sports rankings — Georgia has three, Texas A&M has one, and Florida just earned its 15th — and their seventh straight top-four finish gives them more top-four finishes than Florida State has ever mustered. (Florida has never finished behind Florida State in the Directors' Cup standings.)

The #EverythingSchool's down years, at least in regards to the Directors' Cup, are probably better than your school's best ones.

Unless Stanford is your school, in which case you're totally cheating and we hate you.