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Can Boise State's Other Sports Meet the Standard?

Boise State's football team can compete at the next level. Can the other sports keep up the ridiculously high expectation?

Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images

If Boise State were to ever get an invitation to a P5 conference, there would be a lot of impact on the other fields of competition, not just the gridiron. We all want to believe that Boise State would excel in a P5 league in football. But how would they perform when the other sports are factored in? Is Boise State just a one-trick pony (maybe two with Men's basketball), or are there talented enough athletes in the other sports that can help increase Boise State's image?

That's where the Learfield Sports Director's Cup comes in. You are probably asking yourself, "What is the Director's Cup and how does it work?" Well, here is an explanation from the site:

The crowning achievement in college athletics.

A program that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men’s and women’s. Began in 1993-94 for Division I by NACDA and USA Today, it was expanded in 1995-96 to include Division II, III and the NAIA.

Each institution is awarded points in a pre-determined number of sports for men and women.

Who Wins
The overall champion is the institution that records the highest number of points in their division’s Directors’ Cup standings.

The winner receives a crystal trophy.

Sports Included
Division I — 20, ten men’s and ten women’s
Division II — 14, seven men’s and seven women’s
Division III — 18, nine men’s and nine women’s
NAIA –12, six men’s and six women’s


  • Points are given to those institutions advancing to either the NCAA, NAIA or two-year college/university championships.
  • Points are NOT awarded for conference championships.

The better a school does in all included sports, in national tournaments, the more points it gets. Pretty simple.

So how does Boise State stack up?

The Director's Cup splits the sports between Fall (includes Men's and Women's cross country; football; soccer), Winter (includes Men's and Women's basketball; Fencing; swimming; indoor track & field) and Spring (includes Men's and Women's golf; Men's and Women's lacrosse; softball; and tennis). As noted above, Division I has ten men's and ten women's sports included in the calculation.

Boise State's stats for the Fall (for the sake of space, I am only including sports Boise State earned points):

Final Fall W CC FBS FB

Place: 11

Points: 66

Place: 16

Points: 58.5

That's it. That's good enough for 46th overall, third in the Mountain West.

By comparison, Stanford finished first with 545 total Fall points. With points in Women's cross country, Women's AND Men's soccer, and Men's water polo. At the Fall final New Mexico led the Mountain West with 146.5. Colorado State was second with 144. Other Notables: UNLV/Nevada/Fresno State tied for last in the MWC with 25 points each. Washington State also only had 25 points making them last for P5 Schools (by virtue of the alphabet) and Harsin's previous school, Arkansas State, was also tied with these other institutions at 25 points.

And our dear friends in Moscow? I award them no points, and may God have mercy on their souls. (Note: I may, or may not, have anything to do with the awarding of no points to Moscow. Mostly not. Also, having no points puts them behind a LOT of lower division schools.)

What do these scores tell us about Boise State's capabilities? In short: room for improvement.

There is always crediting the fact that Boise State's appearances in BCS / NY6 games greatly increased exposure, attendance, and recruiting for the football team. Also the expansion of facilities both academic and athletic. But one HAS to believe that the exposure also has been a boon for the other sports as well. Aside from the new football facilities, the Taco Bell Arena has improved with new locker rooms. All of these facilities are not just used by the football team alone. If they are a recruiting tool for the football team, what's to stop the women's diving coach to show off the sweet weight room? Realistically, how far behind would Boise State be in the other sports, were it not for the success of the football team? Improve one sport, Boise State can improve them all!

For the Winter session, there were quite a few more sports that had the opportunity to contribute. Men's and Women's Bowling, Rifle, Skiing, Track and Field, and Wrestling. How did Boise State fare here?

Winter Final W BB M BB W GYM M WR

Place: 33

Points: 25

Place: 65

Points: 5

Place: 19

Points 52.5

Place: 33

Points: 30.5

Boise State represented here decently. Very interesting the point value awarded for the Women's basketball team just for making an appearance versus the Men's team. I would not have figured that they have a distinction between the actual field vs just the play-in game. I understand WHY it is done this way, just semi-disappointing. Feels like there was an opportunity there. These scores also tell us there a lot of athletes at Boise State that we just do not appreciate enough. The Women's gymnastics team is legitimate. Finishing 19th place and garnering more than 10 times the points for Boise State than the Men's basketball team is impressive. The wrestling team competes with P5 powers Iowa, and Oklahoma State. And the Women's basketball team? Well they recently signed a future baller, and hopefully the team can set the benchmark of tournament appearances as the EXPECTATION not just the hope.

After two seasons worth of sports, that puts Boise State with 237.50 points. That is good for 61st place and second place in the MWC, behind New Mexico at 288.50 and 51st place overall. What is comforting? Fresno State is last in the MWC with 25 points and 209th place. Notable: Stanford in first place with 1101.50 points; BYU in 34th with 403; Dayton at 70 with 198 points (50 from M BB, CURIOUS HOW THEY GOT THOSE POINTS?!); Idaho is unranked with, still, zero points (I do not think I can say that enough times); TCU is just ahead of Boise State with 241.25 points.

Again with the missed opportunities for points. How come Boise State does not have a Bowling team (Men's or Women's)? Rifle? Come on, we live in Idaho! How about Quidditch? Apparently Boise State has a team and is actually pretty good. Being able to represent at the Quidditch World Cup in South Carolina is sweet. Boise State Men's hockey is pretty decent as well. They did get whooped by some guy named William Paterson though. The potential is there, the school just needs to be able to capitalize!

The Spring session (to date) only sees marginal improvement. The men's tennis team made an NCAA tournament appearance which garnered the school 25 points. That brings the total to 262.50. That is still good enough for second in the MWC behind a New Mexico school that is widening the margin (338.50).

If the schools are compared to each other, then where does Boise State rank in different conferences? So far, in the Pac12, Boise State would be twelfth with Washington State bringing up the rear. (I have kept the current team memberships the same, and just added Boise State to the respective list.)

The Big XII, Boise State would be ninth. Ahead of Kansas and Kansas State.

They would be thirteenth in the ACC.

First in the American. UCONN currently has 250 points.

Thirteenth in the B1G.

First in Conference USA (yay?).

First in the MAC.

Fourteenth in the SEC. Just barely ahead of Vanderbilt.

The comforting thing to know is Boise State isn't LAST and that is with the current state of funds, exposure, and recruiting pool. The sobering fact is that Boise State is not the best in everything. Mind. Blown.

One other thing? Money. It is no secret that the Haves will continue to get money and the Have Nots? Well. Good luck. The schools that have plenty of cash flow have the ability to prop up the Olympic sports. Investing in coaching, facilities, players, etc. Last year the MWC saw its CFP revenue increase. A lot. But, as one can see, it is still peanuts. Still not as high as the Big East/American's previous haul. (Boise State's decision to stay in the MWC is quite evidently a wise one, just based on pure dollars.) The increase in revenue will undoubtedly help the smaller schools, but only so much. Especially when you consider the P5 schools are generating their revenue remarkably fast as well.

Just imagine the capabilities with the resources available to the P5 schools. Or, perhaps, a Boise State alum can become super rich and just donate hundreds of millions of dollars a la Knight or Pickens. Sadly, unless someone wins the lottery that big dollar benefactor does not appear to be making an appearance any time soon. So the drum beat marches on. Put the money into the cash cow--football--and elevate everyone else as soon as possible.

Update 6/30/2015: To include scores up since 6/25/2015 after CWS final. Note: Hawaii is grouped with the Big West. The official release is here. Scores by conference here. Scores by overall rank here.

Rank Institution Total
58 New Mexico 423.5
63 San Diego State 343.5
64 Boise State 337
77 Air Force 249.5
106 UNLV 178.5
120 Colorado State 144
168 Utah State 91.5
176 Wyoming 87.5
199 Nevada 65
213 Fresno State 50
287 San Jose State 11.5