One of the most successful fall seasons in Southern Oregon University history has the Raiders at No. 2 overall in the NAIA's latest Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, which were released Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Designed to measure an athletic department's overall national performance, points for the standings are awarded based on finishes at NAIA Championship events. SOU scored in four sports and accumulated 248 points, behind only Columbia's 307.
A total of 107 teams across the country scored during the fall. The Cascade Collegiate Conference was represented by five schools in the top-20 — no other league had more than two in the top-20 — as No. 9 College of Idaho (214), No. 16 Northwest (Wash.) (164), No. 17 Eastern Oregon (161) and No. 19 Corban (156.5) joined SOU.
SOU got 83 points from its third-place football team, 80 points from its fourth-place men's cross country team, 60 points from its 15th-place women's cross country team and 25 points from its 17th-place men's soccer team.
The Raiders are in position to add to their total this winter with a ninth-ranked men's basketball team, 11th-ranked women's basketball team and 12th-ranked men's wrestling team. Because it is not an NAIA-sponsored activity, women's wrestling is not eligible to score, but the Raiders can collect additional points this winter in indoor track and field.
SOU finished 13th in the 2016-17 Directors' Cup standings. The Raiders' sixth-place finish in 2014-15 and eighth-place finish in 2015-16 stand as the best showings in Cascade Conference history.
The Raiders also lead the standings for the Cascade Conference All-Sports Trophy and are seeking their third straight.