Texas finished No. 1 this year, breaking Stanford’s 25-consecutive-year stranglehold on the Learfield Cup. No standings were kept for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There was a time when Georgia finished in the Top 10 almost every year. From 1998-2008, the Bulldogs finished in the top 10 seven times, with a high finish of No. 2 (1999) and a low of 15th (2003) in that stretch. But this year’s No. 10 finish is just the third since 2009 for UGA.
With a little luck, the Bulldogs could have finished even higher. Georgia’s baseball team (31-25) nose-dived at the end of the season to narrowly miss out on a third consecutive NCAA tournament bid. Men’s basketball also missed out on an NCAA bid.
Also, the Learfield standings do not include equestrian because the sport is not recognized by the NCAA. The Bulldogs won the 2021 national championship, their seventh under coach Meghan Boenig.
In all, 14 of Georgia’s sports 20-sanctioned sports, divided among men and women, qualified for NCAA championship competitions and contributed points. All of those sports recorded top-20 finishes at their respective national championships, including 10 top-10 efforts.
The men’s indoor track & field and women’s outdoor track & field teams supplied Georgia’s top finish, with both placing third at the NCAAs. Additional top-20s included men’s swimming & diving (fourth), men’s tennis (fifth), women’s tennis (fifth), women’s indoor track & field (fifth), football (seventh), softball (seventh), women’s swimming & diving (eighth), men’s outdoor track & field (eighth), women’s basketball (17th), men’s golf (17th), gymnastics (17th) and women’s golf (18th).
Georgia’s spring sports provided a boost. The Bulldogs were No. 16 in the final winter edition of the standings.
When it comes to the Learfield standings, it’s all about perspective. For Georgia, its No. 10 finish means it has finished among the nation’s Top 25 every year except one (28th in 1997) since the rankings’ inception. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech’s No. 44 finish this year was its best in the last 15 years and second-highest of all time.