Liberty has best-ever finish in Learfield Directors’ Cup standings
The Flames ranked No. 72 in the final 2020-21 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, Liberty’s best-ever position in the annual listing that ranks the top collegiate athletics departments in the country.
Prior to this year, Liberty’s previous best Directors’ Cup ranking was No. 82 following the 2001-02 athletics season and No. 96 following the 2011-12 athletics campaign.
Liberty also ranked No. 12 in the Directors’ Cup standings among non-Power Five programs. BYU led this portion of the ranking, finishing the year ranked No. 17.
Liberty received points in the 2020-21 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup rankings thanks to national championship finishes or bowl game appearances by baseball, football, men’s basketball, men’s golf, softball, women’s cross country and women’s soccer.
Football had a season of “firsts” in 2020, including the team’s first-ever national ranking, first win over an ACC opponent, the best start in school history (8-0 to start 2020), first-ever win over a top-25 FBS program and back-to-back bowl game wins.
Liberty defeated a pair of ACC foes in Syracuse and in-state opponent Virginia Tech. The two wins made Liberty the first non-Power 5 team to post a pair of wins over Power 5 schools in the same season since Houston in 2015.
The Flames finished the season with a 10-1 record, tying the program’s record for wins in a season (Liberty finished the 2008 season with a 10-2 record).
With the Cure Bowl win over its former Big South rival Coastal Carolina, Liberty became the second transitioning team in NCAA history to win consecutive bowl games during its first two full seasons at the FBS level.
Due to the adjustments to most college athletics seasons’ schedules because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Liberty’s remaining 19 NCAA Division I athletics program competed during the 2021 Super Spring season.
Staring on January 1, 2021, Liberty Athletics competed in 356 athletics events during the Super Spring, capturing 10 conference titles and posting an overall winning percentage of 69.8 percent (196-83-7).
Liberty claimed conference titles in men’s basketball, men’s golf, men’s indoor track & field, men’s outdoor track & field, men’s tennis, softball, women’s cross country, women’s outdoor track & field, women’s soccer and women’s swimming & diving.