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Hoosiers Athletics Top Ten Program in the Nation

The Indiana Hoosiers entire athletic department through two seasons (fall and winter) stand in the top 10 programs in the nation according to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The NACDA developed a point system for every sanctioned sport in collegiate athletics and ranks the best programs in the nation on an annual basis. In the thirteen years that NACDA has been doing this the best IU has ever finished is 28th. That appears to be changing this year.

The Big Ten is certainly proving its worth as a national power conference to date as five Big Ten schools have breached the top 10 and several seem to be ready to make a big leap further up the rankings as the spring season continues. Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota are all in front of the Hoosiers currently but some of that can shuffle about before the end of the athletic year. Follow the jump to see where the Hoosiers measure up and how some other Big Ten schools compare...

The Hoosiers are currently tenth after the end of the Winter Season on March 24 and look poised to move up in the rankings throughout the Spring Season. First place in the nation is certainly out of reach as Stanford has a commanding lead (they've won 12 of the 13 years) but IU can definitely move itself into the top six or so with some great finishes in the Spring.

The point system is extremely difficult to decipher and it takes into account a lot of sports that many schools do not have. Sports like Rifle, Hockey and Skiing are all accounted for in the rankings which has helped some schools like Wisconsin and Minnesota to gain points where others do not have the opportunity. However, most of the schools that score big in the less popular and numerous sports (skiing, rifle, etc.) do not even crack the top 25 so that has little effect on the overall standings.

IU's great winter performances in Track and Field and Swimming and Diving have really bolstered IU's standings in the nation and the continued success of the Track program especially should help the rankings. In order to crack the Top Five, Indiana would have to make up 90 points on Ohio State as well as keep pace with those teams in between. If baseball can win the Big Ten like they have a shot at doing, the Men's Track can place top 5 nationally with their potential and the Women can crack the top 15 nationally a lot of points would be coming Indiana's way. Add in some wild card performances from the Tennis teams, Softball and Golf and Indiana could potentially win the Spring Session. At the end of the year when the final numbers are released look for another post letting you know where we finished in the end. Hopefully it is somewhere around 5th but I'll settle for top 8.

Big Ten Rankings - Points

2. Penn State - 528.25

4. Ohio State - 503

5. Wisconsin - 496.25

9. Minnesota - 427.75

10. Indiana - 415.25

16. Michigan - 371.50

33. Iowa - 264.25

35. Illinois - 257.50

39. Michigan State - 249.50

55. Purdue - 185.50

75. Northwestern - 137.25