UK Athletics: Director's Cup -- Is Mitch Barnhart Getting the Job Done?

The Director's Cup results for 2009 are out, and just as we did in 2007 (I somehow overlooked it in 2008), it is now possible to compare Kentucky's performance with others.  As I did before, what I'll be doing here is comparing how rival schools have performed over the last five years compared with UK.  First, the basic chart:

School 2004 – 2005 2005 – 2006 2006 – 2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 Average
Florida 6 5 6 6 3 5.2
North Carolina 9 4 3 14 2 6.4
Duke 5 8 11 19 17 12
Tennessee 8 14 7 16 23 13.6
UK 35 33 45 36 34 36.6
UL 50 54 28 32 32 39.2

Graphically, that chart looks like this:

Director's Cup 5 Year Performance

What this shows us is UK's performance over the last 5 years, compared with some other schools.  The lower the line is on the chart, the better, and descending is improving.  One bit of good news here is that UK has been improving in the director's cup since 2007, but it is still the lowest-ranked school overall of this group.

Next, we will look at "bang for buck" information.  What this chart and attending graph do is show you which schools get the most Director's Cup positions per dollar spent on overall athletics:

School Dollars/Pos
Florida $366,412.62
North Carolina $226,931.35
Duke $267,009.19
Tennessee $352,503.02
UK $286,055.11
UL $212,587.73

Now putting that chart in graphical form, we get the following:

Dollars per Director's Cup Position

As before, lower values represent the most "Bang for the buck."  So who, in this group, is getting the most out of their athletic expenditures when it comes to the Director's Cup?  Louisville is, by just a small amount over North Carolina.  Florida is actually getting the least value/dollar spent, but I think that they would not complain too much about that, since their income exceeds their outflow by a significant amount in athletics and they are among the tops in the nation in the Director's Cup standings.  UK is next to last in this "Bang for the buck" analysis.

So is Mitch Barnhart getting the job done?  Well, any way you measure it, Tom Jurich is getting the job done better and cheaper at this point, but that may well change with the upward trajectory of Kentucky's football program, the downward trajectory of Louisville's, and the hiring of John Calipari.  UK's performance has been weighed down by basketball in the last four years rather than helped, and it shows.  Prior to that, it was football doing its best "boat anchor" imitation.  Will next year finally see UK return back to a more respectable showing in the Director's Cup?  I sure hope so.

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