By virtue of Sam Houston State's appearance in the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship finals in Frisco Jan. 5, the university has been ranked among the top 10 in the official fall standings for the Capital One Cup.

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF), an official NCAA Corporate Champion, awards the Capital One Cup each year to the best men's and women's NCAA Division I athletics programs in the country.

Tied for first on the men's side, are Alabama, Indiana and North Dakota State.

 Alabama climbed to the top after claiming its third national BCS title in four years while North Dakota State won the FCS championship for the second consecutive year. Indiana earned its first place Capital One Cup ranking after winning the Men's College Cup.

Capital One Cup  Fall Men's Sports Standings

1. Alabama

60 points

1. Indiana

60 points

1. North Dakota State

60 points

4. Notre Dame

39 points

5. Georgetown

36 points

5. Oregon

36 points

5. Sam Houston State

36 points

8. Georgia Southern

30 points

8. Maryland

30 points

10. Creighton

24 points

10. Eastern Washington

24 points

10. Georgia

24 points

Sam Houston State is one of 47 schools which earned points in the Capital One Cup men's standings and 26 schools earned points in the women's standings.

Schools earn points based on their teams' top 10 finishes in NCAA Division I championships and in final official coaches' polls across 20 women's and 19 men's sports as they compete to win the Capital One Cup trophy and a combined $400,000 in scholarships for student-athletes.

 The Capital One Cup winners will be determined at the end of the spring season and honored at the ESPY Awards in July.  Last year the University of Florida won on the men's side and Stanford University claimed the women's Cup - each for the second consecutive year. This is the third year of the Capital One Cup. 

The Sam Houston football team has won 25 of its 30 games the past two years. In 2012, the program earned its second consecutive No. 2 NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) final national ranking and made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Championship finals.

No other team in the 50-year history of the Southland Conference has equaled this feat.

Only six times have other Southland squads reached the finals. None of those appearances were in consecutive years. Only once before has a Southland team been ranked in the FCS final top five in successive years (Louisiana-Monroe No. 2 in 1992 and No. 4 in 1993).

Sam Houston is one of only eight football programs in the nation to appear in consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship finals.

Since the Kats cracked the FCS top 10 after an October, 2011, victory over Stephen F. Austin at Reliant Stadium, Sam Houston has ranked among the FCS top 10 for a 20 consecutive weeks.

In 2011 and 2012 combined, the Sam Houston football team played on national television nine times and in regional telecasts eight other games. The exposure brought unprecedented sports media attention to the Huntsville campus.