2013 Conference Championship Primer – Division I Majors

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 0

February 27th, 2013 College, News

Here’s a breakdown of the upcoming schedule for the conference championships in the 6 major conferences. We’ll put one together for mid majors as well in the coming weeks. If you can fill in the blanks on any of the live results or live video, leave them in the comments! Bookmark this page as we’ll fill in the information as it becomes available.

We’ll also have more in-depth meet-by-meet previews coming in the next few weeks as well.

Meets are listed roughly chronologically

SEC Men

Quick Hit: There are lots of great storylines at this meet. A&M’s first SEC Championship, and the first that the entire A&M athletics department has hosted. Auburn is on a 16-straight SEC Championship run. The new 5-day meet format. Matt Kredich’s first year in charge of the Tennessee men. The solid victory by Florida over Auburn in a dual last weekend. Auburn has to continue to be the favorites in this meet until someone takes it away from them, though the return of Sebastien Rousseau for the Gators could be enough to swing it the other way.

SEC Women

Quick Hit: The Georgia women are the three-time defending SEC Champions. They were just handily defeated by the Tennessee women, last year’s runners-up, which has ignited a huge new SEC rivalry. There’s also the addition of the defending Big 12 Champions, and hosts, Texas A&M to this meet: Bultman’s Aggies usually get very fast at their conference meet, and then do it again at NCAA’s. This will be THE conference championship meet to watch. The battles are unbelievably good. Cammile Adams vs. Kelsey Floyd in the 200 fly. Breeja Larson vs. Micah Lawrence in the breaststrokes. Sarah Henry vs. Allison Schmitt in the 500 free. These are elite battles between multiple National Teamers and/or Olympians. Georgia probably gets the team title on depth, but people will be eyeballing the individual matchups here.

Big Ten Conference Women

Quick Hit: The Big Ten women’s meet should this year, as always, be hugely competitive as the conference is thick with parity. Among the major conferences, the Gophers’ 29.5 point victory last season was the narrowest. The Gophers were a very young team last season, but they did graduate a pair of conference champions in Ashley Steenvoorden and Hannah Whitehead. Then again, Indiana lost a pair of conference record holders: Allysa Vavra and Brittany Strumbel. We’ll think a little harder about this one before we’re ready to declare a favorite.

ACC Women

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 20th – Saturday, February 23rd; Prelims at 11 AM, Finals 7PM (except for day one, when they’re at 6PM)
  • Location: Greensboro Aquatic Center, N.C. (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Virginia (results)
  • Live Results: Available.
  • Live Video (If available): theacc.com
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: The Virginia women won their 5th-straight ACC title last season even with their top swimmer Lauren Perdue at half-strength and Rachel Naurath having a very tough year. With a 230 point margin, it would take something catastrophic for Virginia to be upset at this meet. Race of the meet probably comes in the backstrokes, where Virginia is thick with talent both young and old who will all try to hold off UNC’s Carly Smith, returned from injury. Also watch Lauren Perdue go for her fouth career ACC Championship in the 100 free and try to hold off Florida State’s Tiffany Oliver.

ACC Men

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 27th – Saturday, March 2nd; Prelims at 11 AM, Finals 7PM (except for day one, when they’re at 6PM)Location: Greensboro Aquatic Center, N.C. (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Virginia (results)
  • Live Results: Available.
  • Live Video (If available): theacc.com
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: The parking costs you money, but tickets are free! This meet won’t carry quite the same top-end luster as it has in past years, with traditional powers UNC and Virginia having down years, but the parity will be unmatched in the meet’s recent history. Florida State looks really, really good this year and could challenge for their first ACC title since 2007. Remember that men’s diving competes during the women’s meet.

Big 12 Conference Men

  • Dates: Wednesday February 27th – Saturday March 2nd (Co-Ed); Times TBD
  • Location: University of Texas; Texas Swim Center (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Texas Longhorns
  • Live Results:
  • Live Video (If available):
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: The Texas men are on a 16-year Big 12 winning streak; more specifically, they’ve won them all. That’s unlikely to change this year, even with a total overhaul of the competition. This is still a three-team meet, but it’s West Virginia and TCU who have replaced Texas A&M and Missouri. Texas used to give up 1-2 swimming events to the Aggies every year, and there are a few chances for upset this season as well. TCU sophomore Cooper Robinson is ranked 14th in the country in the 200 back, and has gone the same 1:43 as Texas big three in the race Darmody, Murphy, and Surhoff (a bit faster in fact). The breaststrokes could go any way this year as well with Texas’ struggles there, especially in the 200 where we might not see anyone break two minutes. TCU’s Mitchell Adshead and West Virginia’s Christopher Brill are 1-2 in the conference this year (ignoring D’Innocenzo, who’s no longer with the team). Texas’ Dax Hill and Austin Surhoff should be the stars of this meet, but really keen in on who emerges to fill out the Longhorns’ NCAA lineup.

Big 12 Conference Women

  • Dates: Wednesday February 27th – Saturday March 2nd (Co-Ed); Times TBD
  • Location: University of Texas; Texas Swim Center (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Texas A&M Aggies (no longer in the conference)
  • Live Results:
  • Live Video (If available):
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: With A&M’s departure, the Texas women, like their men, should have little challenge at this meet. You can be sure that the Aggies will still be keeping their eyes on one swimmer in particular, and that’s breaststroker Laura Sogar. She’s one of the few swimmers within range of Breeja Larson in either breaststroke (she has been 2:05.0, a school record, already this season).

Pac 12 Conference Women

  • Dates: Wednesday February 27th – Saturday March 2nd; Prelims at 11AM, Finals 6PM
  • Location: Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center (Pacific Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Cal (results)
  • Live Results: Available here.
  • Live Video (If available):
  • Championship Central (sort of)

Quick Hit: Much like their men, over the last four years, the Cal women have more NCAA titles (3) than Pac 12 titles (2); they did pull off the double in both 2009 and 2012, however. Last year’s victory was by a narrow 48-point margin ahead of Stanford, with USC a little further back. With a deeper Trojan team this year, and Arizona swimming very well, expect it to be a four team battle (keeping in mind that Arizona already got most of the cuts they needed mid-season). Cal and Arizona probably split the relays, but keep in mind that relays are almost meaningless for team scoring at these conference championship meets. Even if you think they’ll be national champions, don’t make the mistake of calling this a Cal runaway.

Big Ten Conference Men

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 27th – Saturday March 2nd; Prelims 11 AM, Finals 6:30 PM
  • Location: University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Michigan (results)
  • Live Results: Available here.
  • Live Video (If available): Will be available, no link yet
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: The Michigan men have regained their throne as the top team in the Big Ten, but the pitter-patter of what was a very young Ohio State team last year can be heard not-too-far-away. Of all of the conference titles, the Big Ten men’s award over the last 70 years or so is the most historically illustrious (alongside probably the Ivy League), and it’s important to Michigan to win; but with a national title within reach, can they bring themselves to look past this meet toward the big one down the road in Indianapolis? If so, they might get caught by the Buckeyes.

Big East Conference Men

  • Wednesday February 27th – Saturday March 2nd (Co-Ed); Prelims 10 AM, Finals 6PM, Diving Noonish
  • Location: IUPUI Natatorium, Indianapolis, Indiana (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Notre Dame (results)
  • Live Results: Available here.
  • Live Video (If available):
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: The Louisville men finished 9th at NCAA’s last season, making them easily the top-ranked Big East team at that meet, but Notre Dame is the defending conference champions by way of a narrow 887-859.5 margin. That’s thanks to outstanding performances by their divers, including a sweep from then-freshman Nicholas Nemetz. Notre Dame got even deeper this year while the Cardinals thinned out a little bit (the Irish had 14 Olympic Trials qualifiers). Race of the meet is Frank Dyer vs. Joao de Lucca in the 200 free, but don’t call it an upset if the Irish lift their 6th Big East trophy in February.

Big East Conference Women

  • Wednesday February 27th – Saturday March 2nd (Co-Ed); Prelims 10 AM, Finals 6PM, Diving Noonish
  • Location: IUPUI Natatorium, Indianapolis, Indiana (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Louisville (results)
  • Live Results: Available here.
  • Live Video (If available):
  • Championship Central

Quick Hit: Just like the men’s meet last year, conference finish didn’t determine NCAA finish, as Notre Dame was a bit higher at ationals than was Louisville. Both teams are better than they were last season, and even though sophomore Emma Reaney is the early favorite for the Conference Swimmer of the Year award, Notre Dame probably hasn’t made up the 165 point gap on the Cardinals. West Virginia leaving probably benefits Louisville the most; WVU had the best distance program in the conference, and Louisville stands to gain the most points there (along with Villanova).

Pac 12 Conference Men

  • Dates: Sunday March 3 – Wednesday March 6th; Prelims at 11AM, Finals 6PM
  • Location: Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center (Pacific Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Stanford (x31) (results)
  • Live Results: Available here.
  • Live Video (If available):
  • Championship Central (sort of)

Quick Hit: There are a lot of great meets around the country, but there is not one that will receive more anxious scrutiny than this championship and “the streak”. Stanford won 31-straight conference titles under Skip Kenney; his assistant Ted Knapp is now in charge, and everyone wants to know if that will change or not with maybe a different taper schedule or a different focus. Keep in mind, however, that which meet you taper for isn’t always dictated just by desire for conference championships. Even if Knapp keeps pushing guys like David Nolan and Matt Thompson, who should qualify anyway, with the new rules about NCAA qualifications, some guys still will have to rest for Pac 12’s. Cal has taken quite a few hits in depth since last year, and it would seem as a challenge for them to make up the 130-point gap on Stanford. Keep in mind that Stanford’s win last year was without Kristian Ipsen, their world-class diver who will almost certainly sweep the titles this season. Cal will publicly say that they don’t care about the conference title, and that they’d take their two-straight NCAA titles over 32-straight conference crowns, and that may all be true; but don’t believe that internally, they wouldn’t love to win this title.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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