2021 BIG TEN MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Tuesday, March 2nd to Saturday, March 6th, 2021
- Where: Ohio State University (Eastern Time Zone)
- Champion: Michigan (1x)
In the lead-up to NCAA conference meet season, we previewed all ten major conference meets and took a stab at predicting a team order. Now, we’re looking back at those picks to see how the final team standings shook out. Where were we wrong? Where were we right? Which teams over-performed and under-performed compared to expectations?
Big Ten Men
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Michigan St
Actual Finish Order (With Change from our picks noted in parentheses)
- Michigan (+1)
- Indiana (-1)
- Ohio State (-)
- Purdue (+2)
- Wisconsin (-)
- Northwestern (-2)
- Penn State (+1)
- Iowa (-1)
- Minnesota (-)
- Michigan St (-)
This was an extremely tough conference to call – we noted how close Michigan and Indiana looked to be, and the deciding factor in our picks was Michigan’s two-week COVID-related training pause in the month leading up to Big Tens. Turns out, though, a break in training isn’t an insurmountable obstacle, as the Michigan men swam well enough to win the conference by 44 over IU.
This was the first conference we’ve previewed so far where returning points weren’t a really strong indicator of the eventual winners. Indiana returned almost 200 more points than Michigan. But IU also lost top sprinter Bruno Blaskovic, who scored 92 individual points at Big Tens last year and had a major relay impact.
Further down, Purdue jumped up two spots, owing some to swimming very well and probably more to its very good diving group being underrated in our original picks. 4-6 were extremely close, though, with Purdue just three points ahead of Wisconsin at the finish, with Northwestern just 10 back of Purdue in 4th place.
Penn State was a pleasant surprise, with young sprinter Jake Houck scoring a lot of unexpected points. They moved up a spot, solidly leapfrogging Iowa for 7th.