SwimSwam Pulse: 46% Pick Michigan To Win Men’s Big Ten

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick the preseason men’s Big Ten favorite:


Question: Who should be the preseason favorite to win the 2021 Men’s Big Ten title?

  • Michigan – 46.4%
  • Indiana – 33.1%
  • Ohio State – 16.6%
  • Someone else – 4.0%

Almost half of voters picked the Michigan men to repeat as Big Ten champions, despite a 146.5-point Indiana margin in returning points.

The men’s Big Ten is one of the more intriguing conference for the coming season, because unlike some conferences with one clear favorite, the Big Ten has three clear standouts. Michigan won last year by more than 200 points, but also graduated a crazy 559 points from its senior class. Michigan does have a great recruiting class, though, and a ton of returning scorers, and voter clearly favored them to win again in 2021.

The Wolverines will add ranked recruits Wyatt Davis and Jake Mitchellalong with Canadian James LeBuke.

Ohio State was second in the Big Ten last year, and returns 115 more individual points than Michigan. The bulk of Ohio State’s scoring came from the sophomore and junior classes, who will be juniors and seniors this coming season. But Ohio State did lose almost half of its 20 relay legs – relays don’t factor into conference battles as much as they do into NCAA placement, but they could still come into play in a conference as close as this one.

Ohio State does get back Olympic redshirt Ruslan Gaziev for the relays, along with WVU transfer Hunter Armstrong. Just 16.6% of voters picked Ohio State to win in 2021.

Indiana was third last year, but just 7.5 points behind Ohio State for second. IU returns the most individual points of any team in the conference – 851 even after removing transfer Kai Bathurst. (Ohio State returns 820 and Michigan 705). But IU also brings back NCAA runner-up miler Michael Brinegar from a redshirt season, along with NCAA champion diver Andrew CapobiancoTheir freshman class is led by 51.9-long course flyer Tomer Frankel of Israel.

About a third of voters picked IU. Just 4% of voters picked any team beyond those three. Northwestern and Wisconsin return the next-most points.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to pick the preseason leaders in the women’s Pac-12:

Who should be the preseason favorite to win the 2021 Women's Pac-12 title?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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1 year ago

Gotta take into account IU with a couple more transfers before the next championship.

1 year ago

Go big blue!

1 year ago

I chose Stanford for the women’s Pac-12 poll, but I think I clicked too quickly. I should’ve taken into account that the coronavirus (would be “someone else”) is a strong contender too.

Brendan Burns
1 year ago


Former Big10
1 year ago

What will be closer, 1-3 or 5-9? Will anyone new break into the top 4?

Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

Wisconsin is pretty firmly 4th it seems

Samuel Huntington
1 year ago

Michigan with two big recruits coming in – I like Davis especially.

1 year ago

Gonna be interesting if we get a season. M losing a ton of breaststroke, IM points… though the team is building depth in other areas (eg sprint free) so some of those points may come from elsewhere.

Wyatt is going to give them a stud backstroker to lead off those Medley Relays which will be huge. On paper, Will Chan on breast, River Wright on fly… and Gus on free. Should be fast Medleys. Sprint free should also be well stocked with 19s or faster… with Gus, River, Cam, James LeBuke, Bence… and whomever else steps up. And Wyatt, Jake, Callan, Gus on the 800 Free Relay. Relays should be excellent!

Distance crew will excel. Jake Mitchell will play a… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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