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Big Ten Set For September; Indiana Tops Coaches Poll

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Big Ten Set For September; Indiana Tops Coaches Poll

Indiana won the Big Ten in 2019 and the coaches poll seems to harbinger a repeat.

After a tumultuous year off, Big Ten Universities Rugby is set to return on Saturday, September 11, with Illinois and Indiana traveling to Purdue and Wisconsin respectively.

The Fall 2021 Big Ten Conference will be contested as a round robin with a final. The seven members (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin) will play every conference member once during the regular season. Teams will be assessed four standing points for a win, two standing points for a draw, one standing point for scoring four or more tries in a match, and one standing point for a loss by seven or fewer points.

After the round robin is complete, the third and fourth place team will contest a Consolation Final and the first and second place team will contest the Grand Final.

Championship Weekend is set for Saturday, November 13 and will be played at a neutral site. There is no shortage of intriguing matchups on this year’s docket. The Hoosiers will have to run a gauntlet early in the season if they are to repeat as BTU Champions; facing Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Illinois in rapid succession to kickoff conference play. In Week 3, Ohio State opens conference play at Indiana in a rematch of the 2019 BTU Championship Game. The Buckeyes immediately follow up that challenging match with a Friday night showdown (September 24) with their arch-rivals, Michigan.

The Illinois schedule was coordinated with football to create prime gameday events. On weeks 6 and 9, the Illini will play Michigan and Ohio State in curtainraisers for football’s Homecoming and Dad’s Weekend games. Look out for Illinois to fill the hill at Far Par Field with a sea of Orange and Blue. Michigan will have rugby under the lights all Fall with Friday night games against Ohio State, Michigan State, and Indiana. Wisconsin’s schedule is bookended with matchups against 2019’s Top -two finishers: Indiana and Ohio State.

After a period of Big Ten strength – finishing 2nd on four occasions and 3rd once over the prior five years – the Badgers dropped to 5th in 2019. They will be looking to bounce back to the top of the table after a year off.

The Spartans have the toughest conference schedule with all six games to be played in consecutive weeks. This includes consecutive road trips to Columbus and Bloomington. They wrap up the Big Ten season with the Battle of the Mitten against in-state rivals, Michigan. The Boilermakers finish their season with a challenging stretch of four consecutive conference matches. Purdue also gets a season finale against an in-state rival; hosting Indiana in Week 9.

The conference held a coaches poll and all seven coaches voted Indiana as #1:
1. INDIANA UNIVERSITY (7)
2. OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
3. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
4. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
5. MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
6. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
7. PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Note that Purdue has a pretty impressive freshman class coming in, so watch out for them.

BTU Schedule

9/11 Illinois at Purdue Big Ten D1A
9/11 Indiana at Wisconsin Big Ten D1A
9/18 Wisconsin at Illinois Big Ten D1A
9/18 Ohio State at Indiana Big Ten D1A
9/24 Ohio State at Michigan Big Ten D1A
9/25 Purdue at Michigan State Big Ten D1A
9/25 Illinois at Indiana Big Ten D1A
10/2 Michigan State at Ohio State Big Ten D1A
10/2 Michigan at Wisconsin Big Ten D1A
10/9 Michigan at Illinois Big Ten D1A
10/9 Notre Dame at Ohio State Big Ten D1A
10/9 Michigan State at Indiana Big Ten D1A
10/9 Wisconsin at Purdue Big Ten D1A
10/16 Purdue at Ohio State Big Ten D1A
10/16 Illinois at Michigan State Big Ten D1A
10/23 Purdue at Michigan Big Ten D1A
10/23 Penn State at Ohio State Big Ten D1A
10/23 Michigan State at Wisconsin Big Ten D1A
10/29 Michigan at Michigan State (Ann Arbor) Big Ten D1A
10/30 Ohio State at Illinois Big Ten D1A
10/30 Indiana at Purdue Big Ten D1A
11/13 Big Ten #5 vs Big Ten #6 Big Ten D1A
11/13 Big Ten #3 vs Big Ten #4 Big Ten D1A
11/13 Big Ten #1 vs Big Ten #2 Big Ten D1A