Big Ten Weekly Analysis: Michigan’s Win Over Indiana Was Vital

10/8/16 2016-15 Women's Swimming and Diving hosts Louisville. SDW 2016-17 Win 274-196 Session 2
Michigan's Siobhan Haughey. Photo Courtesy: Lon Horwedel

By Dan D’Addona.

The Michigan-Indiana dual meet was the most anticipated meet in the Big Ten this season — and for good reason.

The Michigan women started off the year ranked No. 1 in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll — as did the Indiana men.

Both teams have fallen from that top spot but remained the highest ranking teams in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, on the flip side, the Michigan men and Indiana women are the second-highest ranking Big Ten teams making this dual meet vital to learning where both contenders stand as we march closer to the Big Ten Championships.

The No. 5 Indiana men topped No. 13 Michigan 167-133, which seems about right given both teams rankings. The big thing was it was the first time the Hoosiers had defeated the Wolverines since the 1998-99 season.

Still it was expected and scored out about what was expected.

The women’s meet featured teams with virtually the same ranking differential and similar strengths as the men’s team, but the outcome was unexpected .

The No. 6 Michigan absolutely dominated the No. 13 Hoosiers 211-87.

Olympian Lilly King won both breaststroke events for Indiana, but the Wolverines won every other race, proving it is going to take a lot to beat them at the Big Ten meet.

A lot.

The points seem to be coming from everywhere for the Wolverines. Siobhan Haughey has been flat out dominant in just about every race she has competed in this year, as has Yirong “Rose” Bi. Then Michigan has G Ryan, Clara Smiddy, Gabby DeLoof and Catie DeLoof, who are quietly among the top swimmers in the Big Ten.

Coming into the season, the Wolverines knew they would have this pack of talent leading the way, but not necessarily a force on the national stage leading the way. Haughey has been that force.

She is currently ranked No. 3 in the country in the 200 freestyle (1:42.93) — only behind Stanford’s Olympic gold medalists Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky.

Ryan and Bi are in the top four in the 500 freestyle — only behind Olympians Ledecky and Virginia’s Leah Smith. Bi also ranked third in the mile.

That firepower will have the Wolverines as the favorite to repeat as Big Ten champions, but will also put them in the hunt for a top-four trophy at the NCAA championships.

This meet proved how dominant the Wolverines can be, and that they belong ranked in the top five in the country.

The Indiana men also proved to be the Big Ten front-runner, but even though it was a closer meet, it was still an expected finish.