Automatic bid to be given to the regular season champion
by Carl James •@jovian34 • February 7th, 2021
As of today, the Big Ten 2020-21 Championship/Tournament Schedule does not show a date for the 2021 B1G Baseball Tournament, instead there is “+” which is explained in a footnote as:
“The Conference will not conduct a postseason tournament in this sport for the 2020-21 season. Champion determined by regular season results.”
The only other sports on this list that are without a championship event are Softball and Women’s Volleyball. Softball and Baseball decisions tend to track pretty close.
The B1G Tournament would normally have been held Wednesday May 26th to Sunday May 30th at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska and include the eight of thirteen B1G teams with the best regular season records.
In November I wrote about the possibility of no B1G Tourney:
I have heard nothing so far about conference tournaments. My thought is with a shortened season, playing the B1G Baseball Tournament doesn’t make much sense. First, five teams do not even get invited and then half of the invited teams play fewer than four games. Second, due to the Wednesday-Sunday schedule this can’t be realistically be done after a four-game weekend series. No starting pitcher would be rested to start on Wednesday. So if there is a tournament, it would mean not playing any series on May 22nd-23rd. This would limit the B1G to an 11-week regular season. Third, if COVID-19 is still a big concern, I don’t see how putting 8 teams together in one place right before NCAA Regionals makes much sense.
No further news has come from the league on a 2021 schedule. Now that is not remarkable. Many warm weather leagues have only released a schedule in the past couple of weeks and they will starting February 19th. With the B1G limiting play to conference-only opponents, it would be necessary to start the season at a later date, so waiting to finalize details and publish them is not as unusual as it would at first seem. This is especially true given the ongoing issues many athletic departments are having with COVID-19, such as the recent shutdown at the University of Michigan.