The Ohio State baseball team made an improbable run to a conference title this past weekend, winning the Big Ten baseball tournament as the No. 7 seed – the lowest seed to ever win the tournament – for its second Big Ten tournament win since 2016.
In the process, the baseball team became the sixth Ohio State team to win a Big Ten title and the final team from any school to win a Big Ten title for the 2018-19 academic year. While several Ohio State teams are still participating in NCAA postseason competition, including men’s golf, rowing, men’s and women’s track and field and baseball (by virtue of its conference tournament win), this past weekend’s conference baseball tournament was the final Big Ten-sanctioned competition of the year.
With the success Ohio State had in winning Big Ten titles across a wide variety of sports over the past six months, it’s time to look back at each of the Buckeye teams that achieved conference supremacy this year, either by finishing atop the regular-season conference standings or by winning a postseason conference tournament.
After looking at each of their accomplishments individually, we'll also take a look at how Ohio State’s cumulative haul of Big Ten trophies compares with the rest of the conference.
Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes won Ohio State’s first Big Ten title of the academic year when they defeated Northwestern, 45-24, in the Big Ten football championship game on Dec. 1. Dwayne Haskins threw for 499 yards, breaking his own school record in the process, and five touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to their second consecutive Big Ten championship and punch their ticket to the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State went 11-1 during the regular season to win its second straight Big Ten East title and earn its berth in the Big Ten championship game, and became just the second football team in the championship game era (joining Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012) to win back-to-back Big Ten titles.
Women’s Track and Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
Ohio State swept the Big Ten indoor and outdoor women’s track and field championships this year, taking home the team titles from both the indoor meet in February and the outdoor meet earlier this month. Ohio State was the only team to score more than 100 points in both meets, outscoring second-place Indiana by 29 points indoors and 31 points outdoors.
Individual Ohio State athletes who won Big Ten championships to lead the Buckeyes to the team titles included Sade Olatoye (weight throw and shot put, indoor), Anavia Battle (200-meter dash, indoor and outdoor; 100-meter dash, outdoor), Abby Nichols (5,000-meter run, outdoor) and Taylor DeLoach (long jump).
Men’s Hockey (Regular Season)
Ohio State went 13-7-4 with three overtime wins in regular-season Big Ten play to take home the regular-season conference title, accumulating 46 points for the season – nine more than any other team in the seven-team conference, which was only separated by seven points from second (Notre Dame, 37) to seventh (Michigan State, 30). It was Ohio State’s first conference championship since the Big Ten added men’s hockey for the 2013-14 season.
The Buckeyes clinched the Big Ten title in memorable fashion, defeating Michigan in overtime in Ann Arbor to secure the conference crown with one week to go in the regular season.
Ohio State’s regular-season success did not carry over to the postseason, however, as the Buckeyes suffered a 5-1 loss to Penn State in their first game of the Big Ten tournament. Their season came to an end with a 2-0 loss to Denver in their first game of the NCAA tournament.
Men’s Tennis (Regular Season and Tournament)
After winning the ITA National Indoor Championship in February, Ohio State men’s tennis was dominant in conference play this spring, winning all 11 of its Big Ten matches to win its 14th consecutive regular-season conference title.
The Buckeyes followed that up by defeating Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois to win their fourth consecutive Big Ten tournament title.
Ohio State won 32 of its first 34 matches of the year and was ranked as the No. 1 team in the country before its luck finally ran out in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, when it suffered a 4-2 loss to No. 9 seed North Carolina.
Ohio State’s women’s golf team won the 18th Big Ten championship in program history, and its first since 2016, on April 21 when it was the only team to finish under par at the conference championship tournament at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio. The Buckeyes finished at -1 over the course of two rounds, led by senior Niki Schroeder, who shot 6-under-par for the tournament to tie for the individual title.
The Buckeyes’ season came to an end in their NCAA Regional in Cle Elum, Washington, where they finished seventh, just one spot out of the sixth-place finish they needed to advance to the national tournament.
Ohio State’s most surprising Big Ten championship of the year was undoubtedly the one that came just this past weekend. The Ohio State baseball team went 12-12 in regular-season Big Ten play, and were not even in line to make the NCAA tournament going into the Big Ten tournament.
Yet the Buckeyes upset No. 2 Michigan in their first tournament game on Wednesday, defeated Maryland on Thursday, then avenged their only loss in the double-elimination tournament against Minnesota on Saturday by defeating the Gophers on Sunday. That earned the Buckeyes a berth in the tournament championship game against Nebraska, and Ohio State defeated the Cornhuskers – in front of what was effectively a home crowd for Nebraska at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha – by a 3-1 score to win the 10th Big Ten tournament in school history, tied for the most in conference history.
Ohio State will now continue its season in the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes will learn their regional destination during the NCAA selection show Monday at noon.
How the Buckeyes Stack Up
We’ll start with the news you probably don’t want to hear as an Ohio State fan: Michigan led all Big Ten schools with a total of 10 regular-season conference championships or postseason conference tournament championships this year by seven different sports teams. The Wolverines’ women’s gymnastics, women’s tennis and softball teams each won both the regular-season and postseason conference titles in their respective sports, while Michigan’s field hockey and men’s gymnastics won regular-season conference championships and women’s cross country and rowing were victorious at their conference championship events.
The good news for the Buckeyes: Ohio State’s eight total conference championships (counting two each for women’s track and field and men’s tennis) by six different varsity sports teams ranked second in the conference in both categories.
No other school in the conference won more than six combined regular season and postseason Big Ten titles for 2018-19 (Penn State) or had more than four different varsity sports teams win regular season or postseason Big Ten titles this year.
The full list of 2018-19 Big Ten conference championships broken down by team can be found in the table below. Sports that are not followed by a parenthetical designation do not have separate championships for the regular season and postseason. Notre Dame is only a member of the Big Ten in men’s hockey, so its conference championships in other sports (in which it is a part of the ACC, except for football) are not included.
|MICHIGAN||10 (7)||Women’s Cross Country, Field Hockey (Regular Season), Women’s Gymnastics (Regular Season and Postseason), Men’s Gymnastics (Regular Season), Women’s Tennis (Regular Season and Tournament), Softball (Regular Season and Tournament), Rowing|
|OHIO STATE||8 (6)||Football, Women’s Track and Field (Indoor and Outdoor), Men’s Hockey (Regular Season), Men’s Tennis (Regular Season and Tournament), Women’s Golf, Baseball (Tournament)|
|PENN STATE||6 (4)||Women’s Soccer (Regular Season), Wrestling (Regular Season and Postseason), Men’s Gymnastics (Postseason), Men’s Lacrosse (Regular Season and Tournament)|
|INDIANA||5 (4)||Men’s Soccer (Regular Season and Tournament), Men’s Swimming and Diving, Women’s Swimming and Diving, Baseball (Regular Season)|
|IOWA||4 (4)||Women’s Basketball (Tournament), Wrestling (Regular Season), Men’s Gymnastics (Regular Season), Men’s Track and Field (Outdoor)|
|MARYLAND||4 (3)||Field Hockey (Regular Season and Tournament), Women’s Basketball (Regular Season), Women’s Lacrosse (Regular Season)|
|MINNESOTA||3 (3)||Women’s Soccer (Tournament), Women’s Volleyball, Men’s Gymnastics (Regular Season)|
|MICHIGAN STATE||2 (1)||Men’s Basketball (Regular Season and Tournament)|
|NEBRASKA||1||Men’s Track and Field (Indoor)|
|NORTHWESTERN||1||Women’s Lacrosse (Tournament)|
|NOTRE DAME||1||Men’s Hockey (Tournament)|
|PURDUE||1||Men’s Basketball (Regular Season)|
|WISCONSIN||1||Men’s Cross Country|
Other Ohio State Titles
The following titles don’t count as Big Ten championships, but are nonetheless worthy of recognition as achievements of conference or national supremacy by Ohio State varsity sports teams.
Fencing (Midwest Fencing Conference)
Fencing is not an official Big Ten sport, but Ohio State’s fencing team was victorious in the Midwest Fencing Conference championship in February, earning a total of 1,575 points to defeat second-place Northwestern for the co-ed title. Ohio State’s male fencers also won the men’s title at the conference championship, with their sabre, epee and foil teams all winning their individual events, while the women’s team finished second to Northwestern.
Ohio State went on to finish sixth at the NCAA Fencing Championships.
Men’s Golf (Match Play)
It doesn’t actually count as a Big Ten championship, but the Ohio State men’s golf was victorious at this year’s Big Ten match play championship to win its first-ever title at that event. The Buckeyes earned victories over Rutgers, Wisconsin, Illinois and Maryland to take the conference match play title.
Ohio State finished seventh in the official Big Ten men’s golf championship tournament in April, but pulled off a surprise second-place finish at the NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional earlier this month to earn a berth in the NCAA men’s golf championship, where the Buckeyes are 11th out of 30 teams entering the final round of stroke play on Monday.
Synchronized Swimming (U.S. Collegiate Championship)
Ohio State’s synchronized swimming team doesn’t actually compete in a conference, but who needs conference championships when you annually win national championships? For the 32nd time in school history and the third year in a row, Ohio State’s synchronized swimming won the U.S. Collegiate and National Championship, sweeping every category of the contest to dominate the competition.
Dance Team/Brutus (UCA/UDA Championship)
The national championships for cheerleading and dance are the only time that the spirit squad participates in an intercollegiate competition rather than showcasing their talents at events for other Ohio State sports teams, but that was enough for Ohio State to bring home multiple trophies this year. At the Universal Dance and Cheer Association College Nationals in January, the dance team won its second consecutive national championship while Brutus Buckeye won the mascot national championship.