Five Early Thoughts on Ohio State’s 2022 Football Schedule

If Ohio State is going to return to the Big Ten Championship Game and the College Football Playoff, it’s going to have to win a lot of challenging games along the way.

On Wednesday, the Big Ten released an updated football schedule for 2022, and the changes appear to be mostly favorable to the Buckeyes. Notably, Ohio State will no longer have to make back-to-back road trips to Michigan State and Penn State, as the Buckeyes’ game against the Spartans was pushed back to Oct. 8, while the matchup with the Nittany Lions will now be played on October 29th.

2022 Ohio State Football Schedule

DATE

ADVERSARY

PREVIOUS ADVERSARY

SAT, SEPT. 3

OUR LADY

OUR LADY

SAT, SEPT. 10

STATE OF ARKANSAS

STATE OF ARKANSAS

SAT, SEPT. 17

TOLEDO

TOLEDO

SAT, SEPT. 24

WISCONSIN

in the STATE OF MICHIGAN

SATURDAY, OCT. one

rutgers

in the STATE OF PENN

SATURDAY, OCT. 8

in the STATE OF MICHIGAN

rutgers

SATURDAY, OCT. fifteen

OFF

IOWA

SATURDAY, OCT. 22

IOWA

OFF

SATURDAY, OCT. 29

in the STATE OF PENN

INDIANA

SATURDAY, NOV. 5

in NORTHWEST

in NORTHWEST

HE SAT. NOV. 12

INDIANA

WISCONSIN

SATURDAY, NOV. 19

in MARYLAND

in MARYLAND

SATURDAY, NOV. 26

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN

That said, Ohio State will continue to play the same opponents it was scheduled to play before Wednesday’s update, and that leaves plenty of potential tests in the Buckeyes’ way, including a season opener against a likely top 10 team from preseason at Notre. Give me a full list of Big Ten East opponents and games against what could be the top two Big Ten West teams.

Now that Ohio State’s actual schedule for the 2022 season has been finalized, it’s time to take a closer look at where the new schedule might be advantageous for the Buckeyes and where the potential pitfalls for Ohio State’s championship hopes might lie.

Home Sweet Home

The first thing that jumps off the screen when looking at Ohio State’s new schedule is the five-game homestand the Buckeyes will start their season with. It will be the first time since 2003 that Ohio State has opened its season by playing five straight games at home.

It will be the first time since 2012 that Ohio State will play eight home games at Ohio Stadium in a single season, giving the Buckeyes the advantage of having to play just four games on the road this year. (By contrast, Ohio State will play six games at home and six on the road in 2023.)

If Ohio State had the opportunity to design an ideal schedule for itself, it would probably choose to play one of its road games in September instead of having to play four of its last seven road games. The Buckeyes won’t be road-tested until they play Michigan State on Oct. 8, and they’ll have to play three road games in a four-week span when they play Penn State on Oct. 29, Northwestern on Nov. 5 and Maryland on Oct. on November 19.

However, given that they will be tearing up the new turf at Ohio Stadium playing a full two-thirds of their games in front of their home crowd, the Buckeyes are in no position to complain.

Big games throughout the calendar

For Ohio State fans, the best part of the 2022 schedule might be the fact that there will be big games to look forward to at every point on the schedule.

The September 3 season opener against Notre Dame will be circled on the Buckeye Nation schedules. The Big Ten schedule will kick off with a highly anticipated game as the Buckeyes host Wisconsin on September 24. In early October, two teams that finished last season in the top 10 will meet as Ohio State travels to Michigan State. Ohio State playing at Penn State just before Halloween is starting to feel like a tradition, as the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions play the last weekend of October for the third year in a row. And, of course, everyone will be looking forward to the Game on November 26, when Michigan will play at Ohio Stadium for the first time in four years.

Spreading those games out over the course of the season should also pay off for the Buckeyes, as there isn’t a single stretch in the schedule that looks like a killer. However, that also means there won’t be an extended easy win streak for the Buckeyes, which means they’ll need to play at a high level at the beginning, middle and end of the season.

challenging crossings

After playing Nebraska in each of the past six seasons, Ohio State will play Wisconsin in their protected crossover game for the next four seasons, representing a step forward in inter-divisional competition. While Nebraska finished with a losing record in the last five of those six seasons, Wisconsin finished with a winning record in its last 20 seasons, and the Badgers generally play tough against the Buckeyes, although Ohio State has won the last eight meetings.

Ohio State will also host the reigning Big Ten West champions in 2022, as Iowa arrives in Columbus on Oct. 22. The Hawkeyes beat the Buckeyes in their last meeting in 2017, and both the Hawkeyes and Badgers are included in most of the top 25. projections, so it’s very likely Ohio State will end up playing the top two teams in the Western division.

If recent trends are any indication, Northwestern could also be a sleeper to watch in the West. The Wildcats have alternated between reaching the Big Ten Championship Game and going 3-9 in each of the past four years, so they shouldn’t be written off despite a losing year in 2021, and the Buckeyes will have to face them in the second. stage of his only consecutive road sequence of the year.

Graham Mertz and Chez Mellussi

Graham Mertz, Chez Mellusi and the Wisconsin Badgers will come to Columbus in 2022. (Photo: Robert Goddin – USA TODAY Sports)

A convenient week off? Maybe

For the second year in a row, Ohio State’s only bye week of the regular season will come right in the middle of the schedule, as the Buckeyes will play six games before their bye week and six more regular-season games after.

On paper, that should be a good time to get a week off, as it splits the season into two halves and gives the Buckeyes a chance to rest, regroup and recover in between. It also breaks what looks to be the most daunting stretch of the season, as the Buckeyes will play Michigan State, Iowa and Penn State in three straight games.

That said, it does set the Buckeyes up for another second-half challenge like they did last season, as they’ll have to play six Big Ten games in six weeks, which would turn into seven conference contests in seven weeks if they make it to the game. of Big Ten championship. . Ohio State might have been more fitting if they got their bye a week later, when it was originally supposed to be, as that would have given the Buckeyes one more week to prepare for their road trip to Penn State, which is now will be sandwiched by the Iowa and Northwestern games.

Don’t fall into a november trap

Once the Ohio State/Penn State game is in the books and the schedule shifts to November, anticipation for The Game will build rapidly. If ever there was a year Ohio State was tempted to start looking toward Michigan early, this will be it, as the Buckeyes will be itching to avenge last year’s loss in Ann Arbor.

The schedule leading up to The Game looks easier than last year, when the Buckeyes played Michigan State a week before Michigan, and in 2019, when the Buckeyes played Penn State in their penultimate game of the regular season.

But that’s where the threat of cheating could come in.

Northwestern played tough against Ohio State in their last meeting in the 2020 Big Ten Championship Game, and the Buckeyes will have to be on their guard against a post-Penn State disappointment. Indiana lost whatever momentum it had right now a year ago with a 2-10 season in 2021, but the Hoosiers gave the Buckeyes a scare at Ohio Stadium two years ago. Maryland projects to have the second-best passing offense in the Big Ten with Taulia Tagovailoa throwing to Rakim Jarrett, Dontay Demus and Jacob Copeland, and the Terrapins took Ohio State into overtime the last time they hosted the Buckeyes in 2018, when Ohio State traveled to Maryland. just one week before he plays at Michigan as he will this year.

On paper, those should be three of the four easiest conference games of the season for Ohio State, along with their Oct. 1 game against Rutgers. But they still aren’t games the Buckeyes can afford to ignore entirely.

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