Big Ten’s top non-conference games this upcoming season

·4 min read

College football is right around the corner with only a few months before we kick off the 2022 season.

As always, the Big Ten will be part of numerous major non-conference matchups — including the Spartans who will take on Washington in mid-September.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 most anticipated Big Ten non-conference games on the schedule for this upcoming season:

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Rutgers at Boston College

Peter Ackerman/Asbury Park Press

Date: Sept. 3 at 12 p.m. EDT

TV: ACC Network

A pair of east coast programs will battle it out in week one, with the goal of starting the season off right. Both Rutgers and Boston College reached bowl games last year, and will be looking to build off that momentum in 2022.

Purdue at Syracuse

Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier

Date: Sept. 17 at 12 p.m. EDT


Purdue is a darkhorse contender to win the Big Ten West Division this fall — and personally a team I’m high on entering this year. Syracuse isn’t going to be great this fall but should contend for a bowl game, making this a tough early-season test for the Boilermakers.

SMU at Maryland

Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. EDT


SMU has consistently been a solid program in the American Athletic Conference and generally brings a potent passing attack to the field. Maryland is the same thing in the Big Ten so this should be a high-scoring matchup.

Indiana at Cincinnati

Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services
Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services

Sam Greene/The Enquirer

Date: Sept. 24 at TBD


Indiana will be looking for a bounce-back season in 2022 and upsetting Cincinnati would certainly help achieve that. The Hoosiers played the playoff-bound Bearcats tight last year so this could be a sneaky good game for Big Ten football fans in late September.

Washington State at Wisconsin

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m. EDT


Wisconsin is one of the favorites to win the Big Ten West Division this fall, but getting past Washington State in early September could be tough. The Wildcats finished last season strong and are a darkhorse contender in the Pac-12 this year. This will be a fun early-season matchup for both teams.

Iowa State at Iowa

Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. EDT


Iowa owns the in-state series with the Cyclones — winning the last six meetings. But this rivalry is always a fun matchup and worthy of watching early in the season. Iowa will be favored again but maybe this is the year Iowa State ends the streak.

Michigan State at Washington

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. EDT


Michigan State’s trip to the West coast should be a very anticipated matchup for both Spartans and college football fans. Under a new head coach, we aren’t sure what to make of Washington heading into 2022 but it’s never easy winning on the road so this should be a fun hard-fought battle.

Penn State at Auburn

Dan Rainville/York Daily Record

Date: Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. EDT


It isn’t often we see a Big Ten-SEC matchup that isn’t played in a bowl game or at a neutral field. Penn State will take its return trip to Auburn this year, and it should be a fun nationally-televised game for college football fans everywhere. Penn State on paper is the better team but winning on the road at a place like Auburn won’t be easy for the Nittany Lions.

Oklahoma at Nebraska

Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 17 at 12 p.m. EDT


If you’re not high on Nebraska then you won’t consider this a great game — but I’m someone who expects a decent season from the Cornhuskers in 2022. So this traditional rivalry matchup against the Sooners is one that I’m looking forward to this fall. If Nebraska pulls the upset, then they’ll be in line for a great season.

Notre Dame at Ohio State

Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. EDT


A preseason top 10 matchup between two of the game’s most historic programs — this is easily the top non-conference game for the Big Ten this year and arguably for the entire country. The Buckeyes will enter as a two-score favorite but don’t be surprised if Notre Dame keeps it closer than the betting experts predict. Regardless, this is the most anticipated non-conference game in the league and I’m excited for this matchup on opening weekend.