Penn State is preparing for what they hope is a nice rebound season. But the schedule doesn’t toss the Nittany Lions too many easy outs along the way in 2022. But how does Penn State’s schedule overall stack up in terms of difficulty compared to the rest of the schools in the Big Ten? That’s what CBS Sports has weighed in on this week.
Tom Fornelli took a look at each schedule being played by Big Ten teams in 2022 and offered his take on which team has the toughest schedule, which has the easiest, and how the rest of the conference fits in between. Penn State’s schedule comes smack dab in the middle of the conference according to Fornelli.
Here is some of what Fornelli had to say about Penn State’s 2022 schedule;
Penn State’s road game against Auburn seemed a lot more difficult when it was scheduled than it might be when the teams take the field. It’s still a road game against an SEC team, but it’s an SEC team many think could finish last in its division this season. The Lions fill out the nonconference with home games against Ohio and Central Michigan, both of which are tough. What keeps the Penn State schedule from being ranked higher than this is its draw from the West. Getting Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota (only Purdue is on the road in the season-opener) is the best draw Penn State could hope for.
These are far points to make about Penn State’s schedule. The road trip to Auburn, while not necessarily easy, could have been a stiffer challenge if the game was played a few years ago. Penn State edged Auburn in a competitive game last season but the Tigers are a team trending in the wrong direction. Penn State should still have their hands full for that matchup in the middle of Septmeber down south.
And the matchups against the Big Ten West Division are about as favorable as you can get, as any year without games against Wisconsin and Iowa will generally be under the current format. But Minnesota and Purdue could still be tricky opponents for the Nittany Lions. Penn State opens the season at Purdue in a potentially dangerous spot to open, and Minnesota is sandwiched between games against Michigan and Ohio State in a trap game situation for Penn State.
Penn State does get Ohio State at home, which tends to lead to a better opportunity to upset the Buckeyes if history is any indication. And Michigan State will make the trip to Happy Valley to close out the regular season, and who knows what either team will look like by the end of the season.
Fornelli is also on record suggesting Penn State going over 8.5 wins would be a wise move to make this season.
See how the Big Ten schedules measure up according to Fornelli via CBS Sports.
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