Nittany Lions Wire preseason predictions: Predicting the Big Ten in 2022

·4 min read

While many around here may be expecting better results from Penn State in 2022, there seems to be a familiar theme when it comes to who will come out on top of the Big Ten. After missing out on the Big Ten championship last season, the Ohio State Buckeyes are entering the 2022 season as a popular favorite to come out on top of the Big Ten. And our staff certainly agrees.

Below you will find our staff predictions for each Big Ten division, the Big Ten championship, and our pick for MVP of the conference in 2022. And as is typically the case when it comes to predicting the Big Ten over the past decade, Ohio State is feeling comfortable atop the predictions.

Big Ten East

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Sam Dehring, Contributor
@sam_dehring68

  1. Ohio State

  2. Michigan

  3. Michigan State

  4. Penn State

  5. Maryland

  6. Indiana

  7. Rutgers

It’s pretty clear to say that Ohio State will win the Big Ten East. To me, The top three don’t really change and nobody else in the East is better.

Andrew Harbaugh, Contributor
@MandrewNFL

  1. Ohio State

  2. Michigan

  3. Maryland

  4. Penn State

  5. Indiana

  6. Rutgers

Kevin McGuire, Editor
@KevinOnCFB

  1. Ohio State

  2. Michigan

  3. Penn State

  4. Michigan State

  5. Maryland

  6. Indiana

  7. Rutgers

The Buckeyes work their way back to the top of the Big Ten East, and the home-field advantage against Michigan at the end of the season helps in a big way. I do think Penn State moves back up in the pecking order of the division, but the road game at Michigan likely impacts the final placement of the Wolverines and Nittany Lions. Michigan State takes a slight step back as well, while Maryland is the fifth-place team capable of springing an upset almost anywhere on the schedule.

Big Ten West

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Sam

  1. Purdue

  2. Wisconsin

  3. Iowa

  4. Minnesota

  5. Northwestern

  6. Nebraska

  7. Illinois

The Big Ten West is where it gets interesting. If Nebraska didn’t have such a terrible defense they could definitely be a .500+ team. Wisconsin and Purdue are a toss-up for me. I’m giving the edge to Purdue. First, Aidan O’Connel is the second-best quarterback in the Big Ten (CJ Stroud is in his own tier and nobody touches him in the Big Ten). Wisconsin is the same team every year. They lose to teams they shouldn’t be losing to.

Purdue had an impressive season and I think there is a very good chance Jeff Brohm leaves for a better job like Auburn after this season. Wisconsin also lost both of their starting receivers and Jake Ferguson on their offense and Leo Chenal and Jack Sanborn on their defense. Purdue is without David Bell and Milton Wright, but they are set at the tight end position, which will help them a lot. They also lost George Karlaftis on their defense, which is quite the big loss for them. However, I do still think they come out on top, one of the biggest reasons being quarterback play.

Andrew

  1. Wisconsin

  2. Iowa

  3. Purdue

  4. Nebraska

  5. Minnesota

  6. Northwestern

  7. Illinois

Kevin

  1. Wisconsin

  2. Iowa

  3. Minnesota

  4. Purdue

  5. Nebraska

  6. Northwestern

  7. Illinois

I actually struggled ranking the bottom of the Big Ten West more than I did the top half. I feel like it’s safe to pick Wisconsin or Iowa almost any year in the West, although I do believe Minnesota plays a big factor in how the division plays out, making their trip to Beaver Stadium in October well worth monitoring closely. I think Nebraska has to get something going this year, and they need to get bowl eligibility before November. (Note: I wrote this before Nebraska lost their season opener to Northwestern in Week 0, so, uh, good luck with all of that, Huskers.)

Big Ten Championship

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Sam: Ohio State over Purdue

Andrew: Ohio State over Wisconsin

Kevin: Ohio State over Wisconsin

Big Ten MVP

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Sam: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB

Not only Big Ten MVP, but I do also think he will go on to win the Heisman as well.

Andrew: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB

If the Big Ten has the Heisman winner I assume he would be Big Ten MVP? I think C.J. Stroud is about to embark on a very special season in 2022. That Buckeyes team is a well-oiled machine and Stroud is set up to be John Williams and conduct that orchestra of top-end talent.

Kevin: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB

I’m not exactly going out on a limb here to suggest the Big Ten’s best player will be Ohio State’s quarterback, CJ Stroud. He enters the season among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy and I fully anticipate he will have stats to back up that hype by the end of the season. And with the year I anticipate Ohio State will have, Stroud should run away with this as a result.

Nittany Lions Wire Preseason Predictions

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Be sure to check out our other preseason predictions:

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire