How do the Big Ten football plans for 2022 compare in difficulty?

Penn State is gearing up for what will hopefully be a nice rebound season. But the schedule doesn’t throw too many easy casualties down the road for the Nittany Lions in 2022. But overall, how does Penn State’s schedule stack up in terms of difficulty compared to the other schools in the Big Ten? That’s what CBS Sports assessed this week.

Tom Fornelli took a look at every schedule played by the Big Ten teams in 2022 and offered his opinion on which team has the toughest schedule, which has the easiest and how the rest of the conference fits in between. According to Fornelli, Penn State’s schedule comes right in the middle of the conference.

Here’s some of what Fornelli had to say about Penn State’s 2022 schedule;

Penn State’s road game against Auburn appeared to be a lot harder than planned than it could be once the teams take the field. It’s still a road game against an SEC team, but it’s an SEC team that many believe could finish bottom 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’s stopping the Penn State schedule from being ranked higher is its draw from the west. Getting Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota (only Purdue is out in the season opener) is the best draw Penn State can hope for.

These are far off points on Penn State’s schedule. While the road trip to Auburn isn’t necessarily easy, it could have been more of a challenge if the game had been played a few years ago. Penn State beat Auburn in a competitive game last season, but the Tigers are a team headed in the wrong direction. Penn State should still have their hands full for this mid-September matchup in the South.

And the matchups against the Big Ten West Division are as cheap as can be, since every year without games against Wisconsin and Iowa in general will be in the current format. But Minnesota and Purdue could still be tricky opponents for the Nittany Lions. Penn State opens the season in a potentially dangerous place at Purdue, and Minnesota is in a trap game situation for Penn State between games against Michigan and Ohio State.

Penn State gets Ohio State at home, which tends to make for a better opportunity to upset the Buckeyes if history is any indication. And Michigan State will make the trip to Happy Valley to wrap up the regular season and who knows what each team will look like at the end of the season.

Fornelli is also known that Penn State with 8.5+ wins this season would be a smart move.

See how the Big Ten schedules are faring via CBS Sports, according to Fornelli.

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