On Wednesday, The Big Ten officially announced updates to the upcoming 2022 football schedule. In an effort to remediate some of the discrepancies the 2020 season left behind, several teams received a combination of changed locations, changed dates, and in the cases of Penn State, Illinois, Northwestern, and Indiana, changed opponents.
The biggest change for the Nittany Lions comes in the addition of Northwestern to the schedule, which replaces Illinois. The Illini played in State College the past two seasons, and were they to remain on the schedule, they would have played Penn State on the road for three consecutive seasons.
The Nittany Lions still open on the road against Purdue, but now face Ohio State later in the season, and with separation from the Michigan contest. The Land Grant Trophy game is also back to its rightful place at the end of the season.
The following table shows the old and new schedule next to each other for comparison.
Penn State Schedule Comparison (2022)
|September 3||at Purdue||at Purdue|
|September 17||at Auburn||at Auburn|
|September 24||Central Michigan||Central Michigan|
|October 1||Ohio State||Northwestern|
|October 8||at Michigan||BYE|
|October 15||Illinois||at Michigan|
|October 29||Michigan State||Ohio State|
|November 5||at Indiana||at Indiana|
|November 19||Minnesota||at Rutgers|
|November 26||at Rutgers||Michigan State|
All in all, this seems a lot more favorable to Penn State, as they no longer play Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State in the span of a month, with Illinois sandwiched in. They also get a bye before taking on Michigan this season, and, as already mentioned, Michigan State is back at the end of the season. Swapping Illinois for Northwestern may end up being a wash, but the Wildcats have a knack for winning division titles after failing to eclipse four wins in a season.
Last, but not least, Dave Revisine of The Big Ten Network mentioned that future schedules are going to be updated as well, since the changes in 2022 have an effect on the years that follow.