As expected, the Big Ten announced revised conference schedules for the 2022 football season on Wednesday. It’s the third consecutive season the conference has made changes during the global pandemic COVID-19. Here is the statement from the Big Ten:
The Big Ten Conference Administrators Council, which includes the Directors of Athletics and Senior Women Administrators from all 14 member institutions, has approved the 2022 Big Ten football schedule. Please note that select games from Saturday will be adjusted, to either Thursday or Friday, as in past seasons. Previously released schedules will also be modified in the future as a result of adjustments to the 2020 football schedule.
Opponents did not change, but the order and dates of games played did. Seven of nine Big Ten games ultimately moved.
The non-conference portion of the schedule remains the same with the Scarlet Knights opening at Boston College on September 3, followed by a home game vs. Wagner and then a road trip to Temple.
The Big Ten slate is still an extremely challenging one. The six year series with Illinois is now replaced with Iowa. Minnesota and Nebraska replace Northwestern and Wisconsin. Of course, the matchups with East division foes will remain difficult as always.
Here are some aspects that stayed the same as well as notable changes that took place on the Big Ten schedule for Rutgers.
No more back to back road games
On the original 2022 schedule, Rutgers was slated to play at Minnesota and Ohio State on the first two Saturdays in October. The good news is that is no longer the case. The road trip to the Buckeyes was moved up one week to October 1, but the Minnesota contest is now on October 29. There is now real synergy on the schedule, as Rutgers rotates week to week for the entire season with home and road games. While the program always tries to have more home games each season, it’s beneficial in a season they don’t and have two road non-conference contests that there is some continuity built in.
Bye Week remains the same
Rutgers is scheduled to have an off week on October 15, which was the case originally. However, it’s a better stretch with the new schedule as the bye is now sandwiched around two home games, Nebraska on October 8 and Indiana on October 22. This will give RU a true period mid-season to rest and not deal with the grind of the road. It’s also nice for fans who try to attend as many games as possible by cutting down on travel for an extended period of time.
November slightly more manageable
Rutgers was originally scheduled in November to host Iowa, travel to Michigan State, followed by hosting Michigan and Penn State to end the season. It’s now not much easier, but a road game at Maryland replaces Iowa in November. Again not a major change, but still a preferred change. Iowa will now visit Piscataway on September 24 instead.
Maryland on Rivalry Week again
The Big Ten is doing its best to create a rivalry with Rutgers and Maryland, as they end the regular season facing off for a second consecutive year. Every other Big Ten matchup has a trophy to celebrate long established rivalries other than Michigan-Ohio State, which stands on its own. James Kratch of NJ Advance Media had a good idea for a potential trophy for Rutgers-Maryland here. Hopefully, the Scarlet Knights can end 2022 on a winning note and redeem the disappointing 40-16 defeat to the Terps this past season.
Here is Rutgers’ revised 2022 football schedule:
9/3 at Boston College
9/10 vs. Wagner
9/17 at Temple
10/1 at Ohio State
10/29 at Minnesota
11/12 at Michigan State
11/19 Penn State
11/26 at Maryland