2022 B1G Bowl projections entering Week 0
In one way, the 2021 college football season was a landmark for the Big Ten. In another way, it was a source of continued frustration for many of the league’s fans.
Michigan won the B1G championship for the first time since 2004 and reached the College Football Playoff for the first time. In the process, Michigan became the 3rd B1G program to make the Playoff (Ohio State and Michigan State). But the Wolverines lost to eventual national champion Georgia in the Orange Bowl, extending the B1G’s streak to 7 consecutive seasons without a national champion.
Michigan and eternal rival Ohio State are the teams picked at the top of pretty much every expert’s list to contend for the conference title and put forth the league’s argument for a spot in the 2022 CFP semifinals. We’re picking OSU to take back its status atop the conference. It helps that Heisman Trophy candidate CJ Stroud returns to lead an explosive offense; it also helps the Buckeyes that games against Notre Dame, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan all take place in Columbus.
This season, the Peach and Fiesta Bowls host the CFP semifinals on Dec. 31. The national title game is on Jan. 9, 2023, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Last year the B1G put 10 teams in the postseason, including Rutgers, which qualified despite a losing regular season because Texas A&M vacated its spot in the Gator Bowl and the Scarlet Knights had the best academic standing among 5-7 teams. The league went 6-4 in those bowls, including two wild 48-45 victories — for Ohio State over Utah in the Rose Bowl and for Purdue over Tennessee in overtime at the Music City Bowl.
This year the B1G has an invitation to the Belk Bowl on Dec. 30 in Charlotte. That bowl and the Las Vegas Bowl alternate between the SEC and B1G as part of a 6-year agreement; last year, Wisconsin traveled to the Las Vegas Bowl, but this year the SEC takes that spot.
So here are the B1G bowl projections for 2022 heading into Week 0 — a week in which Nebraska and Northwestern square off in Dublin, Ireland, and Illinois hosts Wyoming in a nonconference opener.