The 2022 Big Ten Championship Football Game will be held in Indianapolis on Saturday, December 3. Last year, it was the Michigan Wolverines defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 42-3, solidifying a College Football Playoff spot. Who will it be this year? Our writers make their predictions below.
Matt Rejc: Ohio State defeats Wisconsin, 45-24
Don’t get me wrong, I think Wisconsin is going to be very good this year and could enter this game ranked in or near the top ten, but I don’t see any team in the west that would actually be competitive against Ohio State. The Buckeyes return Heisman candidate CJ Stroud at quarterback and have added elite prospects like Brandon Inniss and Noah Rogers to their receiving corps. The Buckeyes also feel snubbed after losing to their arch-rival Michigan Wolverines last season, and will no doubt look to avenge their disappointing finish. If OSU’s defense can step up compared to last year, then they should be a clear favorite to appear in the national title game.
Will Charlton: Ohio State defeats Wisconsin 38-24
This game will be a lot closer than the score indicates. Ohio State is my pick to win the national championship this season, and I think Wisconsin will be the team representing the Big Ten in Pasadena. The Buckeyes will be ranked either 2 or 3 coming into the game while the Badgers will be edging out the top 10 at 8, 9 or 10. It’ll be a matchup between a 11-1 team and a 10-2 team. The Badgers will win the Big Ten West while maybe dropping one or two of the matchups, but they’ll clinch it after they beat Minnesota and reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Iowa will fall right behind the Badgers). The Buckeyes will probably have one slip up game this season but I would not be surprised if they finish 12-0 rather than 11-1 in the regular season. They’ll once again make easy work of the Big Ten East and will restart a winning streak against Michigan this season. Ohio State’s offense will just be too much for the Badgers amazing defense to handle in the second half of the game which will be very close at halftime, and the Buckeyes will end up pulling away for yet another Big Ten title.
Ben Pekay: Ohio State defeats Iowa 35-7
It’s clear that Ohio State is the favorite in the Big Ten East. After their loss to arch-rival Michigan, Ohio State is coming into this season incredibly motivated. They return Heisman favorite CJ Stroud with an impressive supporting group including TreyVon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Nijgba. Although the Buckeyes were one of the best offenses in the country, their defense was their Achilles heel. They have solved this issue by hiring Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles who has a talented defense to shape. The Buckeyes will make it to the championship without dropping a game. For the Big Ten West, the favorite isn’t as clear. As usual, Iowa has one of the best defenses in the nation led by Defensive Back Riley Moss. The Hawkeyes will just have enough production on the offense from Spencer Petras to beat Wisconsin and earn themselves a trip to the Big Ten Championship. In the Championship, the Buckeyes will easily beat the Hawkeyes due to their superior offense and earn themselves a trip to the college football playoffs.
Raul Rodriguez: Ohio State defeats Nebraska 48-14
Scott Frost, with addition of QB transfer Casey Thompson, finally gives Husker fans the type of season they had hoped for when they hired him. The 2022 Huskers clean up the unforced errors, excel enough on offense, and play an old school physical style of defense. All of these things add up to a Big Ten West Championship. However, waiting for the Huskers in Indianapolis is an undefeated Ohio State that comes into the 2022 season as a war machine after a “disappointing” 2021 season. The Buckeyes, on the backs of the best passing game in CFB and an improved Jim Knowles defense, build a 38-7 halftime lead and extend it to 48-14 in the second half. The Huskers go on to the Rose Bowl while the Buckeyes head to the College Football Playoff.
Drew Pastorek: Ohio State defeats Iowa 41-16
Ohio State has to deal with Penn State, Michigan State and THE TEAM UP NORTH, but the Buckeyes are still in a class of their own. Ohio State has three legitimate Heisman candidates on offense alone – CJ Stroud, Jaxson Smith-Njigba, and TreVeyon Henderson. The Buckeyes notched an FBS-best 561.7 yards per game last season. Good luck containing that.
The Big Ten West figures to be wide open once again. Wisconsin is the preseason favorite but Iowa is always in the mix. I think Kirk Ferentz’s squad finds a way to make a return trek to Indy. QB is still a glaring issue for the Hawkeyes but that hasn’t stopped them before. Their defense is good enough to come out of the West but – as we saw last season against Michigan in the title game – Iowa won’t have enough athletes on the field to pose a real threat.
Kyle Tausk: Ohio State defeats Wisconsin 38-17
I just don’t see anybody coming close to this Ohio State team in the Big Ten. I think this is Ryan Day’s best team of his tenure thus far and I’m hard-pressed to remember an offensive unit having as much returning talent and firepower as this 2022 Buckeye group. The Stroud-Henderson-Smith-Njigba trio won’t be stopped by anybody in this conference and I expect Jim Knowles’s defense to be much improved from the one that heavily faltered down the stretch last season. As for the Big Ten West, I think there’s a few teams I could reasonably see getting to Indy (none of which being Nebraska; you’ll NEVER catch me believing in Scott Frost). I’m not going to bet against Wisconsin though, who should have a chip on their shoulder after losing the West to Iowa in 2021 and falling all the way to the Las Vegas Bowl. Braelon Allen is awesome and that defense should be right at the top of the conference like they always are. It won’t be enough to even make it much of a competitive game against Ohio State come December, however.
Mihir Chavan: Ohio State defeats Northwestern 54-3
Northwestern is due for a bounceback year. As much as it pains to say it, but the Wildcats will be back in the B1GCCG. OSU however will demolish their western foes no matter who plays so why not vote for chaos in the west. It’ll be a 5 way tie at 8-4 between Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Northwestern. Every team going 2-2 against the rest of the top 5 and NW beating the rest on a technicality by having best cumulative conference winning percentage of non-divisional opponents (Rule 5). And then OSU blows the Wildcats out.
Jack Jungmann: Ohio State defeats Wisconsin 41-13
In my opinion, no one in the Big Ten East is touching Ohio State this year. Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State will all be competent, but they’re nothing compared to the Buckeyes this year. The Big Ten West is where it gets a little more interesting. You could talk me into just about anyone in the Big Ten West. I think the top two will be Wisconsin and Iowa, with the Badgers just edging out the Hawkeyes. I don’t think Iowa will have the offense to take them to the championship game. Wisconsin getting to the championship game is really just a formality, because they stand no chance against Ohio State. The Buckeyes will roll their way into a College Football Playoff appearance.