Ranking College Football’s Three Toughest Schedules for 2022

Photo courtesy of Arkansas athletics

Talk to any football coach at any level and he will tell you that it is hard to win a football game.

The ball is shaped funny; it can bounce funny ways; a lot has to happen to win a football game. In college football, winning is harder for some than others.

In modern college football, non-conference schedules are made so far in advance, we do not know which games should be good ones until the time comes. Well, here we are about four months away from the start of the college football season, and we know which schedules should be considered the most difficult.

We present a list of the top three toughest schedules for 2022:

3. Ohio State

Ryan Day and the Buckeyes have a doozy of a schedule. Outside of the SEC West, one could argue the Big Ten East is the toughest division in college football. The Buckeyes will open up against Notre Dame and end with Michigan. In the middle, Ohio State will face Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, and Penn State. The Buckeyes should see about half of their opponents finish the season ranked in the AP Poll.

  • Sept. 3 vs. Notre Dame
  • Sept. 10 vs. Arkansas State
  • Sept. 17 vs. Toledo
  • Sept. 24 vs. Wisconsin
  • Oct. 1 vs. Rutgers
  • Oct. 8 at Michigan State
  • Oct. 22 vs. Iowa
  • Oct. 29 at Penn State
  • Nov. 5 at Northwestern
  • Nov. 12 vs. Indiana
  • Nov. 19 at Maryland
  • Nov. 26 vs. Michigan

2. Mississippi State

Speaking of the SEC West, Mississippi State faces a murderer’s row. The out-of-conference schedule includes Memphis, at Arizona, Bowling Green and East Tennessee State. Memphis beat the Bulldogs in 2021, and East Tennessee State also knocked off an SEC opponent last year. The Bulldogs will be playing half of the College Football Playoff participants from 2021. The schedule includes defending national champion Georgia and defending SEC champion Alabama. The road trips include Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge and Oxford.

  • Sept. 3 vs. Memphis
  • Sept. 10 at Arizona
  • Sept. 17 at LSU
  • Sept. 24 vs. Bowling Green
  • Oct. 1 vs. Texas A&M
  • Oct. 8 vs. Arkansas
  • Oct. 15 at Kentucky
  • Oct. 22 at Alabama
  • Nov. 5 vs. Auburn
  • Nov. 12 vs. Georgia
  • Nov. 19 vs. East Tennessee State
  • Nov. 24 at Ole Miss

1. Arkansas

While Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman had a hell of a 2021, he’ll need to eat his Wheaties to have major success in 2022. Looking at the Razorbacks’ schedule, they could easily face seven ranked opponents. Like Mississippi State, Arkansas will face half of the 2021 College Football Playoff field. The season starts with one those foes in Cincinnati. With contests against South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama by Oct. 1, the Razorbacks won’t be able to ease into their schedule. The non-conference slate not only includes a participant in last season’s playoff in Cincinnati, but contests at BYU and against a good Liberty program.

  • Sept. 3 vs. Cincinnati
  • Sept. 10 vs. South Carolina
  • Sept. 17 vs. Missouri State
  • Sept. 24 vs. Texas A&M (Arlington)
  • Oct. 1 vs. Alabama
  • Oct. 8 at Mississippi State
  • Oct. 15 at BYU
  • Oct. 29 at Auburn
  • Nov. 5 vs. Liberty
  • Nov. 12 vs. LSU
  • Nov. 19 vs. Ole Miss
  • Nov. 25 at Missouri