Projecting best- and worst-case eventualities for each Massive Ten group in 2022

It is one thing each faculty soccer fan does for his or her group: what is the best- and worst-case situation heading into the season? What are the minimal and a most variety of video games my favourite group will win and lose?

That is one thing I’ve personally finished for years and now I am taking it to the keyboard for each Massive Ten group as we look forward to the 2022 season.

Take a look at my projections for every Massive Ten group for this upcoming fall:

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Illinois

Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 7-5 (4-5 in Massive Ten)

It is potential for Illinois to comb their non-conference slate, and from there they’re going to have to win 4 of 5 toss-up video games (at Indiana, vs. Minnesota, at Nebraska, vs. Purdue and at Northwestern). It is unlikely however potential for the Preventing Illini in yr two below Bret Bielema.

Worst case situation: 1-11 (0-9 in Massive Ten)

Wyoming within the season-opener is a sport the Illini ought to win, but when they have been to stumble in that one then issues will go south rapidly. I doubt we see Illinois have this brutal of a season but it surely’s potential if the group will get off to a tough begin.

Indiana

Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 6-6 (4-5 in Massive Ten)

Indiana might want to get off to a quick begin in 2022 with the intention to attain a bowl sport. I might see the Hoosiers heading right into a late-season bye at 5-3 and needing yet one more win to make a bowl sport. The ultimate win would, nevertheless, want to return in opposition to both Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State or Purdue so it will not be straightforward in opposition to any of these foes.

Worst case situation: 2-10 (0-9 in Massive Ten)

Indiana went winless in Massive Ten play final fall so why cannot it occur once more? I do not anticipate that to occur for a second straight season but it surely’s actually potential trying on the schedule.

Iowa

Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 10-2 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

If Iowa can get beat Michigan in an early-October house sport, then they very nicely might be 6-0 heading into a serious matchup with Ohio State on Oct. 22. I feel that is actually potential to do, however with 5 of the ultimate six video games coming as toss-ups (or a possible loss at Ohio State), I do not see the Hawkeyes doing any higher than 10-2.

Worst case situation: 6-6 (3-6 in Massive Ten)

Iowa would not lose to Iowa State (and should not once more this yr) so I do not see Iowa any worse than 4-2 on the midway mark. From there, issues get very tough however I nonetheless assume Iowa at minimal would not do worse than choosing up pair of wins of their ultimate six video games (at Ohio State, vs. Northwestern, at Purdue, vs. Wisconsin, at Minnesota and vs .Nebraska) to grow to be bowl eligible.

Maryland

Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 7-5 (4-5 in Massive Ten)

Maryland ought to sweep their non-conference slate and have three winnable video games in convention play with at Indiana, Northwestern and Rutgers. If the Terps can then discover a strategy to upset one of many following groups then that places them at 7-5 on the yr: at Michigan, vs. Michigan State, vs. Purdue, at Wisconsin, at Penn State and vs. Ohio State .

Worst case situation: 4-8 (1-8 in Massive Ten)

It is by no means straightforward within the Massive Ten East Division and there is a likelihood issues go sideways and the Terps drop all of their inner-division matchups this fall. Maryland’s crossover video games aren’t straightforward both with house tilts in opposition to Purdue and Northwestern, and a street journey to Wisconsin. It is positively potential for Maryland to not attain bowl eligibility with this tough schedule.

Michigan

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 11-1 (8-1 in Massive Ten)

Michigan might by no means once more play a better non-conference slate than this yr so anticipate the Wolverines to win every of these three video games. The remainder of their schedule is not too dangerous both with solely 4 video games I see them doubtlessly dropping (at Iowa, vs. Penn State, vs. Michigan State and at Ohio State). Profitable all 4 of these is unlikely however three out of 4 is certainly potential.

Worst case situation: 8-4 (5-4 in Massive Ten)

With the schedule and expertise returning, 8-4 could be a large failure for the Wolverines this yr. It is unlikely Michigan finally ends up right here but it surely’s potential for them to lose every of their hardest 4 video games beforehand talked about so I am setting their ground at 8-4 for this fall.

Minnesota

Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 10-2 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

I am bullish on the Golden Gophers getting into the 2022 season and might see a path to 10-2 and a possible Massive Ten Championship Recreation berth. To realize this best-case situation, Minnesota would wish to maintain enterprise in each sport they’re going to be favored and break up their 4 powerful street video games (at Michigan State, at Penn State, at Nebraska and at Wisconsin).

Worst case situation: 5-7 (4-5 in Massive Ten)

Ought to Minnesota lose all of their toss-ups to powerful video games, then we might see them lacking out on a bowl sport. Colorado at house is their hardest non-conference sport — the Golden Gophers ought to win that one but when they do not then that is how we discover Minnesota lacking out on the postseason.

Nebraska

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 9-3 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

Nebraska misplaced each shut sport final yr and this yr they flip the swap to win each shut sport. The Cornhuskers have six video games that may decide their success (vs. Oklahoma, at Purdue, vs. Minnesota, at Michigan, vs. Wisconsin and at Iowa) and in the event that they win three of these six then 9-3 is in play.

Worst case situation: 5-7 (3-6 in Massive Ten)

Nebraska continues to wrestle in particular groups and might’t work out learn how to end video games late. This leads to the Cornhuskers dropping all six of their powerful video games beforehand talked about and blend in an upset alongside the best way to as soon as once more miss a bowl sport and more than likely finish the Scott Frost period in Lincoln, Neb.

northwest

William Howard/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 6-6 (3-6 in Massive Ten)

If Northwestern is ready to beat Nebraska in Eire to open the season, then there is a robust likelihood they’re going to open the yr 4-0. From there, the schedule will get considerably harder however on this situation I see the Wildcats choosing up wins in two of those three matchups: at Maryland, at Purdue and vs. Illinois.

Worst case situation: 2-10 (0-9 in Massive Ten)

Northwestern typically would not have two straight dangerous seasons below Pat Fitzgerald but when the offense would not drastically enhance from final yr then it is potential we see one other clunker yr for the Wildcats. On this projection, I’ve the Wildcats dropping every league sport and likewise slipping up in opposition to awful Duke.

Ohio State

Greg Bartram/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 12-0 (9-0 in Massive Ten)

The Buckeyes play a really difficult schedule this yr however they’re going to be favored in each sport so an ideal season is actually in play — and truthfully the expectation for Ohio State.

Worst case situation: 9-3 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

Whereas it is impossible, the schedule is hard sufficient for Ohio State to journey up a number of occasions this yr. Ought to the Buckeyes lose their season-opener in opposition to Notre Dame, then it might solely take a few losses between these powerful 5 convention video games — vs. Wisconsin, at Michigan State, vs. Iowa, at Penn State and vs. Michigan — for the Buckeyes to complete 9-3. I would not wager on that taking place but it surely’s technically potential to see occur.

Penn State

Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 10-2 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

Penn State has the expertise able to a bounce-back season, and whereas the schedule is hard I can see them profitable 10 video games. Street video games at Purdue, Auburn and Michigan might be powerful, and residential matchups in opposition to Ohio State, Michigan State and Minnesota might be equally tough. But when Penn State wins 4 of these six and would not slip up elsewhere then that places them at 10-2 on the yr.

Worst case situation: 6-6 (4-5 in Massive Ten)

James Franklin appears to at all times lose a sport or two he should not annually so that ought to occur once more this fall then we might see this worst-case situation come into fruition. The primary three weeks of the season will make-or-break Penn State with two powerful street video games (at Purdue and at Auburn) — ought to they lose each of these video games then issues might go south quick for Penn State.

Purdue

Mike Carter/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 10-2 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

Purdue’s season-opener in opposition to Penn State at house on a Thursday evening will inform us loads concerning the Boilermakers in 2022. Ought to they win that sport, then I can see this squad reaching double-digit wins primarily based on the favorable schedule.

Worst case situation: 6-6 (4-5 in Massive Ten)

The Boilermakers have a positive schedule however with that, there are a selection of toss-up video games too. Ought to they lose a number of of these toss-up video games early on (reminiscent of vs. Penn State and at Syracuse) and I might see this being a squad battling for a bowl bid getting into the ultimate week of the yr.

Rutgers

Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 6-6 (3-6 in Massive Ten)

Rutgers has a tricky slate in 2022 however there have been noticeable enhancements within the first two years below Greg Schiano. If the Scarlet Knights can discover a strategy to win a handful of toss-up video games this fall then a bowl sport is actually potential.

Worst case situation: 3-9 (1-8 in Massive Ten)

If the Scarlet Knights drop their season-opener in opposition to Boston Faculty, then attending to bowl eligibility might be powerful in 2022. Rutgers has doubtlessly six preseason prime 25 groups on their schedule this yr so it will be an uphill battle if issues get off to a shaky begin for the Scarlet Knights.

Wisconsin

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports activities

Greatest case situation: 11-1 (8-1 in Massive Ten)

After a disappointing 2021 season, Wisconsin can have an important alternative to bounce again this yr behind one of many nation’s prime working backs in Braelon Allen. The schedule is hard with street video games in opposition to Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa and Nebraska, however the Badgers are positively able to profitable three of these 4 video games to stay within the Faculty Soccer Playoff dialog all through the autumn.

Worst case situation: 7-5 (5-4 in Massive Ten)

Graham Mertz continues to wrestle because the Badgers’ signal-caller and the working sport is not sufficient to beat his shortcomings. That results in the Badgers stumbling early in opposition to Washington State and dropping all 4 of their powerful convention street video games en path to a 7-5 end.

Michigan State

Nick King/Lansing State Journal

Greatest case situation: 10-2 (7-2 in Massive Ten)

Michigan State, like many within the Massive Ten East Division, has a brutally powerful schedule in 2022 so 10-2 is the excessive mark I see for the Spartans. There are six toss-up video games — at Washington, vs. Minnesota, vs. Ohio State, vs. Wisconsin, at Michigan and at Penn State — and if the Spartans can win 4 of these six then that is an important yr and places Michigan State again within the double-digit win complete for a second straight yr.

Worst case situation: 7-5 (5-4 in Massive Ten)

As I already talked about, Michigan State has a particularly powerful schedule and in the event that they have been to lose a majority of their toss-up video games then we’re a 6-6 or 7-5 season. I discover it unlikely they’re going to lose all six of these video games so I’ve seven wins because the worst-case situation for Michigan State in 2022.

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