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Indiana Football Schedule Features Four Ranked Opponents in First Coaches Poll

Indiana football's 2022 schedule includes four teams ranked in the first USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, which was released on Monday.

The Indiana football team enters the 2022 season with hopes of reversing the program's momentum after a 2-10 campaign a year ago. In order to do so, the Hoosiers will have to take down a number of highly-regarded programs. 

According to ESPN's strength of schedule metric, Indiana has the eighth-most difficult schedule in college football. Six of the top eight teams are from the SEC, Georgia Tech's schedule ranks fourth and the next Big Ten team is Rutgers at No. 10. 

On Monday, USA Today Sports released its first AFCA Coaches Poll, signaling that the 2022 college football season is right around the corner. Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame rounded out the top five, and No. 18 Texas even received a first place vote.

The 2022 Indiana football schedule features four teams ranked in the top 25. Ohio State approaches the season as the Big Ten favorite and is ranked No. 2 in the nation. Indiana will travel to Ohio State on Nov. 12 following a 54-7 blowout loss in Bloomington last year.

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After reaching the College Football Playoff for the first time in 2021, Michigan comes in at No. 6. Indiana lost to Michigan 29-7 at The Big House last season in Donaven McCulley's first collegiate start at quarterback. The Hoosiers will host Michigan in their homecoming game on Oct. 8 at Noon ET.

Michigan State slots in a No. 14 in the first coaches poll after coach Mel Tucker led the Spartans to their first double-digit win season since 2017. Indiana played the Spartans close last year in a 20-15 loss, and will travel to East Lansing in the penultimate regular season game on Nov. 19.

The final ranked team on Indiana's schedule is Cincinnati, who is ranked No. 22. The Bearcats reached the College Football Playoff last season, but college football coaches seem less optimistic about Cincinnati in 2022 after losing quarterback Desmond Ridder, cornerback Sauce Gardner and others. The Hoosiers let last year's matchup slip away in a 38-24 loss, but they'll have a shot at revenge on Sept. 24 at Cincinnati. 

It's possible to see other Indiana opponents jump into the top 25 throughout the season, too, as Penn State received 246 votes and Purdue received two votes. Indiana was shut out at Penn State last season, and will host the Nittany Lions on Nov. 5 at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers' season ended with an ugly 44-7 loss in West Lafayette in 2021, but the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry will be renewed in the regular-season finale in Bloomington on Nov. 26.

  • D.J. MATTHEWS EXPECTED TO PLAY WEEK ONE: Coming off an ACL tear that limited him to four games in 2021, D.J. Matthews is expected to be ready for Indiana football's Week 1 matchup against Illinois on Sept. 2 in Bloomington. After one week of fall camp, Allen is excited about the speed and savvy Matthews brings to the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
  • FRESHMEN MAKING STRONG FIRST IMPRESSIONS: With significant roster turnover from last season, Allen rattled off freshmen in Indiana's highest-ranked recruiting class of all-time that will push for playing time in 2022. CLICK HERE
  • TOM ALLEN SETS THE TONE: Indiana football began fall camp on Tuesday, and coach Tom Allen is looking to set the tone that the 2022 season will be different from last year, demanding a sense of urgency, attention to detail and accountability. CLICK HERE