Whether the committee buys the Buckeyes' argument is a question we won't know the answer to until Sunday afternoon. The Buckeyes haven't faced Wisconsin this season and it is interesting to see how much NCAA Football bookmakers are favoring Ohio State over Wisconsin, despite the fact that the Badgers have a better record and are now ranked high in the national rankings. Will the committee value Ohio State's quality wins over that loss, or will Alabama be able to sneak in and put two SEC teams in the Playoff? Nick Bosa and the defensive line forced Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook to get the ball out quickly with their consistent pressure. As aforementioned, Wisconsin lost out on last year's Big Ten Championship and will be doing all they can to redeem last year's failure. While a playoff spot is nearly mathematically impossible, a New Year's Day game is on the line.
Moving somewhat gingerly in the pocket, the senior signal-caller tossed a pair of interceptions-including a first-quarter pick-six and a costly third-quarter duck that flipped field position and paved the way for the Badgers to trim the deficit to 24-21 with 12:39 remaining in the fourth.
Six days removed from knee surgery, OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett showed championship guts in leading the Buckeyes to victory. Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins added 174 yards on the ground. The Buckeyes have won four of their last five games played indoors. Then Ohio State's Sean Nuernberger pushed the lead back to 11 points with a 27-yard field goal.
Ohio State moved in front, 21-7, early in the second quarter on Barrett's one-yard run. Wisconsin settled for three points after recovering a fumble at the Buckeyes' 11-yard line but netting just one yard on the possession.
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The Badgers' first loss removes them from the College Football Playoff equation, while it pushes the Buckeyes back in.
Turnovers could also be big and not just because they can produce points.
"I feel like we're one of the best teams in the country", Barrett said on Fox after the win.
Will close wins over Wisconsin and Penn State be impressive enough to erase the blowout loss to Iowa?
He practiced Thursday, and Meyer said he was cleared to play. It is a boulder of an aberration for Ohio State.
Barrett's ledger also included a 57-yard touchdown pass to Parris Campbell and a one-yard scoring plunge.
On the opposite side of the ball, Ohio State comes into this game with a 10-2 record and ranked number eight.
Wisconsin freshman Jonathan Taylor, the Big Ten's most productive rusher this season, managed only 41 yards for an offense that seemed more interested in trying to go around the Ohio State defense than through it.
Terry McLaurin caught an 84-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to open the scoring.