Ohio State makes its case to the playoff committee

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was named the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year for the third time in his career

With more at stake than ever, the University of Wisconsin football team suffered another crushing loss in the Big Ten Championship game. Whether the committee buys the Buckeyes' argument is a question we won't know the answer to until Sunday afternoon. With wins on Saturday, Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia are the likely top three teams in the final rankings. They're also seeking a second appearance in the four-year history of the College Football Playoff.

That would not be the case however, as the Ohio State offense stalled for the entirety of the second half.

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook finished with 229 yards passing, but couldn't lead the Badgers to the end zone in the game's final drive. The Big Ten rushing champion has been sensational all season and put himself into Heisman Trophy contention by giving the Badgers a different look. While a playoff spot is nearly mathematically impossible, a New Year's Day game is on the line. The Badgers (12-1) fell to 0-5 in the Big Ten championship game and lost for the first time since last year's conference title game.

Quarterback J.T. Barrett threw four interceptions, including a pick-six to open the game.

He wound up 12 of 26 for 211 yards and two interceptions and ran 19 times for 60 yards including a crucial fourth-down conversion that set up the last field goal of the game.

Ohio State contained star running back Jonathan Taylor better than any UW opponent this season, holding the true freshman to 41 yards on 15 carries. Running back Chris James's one-yard plunge cut the lead to five, and after a lengthy delay to fix a patch of ripped turf at the goal line, Hornibrook completed a two-point conversion throw to tight end Troy Fumagalli. Wisconsin but Ohio State's deficit to 21-13.

And what about Wisconsin, an undefeated team with a much-questioned schedule which is nearly a touchdown underdog to a two-loss team? Wisconsin settled for three points after recovering a fumble at the Buckeyes' 11-yard line but netting just one yard on the possession.

In the madness that has been college football over the past few weeks, the Badgers are now one of two undefeated teams heading into the final game before College Football Playoff's Selection Sunday.

However, that "2" in the loss column for Ohio State will make the decision very hard, especially since one of those losses was a 55-24 defeat to Iowa a month ago. The Badgers competed in the Big 10 Championship last season but ended up losing a tough 31-38 matchup to the Penn State Nittany Lions.

"I feel like we're one of the best teams in the country", Barrett said on Fox after the win.

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So, will unpredictable Ohio State show up tonight in Indianapolis?

Turnovers plagued the Ohio State offense, with senior quarterback J.T. Barrett throwing two interceptions.

"The reason I came back was to play for a national title", Mayfield said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com).

The redshirt senior sustained a knee injury last week in Ann Arbor when a cameraman bumped into him, an ailment that forced Barrett from Ohio State's game against MI.

He practiced Thursday, and Meyer said he was cleared to play. It's not certain if or how much he'll play, but backup Dwayne Haskins performed well in Barrett's absence against MI and shouldn't be discounted if he's called into action again.

Barrett completed just 12 of his 26 pass attempts for 211 yards, rushing for 60 yards and another score. on 19 attempts six days after undergoing surgery to fix a knee injury suffered in Ohio State's victory over MI.

"It's all about winning the Big Ten Championship", he said.

Van Ginkel intercepted the ball at the Ohio State 9-yard line and stopped his momentum just enough to remain in bounds and return it for a touchdown to tie the game at 7 with 2:08 left in the first quarter.

Wisconsin's defense countered that miscue shortly after when Van Ginkel stepped in front of Barrett's poor throw deep in Ohio State territory and returned it nine yards for a touchdown.

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