Ohio State's conference title not enough for playoff berth

Ohio State's conference title not enough for playoff berth

Ohio State's conference title not enough for playoff berth

An Ohio State win would allow the Buckeyes to continue hoping they will hear their named called when the playoff teams are announced Sunday afternoon.

The 8th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2), led by quarterback J.T. Barrett, meet the 4th ranked Wisconsin Badgers (12-0), led by running back Jonathan Taylor, in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (12/2/17) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. ACC champion Clemson will keep its No. 1 ranking and play in the Sugar Bowl, while Big 12 victor Oklahoma and SEC champ Georgia likely will be ranked second and third and play each other in the Rose Bowl.

Big Ten championship games traditionally have been high scoring.

No. 4 Wisconsin had its playoff aspirations nearly assuredly extinguished after its 13-game winning streak ended in front of a packed house at Lucas Oil Stadium.

U.S. sportsbooks are likely favoring the Buckeyes over their higher ranked opponent due to the explosiveness of Ohio State's offense. The Bulldogs were able to force key turnovers to keep the momentum on their side, including two fumbles and a blocked field goal.

Now that the Buckeyes have a conference championship to their name, they believe their resume is enough for the final spot.

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is chased by defensive lineman Rashan Gary (3) during the first half against MI. Then Ohio State's Sean Nuernberger pushed the lead back to 11 points with a 27-yard field goal.

J.K. Dobbins led the Buckeyes with 174 yards on 17 carries and was named the game's MVP.

That would not be the case however, as the Ohio State offense stalled for the entirety of the second half. Bryant completed 23-of-29 passes for 252 yards, one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown.

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.

But detractors will argue both of Ohio State's losses came in rather lopsided fashion, including 55-24 to Iowa.

Turnovers could also be big and not just because they can produce points.

Barrett's ledger also included a 57-yard touchdown pass to Parris Campbell and a one-yard scoring plunge.

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

The play with 6:31 left in the first quarter capped a 96-yard drive, the longest in terms of yards in Big Ten championship game history.

Terry McLaurin, an Indianapolis native, found the first cracks with an 84-yard catch-and-run that provided the first hints that team speed would be lopsided.

Ohio State's 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the 2014 Big Ten championship game would be an example of this.

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