Ohio State outlasts Wisconsin to win Big Ten Championship

Arianna Baldassano Sconnie Sports Talk

Whether the committee buys the Buckeyes' argument is a question we won't know the answer to until Sunday afternoon.

The committee ranked Ohio State fifth after much debate over whether the Buckeyes would take the No. 4 spot over the Crimson Tide. But if the Buckeyes capture their 36th conference title, they might need help to reach college football's final four. It will likely be between the 11-2 Buckeyes and 11-1 Alabama for the playoff's final spot.

Sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook, attempted to lead his team on a game winning drive with under three minutes left in the game - but penalties would put the Badgers at fourth and 20, leading to a Buckeyes interception.

It was the Buckeyes' second Big Ten title in the seven-year history of the event.

The Badgers (12-1) will learn their New Year's Six bowl fate later Saturday. 5 last week but didn't play in a conference championship game. Then Ohio State's Sean Nuernberger pushed the lead back to 11 points with a 27-yard field goal. Ohio State had little trouble busting through on its way to building a big enough lead to survive Saturday night. A 77-yard run by J.K. Dobbins set up a 1-yard touchdown run by a Barrett. Each team traded field goals in the third quarter. Wisconsin settled for three points after recovering a fumble at the Buckeyes' 11-yard line but netting just one yard on the possession.

Ohio State's victory against previously unbeaten Wisconsin was their third of note as it pertains to the CFP rankings.

The first three spots in the College Football Playoff are certainties.

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 Buckeyes are a tad bit less impressive as they are allotting 19.8 points to their points as well as 291.8 yards.

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

And unlike Ohio State, the Nittany Lions and the Cardinal each had one loss by single digits.

The senior aggravated his already sore right knee last week in a 31-20 win against MI when a cameraman tried to squeeze by him on the sideline, an incident that drew condemnation from Coach Urban Meyer during Ohio State's postgame news conference.

He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Sunday, and Meyer said Barrett went through a full practice on Thursday.

But amid a fourth-quarter Wisconsin comeback, Meyer turned to the player he trusts maybe more than anyone he has coached, and Barrett delivered again.

If needed, redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins would start for the Buckeyes as he filled in for Barrett against the Wolverines last week. Barrett completed 12 of 26 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The junior wide receiver came open over the middle, getting behind safety Joe Ferguson, and was untouched en route to his sixth scoring reception this season.

On the opposite side of the ball, Ohio State comes into this game with a 10-2 record and ranked number eight.

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