Six days after undergoing surgery on his right knee, Barrett started the game, threw two touchdown passes, ran for another and led No. 8 Ohio State to a 27-21 victory over previously unbeaten No. 3 Wisconsin for the Buckeyes' first Big Ten title since their 2014 national championship run. 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?
Losing by 31 against an unranked opponent can't happen to a team hoping to make a four-team playoff field.
The Buckeyes, ranked No. 8 in last week's College Football Playoff rankings, will await their playoff fate on Sunday. The Big Ten rushing champion has been sensational all season and put himself into Heisman Trophy contention by giving the Badgers a different look.
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.
Despite the loss, UW will now likely head to a New Year's Six Bowl game, the matchup and location of which is set to be released Sunday. But J.T. Barrett and Co. aren't expected to go quietly, if the Buckeyes quarterback plays at all.
After the Barrett interception, Wisconsin cut the deficit to 24-20 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Chris James with 12:39 left in the fourth quarter. Barrett overthrew a wide-open Johnnie Dixon in the end zone. A 77-yard run by J.K. Dobbins set up a 1-yard touchdown run by a Barrett.
And what about Wisconsin, an undefeated team with a much-questioned schedule which is nearly a touchdown underdog to a two-loss team? Mike Weber lost a fumble at the Ohio State 11-yard line that Wisconsin turned into a field goal.
It's conceivable the committee could have Ohio State in place of Alabama, but the Buckeyes' two losses will be hard to overlook.More news: Vijay, Kohli daddy hundreds lift India to 371/4 on day one
The Badgers' first loss removes them from the College Football Playoff equation, while it pushes the Buckeyes back in.
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. No. 9-ranked Penn State.
"I feel it's about the four top teams who are playing their best at this time, and I feel like we're one of them".
So, will unpredictable Ohio State show up tonight in Indianapolis?
Series record: Ohio State leads 58-18-5. Barrett says he is healthy enough to play after missing the end of last week's game with a knee problem. The senior quarterback completed practice Thursday and was cleared to play against No. 4 Wisconsin after what Meyer called a "very positive" week of treatment. 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 absorbed his first significant contact while being tackled during a third-down scramble on Ohio State's opening possession but popped right up without any apparent discomfort.
Dobbins finished with 174 yards on 17 carries, while Barrett completed 12-of-26 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. After a long Wisconsin drive that ended in an Ohio State interception, Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett found receiver Terry McLaurin for an 84 yard touchdown to open up the scoring.
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.