Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Big Ten Championship: A lot on the line for both teams

Ohio State Ohio State
Cassandra Gardner | 04 December, 2017, 01:43

Ohio State's close win puts them in a tough position for the final spot in the College Football Playoff. The fourth will be a matter of subjectivity.

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. Penn State spotting Wisconsin a big early lead in last year's Big Ten championship game and roaring back for a 38-31 win is an example of that. "We're a conference champion and we deserve a shot". Also the wins we had, the big-time wins and all the other stuff they consider. "I think our efforts to play more conference games, to schedule up to a reasonable degree, to reduce the number of mismatches should serve us well".

It's one of the most famous quotes in football, which has been attributed at one time or another to Woody Hayes, former Texas coach Darrell Royal, former Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty and even long-ago Tennessee coach Robert Neyland.

In the case of Ohio State v Alabama (perhaps named Dawn of Injustice in Columbus), that's likely what happened in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee when the Crimson Tide got the fourth and final playoff spot December 2.

"It never does (surprise me)", Meyer said. So would every conference championship game where a three-loss team upsets an unbeaten team. "Once again, two wins over top four - I don't know if anyone's done that".

This scenario screams of the committee not sure what to do with Alabama and Ohio State, but finally settling on a solution such as, "Well, Alabama has just one loss, and it ain't that bad". Ohio State gained 309 yards on 33 plays in the first half alone and in less than 19 minutes became the second team this season to score more than 17 points against the Badgers. The most interesting part of the committee's decision was that a week prior, chairman of the committee Kirby Hocutt had said there was little separation between the two teams. "That was a good Iowa team and they beat us, but we rallied and only got stronger, from the Michigan State game to IL to culminate in the [Michigan] game to here".

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The Bulldogs are consequently likely to get an opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl against an Oklahoma team that will provide a major test.

"I feel like we're one of the best teams in the country", Barrett said on Fox after the win. They're also seeking a second appearance in the four-year history of the College Football Playoff.

Clemson maintained the top spot in the rankings, and the Tigers will play fourth-ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on January 1 in a national semifinal. But, all things considered, is the Buckeyes slight advantage on offense enough to rank them as a favorite over Wisconsin?

"We've done all we can for the selection committee", defensive end Sam Hubbard said.

Turn in at noon on Sunday, folks.

"Just wonderful how important this playoff is and how the whole world revolves around it", Meyer said.

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