Ohio State makes its case to the playoff committee

Michigan-Wisconsin-Football-7

Michigan-Wisconsin-Football-7

No. 4 Wisconsin's playoff hopes likely rest in its ability to beat No. 8 Ohio State for the title, therein silencing the strength-of-schedule critics with a ideal 13-0 record for the first time in school history. The fourth will be a matter of subjectivity.

Maybe because the Big Ten Championship Game was too fresh in my mind, I came away Saturday night thinking Ohio State would edge out Alabama for the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff when the committee announced its field Sunday morning. Georgia 4. Alabama 5.

That led to an 84-yard touchdown pass from J.T. Barrett to wide receiver Terry McLourin after McLourin burned Badgers safety Joe Ferguson in man-to-man coverage. "I mean, we put ourselves in a good position of being the conference champions". The Big Ten presence could push the Buckeyes through, and we would not be surprised if they win the coin flip.

With Potter out, Wesson is the only healthy center on Ohio State's roster. The Buckeyes also own three victories over top-25 opponents, with one of their losses coming against Oklahoma, the Big 12 champion and a lock for the College Football Playoff.

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The Buckeyes lost 55-24 at unranked Iowa nearly exactly a month ago, but coach Urban Meyer said the totality of Ohio State's schedule warrants a top four spot. Alabama, the only other team really in contention, only had wins over teams ranked 17th and 23rd, with the 51st strength of schedule and no conference title to add to their resume. That drew howls from those favoring conference champions being rewarded. In addition, they can point to Penn State previous year and Stanford in 2015.

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. 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.

Now Ohio State awaits its fate. We just continually get better. But this is life for a team that lost three games and likely falls to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. 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.

UW appeared to have momentum when it drove to the Buckeyes' 43-yard line on its final possession, which began with 2:53 remaining, but a holding penalty on left tackle Michael Deiter put the Badgers in a hard situation that they couldn't recover from. The country's only undefeated team UCF is No. 10. "It's up to them". That's the question everyone will be asking up until the final release is revealed Sunday at Noon ET/11 am CT during ESPN's four-hour Top 25 Selection Show. But he didn't practice all week and Ohio State fans will wait with bated breath until they know for sure after Barrett takes the field for warmups. "I hope we get a shot".

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