Big Ten Championship 2017

Beth Cruz
December 5, 2017

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.

While fans of the team can note wins over (currently ranked) No. 9 Penn State, No. 16 Michigan State, Michigan, and previously undefeated, No. 6 Wisconsin, it's essentially irrelevant.

The selection show at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday will reveal the final picks after conference championship weekend, and those teams will face off in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on January 1.

Dobbins finished with 174 yards on 17 carries, while Barrett completed 12-of-26 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Moving somewhat gingerly in the pocket, the senior signal-caller tossed a pair of interceptions-including a first-quarter pick-six and a costly third-quarter duck that flipped field position and paved the way for the Badgers to trim the deficit to 24-21 with 12:39 remaining in the fourth. Ohio State would register two more big scores before the end of the half, one on a 51-yard catch and run touchdown by Parris Campbell, and another on a Barrett keeper after a 77-yard run by J.K. Dobbins. The Buckeyes have won three straight overall and nine of 10. Ohio State could have rebounded from this loss if other pucks fell the right way, but they didn't. "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".

UW entered Saturday's game having allowed just three plays of 50-plus yards this season, but the Badgers surrendered four such plays to Ohio State.

"That's what hurts the most - being able to get this far and then come up short", UW quarterback Alex Hornibrook said. The Buckeyes would seal the game on a Damon Webb interception, his fourth of the year, to win the Big Ten title. On paper, their argument looked pretty good.

It's worth noting that we're in year four of the College Football Playoff system and no two-loss team cracked the field.

"I think our strength of schedule, quality wins is phenomenal", Meyer said. The one-loss Crimson Tide spent most of the season at No. 1, and it's a close call with the Buckeyes.

"Every team has that hiccup", McLaurin said. Ohio State topped the 50-point mark five times this year and ranks fifth nationally in scoring (43.8 points). 2 Oklahoma and a 31-point road loss to Iowa.

We're now left with a plethora of tweets delegitimizing Alabama's success while promoting a two-loss Ohio State team.

Finishing the season ranked fifth, the Buckeyes will take on the eighth-ranked USC Trojans in the Cotton Bowl on December 29th at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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