How valuable is now lost for the season Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett?
While the Buckeyes would've likely faced a test regardless -- their rush defense has no so secretly been average or just shy of that much of the year and Wisconsin happens to showcase a running back who held the FBS single game rushing record, albeit for a week -- with Barrett out of the mix, the Buckeyes find themselves opening as three-point underdogs against the Wisconsin Badgers for this weekend's Big Ten Championship Game.
The last time the Buckeyes were pegged as underdogs was against Michigan State in what ultimately proved to be Ohio State's statement game of the season. If the Bucks can repeat the team performance, despite uncertainty at a key position, they'll leave Indianapolis Saturday night with the Big Ten title that's alluded them so far in the Urban Meyer era.
The Buckeyes' postseason fate remains very much in flux regardless of the outcome with but one opportunity to show the selection committee what they look like with their third starting quarterback in five months in Cardale Jones. Outside of a dominant Ohio State victory, it's hard to imagine the Bucks can up their q-score enough to pass either TCU or Baylor without some outside help.
The Big Ten Championship Game kicks off Saturday night at 8:17 p.m. on FOX.