Most pollsters predicted it to start the season. Wisconsin was the clear favorite in the Big Ten West, and while the East had a variety of contenders, Ohio State seemed the most likely candidate to represent the division.
Wisconsin enters the game as one of just two undefeated teams in the country, but their perfect record has been seen by many as weak. Still, with key losses by Alabama and Miami last week, the Badgers found themselves in the top-four of the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time this season. A win in their conference title game would all-but assure Wisconsin of a berth in the playoff.
While quarterback Alex Hornibrook is starting for his second-straight season with the Badgers, the real story of Wisconsin’s offense lies in running back Jonathan Taylor and the always-excellent offensive line. Taylor has the third-most rushing yards in the country, racking up 1,806 on the ground this season. On the defensive side, the Badgers boast the top rushing defense in the country, allowing just 80.5 yards per game behind an outstanding group of linebackers.
Ohio State, meanwhile, has clawed its way back into the discussion after two losses on the season. Even after an outright embarrassing defeat to Iowa on the road, the Buckeyes cruised to dominant wins over Michigan State and Illinois before earning a hard-fought victory at Michigan.
Last week’s matchup featured on-field drama featuring Dwayne Haskins coming off of the bench to lead the Buckeyes to victory, but it appears senior quarterback J.T. Barrett is ready to take the helm of the Ohio State offense once again. Despite undergoing minor knee surgery Sunday, Urban Meyer reported that his captain would see the field against Wisconsin dependent on how practice went over the course of the week.
Regardless of who comes in under center, this game should feature a classic Big Ten struggle: stifling defense versus a relentless, pounding rushing attack. For all the marbles, welcome to the Big Ten Championship.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m.
Location: Indianapolis, Ind.
Online: FOX Sports GO
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Where is GameDay today?
The GameDay crew is heading to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C. ahead of the matchup between top-ranked Clemson and No. 7 Miami. Each team enters the game with one loss to an unranked team. In Miami’s case, that loss came just a week ago to Pittsburgh. Clemson, meanwhile, has had time to recover from its loss to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. This week will mark the second time GameDay has covered for Miami game this season, and the third for Clemson.
What’s the rest of the Big Ten up to this weekend?
Watching Ohio State play Wisconsin. Or weeping. Perhaps both at the same time.
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State-Wisconsin GameThread. Be respectful, be kind and as always, keep it classy. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s end this season on a high note.