INDIANAPOLIS — Ohio State accomplished the goal the Buckeyes said they wanted most — a Big Ten championship.

Now they must wait to see if that was enough to get into the College Football Playoff.

After taking an early 14-point lead, Ohio State had to hold off a Wisconsin comeback for a 27-21 victory Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium over the undefeated Badgers.

The victory wasn’t secured until Damon Webb intercepted a fourth-and-20 pass by Alex Hornibrook with 1:09 left.

With victories by Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma in their conference championship games, the selection committee’s choice for a fourth team almost certainly will be Alabama (11-1) or Ohio State (11-2).

Coach Urban Meyer had steadfastly refused to address the Buckeyes’ playoff chances before the game, but afterward he pushed Ohio State’s case.

"I think our strength of schedule, quality of wins is phenomenal and conference championship,” he said. “Two wins over top-4 teams (Penn State at the time and Wisconsin) and a blowout win over the 12th-ranked team in America (Michigan State)."

Regardless of what happens Sunday, the Buckeyes reveled in their 36th Big Ten title and second under Meyer. Probably no one did more than J.T. Barrett, who was injured for Ohio State’s 59-0 rout over Wisconsin in 2014.

Barrett’s status was in question because of the arthroscopic surgery he had last Sunday to, in Meyer’s words, “shave off part of his cartilage.” But he played the whole way, even if his stats (12 for 26 for 211 yards) were unspectacular.

After throwing an 84-yard touchdown pass early to Terry McLaurin, Barrett gave that score back by throwing a pick-six. But Parris Campbell scored on a 57-yard wide receiver screen, and J.K. Dobbins broke a 77-yard run to set up a Barrett keeper that gave the Buckeyes a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. Dobbins gained 174 yards on 17 carries to earn game Most Valuable Player honors.

Fellow freshman Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin was held to only 41 yards on 15 carries, 138 yards under his average, by Ohio State’s often-smothering defense.

“Our defense really did a nice job shutting their running game down,” Meyer said.

The Buckeyes then became their own worst enemy for much of the rest of the way. It started when Mike Weber fumbled at the Ohio State 11, which resulted in a field goal to make it 21-10. Barrett twice missed open receivers for would-be touchdowns on Ohio State’s final drive of the half, which ended with a blocked Sean Nuernberger field goal.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter before Wisconsin’s offense finally got its first touchdown. The Badgers got the ball at their 48 on a Barrett interception off the hands of tight end Marcus Baugh. A roughing-the-passer call on Robert Landers erased a potential third-and-13, and the Badgers scored three plays later. A two-point conversion pass made it 24-21 with 12½ minutes left.

Ohio State drove 72 yards in 15 plays before Meyer chose to settle for a field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Wisconsin 3 with 5:20 left.

"That was a very tough call,” Meyer said. “Our offensive line wanted to go for it. But we were up by three. If we don't get it, it gives them life."

The Buckeyes forced a punt on the Badgers’ next possession, but couldn’t get one of their own when Dobbins couldn’t catch a low pass by Barrett.

After a 54-yard punt by Drue Chrisman gave Wisconsin the ball at its 29 with 2:49 left. Wisconsin drove to the Ohio State 43 before a holding call pushed the ball back into Badgers territory.

The Buckeyes’ defense wouldn’t let them get any closer. Three incompletions preceded Webb’s interception.

Barrett took a knee — how fitting — to run out the clock.

Now comes the waiting. A year ago, the Buckeyes became the first nonconference champion to get a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Now they hope to become the first two-loss team to qualify, something that looked virtually impossible a month ago when they lost 55-24 at Iowa.

The Buckeyes would have been helped by style points, which it looked like they’d get early. In taking the 21-10 halftime lead, the Buckeyes outgained Wisconsin 309-159 in the first 30 minutes.

But the second half became a slog, and now the Buckeyes must hope that their conference championship will sway the selection committee.