Ray Stein and Rob Oller of The Dispatch offer observations about Saturday’s game:

The game at hand

Short-attention-span synopsis: A win is a win, but was it playoff-worthy? As the kids say, Stranger Things. From America’s Dairyland: spoiled milk. Love ya, J.T. Well, not the interceptions. And the incompletions. But love ya, man. Who’s Jumping Around now?

Pregame buzz: Ohio State and Wisconsin returned to the scene of the 2014 crime, the 59-0 thumping by the Buckeyes that propelled them to great heights and left the Badgers with a sizable welt. Those wounds have faded, however, and it was Wisconsin that entered Saturday’s game with real playoff aspirations. The Buckeyes were favored, though, and with reason as it turns out. So now what? Does the Big Ten get shut out of the playoff for the first time?

Worth the trip?: The drive to Indianapolis, complete with a travel delay caused by literally a 20-foot construction zone on I-70, was the third for Ohio State fans in the Big Ten championship’s seventh game. They’ve known heartbreak and joy on previous excursions, and this one was a test of nerves. Bucky’s boys and girls, meanwhile, have become Indy staples, the Badgers making their fifth appearance. And this third straight loss in the title game might hurt the most.

One-liner: With three good victories and two really bad losses, Ohio State has asked the College Football Playoff committee to take a more worldly view of its record. So when considering the two defeats by 46 points, the Buckeyes would like to note that would be only 7.8 points Celsius.

Just wondering: Does any college sports program feel more like small-town America than Wisconsin? These people would travel to the moon to watch their Badgers play, and they’d still figure out a way to squeeze a red sweatshirt over their space suit. (For formal occasions, they tuck in the shirt.) As usual, they crammed into Indianapolis with their beer and their toothy smiles and they cheered like mad for four hours and mainly kept smiling through the pain.

The View

How the team sees it: Please, please, please, please. Please give us a chance.

How the playoff committee will see it: Well, we’ve never invited a two-loss team to this party. But we also haven’t had Ohio State ranked above one-loss Alabama all season.

How Buckeye Nation sees it: Scoreboard in football, scoreboard in basketball. And Michigan sucks.

Urban Dictionary

What he said: “We have two wins over two top-four teams. … We deserve a shot.”

What it means: “Bama who?”

If this were a Gordon Ramsay cooking show

“Who is responsible for this second-half slop? Brutus, come here! Hold these slices of bread up to your ears. There — what are you now? You’re an idiot sandwich, that’s what. Throw that in the bin and get out of my sight!”

They said it

Your turn/the channel: The only thing louder than Gus Johnson’s voice was his jacket, which one viewer described as a “used couch.” As for the Fox broadcast, there was the usual flood of commercials, but on the positive side at least sideline reporter Jenny Taft didn’t fight back tears during her postgame interview, unlike ESPN’s Todd McShay who nearly broke down while chatting with Central Florida coach Scott Frost after the Golden Knights defeated Memphis. We’re OK with men crying, but McShay was more emotional than Frost. Had someone just announced in his earpiece that Old Yeller had died?

Former Buckeye Corner: Past OSU standouts’ responses on Twitter, and one from a Wisconsin product:

@MattFinkes: Nice to see a big catch for a TD by #83. Terry Glenn is smiling.

@Cardale7 (Cardale Jones): Well, it might not be 59-0 BUT the Bucks still might win by 59

@Cantguardmike (Michael Thomas): Run it Up

@anthonygonzalez: A+ call, A+ execution. Coaches saw something on film this week. That was unstoppable given formation and defensive set.

@EzekielElliott: Bosa shrug @jbbigbear @nbsmallerbear

Former Badger tweet

@joethomas73 (Browns tackle Joe Thomas): I would like to see NCAA FB get an independent second opinion Dr who can help players make big surgical and medical decisions (like the NFL). As a guy who’s had a lot of knee surgeries, it’s unsettling that JT Barrett had knee surgery a few days ago and is playing today.

Numbers for dummies

36: Big Ten championships for Ohio State

1: Knee braces worn by OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett (coincidentally, on his left knee, not the one that was operated on last Sunday)

10.8, 56: Average carries and rushing yards per game for Barrett before Saturday’s game

19, 60: Carries and yards for Barrett on Saturday

236.9: Average yards per game allowed by Wisconsin this season

267: Yards gained by Ohio State in the game’s first 18 minutes, 50 seconds

37: Starts won by Barrett, breaking the tie with Art Schlichter for most by an OSU quarterback

On tap

The Buckeyes’ fate now rests in the hands of the College Football Playoff committee, which elevated them three years ago and looked like geniuses. So maybe they will again. On the other hand, the CFP called Ohio State’s number last year and looked like fools for doing so when OSU failed to answer the bell against Clemson. Best guess: The committee would rather see an Alabama-Clemson rematch than Ohio State and Clemson again.


Best responses to @rollerCD on Twitter:

@bubbamudd: Kinda tasteless for Wisconsin to send out a TV camera for the coin toss to taunt JT Barrett

@jenniferdayton: This is the team I’ve been waiting all season to see. #GoBuckeyes

@JonBauer7576: No one has worked harder than turf dude. Even better performance than JT’s knee.

@Carolfelkey: can the Bosas have a few more kids?

@ktyler7205: #cameragate meet #endzonegate

@fugglescluster: 3 yards and a cloud of rubber pellets

@BillKlosterman: Hey Tennessee...thanks for letting us keep Schiano!

@buckeyegdo: Van Ginkel definitely not playing like a Van Winkle...he’s wide awake and keeping Wiscy in this game.

@ktyler7205: This halftime is so long I think JT had time for another knee surgery

Horseshoe haiku

J.T.’s knee may hurt

But as long as his heart ticks

He makes others ache