The timeline and J.T. Barrett’s determination were in conflict.

The knee injury the Ohio State quarterback had silently fought all season finally forced him out against Michigan, assisted by the mystery person with that renegade camera. The next day, doctors told Barrett he’d need arthroscopic surgery to repair his meniscus.

That was six days before the Buckeyes’ Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. Barrett had never played in the conference title game. The senior was determined not to miss his last chance at one.

>>Video: J.T. Barrett discusses his rehab

“When they said, ‘You’ve got to have surgery to clean it up in there and the recovery time is normally three to four weeks,’ ” Barrett said Sunday, “I was like, we don't really have that kind of time.”

Barrett has fought through injuries before. He memorably led the Buckeyes to a double-overtime victory at Penn State in 2014 with a sprained medial collateral ligament in a knee.

Still, returning from surgery, even an arthroscopic one, in less than a week is another matter. But Barrett was undeterred. He pretty much lived in the training room.

“I had like a little station set up,” Barrett said. “They hooked me up so I was able to watch film and ice my knee, get treatment, things like that. It was just a constant thing throughout last week.”

He said he pushed himself because of his love for his team and to see to fruition all the work they’d put in to reach a championship game.

“I think ultimately why you play the game of football is because the team building that it has, and the love you have for your brothers,” Barrett said.

Urban Meyer figured that Barrett’s determination would allow him to beat the odds.

“When a trainer looks at me and says it's 50-50, automatically my mind goes 80-20,” the Buckeyes’ coach said. “As it gets closer to the week and, boy, it's looking good — 60 or 70 percent — OK, that's 100.”

Sure enough, Barrett did play against Wisconsin. Statistically, it wasn’t one of his better games. He completed only 12 of 26 passes and threw two interceptions, including one returned for an touchdown. He also misfired on two potential touchdown passes on a drive shortly before halftime.

But he also ran 19 times for 60 yards, including a fourth-and-1 conversion on second effort, to set up Ohio State’s final field goal that extended its lead to six points.

When Ohio State’s defense held to clinch the victory, Barrett took a knee to run out the clock and then beamed as his teammates congratulated him.

“That is one hell of a man right there,” fifth-year senior center Billy Price said in the victorious locker room. “The toughness he shows and the preparation, he didn’t miss a beat.”

Though Meyer said on Friday that Barrett had had a “full” practice on Thursday, that might not have been the full truth.

“He didn’t practice all week,” Price said, “but being able to come in and execute the way he did, props to him.”

Barrett and the Buckeyes were hoping to parlay their victory Saturday into a spot in the College Football Playoff. The playoff selection committee voted otherwise, so Barrett will finish his decorated career in his home state of Texas in the Cotton Bowl in suburban Dallas against Southern California.

“I never played in Cowboys Stadium even in high school,” Barrett said. “The last time I played a football game in Texas was in high school. So I think it will be good to be in that atmosphere and going against a team like USC.”