Ohio State football: 5 reasons the Buckeyes will beat Wisconsin

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: J.T. Barrett
MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: J.T. Barrett /
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The Ohio State Buckeyes have returned to the Big Ten Football Championship Game where they will face off with the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have returned to the promised land; A return to the Big Ten Championship is something that has been quietly elusive in the last few seasons. Ohio State hasn’t been to the conference championship game since 2014.

As successful as the Bucks have been in the Big Ten, winning the conference hasn’t been easy.

That Big Ten Championship game in 2014 featured none other than the Buckeyes and the Badgers. The Bucks were victorious in that bout. Winning that game resulted in the Badgers’ first loss in the title game after winning the championship in two out of the first three seasons.

That win was also significant for the Buckeyes for two reasons. The first reason is they did so with their backup quarterback. J.T. Barrett was out with an injury in rather unfortunate fashion after filling in so well for prior starter Braxton Miller, who was also injured.

Cardale Jones was called to the helm to drive the Buckeyes to victory over the Badgers. He didn’t just take the field to look the part, he dominated. Ohio State made their presence felt in Lucas Oil Stadium as they generated a commanding 59-0 victory.

Jones threw for over 250 yards and three touchdowns. Urban Meyer was clearly not afraid to put his new weapon to good use. Jones had just one week of practice as the starter to prepare.

The second reason the Buckeyes’ victory over the Badgers in 2014 was significant was that it landed the Bucks in the first College Football Playoff. As the sixth-ranked team in the country leading up to championship weekend, Ohio State seemed to have an outside shot of getting in whether they won or not.

This all changed when the Bucks decided to step on the gas led by Jones and Ezekiel Elliott‘s five combined touchdowns. The 59 point victory plus a shutout in the conference championship game was enough to pass the proverbial ‘eye-test’ with the committee.

This rematch with the Badgers is a bit different than the first. The Badgers are fourth in the nation while the Bucks are ranked eighth. The records also differ as the Badgers are undefeated while the Bucks have taken two losses.

Wins and losses may not tell the whole story here though, as the Bucks’ schedule is clearly heavier. However, the Badgers remaining unblemished in the Big Ten is still quite impressive.

Since the Big Ten added the conference championship game in 2011, the Buckeyes have made just two appearances before this season. Yet, those two appearances have produced just one victory. That victory also produced a national championship. Ohio State is hoping another victory over the Badgers will earn them another chance at the national title.

First things first though: Beat the Badgers!