Ohio State vs. Wisconsin score: Buckeyes top Badgers, hold on to playoff hopes

This could have been easy for the College Football Playoff selection committee. If No. 4 Wisconsin had won the Big Ten Championship Game, all the committee would have to do is fill in the blanks on Selection Sunday.

Instead, No. 8 Ohio State won 27-21, and now the great debate begins. 

Which team will take (presumably) the fourth spot in the playoff field? Ohio State or Alabama? (USC will claim it has a case, but right or wrong, you won't hear much about it.) You'll hear plenty of arguments on both sides in what figures to be the first major controversy of the playoff era considering the brand names that are involved. Ohio State has the conference championship to go along with signature victories against Penn State, Michigan State and now the Badgers. 

That final signature win didn't come easy. Ohio State had three turnovers and allowed the Badgers to stay within striking distance all night. There are times when Ohio State looks like it can beat any team in the country because of its speed and athleticism. Then there are times when it looks totally incompetent.

That good and bad has been on display all year. The Buckeyes have brutal losses to No. 3 Oklahoma and Iowa, the latter of which hung 55 points on them.

Alabama has no such embarrassing loss, but it did not win the SEC or even the SEC West, and lost its biggest game of the year against Auburn. The Tide nearly was a wire-to-wire No. 1 team and consistently impressed throughout much of the season. That certainly can't be discounted.

But neither can the other factors, all of which the committee will surely take into consideration when it draws up its final four. Which team will be chosen? It'll be close, and that's because Ohio State forced it to be close. 

Thanks for joining us.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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