The parallels between this year's Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis and 2014 are striking.
No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 8 Ohio State are not only playing for the conference title again this Saturday, but both have a chance to make the College Football Playoff.
Each team has a standout running back. This year, both happen to be freshmen.
Back in 2014, Barrett suffered a broken ankle in the final regular-season game against Michigan and Cardale Jones came off the bench to famously lead the Buckeyes' national championship run that began with a 59-0 rout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
Barrett is a senior now, and he also was hurt in the regular-season finale against Michigan, a 31-20 Ohio State victory. This time around, Barrett is considered probable against Wisconsin.
There's a possibility that Ohio State might need to call on redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins if Barrett is unable to go. Haskins came in at Michigan during the third quarter last Saturday and led Ohio State's fourth-quarter comeback that resulted in its sixth straight win in the rivalry game.
It all sounds familiar. And yet the coaches and the players who are still around insist that past history -- which includes Ohio State's 30-23 victory at Wisconsin a year ago in the teams' last meeting -- has nothing to do with the present.
Paul Chryst was not the head coach in 2014 when Wisconsin endured the beat down by Ohio State in the championship game, but he's obviously familiar with what happened.
"I think you always draw from all your experiences," Chryst said. "This game is about these two teams this year. Both teams earned the right to play in this game and obviously to play for a Big Ten championship is a big deal.
"It's about this year, this moment."
The Badgers (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) enter the contest (8 p.m. ET on Fox) against the Buckeyes (10-2, 8-1) with an unblemished record and yet there are plenty of skeptics who dismiss Wisconsin's postseason chances. They say the Big Ten West Division was subpar and the schedule was weak.
Wisconsin offensive tackle Michael Deiter said, "There's definitely a lot riding on it. Most importantly is winning the Big Ten. That is something we want to do. All the other stuff you definitely notice it, but there is no reason to put a ton of thought into it. All we want to do is win the Big Ten."
The Badgers' best chance to win Saturday night revolves around standout freshman running back Jonathan Taylor, who has run behind a massive offensive line for 1,806 yards and leads the Big Ten in rushing, just as Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon did in 2014.
Wisconsin also will try to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Its defense leads the Big Ten in fewest rushing yards (80.5), total yards (236.9) and points (12.0) allowed per game.
"They're -- I can't tell you the exact ranking -- but I think they're No. 1 in everything," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "And very good skilled athletes. ... Giant offensive linemen in Wisconsin. And obviously a very good challenge against an elite running back."
"We're going to approach it the same way we have all year and just go out there and try to score one more point than the team against us," Wisconsin safety Joe Ferguson said. "That's what we're going to try to do against Ohio State. We don't need to change our formula. It's been working all year."
Ohio State opened the week as a 6.5-point favorite. The Buckeyes are 1-1 in Big Ten title games, winning it in 2014.
The obvious question mark surrounding Ohio State leading up to the game will be the status of Barrett, the four-year starter who last Saturday tied Art Schlichter's school record for quarterbacks with 36 wins.
The previously undisclosed cartilage damage in Barrett's right knee, aggravated when it was bumped on the sideline at Michigan while warming up, is apparently something he has dealt with all year.
If Barrett is unable to play or is limited, Haskins proved at Michigan that he is ready to take the reins.
"Whoever's out there I feel confident," Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin said. "I know the competitor J.T. is that he's going to do whatever it takes to play in this game."
Barrett is a big part of Ohio State's offense, which leads the Big Ten in most statistical categories. But it is built around a strong running game led by two capable backs.
Freshman J.K. Dobbins is second in the Big Ten behind Taylor in rushing with 1,190 yards and sophomore Mike Weber has run equally as well late in the season.
"This is going to be a great challenge for us as a defense," Ohio State linebacker Chris Worley said. "It's going to be a battle.
"You can't really worry about the playoffs. Our message has been beat Wisconsin. Our message has been do what you can to win the game that week."
VDB Free Betting Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 23
Ohio State Buckeyes vs Wisconsin Badgers VDB Sport Betting Odds and Matchup Report
Ohio State Buckeyes vs Wisconsin Badgers VDB Betting Odds
|Ohio State Buckeyes||-6 (EVEN)||-200||50 (-115)o|
|Wisconsin Badgers||+6 (-120)||+170||50 (-105)u|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
Betting Odds Trends
|Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Ohio State is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 8 of Ohio State's last 9 games|
|Ohio State is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Wisconsin|
|Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Wisconsin|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Ohio State's last 6 games when playing Wisconsin|
|Wisconsin is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Wisconsin is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|Wisconsin is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Ohio State|
|Wisconsin is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Ohio State|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Wisconsin's last 6 games when playing Ohio State|
|J.T. Barrett||QB||Prob Sat - Knee - 11/30/17||Barrett is expected to be available for the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin on Saturday despite undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.|
|Dante Booker||LB||Ques Sat - Concussion - 11/30/17||Booker missed the last three games due to concussion-like symptoms and his availability for Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin is unclear.|
|Jaylen Harris||WR||Out indefinitely - Lower Body - 11/26/17||Harris has been sidelined by a lower-body injury and his status moving forward is unclear.|
|Trevon Grimes||WR||Out indefinitely - Personal - 10/12/17||Grimes is tending to a personal matter and will miss an unknown length of time.|
|Branden Bowen||OL||out for season - Leg - 10/8/17||Bowen is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season as he had surgery to fix a broken fibula and tibia.|
|Malik Barrow||DT||out for season - Knee - 9/25/17||Barrow has a knee injury and is ruled out for the remainder of the season.|
|Shaun Wade||CB||Out indefinitely - Abdominal - 10/28/17||Wade has been sidelined by an abdominal injury and it is unknown when he will be ready to return.|
|A.J. Alexander||TE||out for season - Knee - 8/13/17||Alexander is likely shut down for the entire 2017 season as he had surgery to repair a knee injury.|
|D'cota Dixon||S||Prob Sat - Leg - 12/1/17||Dixon has a leg injury but is expected to play against Ohio State on Saturday.|
|Lubern Figaro||DB||Ques Sat - Leg - 11/27/17||Figaro is dealing with a leg injury and it is unknown if he will play against Ohio State on Saturday.|
|Noah Burks||LB||Ques Sat - Leg - 11/27/17||Burks is nursing a leg injury and it is uncertain if he will take part in Saturday's contest against Ohio State.|
|Zander Neuville||TE||out for season - Leg - 11/30/17||Neuville sustained a season-ending right leg injury.|
|Bradrick Shaw||RB||out for season - Leg - 12/1/17||Shaw has a left leg injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.|
|Quintez Cephus||WR||out for season - Leg - 11/13/17||Cephus sustained a season-ending leg injury.|
|Luke Benzschawel||TE||Out Sat - Leg - 11/30/17||Benzschawel has been hampered by a leg injury and did not play in the last three games. He will not be available for the Big Ten championship game against Ohio State.|
|P.J. Rosowski||P||Out indefinitely - Leg - 11/18/17||Rosowski has been sidelined by a leg injury and it is unknown when he might return to action.|
|Patrick Johnson||S||out for season - Arm - 10/25/17||Johnson suffered an arm injury and is expected to sit out the remainder of the 2017 campaign.|
|Jake Whalen||FB||Out indefinitely - Head - 10/15/17||Whalen has yet to play this season due to a head injury and it is unclear when he will make his debut.|
|Mason Stokke||LB||out for season - Leg - 8/27/17||Stokke will miss the entire 2017 season due to a leg injury.|
|Sam Brodner||RB||out for season - Knee - 8/27/17||Brodner has a season-ending knee injury.|
|Zack Baun||LB||out for season - Foot - 8/27/17||Baun sustained a left foot injury that will sideline him for the entire 2017 season.|
|Taiwan Deal||RB||out for season - Ankle - 10/23/17||Deal is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season due to ankle surgery.|
|Jack Cichy||LB||out for season - Knee - 8/10/17||Cichy has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee and will be out for the season.|
|10/15/16||OSU 30||WIS 23||10/46||W/O||39||51||-12|
|12/6/14||WIS 0||OSU 59||4/54||W/O||-300||-230||-70|
|9/28/13||WIS 24||OSU 31||-7/56||P/U||9||-88||97|
|11/17/12||OSU 21||WIS 14||-1/51.5||L/U||123||66||57|
|10/29/11||WIS 29||OSU 33||7.5/49||W/O||-15||-179||164|
|10/16/10||OSU 18||WIS 31||3.5/49||W/P||26||30||-4|
|10/10/09||WIS 13||OSU 31||-14.5/46||W/U||184||21||163|
|10/4/08||OSU 20||WIS 17||1/44||L/U||-1||-4||3|
|11/3/07||WIS 17||OSU 38||-16/45||W/O||-96||-199||103|
|10/9/04||WIS 24||OSU 13||-3.5/36||L/O||120||85||35|
Ohio State Last 10
|11/25/17||@ MICH||W 31-20||-12.5/49.5||L/O||55||126||-71|
|11/4/17||@ IOWA||L 24-55||-21/54||L/O||-116||-80||-36|
|10/14/17||@ NEB||W 56-14||-23.5/57.5||W/O||240||235||5|
|9/30/17||@ RUTG||W 56-0||-28/54.5||W/O||419||169||250|
Wisconsin Last 10
|11/25/17||@ MINN||W 31-0||-18.5/43.5||W/U||323||194||129|
|11/4/17||@ IND||W 45-17||-10.5/50||W/O||141||197||-56|
|10/28/17||@ ILL||W 24-10||-28.5/51.5||L/U||17||34||-17|
|10/7/17||@ NEB||W 38-17||-12.5/47||W/O||85||243||-158|
|9/16/17||@ BYU||W 40-6||-14/41.5||W/O||299||154||145|