FloridaSEC1292 CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFF Ohio StateBig Ten212486 CHANCE OF … TEAMCONFWINNING OUTMAKING PLAYOFF Alabama (5-0) has a 66 percent chance of making the playoff, and that’s easily the nation’s best; Clemson (5-0) is second, at 55 percent. That means there’s a 64 percent chance that at least one of the last two champs won’t be in the playoff (including a 15 percent neither will be present). And the odds quickly fall off even further from there — Washington (5-0) rounds out the top four with just a 40 percent shot at the playoff.In other words, there’s still so much we don’t know yet about how this season will play out.And in a way, that can work in the undefeated teams’ favor. Most of them have a much higher probability of making the CFP than of winning out, so there are plenty of plausible paths that involve them weathering a loss and still ending up playing for the championship.But it also means there’s plenty of hope to go around, whether a team is undefeated or not. A dozen teams currently have double-digit CFP probabilities, and 25 have at least a 1 percent chance of making the playoff. Furthermore, almost all of the top 20 teams in our projection are pretty likely to make the playoff if they win all of their remaining games. The only clear exception here is Notre Dame (4-1), which already needs some helpful losses from the teams above them. The problem for the Irish is that — unlike most of the one-loss contenders — winning out doesn’t disrupt too many other contending teams’ playoff trajectories. If Ohio State wins the rest of its games, it’ll be dealing losses to Penn State (No. 4 in the AP top 25 poll), Michigan (No. 7) and possibly Wisconsin (No. 9) in the Big Ten championship game, whereas Notre Dame’s best remaining opponents are outside the top 10. Plus, the Irish don’t have a conference championship to pad its résumé at season’s end. (Hey, maybe it’s time to join a conference, guys?)Mostly, the uncertainty in our probabilities is a function of how early we are in the college football calendar: Not even halfway into the season, there are still enough games left that most contenders control their own destinies. Most one-loss teams can probably play their way into serious CFP contention if they run the table: USCPac-1271189 WashingtonPac-122040 MichiganBig Ten26 ClemsonACC2855 GeorgiaSEC725 TCUBig 12617 AlabamaSEC38%66% Today, we launched our college football predictions for the 2017 season, and there weren’t too many surprises at the top: Alabama and Clemson are the leading favorites to make the four-team College Football Playoff (so what else is new?), followed by Oklahoma and Washington, three Big Ten teams1Wisconsin, Penn State and, yes, one-loss Ohio State. and Georgia. What’s perhaps most notable at this stage of the season is that even the undefeated front-runners still have relatively low chances of being picked by the committee at season’s end. Penn StateBig Ten1122 UtahPac-12<1<1 How the undefeateds stack upFiveThirtyEight college football forecast for undefeated teams, 2017 Includes undefeated teams in Power Five conferences Among one-loss teams with the 10 best chances of making the playoff listed on the FiveThirtyEight college football predictions interactive graphic MiamiACC411 Okla. StateBig 126779 Wash. St.Pac-1226 OklahomaBig 121945 WisconsinBig Ten1326 Kansas St.Big 12<1189 Winning fixes everything, unless you’re Notre DameChance that a given one-loss team will make the College Football Playoff if it wins all remaining games OregonPac-123386 NC StateACC2386 AuburnSEC5%11%97% TEAMCONFERENCECHANCE OF WINNING OUTCURRENTIF TEAM WINS OUT Notre DameInd.9328 Virginia TechACC3371 And even some two-loss teams could get in by winning out. For example, Stanford (3-2) has a 62 percent chance of making the playoff if it goes without another loss. (These kinds of numbers are contingent on who a team would beat in those universes — in the Cardinal’s case, that’s most notably Washington.)So take heart, fans, even if your team isn’t at the top of our rankings right now. A lot of schools have a lot of ways to win the national championship. And each week in this space, we’ll pick out one of those teams and explore all the things that have to happen around the country for our model to think it has a shot to make the cut.
Ohio State junior center Dallas Lauderdale will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a broken bone in his right hand, the team announced in a press release.Lauderdale suffered the injury Monday during a workout. He will have surgery today at the OSU Medical Center.The 6-foot-8-inch big man from Solon, Ohio, averaged 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds and was second in the Big Ten with 2.0 blocks per game. He was expected to be the team’s starting center.The Buckeyes have their first official practice Friday at 6 p.m. and play an exhibition game Nov. 4 against Walsh University before the regular season begins with a contest against Alcorn State on Nov. 9 at Value City Arena.
Through the first nine weeks of the season, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer declined to consider his star sophomore quarterback, Braxton Miller, a candidate for this year’s Heisman Trophy. Following the team’s ninth consecutive victory on Saturday at Penn State, Meyer’s response changed.“I do believe Braxton’s a Heisman candidate,” Meyer said. “He has to play much better. However, from just sheer production on a team that’s 9-0, it puts him in that category.”Miller ranks 10th nationally with 2,620 yards of total offense and ranks fifth nationally with 1,093 rushing yards. The OSU quarterback has also 12 passing and 12 rushing touchdowns this season.Meyer said Miller’s progression as a quarterback this season is “on schedule.”“Somebody would say he should be a better thrower by now, and he should be,” Meyer said. “But there’s other areas of his game that have really improved.”Meyer said he does not know who the other candidates are but mentioned Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein and West Virginia senior quarterback Geno Smith when discussing the award.Meyer also named Miller as OSU’s offensive player of the week. Miller completed 7-of-19 passes for 143 yards with one touchdown and one interception against Penn State but also ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns.Miller also received recognition on a national level. Miller was announced on Monday as one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, an award recognizing the collegiate player of the year.Praise for Penn State performanceMeyer said he was proud of his team’s overall performance in their 35-23 road win in State College, Pa., on Saturday.“Our guys responded well in a very tough situation,” Meyer said. “Overall, very good team win … our best team win we’ve had.”Meyer said his Buckeyes are a “special” team.“They’re fighting for each other,” Meyer said. “It’s a refuse-to-lose type atmosphere.”Wide receivers coach Zach Smith said he did not foresee the Buckeyes starting out the season with a 9-0 record.“I think it’s a testament to just the commitment of a group of guys that refuse to lose a game,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t say that we are an undefeated football team that is sitting here just dominating people … There’s a lot of stuff we can improve at every position in every phase, but what you love to see is that teamwork and that cohesion of players that go out and win the game because they have the passion for each other and this university and ultimately the team.”Awards all around for BuckeyesSophomore outside linebacker Ryan Shazier, who had eight total tackles, two sacks, an interception returned for a touchdown and a forced fumble in Saturday’s win, was named the Big Ten co-defensive player of the week on Monday.In addition to Miller, two other Buckeyes were named as national semifinalists for major college football awards. Junior defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is awarded to college football’s outstanding defensive player of the year. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby, who was credited with four pass breakups in Saturday’s game, was also named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which recognizes the nation’s best defensive back.Meyer said Monday that he named Shazier and Roby OSU’s co-defensive players of the week. Sophomore wide receiver Devin Smith, who had two special teams tackles, was named special teams player of the week.Redshirt junior left tackle Jack Mewhort, junior left guard Andrew Norwell, senior right tackle Reid Fragel, redshirt senior tight end Jake Stoneburner, sophomore wide receiver Evan Spencer and junior running back Carlos Hyde were named as offensive champions along with Miller.Additionally, Meyer awarded redshirt sophomore Adam Griffin a “Scarlet Shirt” award for his efforts on special teams, which included a pass breakup on a fake punt pass.Griffin said being recognized for his effort “means a lot” to him.“It just lets you know that all the hard work you put in throughout practice and throughout camp is paying off,” Griffin said.Injury reportMeyer said redshirt senior outside linebacker Etienne Sabino, who has missed the last three games with a broken right fibula, is questionable for Saturday’s game versus Illinois.Aside from Sabino, however, Meyer said the team has a relatively clean bill of health.“Our trainers say we’re as healthy as we’ve been,” Meyer said.