Rivalry week, college football’s cancel-all-plans showcase in late November, is perennially viewed as having top billing on the sport’s calendar — chock-full of postseason implications in addition to bragging rights. But this year, there might be a challenger to rivalry week’s throne: There may be no more pivotal slate of games this season than that of Week 10, with three games on the Nov. 3 docket with critical consequences for the College Football Playoff.Our playoff model simulates every game of the season, extracting the likelihood of each outcome as well as the probability of every team to reach the final four. To help you prepare for Week 10, here are the games that matter most, as defined by their potential cumulative effect on the entire nation’s playoff chances. TeamCurrent Playoff %winslosesWeighted Difference* Kentucky6.8-0.6+1.30.8 31.4 Georgia32.2-1.6+3.72.3 Alabama66.8+12.2-27.817.0 Change in odds if Alabama… * Difference in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.† Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. No. 4 Notre Dame (8-0) at Northwestern (5-3)Favorite: Notre Dame (70.7 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 31.4 pointsThe stakes: Few teams can challenge Northwestern for the national lead in inconsistency. The Wildcats have pirouetted to double-digit victories over two ranked opponents and come within fourth-quarter scoring drives of losses to upset-minded-but-inferior Nebraska and Rutgers. After dropping three of its first four games — including home losses to Duke and Akron — Northwestern responded by winning four straight Big Ten contests to occupy the driver’s seat of the Big Ten West.Notre Dame has handled its business — and still had to watch as one-loss LSU was ranked ahead of it on Tuesday night. Through no fault of its own, Notre Dame’s victories over then-No. 7 Stanford and then-No. 24 Virginia Tech haven’t exactly aged well. Now under the guidance of dual-threat quarterback Ian Book, Notre Dame’s offense has improved substantially, and Brian Kelly is shepherding one of his top defenses since his arrival in 2010.Considering that no team with three losses has qualified for the College Football Playoff in its four-year history, Northwestern faces long odds. But because of the imbalance in the Big Ten, the Wildcats have a clear path to the Big Ten championship and a resume-boosting opportunity to play a top-tier opponent, likely either Michigan or Ohio State, at the end of the season. So a loss this weekend would serve as a death knell, but a win keeps those slim hopes alive at 1.4 percent.Every team on the outside looking in is pulling for Northwestern, who could provide a huge odds boost to the other contenders with a win. Notre Dame controls its destiny, with a win improving its odds to 61.1 percent. But a loss would drop the Irish’s chances to 23.3 percent, suggesting that even with only one loss, it would need serious help to maintain its spot in the top four. Oklahoma35.3+0.6-1.40.9 Ohio State23.9+0.7-1.50.9 TeamCurrent Playoff %WinsLosesWeighted Difference Change in odds if Georgia… * Difference in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.† Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. Georgia32.2%+12.4-30.1+/-17.5 No. 1 Alabama (8-0) at No. 3 LSU (7-1)Favorite: Alabama (69.4 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 43.6 pointsThe stakes: With both programs having two weeks to prepare, the Crimson Tide and Tigers will clash in a matchup that has often decided the SEC West division. This year’s installment pits one of the best LSU defenses in recent years against potentially the best offense Alabama has ever fielded.After losing to then-No. 22 Florida in Gainesville, LSU rebounded with consecutive wins over ranked opponents: a 36-16 disposal of then-No. 2 Georgia and a 19-3 thrashing of then-No. 22 Mississippi State. Four wins over ranked opponents charmed the College Football Playoff committee into putting the Tigers third in the first iteration of its rankings.1The Tigers are at No. 4 in the Associated Press poll.Behind Heisman front-runner Tua Tagovailoa and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley’s run-pass option attack, Alabama’s point margin is plus-252 in first halves this season, nearly 100 points better than any other team, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. In most seasons, it would be absurd to label a team as two-touchdown favorites against the third-ranked team in the nation, a team with a 1-in-5 chance of reaching the playoff — but that’s how good Alabama is. It’s been 21 years since LSU was this big of a home underdog.Even though the Tide have been unquestionably the most dominant team this season, a loss would still hurt — dropping their likelihood of reaching the playoff by nearly 30 points. An LSU win would give the Tigers nearly coin-flip odds (49.8 percent) of reaching the playoff, and it would provide a bump for Georgia (from 32.2 percent to 35.9 percent) and Kentucky (from 6.8 percent to 8.1 percent) because it would likely mean that neither of those SEC East leaders would face Alabama in the conference championship game. Should Alabama win, the Tide’s odds of reaching the playoff would spike to 79 percent. A loss for LSU would drop the Tigers’ chances to 7.1 percent, effectively removing the team from contention. Michigan26.6-2.0+4.82.8 Georgia32.2-0.9+2.11.2 TeamCurrent Playoff %WinsLosesWeighted Difference* Kentucky6.8-6.7+16.29.5 Alabama66.8-2.7+6.43.8 LSU20.2-0.8+1.81.1 Change in odds if Notre Dame … Ohio State23.9-0.5+1.10.6 Notre Dame50.0%+11.1-26.7+/-15.6 36.0 Total † Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest college football predictions. How Notre Dame-Northwestern swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Nov. 3 Notre Dame-Northwestern game Oklahoma35.3-0.6+1.40.8 LSU20.2%-13.0+29.6+/-18.1 Total† How Alabama-LSU swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Nov. 3 Alabama-LSU game Alabama66.8-0.8+1.91.1 How Georgia-Kentucky swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Nov. 3 Georgia-Kentucky game Total† No. 6 Georgia (7-1) at No. 9 Kentucky (7-1)Favorite: Georgia (70.8 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 36 pointsThe stakes: For the better part of three decades, Kentucky has served as the doormat of the SEC East, while Georgia has routinely contended for conference championships. So while it’s no surprise that the loaded Bulldogs have a 1-in-3 chance of returning to the playoff, few preseason prognosticators would have guessed that the Wildcats would be relevant this late in the season. But here we are, with coach Mark Stoops crowd-surfing in locker rooms as his team rattles off victories. The winner of Saturday’s ground-and-pound clash is guaranteed a spot in the SEC title game.Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm, who last season led Georgia to the national championship game as a true freshman, has withstood ample criticism and an eye-gouging in his sophomore campaign. As it stands, the Justin Fields experience is on hiatus. Across the field, Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson is largely tasked with getting the ball to Benny Snell Jr. ad nauseam. The sophomore has attempted only 153 passes this season — one more than Tagovailoa, who largely sits the second half of games.Saturday should be a blistering defensive fight. Kentucky has held seven consecutive opponents to fewer than 20 points, a feat last accomplished by the Wildcats nearly six decades ago. Both teams rank in the top 20 in opponent adjusted quarterback rating and in the top eight in defensive efficiency, according to ESPN Stats & Information.Whoever loses this game will see the near-annihilation of its playoff hopes: Kentucky’s odds would drop to 0.1 percent, and Georgia’s odds would drop to 2.1 percent. A win would improve the Wildcats’ odds to 16.2 percent, while Georgia’s odds would spike by 12.4 points to 44.5 percent. Kentucky toppling Georgia would greatly benefit just about every other team in the running: Alabama’s odds would jump to 73.2 percent, Notre Dame’s to 51.1 percent, Oklahoma’s to 36.7 percent, Ohio State’s to 25 percent and LSU’s to 22 percent. LSU20.2-1.1+2.61.5 43.6 * Difference in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.† Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. Oklahoma35.3-1.1+2.81.6
Recommended for you CDC supports CARPHA in Zika PR Campaign materials to region No Zika reports for TCI Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Turks and Caicos Premier says nation ‘elated’ over removal from Zika list; praises CARPHA and CARICOM Related Items:cleanup, Dr. Winston De La Haye, st. catherine, ZIka Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Feb. 17 (JIS): Three communities in St. Catherine will benefit from a Ministry of Health-led national clean-up day on Saturday (February 20).The move comes as the country intensifies activities to cut down the mosquito population in light of the threat of the Zika virus.Old Braeton and Reed’s Pen in Portmore, and Rivoli in Spanish Town, will be the focus of the clean-up activity, which will be conducted under the theme: ‘Operation Mosquito Search and Destroy’. Speaking at the launch of the clean-up day at the St. Jago Park Health Centre in the parish on Wednesday (February 18), Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, underscored the importance of personal responsibility in preventing mosquito breeding. “This isn’t an issue that the Ministry of Health alone can solve. It is the responsibility of each individual to identify sites where water settles and get rid of it. Remember that a drop of water is enough for the mosquito to breed in. We need to punch holes in cans and get rid of all of the bulk waste that is unnecessary and can potentially collect water,” he said. He informed that similar activities will take place in other parishes, and highlighted the importance of communities undertaking clean-up exercises.“This isn’t a one-day event. We are starting with areas in Spanish Town and Portmore and we are encouraging all Jamaica to come on board. We are expecting that after Saturday persons will be active in their communities and in their homes destroying breeding sites,” he said.The team, which includes Ministry of Health personnel, vector control workers, stakeholders and partners, will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at Portmore Pines Plaza from where persons will be deployed to the two Portmore communities. The group will move into the Rivoli community at about 1:00 p.m.Other partners in the clean-up effort include the Ministries of Education and Local Government and Community Development; and the national response team, which comprises the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Social Development Commission (SDC). “It is a multi-sectoral affair,” Dr. De La Haye said. “No one Ministry is able to address the situation. Zika isa preventable illness and we need to do everything we can to get the mosquitoes out of the way,” he pointed out.Dr. De La Haye is inviting members of the public to join the effort, noting that special focus would be placed on the gathering of bulky waste for removal by the NSWMA.
The daily Prothom Alo in association with non-government organisations Brac, Nirapad Sarak Chai (‘We demand Safe Roads’) and the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), organises the roundtable on ‘Effective measures needed to stop road accidents.’Growing pressure on roads due to shrunken waterways and neglected rail communications is mostly responsible for the increasing numbers of road accidents.Speaking at a roundtable on Monday, professor Moazzem Hossain, director of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)’s Accident Research Institute (ARI), said in the past few decades, the pressure on roads has increased tremendously as 70 per cent of the people travel by roads and 75-80 per cent of cargo is transported by roads at present.The daily Prothom Alo in association with non-government organisations Brac, Nirapad Sarak Chai (‘We demand Safe Roads’) and the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), organised the roundtable on ‘Effective measures needed to stop road accidents.’Moazzem Hossain said all concerned persons, including drivers, transport owners and pedestrians, must be aware of road safety to reduce the accidents.He said the BUET institute has submitted two projects to the government to improve road safety.The projects will primarily take care of speed-check on highways and setting up driving schools across the country.Addressing the roundtable, he also said the speed-check will help identify drivers of the speeding vehicles while the proposed school will help produce skilled drivers.Renowned movie star Ilias Kanchan, chairman of Nirapad Sarak Chai, said in the last two and half decades, the number of road accidents had significantly been reduced.“In 2012, a total of 8000 persons were killed in road crashes, but the number of deaths was reduced to 5000 in 2016 due to awareness initiatives,” he said.Ilias Kanchan said prior to 2011, there were more than two hundreds ‘black-spots’ on the highways. With the help of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), the number of these ‘black-spots’ has now been reduced to 65.He also said that local people’s representatives and politicians have made the process difficult for the authorities to bring the culprits to book.BRTA former chairman Mohammed Ayubur Rahman Khan said, though nearly 10 per cent drivers did not comply with the traffic rules, they are not the sole catalysts to the indiscriminate road accidents.“The engineers who create the black-spots on roads,the committee members who give licences to unskilled drivers and the authorities who certify unfit vehicles are equally responsible for the road accidents,” he added.He also said the most important thing is awareness. If the owners themselves are aware and guide their drivers, road accidents will significantly decrease.Awareness is the key to stop the road crashes, he added.Valerie Ann Taylor, founder of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), said the number of deaths by being strangled by scarves (urna), is on the rise.Valerie Ann Taylor, who treated 45 cases of this kind, said, “If we counsel our relatives about this when they were going out, these accidents may be prevented.”Dilu Rikoba, whose only daughter was killed and husband and son seriously injured in a road crash, said, “I’ve lost my daughter and I can still feel her presence. Now my question is how much more news of such deaths of daughters do I have to witness in my life?”She urged the government to take quick initiatives to reduce the number of the casualties.Dhali Al-Mamun, who is one of the survivors of the accident in which famous film director Tareque Masud and journalist Ashfaque Munier Mishuk died, said corruption and mismanagement are behind every road accident.“I would call this a planned murder.”“I thinkthe case filed in connection with the incident is a wakeup call for all of us,” he added.Khandakar Enayet Ullah, general secretary of Dhaka Bus Owners Association, said, “We are usually blamed for every incident. But, many of the owners like me are working in this regard though the number is few.”He also said the over-speeding and over overloaded vehicles are considered prime causes behind road accidents.“I think the poor conditions of roads and traffic signals are also responsible for the road accidents.“Not only owners, but are the other government authorities involved with the process are responsible, as well,” he added.He also said the number of illegal vehicles – CNG-run local transports and three-wheeler –on highways is on the rise that is a key factor for accidents on highways.BRTA director Mahbub-E-Rabbani said, extra hours on the road for drivers and their lack of education also contribute significantly to road accidents.“Driving is very complex thing. A driver must keep in mind simultaneously some engineering and scientific aspects while he is driving a vehicle. Most of the drivers do not understand all this due to their lack of formal education,” he added.Educated people do not feel encouraged to work in the sector.Mohammed Atiqul Islam, deputy inspector general (DIG) of the Highway Police, said, “We conducted a study to find out causes behind increasing road accidents during Eid.”Among 18 causes, unawareness about road safety and roadside markets top the list, he added.He said Japan was faced with the problem in 1960s. But using the road safety awareness tool they had reduced number of accidents by 50 per cent.“If we can transform our mindsets towards the idea of safe transportation and if the authorities take it seriously, accidents will significantly be reduced in the near future.”Esha Chowdhury, director of operations, Traumalink, that provides emergency support to road accident victims, said, “It is a terrible situation. Our organisation provided medical assistance to 150 road crash victims since 22 August this year.”Brac Road Safety Programme director Ahmed Najmul Hossain told the roundtable that awareness about road safety has been increased more than any time in the past.He said, “We have developed a national action plan following the United Nations’ ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020programme’.”He urged all the stakeholders to help bring the action plans into force.He also said women are mostly victims of the road accidents. “Thus we have included gender issue to the road safety guidelines.”Not mentioning the brand name, he also said there are huge numbers of vehicles of a certain automobile brand was rated ‘0’ by an UN agency, are running on our roads.“Thus, we should be very careful about vehicle rating while permitting new vehicles,” he added.Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman also addressed the roundtable, moderated by Prothom Alo associate editor Abdul Qayyum.