Ninth-ranked UCLA may not be seen as a national title contender to most college football fans, but their convincing 38-20 win over USC turned out to be the biggest of the weekend according to Nate Silver’s model.
Silver has updated his college football playoff projections at fivethirtyeight.com, and UCLA had the biggest jump, moving from a 8.2% chance to make the playoff last week to a 14.0% chance this week.
Here are the nine schools that still have at least a 5% chance of making the playoff and how much their odds changed after this weekend’s results (odds are based on 10,000 simulations of the remaining regular season games):
- Alabama: 80.8% (+5.5% after 48-14 win over Western Carolina)
- Oregon: 75.7% (+3.6% after 44-10 win over Colorado)
- Florida State: 59.0% (-0.9% after 20-17 win over Boston College)
- TCU: 47.1% (-1.8%. TCU did not play this weekend)
- Ohio State: 42.0% (-1.5% after 42-27 win over Indiana)
- Baylor: 33.3% (+2.5% after 49-28 win over Oklahoma State)
- Mississippi State: 32.6% (+5.1% after 51-0 win over Vanderbilt)
- UCLA: 14.0% (+5.8% after 38-20 win over USC)
- Georgia: 6.1% (-1.6% after 55-9 win over Charleston Southern)
With only two weeks left in the season, there aren’t many opportunites for the teams above UCLA to lose. However, UCLA still has the advantage of a potential Pac-12 championship game match-up with No. 2 Oregon, if the Bruins can get past Stanford first.
According to Silver, if UCLA wins both games their odds will increase to “about 50%.”
Meanwhile, if we assume the top-three teams win out and are in the playoff, Silver’s model gives TCU a slight edge to grab the No. 4 spot over Ohio State, Baylor, and Mississippi State.
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