How Alabama Ohio State Or Someone Else Can Crash The Playoff

CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFF How the outcome changes teams’ playoff odds UCF0.10.1<0.1<0.1 Auburn58.659.157.20.8 How the outcome changes teams’ playoff odds Miami26.026.225.60.3 Auburn58.6>99.99.444.9 USC10.611.99.01.5 Stanford3.33.82.70.6 Just as the SEC title game is basically do-or-die for the two teams involved, this contest is a simple binary for Wisconsin: Win, and clinch a semifinal berth; lose, and see those chances fall to basically nothing. Fair or not, a one-loss Wisconsin team would not compare favorably with the other playoff contenders, given its weak strength of schedule. For the Buckeyes, however, things aren’t quite that simple. Yes, they can boost their chances with a victory — which our model gives a 56 percent chance of happening — but OSU is far from a lock even if it wins. The Buckeyes will also need TCU to do them a big favor by upsetting Oklahoma — further boosting OSU’s chances to 75 percent — and hope for the committee to look favorably upon their impressive victories (and ignore their 55-24 loss to Iowa).Beyond the Big Ten, Alabama has the big rooting interest here. Since they don’t control their own destiny, the one-loss Crimson Tide need favorable contrasts in the eyes of the committee — and that means setting up a comparison against two-loss Ohio State, not undefeated Wisconsin. Bama’s playoff chances would be about 18 percentage points higher with a win by the Buckeyes than a win by the Badgers. And USC also requires an Ohio State victory here, as another component of its long-shot playoff bid. UCF0.1<0.10.1<0.1 Ohio State32.833.431.40.8 SEC Championship: Auburn vs. Georgia Saturday, 4 p.m. ET on CBS The only other game with potential playoff implications is the AAC Championship Game between Central Florida, which is making a bid for a perfect season, and Memphis. Sadly, because of UCF’s schedule strength, its chances of making the playoff are remote. But the combination of outcomes that gives the Knights the highest playoff probability (granted, still a measly 0.19 percent) involves wins by UCF, Clemson, Ohio State, TCU and Stanford. So, to all the fans of stale memes down in Orlando: Yes, I’m telling you there’s a chance.But most likely, the playoff will contain the SEC winner, the ACC winner, plus Wisconsin and Oklahoma — if they win — or Ohio State and/or Alabama (or maybe TCU or USC if the committee’s feeling really crazy) should the Badgers and/or Sooners fall. It’s an oddly tidy set of contingencies for a championship weekend that some are calling the best ever. But at the same time, I have a feeling this season isn’t quite out of surprises yet.Check out our latest college football predictions. Miami26.026.125.90.1 Using FiveThirtyEight model simulations as of Nov. 29. Average change is weighted by the probability of each outcome. TEAMCURRENTIF OHIO ST. WINSIF WISCONSIN WINSAVG. CHG (+/-) Oklahoma65.5%99.9%7.7%43.2 pts Alabama30.430.729.80.4 Big Ten Championship: Wisconsin vs. Ohio StateSaturday, 8 p.m. ET on FOX Clemson76.576.976.00.4 TEAMCURRENTIF STANFORD WINSIF USC WINSAVG. CHG (+/-) Auburn58.656.861.62.2 Wisconsin45.1%2.3%>99.9%48.1 pts Clemson76.5>99.919.233.3 Miami26.026.225.70.3 Pac-12 Championship: Southern California vs. StanfordFriday, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN UCF0.10.10.1<0.1 Stanford3.34.12.30.9 Georgia44.045.042.81.1 TCU7.17.66.60.5 USC10.613.96.43.7 TCU7.18.94.92.0 The ACC Championship is also very close to an NCAA quarterfinal. Certainly the committee is guaranteed to take Clemson (which placed No. 1 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings) if the Tigers beat Miami for the conference crown — which our model assigns a 71 percent probability of happening. If the Canes win, our model thinks there’s roughly an 11 percent chance that they’d somehow be on the outs — think a universe in which Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Georgia all win and the committee prefers Alabama’s résumé to Miami’s — but that’s unlikely. (Miami is only one slot behind Alabama in strength of record before a hypothetical win over Clemson.)Then again, our model also says the Tigers would have about a 19 percent chance of making the playoff even if they don’t beat Miami, a scenario that most likely involves TCU and Ohio State victories muddying the water for the committee. And several other teams across the country would benefit from Clemson winning, most notably USC (in Step 5 of the Trojans’ improbable CFP charge). Auburn58.659.457.60.9 Ohio State32.833.332.30.5 Much like Wisconsin and both SEC title contestants, Oklahoma can basically assure itself of a playoff berth with a victory over TCU here. With a one-loss résumé accentuated by the most dominating offense in the nation (plus another win over a top-15 team if they do beat the Frogs), the Sooners can also help vindicate the Big 12’s decision to revive its conference championship game this year. But that decision could very well backfire on the conference, too, and leave it without a playoff team yet again if TCU pulls off the upset. We give the Sooners a 63 percent chance of winning and making all of this moot; there’s even an unlikely backdoor route for OU if it loses that involves Ohio State winning the Big Ten. But the most straightforward path for Oklahoma (and the Big 12) is a Sooner victory.For TCU’s part, its playoff hopes are remote (if not nonexistent) and wouldn’t crack 20 percent even if it does upset the Sooners. According to the swing in our model’s playoff chances, Alabama actually has the second-greatest stake in the Big 12 Championship of any team in the country, including the Frogs. Bama would see its CFP chances swell from 30 percent to 48 percent if TCU beats Oklahoma, since the one-loss Tide are directly competing with the Sooners for a playoff spot. (In fact, Alabama fans should be watching this matchup far more intently than they will the SEC title game.) Likewise, Ohio State has a big stake in TCU winning, as does USC and several other contenders. In terms of outside rooting interests, this Big 12 title game is easily the most important game of the weekend. UCF0.10.10.10.0 Oklahoma65.565.865.10.3 How the outcome changes teams’ playoff odds TEAMCURRENTIF CLEMSON WINSIF MIAMI WINSAVG. CHG (+/-) Oklahoma65.565.565.40.1 Georgia44.044.044.0<0.1 TCU7.1<0.119.18.9 Auburn58.658.958.20.4 USC10.66.218.05.5 How the outcome changes teams’ playoff odds How the outcome changes teams’ playoff odds USC10.6%<0.1%23.6%11.7 pts Miami26.025.227.31.0 USC10.611.29.10.9 Using FiveThirtyEight model simulations as of Nov. 29. Average change is weighted by the probability of each outcome. Clemson76.575.079.01.9 Georgia44.043.644.70.5 Alabama30.432.827.52.6 ACC Championship: Clemson vs. MiamiSaturday, 8 p.m. ET on ABC TCU7.17.66.50.5 Georgia44.0%0.1%96.2%47.7 pts TEAMCURRENTIF AUBURN WINSIF GEORGIA WINSAVG. CHG (+/-) Alabama30.438.520.19.1 Ohio State32.827.342.16.9 UCF0.10.1<0.1<0.1 Using FiveThirtyEight model simulations as of Nov. 29. Average change is weighted by the probability of each outcome. After 14 weeks of anticipation, we’ve made it: College football’s championship weekend is finally upon us. Come Sunday at noon, the playoff selection committee will reveal its picks for the Final Four — who still has national championship life, and who’s left out in the cold. But we don’t really have to wait until then for clues about which teams will be booking flights for Pasadena and New Orleans on New Year’s Day. Based on what happens in this week’s games and a little tinkering with our college football predictions, we can make an educated guess about what the committee’s choices will be — though it has been known to throw us a curveball every now and then. Here’s what our model says to watch for over the weekend: TEAMCURRENTIF OKLAHOMA WINSIF TCU WINSAVG. CHG (+/-) Wisconsin45.145.045.10.1 The winner of this game is practically guaranteed to make the playoff. For Auburn — which the FiveThirtyEight model has favored here with a 54 percent chance of victory — that would mean capping off one of the most remarkable stretch runs in college football history. After losing to LSU on Oct. 14, Auburn had a 5-2 record and was staring at a mere 4 percent playoff probability. But a string of wins that includes beating two No. 1-ranked teams (at game time) has the Tigers set up for a potential CFP clincher. And on the UGA side of things, the Dawgs can get sweet revenge for their 40-17 loss on the Plains in November, stamping a playoff ticket for the first time in program history.Neither team has much margin for error if it loses, however. We give Georgia a 1-in-905 chance of being picked for the playoff without an SEC title, and while Auburn’s chances are slightly better with a loss (9 percent), the Tigers would need a convoluted sequence of events that includes TCU upsetting Oklahoma just to have any glimmer of hope from the committee. And as far as outside rooting interests go, the outcome here has surprisingly little effect on the rest of the CFP picture. (Even Alabama, sitting at home twiddling its thumbs, doesn’t see its chances budge much either way.) At most, USC needs an Auburn win as part of a very specific scheme that can push its chances with the committee up to a coin flip (more on that later). TCU7.17.46.60.3 Wisconsin45.145.245.00.1 Clemson76.577.874.81.5 Clemson76.576.376.70.2 Using FiveThirtyEight model simulations as of Nov. 29. Average change is weighted by the probability of each outcome. CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFF CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFF Miami26.0%<0.1%89.2%36.8 pts Ohio State32.835.529.53.0 CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFF Alabama30.430.031.00.5 Ohio State32.858.4<0.128.7 CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFF Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma vs. TCUSaturday, 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Alabama30.419.848.213.3 Stanford3.31.56.32.3 Wisconsin45.144.745.90.5 Stanford3.33.72.30.6 With Stanford’s College Football Playoff chances slim at best — they’ll be only 6 percent even if the Cardinal wins the Pac-12 — the only real playoff implication for this game involves a guerilla playoff push by a USC team that hasn’t ranked in the AP top 10 since September. The Trojans seemed dead in the water after being crushed by Notre Dame six weeks ago, but they’ve strung together just enough victories to stay on the periphery of the playoff conversation. Now, their best-case playoff scenario depends on the following outcomes, with games listed in order of importance:USC beats Stanford (45 percent probability)TCU beats Oklahoma (37 percent)Ohio State beats Wisconsin (56 percent)Auburn beats Georgia (54 percent)Clemson beats Miami (71 percent)Memphis beats UCF (36 percent)If all of that happens, the Trojans’ playoff chances would rise to 51 percent; the playoff field would most likely be Auburn, Clemson, Ohio State and whichever team the committee prefers between USC, Alabama and TCU. It’s not an especially likely set of circumstances — but then again, nothing about this Trojan resurgence has been likely. Oklahoma65.565.665.20.1 Wisconsin45.144.645.90.6 Georgia44.044.044.0<0.1 Stanford3.36.0<0.13.0 Using FiveThirtyEight model simulations as of Nov. 29. Average change is weighted by the probability of each outcome. Oklahoma65.566.763.91.4 read more

Logan Stieber named Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year

Ohio State’s Logan Stieber reacts after winning his fourth consecutive NCAA title by beating Edinboro’s Mitchell Port in the 141-pound championship match during the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 21, 2015, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.Credit: Courtesy of TNSAfter winning his fourth individual national championship in as many years and helping the Ohio State wrestling team to its first-ever team championship, Logan Stieber was named the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday morning.Stieber, who ended his collegiate career on a 50-match winning streak dating back to December 2013, was the first wrestler in Big Ten history to complete a perfect 4-for-4 individual championship career, and just the fourth college wrestler to ever pull off the feat. He won the Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation’s top wrestler for his senior season, the first recipient in OSU history.“Logan is a special student-athlete who has left a legacy at Ohio State,” OSU wrestling coach Tom Ryan said in a press release. “His four national titles are the first ever for a Big Ten athlete, but it was his ability to lead the program to our first-ever NCAA team title that most accurately defines him. I am proud that someone who has worked as hard as he has for as long as he has is receiving such great recognition.”Wrestling in the 141-pound weight class, the Monroeville, Ohio, native is the fourth OSU athlete to win Male Athlete of the Year honors, following basketball’s Evan Turner in 2010, gymnast Blaine Wilson in 1997 and football’s Eddie George the year prior.A fellow national champion, rowing’s Ashley Bauer, was OSU’s nominee for Female Athlete of the Year honors. However, the award went to Maryland junior lacrosse player Taylor Cummings, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the championship for the national champion Terrapins.Three former OSU athletes have won Female Athlete of the Year accolades: track and field’s Christina Manning in 2012, basketball’s Jessica Davenport in 2007 and volleyball’s Laura Davis in 1995.The award was first issued in 1982 for male athletes, with the honor for females being added a year later.Stieber also saw his name announced Wednesday as a nominee for Best Male College Athlete at ESPN’s 2015 ESPY Awards. Stieber is one of three OSU nominees at the ESPYs, alongside redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones for Best Breakthrough Athlete and football coach Urban Meyer for Best Coach/Manager.The ESPY Awards, which can be voted for on ESPN’s website, will be announced live on July 15 at 8 p.m. read more

Combination of a vaccine and checkpoint drugs reduces pancreatic tumors in mice

Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center discovered a combination of a cancer vaccine with two checkpoint drugs reduced pancreatic cancer tumors in mice, demonstrating a possible pathway for treatment of people with pancreatic cancers whose response to standard immunotherapy is poor.Results of the experiments combining an immune system booster vaccine called PancVAX with two checkpoint drugs derived from anti-PD-1 and agonist OX40 antibodies were published in the journal JCI Insight in October 2018.The findings showed by using PancVAX with the checkpoint drugs, pancreatic tumors had a better response to therapy by converting T cell-poor tumors into tumors that are rich in specific T cells. T cells are critical cells of the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells.Because T cell deficiencies are common in pancreatic and other kinds of cancers with fewer genetic mutations, researchers in recent years have increasingly experimented with immunotherapy drugs that — individually — draw only a weak response, but in combination appear to work better.Corresponding author Neeha Zaidi, M.D., an oncology fellow at the Kimmel Cancer Center, said one major challenge is to find ways to induce T cells to get into the tumor microenvironment, and her team’s latest experiments add to evidence that tumor vaccines in combination with checkpoint modulators may be an effective way to achieve this.”The vaccine tunes in the signal of the tumor for therapy, and the checkpoint drugs amplify the signal to teach the immune system to go after the tumor,” Zaidi said. “This framework is a personalized strategy to go after pancreatic and other nonimmunogenic cancers.”After the mice received the combination treatment and had their tumors cleared, reintroduction of tumor cells did not develop, indicating a memory of the T cells to target the cancer. Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., senior author of the study and deputy director of the Kimmel Cancer Center, said the combination approach has promise for patients who are or become resistant to immunotherapy drugs after a recurrence of their tumors. But she cautioned that more animal studies and clinical trials for safety and value will be needed before the combination can be used in humans. The combination is not currently available to people, and potential costs are unknown.Related StoriesMore effective flu vaccine begins clinical trials across the U.S.Novel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccine”We have already seen some promise with current vaccines being tested in patients with this cancer,” Jaffee said. “We now have the next generation of vaccines that are more specific to each patient’s own cancer, and we have reason to hope that a combination drug approach will offer more to patients.”Pancreatic cancer is a particularly challenging disease, because there are many barriers to generating a robust immune response within the tumor. Zaidi said there are plans for pilot clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients with advanced cancers within the next year or so.According to the National Cancer Institute, deaths from pancreatic cancer accounted for more than 7 percent of all cancer deaths in 2018. It remains one of the most lethal malignancies because by the time it is diagnosed, it has generally spread beyond its original site.Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of deaths due to cancer in the United States, with a median survival of less than six months.Corresponding author Mark Yarchoan, M.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center, said, “This work is very exciting and supports further testing of this treatment combination in patients with pancreatic cancer, and perhaps other cancers as well that have so far not responded to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies.” Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/vaccine-checkpoint-drugs-combination-shows-promise-for-pancreatic-cancers read more