The Big Ten had a reason to smile Thursday night when Houston knocked off No. 5 Louisville.
It was great news for No. 2 Ohio State, which does not control its own destiny to win the conference, because the Cardinals’ playoff hopes virtually dried up after the loss. It was also a welcomed sight for No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 8 Penn State, who could each win the conference, putting them on the bubble for the four-team playoff.
Friday morning, the numbers are looking good for those Big Ten teams.
In College Football Playoff projections from FiveThirtyEight, the four Big Ten teams in the hunt all had a better chance of reaching the playoff and winning the national title. Here are the current odds for Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State, according to FiveThirtyEight:
No. 2 Ohio State: 12% chance to win conference, 59% chance to make playoff, 19% chance to win national title
No. 3 Michigan: 32% chance to win conference, 39% chance to make playoff, 13% chance to win national title
No. 7 Wisconsin: 34% chance to win conference, 29% chance to make playoff, 3% chance to win national title
No. 8 Penn State: 20% chance to win conference, 13% chance to make playoff, <1% chance to win national title
FiveThirtyEight also allows you to change the numbers by predicting certain scenarios. For example, Ohio State has a 51 percent chance to win out. If that happens, the Buckeyes’ playoff chances go to 96 percent, while Michigan’s (the team would have a loss in this scenario) sink to six percent.
You can play around with the numbers of different outcomes here.