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VA Tech Upsets Ohio State; Big Ten Playoff Hopes Take Big Hit

VA Tech Upsets Ohio State; Big Ten Playoff Hopes Take Big Hit

The Big Ten has been essentially eliminated from the first four-team playoff in history–in Week 2. The fourth-best team in the ACC faced the largest crowd in Ohio State history and beat the second-best team in the Big Ten to establish the ACC as superior to the Big Ten and make the rest of college football in the Midwest irrelevant to the 2014 title. The Hokies spoiled the Buckeye home opener with a 35-21 victory.

The Big Ten was projected to go 9-4 and went 8-5. More importantly, they were projected to outscore their opponents by 145 points and were only 6 points better–barely winning easy games and witnessing Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue (vs. Central Michigan) all losing by at least 19 points. The day will easily drop the conference to fifth in the conference rankings behind the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, and now ACC. Significantly, there is no one left for any Big Ten team to get back in consideration for the national semifinal since Wisconsin already missed an opportunity to beat LSU.

On the flip side, the ACC was expected to go 10-3 and instead went 12-1, actually a perfect day since the only loss was by Boston College to another ACC team in Pitt. The ACC was three touchdowns better than their projection, outscoring opponents by 194 points rather than the 177 points projected. UNC survived a late upset by San Diego State shortly before Virginia Tech wrapped up the big upset at Ohio State. 

Virginia Tech was the only upset of Week 2, but the odds were that the conference would have lost one other game between NC State, Georgia Tech, and Duke.

With the Big Ten eliminated, the SEC will hope for two of the four bids, while the Big 12 and Pac-12 could be fighting for spots that right now would go to Oklahoma and Oregon. While and undefeated Florida State team is the current favorite, the strong showing by the ACC opens the possibility that Florida State could make the playoffs despite a loss, or that another ACC team that had beaten Florida State (Louisville, Clemson, or Virginia Tech) could end up in the semifinals.

The following is a list of each ACC and Big Ten team, where they were ranked prior to the game, how many they were predicted to win (or lose) by, the percent chance they had to win, and then their actual victory (or defeat) margin and if they won the game (1 = Win, 0 = Loss).

Rnk School Pred %Win Actual Wins?
50 Boston College 1 52% -10 0
29 Clemson 25 99% 25 1
41 Duke 20 85% 17 1
1 Florida St 25 100% 25 1
45 Georgia Tech 10 74% 17 1
16 Louisville 25 99% 25 1
62 Miami FL 25 99% 25 1
98 NC State 3 56% 12 1
44 North Carolina 16 82% 4 1
39 Pittsburgh -1 48% 10 1
64 Syracuse 0 0% off off
71 Virginia 20 89% 25 1
38 Virginia Tech -17 16% 14 1
108 Wake Forest 25 98% 16 1
  Conf Week 2Pts/Wins 177 10.0 194 12
81 Illinois -8 35% 8 1
52 Indiana 0 0% off off
34 Iowa 16 84% 4 1
54 Maryland 17 87% 7 1
40 Michigan -11 25% -25 0
3 Michigan St -10 27% -19 0
36 Minnesota 21 92% 11 1
28 Nebraska 25 94% 7 1
72 Northwestern 3 57% -8 0
14 Ohio St 17 84% -14 0
32 Penn St 25 97% 18 1
107 Purdue 0 50% -21 0
59 Rutgers 25 98% 13 1
18 Wisconsin 25 100% 25 1
  Conf Week 2Pts/Wins 145 9.3 6 8

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