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College Football Playoff Power Ranking — Where the contenders stand heading into Week 4 – Sports – Pulselive.co.ke

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We are now three weeks into the college football season, and the College Football Playoff picture is starting to clear up.

Three teams were effectively eliminated from playoff contention, with Arizona State, Ole Miss, and USC all suffering losses that erased any dreams they may have had. That leaves us with about 26 teams that are still on the playoff radar, with six or seven of those standing above the rest.

We have learned a few things over the years about how the committee picks the final four teams, and we have some idea of what teams need to do to make the playoff. Below, we ranked the top 20 teams in the country based on their chances to make the playoff.

20. Texas A&M


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Reveille IX takes a lap in front of the fans.

(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-1 (22)

Last week’s result: Beat Louisiana-Monroe, 48-10

Last week’s playoff rank: Unranked

Key games remaining: A&M has Alabama (this week), Mississippi State, Auburn, and South Carolina on the road. All of those are before a season-ending home game against LSU.

One thing to know: Other teams that were considered for this final spot included Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Duke, Texas, TCU, and Oregon. These teams are all mostly interchangeable at this point. Not eliminated yet, but not quite on the radar either.

19. Wisconsin


Wisconsin suffered a devastating loss to BYU.play

Wisconsin suffered a devastating loss to BYU.

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-1 (18)

Last week’s result: Lost to BYU, 24-21

Last week’s playoff rank: 7

Key games remaining: Wisconsin still has games on the road against Iowa (this week), Michigan, Northwestern, and Penn State.

One thing to know: Two regular-season losses looked like a real possibility for Wisconsin because of their schedule, but now it seems probable after a loss to BYU. Iowa now has an easier path to the Big Ten title game.

18. Iowa


Tight end Noah Fant scores a touchdown against Northern Iowa.play

Tight end Noah Fant scores a touchdown against Northern Iowa.

(Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (unranked)

Last week’s result: Beat Northern Iowa, 38-14

Last week’s playoff rank: unranked

Key games remaining: Iowa has Wisconsin at home this week. Their only other game against a ranked team is Penn State on the road in late October.

One thing to know: With Wisconsin losing to BYU, Iowa suddenly feels like a legit contender in the Big Ten West. If the Hawkeyes can beat Wisconsin this weekend, there is a possibility that Iowa is 11-1 heading into the B1G title game.

17. UCF


UCF's game was canceled but they still got a big win.play

UCF’s game was canceled but they still got a big win.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-0 (16)

Last week’s result: Game was canceled due to weather

Last week’s playoff rank: 17

Key games remaining: UCF’s toughest game is South Florida on the road to end the regular season.

One thing to know: UCF didn’t play because of Hurricane Florence, but they still got a big win when Boise State lost to Oklahoma State. That game established UCF as the top team in the Group of Five. If anybody is going to crash the playoff party, it will have to be UCF, and after they got snubbed last year, there could be more pressure to get them in this season.

16. Auburn


The Auburn-LSU game may have been an elimination match.play

The Auburn-LSU game may have been an elimination match.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-1 (9)

Last week’s result: Lost to LSU, 22-21

Last week’s playoff rank: 8

Key games remaining: Auburn has already faced Washington and LSU. The back-half of the schedule is even worse with a home game against Texas A&M, and road games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama.

One thing to know: Auburn is one of the ten best teams in the country, but the loss to LSU at home felt like a near-elimination game. They will probably have to run the table at this point, and that seems unlikely with their schedule.

15. West Virginia


West Virginia's game was canceled because of the Hurricane.play

West Virginia’s game was canceled because of the Hurricane.

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-0 (12)

Last week’s result: Game was canceled due to weather.

Last week’s playoff rank: 14

Key games remaining: If the Mountaineers can get past Texas on the road in early November, they might be undefeated heading into a 3-game stretch at the end of the season that includes TCU and Oklahoma at home and Oklahoma State on the road.

One thing to know: It was easier to feel like West Virginia had a shot at the playoff before the season. But since then, Oklahoma has proven they haven’t regressed, and Oklahoma State has entered the Big 12 picture a legit contender.

14. Mississippi State


Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald leads Mississippi State.play

Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald leads Mississippi State.

(Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (14)

Last week’s result: Beat Louisiana, 56-10

Last week’s playoff rank: 16

Key games remaining: The Bulldogs have Auburn at home in early October and then play road games at LSU, Alabama, and Ole Miss.

One thing to know: It is just hard to imagine Mississippi State being the last team standing in a division that also has Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Texas A&M. But until they do lose, they are still in the picture.

13. Oklahoma State


Oklahoma State Cowboys mascot Pistol Pete.play

Oklahoma State Cowboys mascot Pistol Pete.

(Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (15)

Last week’s result: Beat Boise State, 44-21

Last week’s playoff rank: unranked

Key games remaining: Texas at home might be the only thing standing between OSU and being 9-0 heading into their matchup with the Sooners in mid-November on the road. They then finish the season with West Virginia at home and TCU on the road.

One thing to know: Oklahoma State took down a Boise State team that was actually favored in Stillwater.

12. Miami


Head coach Mark Richt talks to N'Kosi Perry.play

Head coach Mark Richt talks to N’Kosi Perry.

(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-1 (21)

Last week’s result: Beat Toledo, 49-24

Last week’s playoff rank: 18

Key games remaining: The schedule is in Miami’s favor this season, with Florida State at home. Their toughest road game is Virginia Tech late in the year.

One thing to know: That opening week loss to LSU is still ugly, but it doesn’t seem as bad now.

11 Michigan


Shea Patterson.play

Shea Patterson.

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Image)

Record (AP Rank): 2-1 (19)

Last week’s result: Beat SMU, 45-20

Last week’s playoff rank: 15

Key games remaining: Michigan started the season on the road against Notre Dame and ends it on the road against Ohio State. In between, they have a three-game stretch against Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Penn State.

One thing to know: The Big Ten is never easy, but the path to the title game doesn’t seem as formidable for Michigan now with Wisconsin and Michigan State both looking like lesser teams so far.

10. Stanford


K.J. Costello.play

K.J. Costello.

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (7)

Last week’s result: Beat UC Davis, 30-10

Last week’s playoff rank: 10

Key games remaining: Stanford has road games against Oregon, Notre Dame, and Washington.

One thing to know: The voters really love Stanford, pushing them all the way up to No. 7 this week in the AP poll despite no truly impressive wins yet. Ultimately, their path to the playoff is the same as Washington — win the head-to-head and win the Pac-12 title game. The difference is, Stanford has a couple of other games to worry about.

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9. Penn State


9. Penn Stateplay

9. Penn State

(Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (10)

Last week’s result: Beat Kent State, 63-10

Last week’s playoff rank: 13

Key games remaining: Penn State has a 6-game stretch that includes Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

One thing to know: The OT win over Appalachian State is starting to look more like an aberration than a sign that Penn State might struggle this season.

8. Notre Dame


A cheerleader for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.play

A cheerleader for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (8)

Last week’s result: Beat Vanderbilt, 22-17

Last week’s playoff rank:

Key games remaining: Notre Dame still has to face Stanford at home, but games against Florida State (at home) and USC (on the road) look less worrisome now. A trip to Virginia Tech also looms, but the Hokies are a tad overrated still because of their win over Florida State.

One thing to know: This was a decent Vandy squad, and a win is a win. But Notre Dame has not looked like a dominant playoff contender since their Week 1 win over Michigan, and the schedule is only going to get more difficult.

7. Washington


Harry the Washington Huskies mascot.play

Harry the Washington Huskies mascot.

(Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 2-1 (10)

Last week’s result: Beat Utah, 21-7

Last week’s playoff rank: 9

Key games remaining: Washington’s toughest game remaining is Stanford at home. They also don’t have to face Arizona or USC.

One thing to know: Washington is either the worst team among the top group or the best team in the second tier.

6. LSU


Head coach Ed Orgeron.play

Head coach Ed Orgeron.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (6)

Last week’s result: Beat Auburn, 22-21

Last week’s playoff rank: 12

Key games remaining: They have to play Georgia and Alabama, although both are at home. They also have road games left against Florida and Texas A&M, and we haven’t even mentioned the home game against Mississippi State.

One thing to know: LSU’s schedule is brutal, but so far, so good. They have already taken down Miami and Auburn, and neither game was at home. The Tigers are starting to build a resume that could get them into the playoff even if they lose to Alabama and don’t make the SEC title game. They would likely still need a win over Georgia. If Alabama and Georgia are both undefeated in the SEC title game, LSU is not getting into the playoff as a third SEC team with two losses.

5. Oklahoma


Wide receiver Myles Tease.play

Wide receiver Myles Tease.

(David Purdy/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (5)

Last week’s result: Beat Iowa State, 37-27

Last week’s playoff rank: 5

Key games remaining: The two biggest challenges to OU in the Big 12 could end up being TCU and West Virginia, and the Sooners play both teams on the road. Oklahoma State also seems to be better than most were expecting before the season.

One thing to know: Iowa State is probably the best 0-2 team in the country and Oklahoma took them down rather easily in the Cyclones’ home opener. While the score was close, it never felt like OU was going to lose this one. Nothing happened that suggested the Sooners aren’t still the class of the Big 12.

4. Ohio State


Parris Campbell is lifted up by a teammate.play

Parris Campbell is lifted up by a teammate.

(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (4)

Last week’s result: Beat TCU, 40-28

Last week’s playoff rank: 4

Key games remaining: Games against Michigan State and Michigan don’t seem as challenging now for an Ohio State team that appears to be firing on all cylinders. But Penn State on the road in two weeks won’t be easy.

One thing to know: Ohio State survived their one big test of the Urban Meyer suspension, scoring 40 points against a good TCU defense.

3. Clemson


3. Clemsonplay

3. Clemson

(Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (3)

Last week’s result: Beat Georgia Southern, 38-7

Last week’s playoff rank: 3

Key games remaining: Clemson is going to be heavily favored in all their remaining regular-season games with their toughest games appearing to be Louisville and South Carolina at home and Florida State on the road.

One thing to know: If looking for a game that could trip Clemson up, Georgia Tech on the road this week is a good candidate.

2. Georgia


Georgia Bulldogsplay

Georgia Bulldogs

(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (2)

Last week’s result: Beat Middle Tennessee State, 49-7

Last week’s playoff rank: 2

Key games remaining: Georgia’s schedule looked easier before the season, but road games against LSU and Kentucky suddenly look tougher. They also have Auburn at home.

One thing to know: We could see a situation this season where Alabama and Georgia are both undefeated in the SEC title game with only seeding in the playoff on the line.

1. Alabama


Damien Harris.play

Damien Harris.

(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Record (AP Rank): 3-0 (1)

Last week’s result: Beat Ole Miss, 62-7

Last week’s playoff rank: 1

Key games remaining: Bama has three games remaining against teams currently in the Top 25. Mississippi State and Auburn are at home, but the game at LSU suddenly looks tougher.

One thing to know: Last week there were some whispers that Georgia might be the best team in the country. Alabama quickly quieted those thoughts with an absolute thrashing of an Ole Miss team on the road.

Now check out what happened to college football’s best players.


Now check out what happened to college football's best players.play

Now check out what happened to college football’s best players.

(AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The last 20 Heisman Trophy winners



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What you need to know about the Juja by-election

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The late Juja MP Francis Waititu aka Wakapee.

The Juja parliamentary seat became vacant after MP Francis Waititu succumbed to brain cancer on February 22, 2021 at MP Shah Hospital.
Waititu was elected on a Jubilee ticket during the 2017 General Election. He garnered 66,190 votes.
According to IEBC, Juja constituency has 114,761 registered voters.
The 2017 General Election had an 80 per cent voter turn-out which saw 91,801 Kenyans casting their votes in the region.  
The by-election
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, voters in the Juja constituency will head to the polls to elect their next member of parliament.
A total of eleven candidates will square it out in the mini poll.

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Jubilee Party By-election Juja MP Nominee Susan Njeri Waititu during certificate issuance at the Party’s Headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Main contenders

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1. Waititu Susan Njeri – Jubilee Party
2. Ndung’u George Koimburi – Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP)
Others:
3. Mwangi Kariuki Chege – Independent
4. Kagera Eunice Wanjiru – The New Democrats (TND)
5. Kariuki Joseph Gichui –  Independent
6. Kariuki Rashid Iregi –  Independent
7. Marungo James Kariuki – Independent
8. Mburu John Njoroge – People’s Party of Kenya (PPK)
9. Ndung’u Antony Kirori – Maendeleo Chap Chap Party (MCCP)
10. Ndung’u Kennedy Gachuma – National Liberal Party (NLP)
11. Zulu Julius Thiong’o – Independent

 

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19-year-old boy charged with defiling girl three years younger

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[Courtesy]

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A 19-year-old teenager is in trouble with authorities for allegedly defiling a 16-year-old girl.
Tyson Ongaki has been charged before a Kisumu Chief Magistrate’s court and accused of intentionally defiling the minor on various dates. The crime was allegedly committed in Bomet.
The teenager who appeared before Chief Magistrate Peter Gesora however denied the offence and has been released on a Sh100,000 bond.
The court heard that after committing the offense on diverse dates between March 26, 2021 and May 14, 2021, the teenager moved to Kisumu.
He has also been charged with committing an indecent act with a minor.
An investigating officer handling the matter told the court that the suspect was arrested in Kisumu.
The magistrate directed that the matter be heard on June 15, 2021.

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KRA must ease tax filing to boost revenues

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Nikhil Hira Independent tax consultant and Director Bowmans Coulson Harney (law firm). [Courtesy]

Anyone who has been following Kenya’s budgets over the last few years will recall headlines each year saying that the country has set its largest-ever budget. 
The upcoming 2021/22 fiscal year is no exception, with Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani announcing a budget of Sh3.6 trillion – yes, the biggest ever! A little over Sh2 trillion will come from government revenues, with approximately Sh1.8 trillion of this from tax revenues. 
The balance will be borrowed – another common feature of the last few years. 
This year’s budget comes amidst an economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the inherent assumption that the pandemic will come to an end before the start of the next financial year. 
Given surges in infections that are being seen globally, and indeed in Kenya, this assumption may well be the deal-breaker. 
The Ministry of Health has already said that Kenya may see another wave of infections in July, fuelled by the Indian variant. This could result in more lockdowns with the associated impact on the economy and indeed revenue collections. The lack of vaccines is an issue that the government must address as a matter of great urgency if the country is to get through the pandemic without further economic woes. 
While deficits in government budgets are not uncommon, Kenya seems to be annually widening the gap between expenditure and revenues. 
If one applies this model to their household budget, the upshot will almost certainly be bankruptcy. 

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What is actually required is curtailing recurring government expenditures, which is something that the government has acknowledged in the past with proposed austerity measures. 
The reality is that Kenya has not succeeded in doing this, and the pressure on revenue collection is exacerbated. 
When you add to the high level of wastage and corruption we are witnessing, the deficit will almost certainly continue to widen. 
The responsibility for tax collection and enforcement lies with the Kenya Revenue Authority better (KRA). 
There is no doubt that the authority has improved significantly in this task since it was set up in 1995. 
The taxman estimates that 4.4 million tax returns were filed by June 30 last year, up from 3.6 million in the previous year.  While this is a significant improvement, when compared to the country’s population, this number of returns seems unusually low. 
The increase in the number of tax returns, is to a large extent, due to the online reporting system, iTax, and a major push by KRA through taxpayer education.
There is no doubt that the online system has made filing tax returns significantly easier and gone are the large queues of people witnessed at Times Tower on deadline day. 
That said, there is still much to be done to make filing returns a seamless and painless exercise. 
System downtime during filing periods is something that all of us will have experienced, although, in typical Kenyan fashion, we inevitably wait until the last day to file our returns as we do with most things! 
The spreadsheet that one uses to file a return is by no means the simplest to use.  One key issue seems to be that taxpayers are not alerted to changes in the model until they try to upload a return. 
The spreadsheet does not allow one to make it more relevant to their sources of income – in essence, it is too rigid and inflexible. KRA should be able to rectify this without too much effort.
Last year was unusual in that different rates of tax were applicable in the first quarter as compared to the rest of the year.  This followed the Covid-19 relief measures that were introduced in April 2020. 
There was much debate about whether the changes were meant to apply for the whole year or whether some form of apportionment was needed. 
In the end, the decision was made for apportionment. One can argue about what the correct treatment should be, but the issue was how long it took for the decision to be made and, indeed, to amend the iTax system. 
The age-old notion has always been that the more complex and difficult it is to file a tax return, the more likely it will be that taxpayers simply won’t file their returns. While the issue with the system has been resolved, there is an inherent administrative issue here that must be addressed. 
KRA has to be significantly more proactive in dealing with changes in rates and law to ensure the least inconvenience to taxpayers. 
The writer, Nikhil Hira, is the Director of Bowmans Kenya.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Bowmans Kenya  

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