We are now five weeks into the college football season, and the College Football Playoff picture is clearing up thanks to an eyebrow-raising lack of chaos so far.
Three more teams on the fringe were effectively eliminated from playoff contention, with Cal, Duke, and Texas Tech all suffering losses that they won’t be able to overcome. That leaves us with 18 teams that still have a legit shot to make the playoff.
We have learned a few things over the years about how the committee picks the final four, and we have some idea of what teams need to do to make the playoff. Below, we ranked the 18 teams that still have a legit shot to make the playoff.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (13)
Last week’s result: Beat South Carolina, 24-10
Last week’s playoff rank: 18
Key games remaining: Road games against Texas A&M and Missouri and a home game against Georgia.
One thing to know: Kentucky and Florida are the biggest threats to Georgia in the SEC West. Both teams probably need to run the table — including wins over Georgia and presumably Alabama in the SEC title game — to make the playoff. But Kentucky has the advantage right now based on the head-to-head win. The Gators not only need to win out, but they also need Kentucky to lose twice.
Record (AP Rank): 3-1 (16)
Last week’s result: Did not play
Last week’s playoff rank: 17
Key games remaining: Wisconsin still has games on the road against Michigan, Northwestern, and Penn State.
One thing to know: The Badgers righted the ship against a tough Iowa team on the road and re-established themselves as the favorites in the Big Ten West. Still, they can’t afford any more slip-ups, and the schedule is not easy.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (14)
Last week’s result: Lost to Notre Dame, 38-17
Last week’s playoff rank: 10
Key games remaining: Stanford still has road games against Washington, Cal, and Arizona State.
One thing to know: The loss to Notre Dame was not an elimination game for Stanford, but it was close. A win over Washington could knock the Pac-12 out of the playoff picture completely.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (19)
Last week’s result: Beat Kansas State, 19-14
Last week’s playoff rank: 15
Key games remaining: A neutral site game against OU, a home game against West Virginia, and road games against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
One thing to know: Texas is an untimely rain delay away from being 5-0, but that won’t matter if they get blown out by Oklahoma this weekend. On the other hand, Texas could start getting some playoff buzz with a win.
Record (AP Rank): 4-0 (12)
Last week’s result: Beat Pitt, 45-14
Last week’s playoff rank: 14
Key games remaining: UCF’s toughest game is South Florida on the road to end the regular season.
One thing to know: UCF is starting to close in on the top 10 in the AP poll. They still need chaos at the top, but we haven’t had any yet.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (8)
Last week’s result: Beat Southern Miss, 24-13
Last week’s playoff rank: 14
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.
12. West Virginia
Record (AP Rank): 4-0 (9)
Last week’s result: Beat Texas Tech, 42-34
Last week’s playoff rank: 13
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: There is a scenario where West Virginia could play Oklahoma in back-to-back games if they meet in the Big 12 title game, and WVU might have to win both to get into the playoff.
11. Penn State
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (11)
Last week’s result: Lost to Ohio State, 27-26
Last week’s playoff rank: 6
Key games remaining: Penn State is in the middle of a 6-game stretch that started with a loss to Ohio State last week and includes Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
One thing to know: After losing to Ohio State, Penn State’s best hope for the playoff is probably chaos as they are unlikely to get to the B1G title game now. But will there be enough chaos? There are still a lot of undefeated teams and good 1-loss teams in the picture.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (17)
Last week’s result: Beat North Carolina, 47-10
Last week’s playoff rank: 12
Key games remaining: The schedule is in Miami’s favor this season, with Duke and Florida State at home. Their toughest road game is Virginia Tech late in the year.
One thing to know: If Miami runs the table, including a win over Clemson in the ACC title game, they are probably in the playoff. Their one loss was ugly, but it was in Week 1 and to a team that is probably going to finish the season in the top 10.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (15)
Last week’s result: Beat Northwestern, 20-17
Last week’s playoff rank: 11
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: Michigan’s 20-17 win over Northwestern on the road was more impressive than the records might have suggested.
Record (AP Rank): 4-1 (10)
Last week’s result: Beat BYU, 35-7
Last week’s playoff rank: 8
Key games remaining: Washington’s toughest game remaining is Stanford at home. They also have road games against Oregon and Cal.
One thing to know: The Pac-12’s playoff hopes will probably come down to Washington’s game against Stanford. If Washington loses that game, the Pac-12 will be in serious danger of being left out.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (5)
Last week’s result: Beat Beat Ole Miss, 45-16
Last week’s playoff rank: 7
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.
One thing to know: What if the final playoff spot were to come down to a 1-loss Miami that wins the ACC title or a 2-loss LSU team that was competitive in losses to Alabama and Georgia. Would the committee potentially take a third SEC team over the ACC champ?
6. Notre Dame
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (6)
Last week’s result: Beat Stanford, 38-17
Last week’s playoff rank: 9
Key games remaining: The toughest game remaining might be Virginia Tech on the road this week. Games against Florida State (at home) and USC (on the road) look less worrisome now and a schedule that seemed brutal to start the year now looks beatable.
One thing to know: If Notre Dame beats VaTech this week, the Irish could jump into the top-four. Notre Dame will have a legit shot to be 12-0 at the end of the season and won’t have a conference title game to worry about. They will be in the playoff under that scenario.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (7)
Last week’s result: Beat Baylor, 66-33
Last week’s playoff rank: 5
Key games remaining: OU has TCU, Texas Tech, and West Virginia on the road, Texas at a neutral site, and Oklahoma State at home.
One thing to know: The matchup against Texas this week seemed like an easy one a few weeks ago but now it has national implications.
4. Ohio State
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (3)
Last week’s result: Beat Penn State, 27-26
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.
One thing to know: It is hard to criticize a win on the road against a top-10 opponent, but a lot of people felt Penn State should have won that game. A win is a win, but this Buckeyes team feels like they are going to get picked off at some point.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (4)
Last week’s result: Beat Syracuse, 27-23
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 Duke at home and Florida State on the road.
One thing to know: Ohio State is playing better than Clemson, and the Tigers needed their third-string QB to beat Syracuse, but their path to the playoff is still easier than the Buckeyes’ road.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (2)
Last week’s result: Beat Tennessee, 38-12
Last week’s playoff rank: 2
Key games remaining: In two weeks, Georgia starts a 4-game stretch against LSU, Florida, Kentucky, and Auburn.
One thing to know: Georgia is still the class of the SEC West, but Kentucky and Florida are starting to make a little bit of noise.
Record (AP Rank): 5-0 (1)
Last week’s result: Beat Louisiana, 56-14
Last week’s playoff rank: 1
Key games remaining: Bama has two games remaining against teams currently in the Top 25. Auburn is at home and LSU on the road.
One thing to know: It is hard to imagine a scenario where Bama doesn’t get into the playoff even if they have a loss. It is also hard to imagine a scenario where Bama loses twice.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.