Commentary

Buckeyes still alive in Big Ten?

Determining sleepers and projecting the conference and division races still up for grabs

Updated: October 31, 2011, 2:13 PM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders
Luke FickellAP Photo/Jay LaPreteA win against Wisconsin put the Buckeyes back in the Big Ten race.

It's always tempting to get ahead of ourselves when discussing BCS championship and conference races. Around the middle of the year, every what-if scenario dreamed up focuses on the possible glut of undefeated contenders at season's end. And then the inevitable upsets strike as they did the last two weekends, and we're reminded how much remains unsettled and unpredictable.

We discussed undefeated championship contenders two weeks ago and identified Wisconsin and Oklahoma as two teams at risk to stumble due to a tough remaining strength of schedule.

With a new set of drive-based FEI ratings, we can calculate the likelihood of teams winning out for the rest of the season and thus add clarity to conference races. Below are the primary conference races up for grabs. In addition to the normal contenders, there are a few dark horses in position to make a run.



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Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com