SOUTH BEND, IN – OCTOBER 13: Chase Claypool #83 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tries make the catch after the pass interference on Dane Jackson #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers in the second half at Notre Dame Stadium on October 13, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Notre Dame survived an upset bid from USC on Saturday night, and for the first time since 2012, the Fighting Irish finished the regular season with a 12-0 record. So they’re a lock for the College Football Playoff, right?Well, one major predictor model doesn’t think it’s clear cut. FiveThirtyEight’s playoff predictor, which has been pretty accurate in the past, thinks that if Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State all win next week, Notre Dame would have the lowest odds of getting in the field.That’s right, two one-loss teams – Oklahoma and Ohio State – would get in over them.It’s hard to believe. So hard to believe that the site’s founder, Nate Silver, took to Twitter to say that he “really doubts” that will happen in real life.Our college football algorithm cutely thinks that if the playoff selection committee really values conference championships, it would consider putting in both a 12-1 tOSU and 12-1 Oklahoma ahead of 12-0 Notre Dame. I really doubt that happens IRL, though. https://t.co/gROi6Kuq10 pic.twitter.com/3AUAZgRYnf— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 25, 2018It’s true that Notre Dame has an advantage not having to play in a conference championship game. But because of that, the program’s margin of error is thinner – they likely need to go 12-0 to be considered for a bid.For what it’s worth, Notre Dame fans would riot if they didn’t make the field with a 12-0 record. There isn’t much else the program can do.The real debate seems to be between Oklahoma and Ohio State for the No. 4 slot. That’s assuming both win next week’s title games.
The new WHO data also lists countries where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is present, but where there is no sign of the Zika virus.The insect is considered to be the main transmitter of the disease, which has been identified in more than 80 countries to date. As such, WHO says that overall, the global risk assessment has not changed and “the [Zika virus] continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present. The current data adds some 70 countries to the list of those considered to be ‘at-risk.’ These are countries where there’s no sign of the virus, but where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is present; it is considered to be the main carrier of the virus.Speaking to UN News in Geneva, WHO technical Officer Monika Gehner said: “[The new guidance] helps us because now we can assess risks more precisely. Now, even if you do not have Zika virus transmission, but if you have the Aedes aegypti mosquito, you are at risk of Zika virus transmission.”She went on to stress that amid surging global travel, “a traveller who is infected with Zika virus may go to an area in a country and in fact mosquitos that are established there, and a mosquito can then transmit to other people and so on, so you have a cycle of transmission.” The aim of this new WHO guidance is not to spread alarm. Instead, it’s a call to governments to do more to prevent the spread of Zika.This requires greater surveillance of mosquito populations and research into suspected Zika infections, as well as better diagnostic techniques and updated health advice to at-risk communities and travellers.