The deeper we get into the MAC play, the more we learn. Or maybe get more confused. If we apply a bit of math, we can see that the Mid-American Conference is sorting itself out with each game. Let’s dive in deeper together:
In case you weren’t here the first time, we at Hustle Belt (with the help of yours truly) came up with a formula to rank FBS teams. It basically comes down to a mathematical formula that takes the quality of a win or loss and combines it with margin of victory to assign a team points.
Keep in mind that these are just statistics, not our human rankings. My projections do not take into account any MACtion that makes this conference so much fun to watch.
This week showed some movement in the middle the MAC rankings. With a 24-14 loss to Miami-Ohio Redhawks, the Buffalo Bulls dropped to seventh place. Miami is still nine points away from taking back their sixth place. Speaking of sixth place, the Central Michigan Chippewas took that slot with a 56-9 blowout win over the Ball State Cardinals. Lastly, the Eastern Michigan Eagles slipped down one position with the 20-17 overtime loss to the Western Michigan Broncos.
Despite losing to the Toledo Rockets 48-21, the Akron Zips maintained their fifth-place standing overall. Toledo holds a small lead over the Ohio Bobcats, who defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes 48-3.
Miami’s win this week improves the expected finish by an additional win. Eastern Michigan’s loss may have been by a small margin, but the Eagles are now expected to finish 5-7, being excluded from going to a bowl. Although I do not predict the entire FBS season outside the Mid-American Conference, Toledo still has a shot for a major bowl bid. If the math follows the formula, the Rockets will finish 12-1, giving them a good chance at a New Year’s Six bowl.
MAC Standings: Roberts Poll
RP Top 25:
Now we start to see some discrepancies between the Roberts Poll and the AP Poll. Each poll differs on how to handle strength of schedule. Because the Roberts Poll rates opponents by conference instead of name, you can see things like the #15 Washington State Cougars rated seventh.
This week, six teams lost their positions by virtue of a bye week. Georgia, Ohio State, Washington, Clemson, Stanford, and North Carolina State each dropped an average of three spots each simply from not playing a game this week.
Only four Roberts Poll Top 25 members lost last week, (hopefully) giving credit to the accuracy of the poll. With the USC Trojans’ 49-14 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, USC fell nine positions. That was the largest drop of all Top 25 teams. Another Michigan Wolverines loss, this time to the Penn State Nittany Lions, drops them to the last position in the Top 25. The San Diego State Aztecs and the California Golden Bears each fell to in-conference foes, removing them from the Top 25.
Notre Dame and the Virginia Tech Hokies each gained six positions, the best gain in the Top 25. Those gains come on the backs of blowout victories for each team. With the Colorado State Rams’ 27-24 victory over the New Mexico Lobos, the Rams have entered the fray at number 23. Former MAC member Marshall Thundering Herd punched their way ahead of Michigan with Marshall’s 38-10 victory over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.
Roberts Poll Top 25
|Rank||High||Low||Team||Last Week's Result||RP Points|
|Rank||High||Low||Team||Last Week's Result||RP Points|
|1||1||4||Alabama #||W 26-23 vs UGA||1282|
|2||2||27||Georgia *||L 23-26 vs Bama||1175|
|3||2||45||Ohio State *||W 24-7 vs USC||1173|
|4||2||25||Wisconsin||W 34-24 vs MIA-FL||1118|
|5||1||17||Oklahoma *||L 48-54 vs UGA||1043|
|6||6||46||UCF *#||W 34-27 vs Auburn||1028|
|7||1||10||Penn State||W 35-28 vs WASH||1027|
|8||2||10||Clemson *||L 6-24 vs Bama||1016|
|9||3||23||TCU||W 39-37 vs STAN||864|
|10||8||48||Auburn||L 27-34 vs UCF||845|
|11||4||15||Washington||L 28-35 vs Penn St||832|
|12||8||32||USC *||L 7-24 vs Ohio St||820|
|13||5||19||Oklahoma State||W 30-21 vs VT||783|
|14||5||53||Notre Dame||W 21-17 vs LSU||756|
|15||15||76||Northwestern||W 24-23 vs UK||749|
|16||16||70||Boise State *||W 38-28 vs Oregon||725|
|17||4||74||Stanford||L 37-39 vs TCU||685|
|18||18||63||Michigan State||W 42-17 vs WAZZU||669|
|19||9||73||Miami (FL)||L 24-34 vs WIS||655|
|20||20||122||Florida Atlantic *||W 50-3 vs Akron||650|
|21||21||92||Troy *||W 50-30 vs UNT||620|
|22||5||35||South Florida||W 38-34 vs TTU||607|
|23||21||51||Army||W 42-35 vs SDSU||601|
|24||6||52||Mississippi State||W 31-27 vs LOU||594|
|25||20||85||Fresno State||W 33-27 vs HOU||589|
For the foreseeable future, the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide hold the lead for the Roberts Poll. With a 173-point lead over #2 Penn State, Alabama is unlikely to move any time soon. Once again, the Charlotte 49ers rank dead last, but are moving in the right direction. A comeback Homecoming victory put the 49ers within 10 points of the Texas-El Paso Miners, and 11 points behind the Bowling Green Falcons.
Seven different schools scored over 100 points, primarily from blowout victories. Notre Dame’s 49-14 win over USC gave the Fighting Irish the largest amount of points of all FBS schools. Earning 115 points launched Notre Dame into eighth place in the Roberts Poll Top 25. The biggest loser of the week came from the Mid-American Conference, unfortunately. Central Michigan’s defeat of Ball State resulted in the Cardinals losing 97 points. That loss also put Ball State between the Oregon State Beavers and North Carolina Tar Heels in overall standings.
As you can see from each poll, the leads held are quite thin, and are liable to change each week. Expect more excitement and lead changes as the weeks progress and the calculations become more accurate in their predictions.