Having a handful of bye weeks did not stop the MAC standings from changing again. This week, the changes were in the middle of the pack.
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.
As you may have guessed, the Mid-American Conference standings have been very tight up to this point. For example, the Miami-Ohio RedHawks moved up two positions despite having a bye week.
During the 58-17 blowout of the Ball State Cardinals, the Toledo Rockets extended their lead in the Roberts Poll MAC standings. Toledo now has a nearly two-game advantage over the Northern Illinois Huskies, who currently sit at second in the MAC West. Consequently, Ball State moved down one position below the Kent State Golden Flashes, who also had a bye week.
In Northern Illinois’ 30-27 win against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, Eastern Michigan also fell one position. Northern Illinois cut into Ohio’s and Toledo’s leads, but failed to move up with such a slim margin of victory.
Alone in the first place of the MAC East are the Ohio Bobcats, who hold a nearly four-game lead over the Akron Zips. Of course, in the official MAC standings, Akron actually leads Ohio by one win. Likewise, Buffalo is actually at the bottom of the MAC East, but is only eighth in the MAC rankings. These discrepancies come from the out-of-conference schedule and are used to compare the overall strength of the teams.
Due to the magic of using math instead of logic, another change took place. The Roberts Poll computers no longer expect the Central Michigan Chippewas to attend a bowl game. Eastern Michigan is now expected to defeat the Chippewas, leaving Central Michigan at 5-7 for the year. Akron, Western Michigan Broncos, Northern Illinois, and Ohio are expected to earn at-large bowl bids.
Toledo will be holding their breath and watching other conference games, hoping for an elusive major bowl bid. As a side note, Toledo’s sole loss to the Miami-Florida Hurricanes is looking better with each week. That will go a long way to determining the bowl bids sent Toledo’s way.
MAC Standings: Roberts Poll
RP Top 25:
In a national context, Toledo has officially made it into the Roberts Poll Top 25. Toledo was one of five new teams this week to enter such an elite ranking.
Coming from a 14-7 upset win against #4 TCU Horned Frogs, the Iowa St. Cyclones also entered the RP Top 25. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Texas A&M Aggies 35-14 on the road. In blowout wins, the Arizona Wildcats and Memphis Tigers also joined at the bottom of the top teams.
Those five winning teams replace five teams that lost out on being in the RP Top 25. N.C. State Wolfpack fell out from their 35-14 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Northwestern Wildcats upset the Michigan State Spartans, booting the Spartans from the RP Top 25. Despite having a bye week, the Army Black Knights fell out of the rankings. Colorado State Rams suffered a 45-28 loss to the Air Force Falcons. The fifth team to fall out were the Marshall Thundering Herd, who fell to the Florida International Panthers, 41-30.
Showing the biggest positive move in the rankings were the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan was almost cut off last week, but redeemed themselves with a 35-14 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Wolverines shot up five positions.
Washington State Cougars fell nine positions in their blowout loss to Arizona over the weekend. The South Florida Bulls, who was making excellent headway moving up the ranks, fell eight positions. That came off a four-point defeat by the Houston Cougars.
Iowa State’s victory over TCU just cost the Horned Frogs six precious positions in the Roberts Poll. TCU may be more worried about the larger-scale consequences, however. That loss may have knocked TCU out of College Football Playoff contention.
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|
With only a handful of games remaining, every matchup matters. Although the Alabama Crimson Tide may have a lock on the top slot, the fight for second place will be a tight one. Currently, the Georgia Bulldogs hold a three-point lead over the Ohio State Buckeyes. While all these teams are focused on climbing to the top of the Roberts Poll, some teams are trying to escape the bottom of the poll.
With Charlotte and Bowling Green working on their bye weeks, each team shot up from their bottom spots. Filling the void are the Texas-El Paso Miners and San Jose State Spartans. While they were a powerhouse just a few years earlier, the Georgia Southern Eagles find themselves in a tough spot being third from last.
As a result of the upset against TCU, the Iowa State Cyclones managed to earn the most points this week, notching 107 points under their belt. That result is just ahead of the 105 points put up by the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia pulled that feat off via a 42-7 spanking of the Florida Gators. The worst performance for the week fell on the shoulders of Ball State, who lost big to Toledo.
With six ranked upsets and four other ranked losses, this week was lovely and chaotic. Who knew 19 bye weeks would be so entertaining to watch?