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2018 Roberts Poll: Week 6

Buffalo continues to dominate in the MAC, while Alabama (finally) takes the top spot in the Top 25.

NCAA Football: Army at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the second year of the Roberts Poll!

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.

This year has a slight tweak over last year. The Mountain West Conference has been relegated to the third tier of conferences (along with the MAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA, and independents). Taking their place is the American Athletic Conference. Conference relegation and promotion occurs annually based on cumulative scores for that conference each year.

So how does each team rank? Let’s find out together.

Top 25:

We have a new leader this week: the Alabama Crimson Tide. After another blowout win over the Arkansas Razorbacks, Alabama has found itself slightly ahead of The Ohio State Buckeyes. Another interesting move is the Clemson Tigers moving from tenth to fifth overall, which is a move that better reflects the AP and Coaches Polls. Michigan, UCF, and Florida also moved into the top ten this week.

This week has only five new teams in the top 25. Washington State Cougars managed to earn 18th place after beating Oregon State, 56-37, on the road. These movements also increased the number of Group of Five schools from two to six. Every conference except the MAC has a team in the Roberts Poll Top 25, with Buffalo knocking on the door at 32nd place.

In the table below, we can see where each team currently stands compared to the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll:

MAC Standings:

Personally, I was excited to see a full slate of in-conference action, including a few fantastic rivalry games. Toledo won the Battle of I-35, Western Michigan won the first leg of the battle of the Michigan MAC Trophy, and Northern Illinois kept the Bronze Stalk Trophy.

In the MAC East, Buffalo’s massive lead is still growing. Now a full 217 points ahead of second place, Buffalo faces an absolute unit of a schedule to close out their season. Ohio is in second place in the MAC East after a close win at Kent State. Akron and Miami moved closer together in the MAC standings after Miami earned a big 41-17 win on the road. Kent State and Bowling Green are in major risk of not going to a bowl game or rising in the Roberts Poll without some major improvement.

In the MAC West, Western Michigan is still ahead of Toledo, although that gap is closing fast. Both teams still have a tough schedule ahead of them still. Northern Illinois snuck ahead of Ball State in the Battle of the Bronze Stalk. Eastern Michigan dropped to ninth overall after losing to Western Michigan. It should be noted that the Eagles’ close losses are better than being blown out, but any non-ranked MAC loss is a guaranteed -50 points. That adds up fast. Central Michigan is currently last in the MAC West, but they seem to play better as underdogs anyway, so we will see.

We expect continued movement in the standings. As always, the MAC is anyone’s for the taking. The table below summarizes this week of football action for the MAC:


The best performance of the week belongs to Clemson, who put up an angry 120 points to remain undefeated on the year. This week’s bottom performers were the UNLV Rebels. The Rebels lost 50-14 at home against the New Mexico Lobos.

You have seen the Top 25, but the bottom of the poll looks a bit different. At the very bottom are the Connecticut Huskies, who have -350 points. Unfortunately, the bottom ten currently has three MAC schools, the most of any conference. At least they are in good company with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. That’s good, right?

We are excited to congratulate the Michigan State Spartans on winning our Statistic of the Week this week. The Spartans had the best rushing defense, allowing only eight rushing yards from Northwestern in their 29-19 home loss. The average performance was giving up 177 rushing yards per game. It worth noting that Miami led the MAC in this category, only giving up 56 rushing yards.

Due to the often unpredictable nature of college football, we expect a lot of movement in the standings. Our poll is slowly resembling a more balanced version of the AP and Coaches’ Polls, and will be increasingly accurate throughout the season. Stop by each week as we revisit the standings.