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2018 Roberts Poll: Week 2

Buffalo and EMU take advantage of BYE weeks to surpass some potential MAC divisional favorites.

Buffalo v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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.

Another quick note: due to weather delays, all Roberts Poll points were calculated for games that had an official start time on or before Saturday. The games delayed until Sunday and Monday last week applied to this week.

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

Top 25:

The Roberts Poll Top 25 saw a major shuffle as 11 new teams have made the top 25 spots. The Hawaii Warriors, last week’s top team, slid to be tied for second with the Boise State Broncos. With the Ohio State Buckeyes punishing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 52-3, Ohio State earned enough points to take the top spot in the nation. Thirty-eight points behind the Buckeyes are the defending winners of the College Football Playoff, Alabama Crimson Tide.

The UCF Knights’ win streak is still rolling, but they have only accumulated enough points to remain tied for 23rd with the LSU Tigers. Another surprising team in the top ten are the Maryland Terrapins in seventh place overall.

Another anomaly is the number of ties. This is very uncommon and really cool to see. Over time, there tend to be fewer ties and the rankings become more accurate.

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


MAC Standings:

More importantly, the Mid-American Conference saw some upsets both in and not in our favor. If it is any consolation to the Central Michigan Chippewas in their home loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, the Western Michigan Broncos did worse last week in the Roberts Poll after getting thumped by the Michigan Wolverines.

Eastern Michigan Eagles have placed themselves atop our leaderboard courtesy of a road upset if the Purdue Boilermakers. The Buffalo Bulls also saw a jump to the top with a big win over the Temple Owls. The Eagles and Bulls share the top spot while the Toledo Rockets had an early bye week.

Despite being picked to be a major competitor in the MAC Championship Game, the Ohio Bobcats found themselves in the middle of the pack at sixth place. The Kent State Golden Flashes are nipping at their heels, only three points behind.

At the bottom of the pile are some interesting characters. The three bottom teams are all separated by four points. Western Michigan currently holds the bottom spot after two straight losses. Right above the Broncos are the Miami-Ohio Redhawks and Bowling Green Falcons.

Needless to say, we expect constant shuffling in the standings. As always, the MAC is anyone’s for the taking. The table below summarizes the first week of football action for the MAC:


Analysis:

Each week, the Roberts Poll will commend a team on leading in a certain statistical category. This week, the Roberts Poll would like to commend the Army Black Knights on achieving the most rushing yards of the week. The Black Knights put up 449 rushing yards, and were one of seven teams to earn 400 or more yards in a single game this week.

Top performance accolades go to the Virginia Tech Hokies, who earned 156 points. However, this accounts for two games, one for 101 points and the other for 55. The best single game performance was Ohio State, who earned 119 points. The worst performance was from Western Kentucky, who was upset by FCS Maine and lost 103 points.

Currently at the bottom of the nation are the New Mexico State Aggies. These Aggies are sitting at -237 points, 70 points fewer than second-to-last San Jose State Spartans. Of the bottom 10 teams, three each come from the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA.

Although it is still early, we like to take a look at how each conference fared in its first week. Leading the nation in Roberts Poll points is the SEC with 1,528 points. That also accounts for the best score per team, with an average 109 points per team. The Big Ten is next with 1,249 points, or 89 points per team. Towards the bottom is the MAC with -154 total points, or -13 points per team. Despite having more overall points, the FBS Independents average a much worse -18 points per team. By comparison, the last place conference is Conference USA with -304 points, an average of -22 points per team.

Due to the often unpredictable nature of college football, we expect a lot of movement in the standings. Over time, our poll will resemble a more balanced version of the AP and Coaches’ Polls. Stop by each week as we revisit the standings.