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The Roberts Poll: Week 3, 2018

There's some fascinating names in the Top 25, while movement is once again the word in the MAC.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

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:

For the second consecutive week, the Ohio State Buckeyes are leading the pack, with a five-point edge over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Strangely enough, both teams that were tied for second last week recorded losses in their games. This week also had 11 new members to the Roberts Poll Top 25. This was not a huge surprise as last week had 17 teams tied for eight positions.

The nation’s favorite non-MAC team, the UCF Knights, fell out of the Roberts Poll Top 25 this week. UCF was one of the 12 teams that had their game cancelled or delayed past the Roberts Poll posting time. Once the east coast dries out, their postponed games will be added to the Roberts Poll and tallied accordingly.

Another statistic of note is that eight of the MAC’s 13 Power Five opponents are currently ranked in the Roberts Poll Top 25. Personally, I think this says a lot about the MAC’s strength of schedule.

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



MAC Standings:

For the first week this year, all 12 MAC schools saw some football action. Whether it was the Toledo Rockets hosting nationally-ranked Miami-Florida Hurricanes, the Western Michigan Broncos shutting out an FCS opponent, or one of our two in-conference showdowns, this was a week to remember.

This week, the MAC East has led the field, with both top teams residing east of Cedar Point. The Buffalo Bulls broke their first-place tie with the Eastern Michigan Eagles in a head-to-head matchup leaving the Bulls as the new MAC favorite. Akron quickly jumped to the second-place position after a road victory over the Northwestern Wildcats.

Some shuffling in the MAC West came from the showdown between the Northern Illinois Huskies and Central Michigan Chippewas. Northern Illinois came out the victors, sending Central Michigan towards the bottom of the standings for now. Additionally, the Western Michigan Broncos earned a much-needed win against FCS-member Delaware State to take the Broncos from the very bottom, closer to the middle.

We expect continued movement 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 Western Michigan for the fewest passing yards allowed this week. The Broncos kept Delaware State to eight passing yards, which was the best in the country.

The best performance of the week belongs to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama hung up 125 Roberts Poll points in their 62-7 victory against the Ole Miss Rebels / Landsharks. Coming in last place for this week were the UMass Minutemen, who lost 63-24 on the road to the Florida International Panthers

In the “Top 25” section, you can read all about the top teams of the nation, but who is in last? Currently, the New Mexico State Aggies are at the bottom of the pool, with -304 points total. Right above them, at -203 points, are the Old Dominion Monarchs.

As a conference, the SEC is leading the nation in the Roberts Poll with 2,135 cumulative points. Averaging 153 points per team has set them almost twice as high as the next-best conference, the Big Ten with 1330 points. The Big 12 is in second place in points per team, however, with 117 points per team. Unfortunately, the MAC is last in both total points and points per team. The MAC has -267 points, or -22 points per team. Interestingly, three of the bottom five teams hail from Conference USA, which holds a tenuous 44-point lead over the MAC.

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.