Cal Poly Ranked in Top 10 By Several Computer Polls
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly's unbeaten football team, ranked No. 11 in the human polls (Sports Network media and FCS Coaches) this week, is faring much better in the computer polls.
Coach Tim Walsh's Mustangs, 7-0 on the year and 5-0 in Big Sky Conference games, are ranked No. 4 in the Grid Power Index poll compiled by College Sporting News. The ranking includes seven computer polls as well as the Sports Network and FCS Coaches poll.
Those computer polls include a No. 2 ranking by Laz Index, Massey, Ashburn and Keeper and No. 3 by Self and Born.
Cal Poly, one of just two unbeaten schools in the FCS -- Lehigh (8-0) is the other -- is No. 4 in the Any Given Saturday poll, No. 4 in the College Sports Journal poll, No. 14 in the College Sports Madness poll and No. 15 in the Beyond Sports College Network poll.
The Jeff Sagarin Poll published in USA Today lists the Mustangs as the third-best team in the Football Championship Division (behind North Dakota State and Georgia Southern) and No. 82 among all 246 NCAA Division I schools.
Cal Poly is listed ahead of such FBS schools as Air Force, Navy, Kentucky, Houston, Connecticut, Kansas, Wake Forest, New Mexico, Washington State, Boston College, Virginia, Illinois, Rice, UNLV, UTEP, Colorado State, Army and Colorado.
In other Cal Poly football notes:
• Mustang junior place kicker Bobby Zalud was named one of several FCS Special Teams players of the week by Beyond Sports College Network.
Also named Big Sky Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season, Zalud kicked three field goals and four PATs, accounting for 13 of Cal Poly's scoring total in a 37-25 Big Sky win over Portland State last Saturday.
Zalud (5-7, 190, Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), a transfer from Arkansas State, averaged 34.0 yards per punt (three punts), including a long of 48 yards. He was perfect on his four extra-point kicks and kicked off eight times with four resulting in touchbacks.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Zalud was successful on each of his three field goal attempts, including a 49-yarder with 9:57 to play in the second quarter, his second-longest of the season. He also connected from 41 and 20 yards, both in the third quarter.
Zalud hit a 51-yarder against Wyoming on Sept. 15, earning his first Big Sky special teams player of the week award. It was Cal Poly's longest field goal in 16 years. Zalud kicked a career-best 56-yard field goal against Memphis last year while playing for Arkansas State.
• Zalud and senior slotback Deonte Williams were added to the College Football Performance Awards for Week 8 -- Zalud as a place kicker and Williams for his all-purpose performance.
Williams, named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List earlier this week, rushed for 169 yards on a career-high 27 carries, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, in last Saturday's win over Portland State in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. He also contributed three catches for 22 yards.
He cracked the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in seven games this season, the seventh time in his Mustang career and the 11th time in his four-year collegiate career (he rushed for over 100 yards four times at Northern Arizona in 2008).
Williams has rushed for 926 yards in seven games. The Pleasant Grove High School (Elk Grove, Calif.) graduate who played as a freshman at Northern Arizona and as a sophomore at Sierra College before coming to Cal Poly a year ago, needs 74 yards to become the 15th Mustang to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and two more 100-yard games to tie James Noble for most 100-yard games in a season.