SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Back-to-back losses to Sacramento State and Eastern Washington have dropped the Cal Poly football team to No. 12 in the Jeff Sagarin rankings published this week by USA Today.
North Dakota State is the top-ranked FCS team (52nd overall among all Division I schools), followed by Sam Houston State and Indiana State. Eastern Washington is ranked No. 6 this week.
The Mustangs, ranked 99th overall in the Sagarin rankings, also have fallen to No. 12 in the Gridiron Power Index, similar to the BCS Rankings for FBS schools.
The Big Sky Conference has moved up to No. 2 among the 13 FCS conferences, behind only the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Cal Poly also is ranked No. 16 by both College Sports Madness and Any Given Saturday.
In other Cal Poly football news:
• Junior placekicker Bobby Zalud was named National Placekicker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
Last week against Eastern Washington, Zalud (pictured above) made his second 51-yard field goal of the season, accounting for Cal Poly's first points of the game in a 34-17 loss at Cheney, Wash.
Zalud also averaged 35.6 yards on five punts, made both of his PAT kicks and averaged 62.3 yards on three kickoffs.
For the season, the La Costa Canyon High School (Carlsbad, Calif.) graduate and transfer from Arkansas State has made all 39 PAT kicks and nine of 12 field goals, leading the Mustangs with 66 points scored.
Zalud also is averaging 40.1 yards per punt with 11 inside the 20-yard line and 63.4 yards per kickoff with 30 touchbacks.
• Cal Poly junior defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz received the most votes in a poll conducted by the Big Sky Conference on Facebook and Twitter asking who the most dominant defensive player in the conference is this season.
Grosz earned 48 percent of the votes, followed by Cody Larson of Southern Utah with 39 percent. Caleb Schreibeis of Montana State was third with five percent. All three are defensive linemen.
Grosz, a graduate of San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, leads the Mustang defensive line in tackles, ranking sixth on the team with 45 stops. He's had 9.0 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks, along with five quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup.
Grosz is the only Cal Poly player to block a kick this season, a field goal attempt at North Dakota.