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Cal Poly under-rated in media poll
In reality, the major Football Championship Subdivision polls are no different than their FBS counterparts. Where a team starts the season in the rankings can stick with that team throughout the year.
How else can one explain how Cal Poly, one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the subdivision (Lehigh, at 8-0, is the other), can’t seem to crack the Top 10 in The Sports Network’s FCS Top 25? The Mustangs have been one of the nation’s biggest surprises. Not only were they unranked to open the year; they didn’t even crack the “others receiving votes” section of the poll.
Though three voters ranked Cal Poly No. 1, the Mustangs checked in at No. 11 this week, behind two teams with a loss in their own conference (the Big Sky) and behind another team in Sam Houston State that has lost twice.
“I know how this FCS thing works out,” Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh told the San Luis Obispo Tribune. “I don’t think it’s watched as well as it should be by, no offense, the media. And therefore the media poll, I think, is a little skewed.”
Walsh has spent much of his coaching career out West, having spent time at Portland State before taking over at Cal Poly. Aside from the Montana teams and Eastern Washington, most Western schools are relatively anonymous to the voting base set mostly in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.
The good thing for the Mustangs? Much like in the FBS, the human polls are mostly meaningless. The Gridiron Power Index, which is the FCS equivalent of the BCS standings, has Cal Poly at No. 4. And the Mustangs are ranked second among FCS teams in Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings.
So the lack of respect in the human polls is unlikely to affect Cal Poly’s playoff seeding prospects.
“I don’t know what we are,” Walsh told the Tribune. “I just know we’re a good football team. I don’t know if we’re great. We’ll find out by the end of the year. But right now, we are a good football team that finds ways to win, and I think that deserves recognition.”
Ambrose in trouble?
Towson coach Rob Ambrose orchestrated one of the nation’s top turnarounds last season, helping the Tigers go from CAA laughingstock to conference champion and playoff participant.
But a report in the Baltimore Sun earlier this week noted that a disgruntled former player had sent a letter to the school newspaper accusing Ambrose of breaking NCAA rules and making offensive remarks to help pump up his team in a pre-game pep talk earlier this year.
The Sun reported the player, defensive back Trevor Walker, wrote that Ambrose lied to the athletic department’s compliance officer about the number of hours the team practiced this summer and that the fourth-year coach used inappropriate language on many occasions, including before a game against St. Francis last month.
Towson athletics director Mike Waddell refuted those allegations and told the Sun in an e-mail that “no improprieties regarding practice times were found and no findings indicated that the physical well-being of football student-athletes was placed in jeopardy.”
The Sun reported that Walker’s complaint to university officials was signed by roughly two dozen other players. Ambrose did not return calls to the paper seeking conduct. The Tigers are 3-4 this season and play at Villanova Saturday.
This week’s top FCS matchup features 20th-ranked Delaware traveling to No. 6 Old Dominion. The game kicks off at noon Saturday and will be televised by the NBC Sports Network. … Harvard captain Bobby Schneider, a linebacker who is the Crimson’s leading tackler, will miss the rest of the year after suffering a broken arm in Harvard’s loss to Princeton last week, the Boston Globe reported. … Idaho State suspended coach Mike Kramer for Saturday’s game at Montana for violating university policy. Pocatello and campus police are investing a practice incident in which Kramer is accused of shoving senior wide receiver Derek Graves to the turf. Graves filed a police report and hired an attorney.
By: CHRIS LANG | The News & Advance