The Cal Poly football team was ranked No. 25 in the Football Championship Subdivision preseason coaches poll released Monday.
The Mustangs, who return 19 full- or part-time starters from last year’s injury-riddled 4-7 squad, tied for the last spot in the top 25 with Holy Cross.
Cal Poly has also been ranked No. 14 in Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine and No. 24 by The Sporting News magazine.
The Mustangs were voted just outside of the Top 25 in last week’s Sports Network media poll, which along with the coaches poll is the most influential one on an ongoing basis during the season.
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Defending FCS national champion Villanova was voted No. 1 in Monday’s coaches poll, collecting 24 of 30 first-place ballots and 667 total voting points. Montana, last year’s national runner-up, was voted No. 2, taking a pair of first-place votes.
Cal Poly, which had 66 points, will host the second-ranked Grizzlies at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Sept. 11 after opening the season Sept. 4 at home against Division II Humboldt State.
Cal Poly was the only Great West Conference team represented in the poll, although fellow members UC Davis and Southern Utah found themselves in the “others receiving votes” category.
Rounding out the coaches’ top five were Appalachian State, William & Mary and Southern Illinois.
McNeese State, which Cal Poly will visit Sept. 25, was ranked No. 11, while Texas State, which the Mustangs will play at Sept. 18, was third in the “others receiving votes” section.
Central Connecticut State, which is expected to start former Atascadero High star Gunnar Jespersen at quarterback, received two voting points.