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Weber State selected to win Big Sky football title, Cal Poly 10th in preseason polls

Weber State selected to win Big Sky football title, Cal Poly 10th in preseason polls

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Weber State selected to win Big Sky football title, Cal Poly 10th in preseason polls

Cal Poly's Kitu Humphrey (8), Matt Shotwell (42) and Bradley Mickey (17) lead the Mustangs on the field before the start of a Big Sky Conference football game at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in San Luis Obispo last fall.

Cal Poly was picked to finish 10th in the 13-team Big Sky Conference football standings this fall in preseason polls of head coaches and Big Sky media that were released Thursday.

The 13 head coaches gave Cal Poly 46 points while the 44 media members who participated awarded the Mustangs 206 points, according to a press release from the school.

The polls were announced during the Big Sky's virtual Football Kickoff.

The top six teams in both polls are the same, with Weber State on top with seven first-place votes from the coaches and 28 first-place votes from the media, according to Cal Poly's Eric Burdick, the school's Associated Director of Athletics for Communications.

The Wildcats have won at least a share of the regular season crown the past three seasons and made their third consecutive Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff appearance last fall, reaching the semifinals. The Wildcats have recorded three straight seasons of 10 or more wins and finished 2019 ranked No. 3 in the FCS polls.

Finishing second through sixth in both polls are No. 2 Montana, No. 3 Montana State, No. 4 Eastern Washington, No. 5 Sacramento State and No. 6 UC Davis.

In the media poll, Montana received eight first-place votes, Montana State six and Eastern Washington and UC Davis one each.

In the head coaches poll, Montana earned three first-place votes and Montana State, Eastern Washington and Sacramento State one each.

Cal Poly, under new head coach Beau Baldwin, is scheduled to open its 2020 season Sept. 5 at ULM (formerly Louisiana-Monroe).

Baldwin is installing a much different offense this year after taking over for Tim Walsh, who retired last year after serving as the Mustangs' head coach for 11 seasons. Baldwin spent the last three years as an assistant at Cal. Before that, Baldwin was Eastern Washington's head coach for nine seasons, winning an FCS national championship there in 2010. Baldwin went 85-32 overall at Eastern Washington and 58-14 in the Big Sky.

Baldwin has updated Cal Poly's offense from Walsh's triple-option attack to a multiple-set spread system. 

The Eagles of Eastern Washington made the FCS playoffs six times in Baldwin's nine seasons, with three semifinal berths in addition to the FCS national title. 

Cal Poly finished 3-8 last year. The Mustangs last made the FCS playoffs in 2016, when Walsh led them to a 7-5 finish. The Mustangs have gone 9-24 in the three seasons since.

Cal Poly has 17 total returning starters -- 10 on offense and seven on defense -- led by quarterback Jalen Hamler, running back Duy Tran-Sampson and linebacker Matt Shotwell.

Big Sky Conference Preseason Football Polls

Media

Teams

 Points First-Place Votes 
Weber State  54628
Montana 496
Montana State 493 6
Eastern Wash.438 1
Sac. State389 0
UC Davis 3251
Portland St.2740
Idaho2730
Northern Az.238 0
Cal Poly2060
Idaho St.1050
N. Colorado880

Coaches

Teams

 Points First-Place Votes 
Weber State 1357
Montana128
Montana State 121 1
Eastern Wash.118 1
Sac. State99 1
UC Davis 830
Northern Az.680
Portland St.670
Idaho66 0
Cal Poly460
Idaho St.37

0

N. Colorado13

0

Jason Anderson is the Digital Producer for the Santa Maria Times. He can be reached at 805-739-2213

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