Cal Poly, which achieved its highest ranking ever in Division I-AA football last week, No. 3 in both The Sports Network and ESPN/USA Today polls, dropped seven positions to No. 10 in both polls after Saturday’s 36-27 loss at Montana.

Montana, which was ranked No. 9 prior to the game, improved to No. 5 in The Sports Network poll and No. 7 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

The Mustangs were ranked 17th in both 2005 preseason polls. After a 38-10 win over then-No. 11 Montana State on Sept. 17, Cal Poly climbed to No. 12.

The Mustangs opened the defense of their Great West Football Conference title with a 24-16 victory at South Dakota State on Sept. 24 and jumped to No. 10 in the polls, then climbed one more position to No. 9 following their 31-14 triumph at Northern Colorado. After a 37-6 victory over North Dakota State on Oct. 8, Cal Poly moved up to No. 6. The Mustangs had a bye Oct. 15 and moved up three spots in the polls as the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 teams all lost.

In this week’s polls, the top four teams are Western Kentucky (6-1),Furman (7-1), Hampton (8-0) and New Hampshire (6-1). Montana (5-2) is No. 5 in The Sports Network poll while Texas State (6-1) is No. 5 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Besides No. 5/7 Montana, other Cal Poly opponents in the rankings this week include No. 14/15 Montana State and No. 14/15 Eastern Washington. Cal Poly defeated Montana State in September and hosts Eastern Washington on Nov. 5. North Dakota State, ranked 16th in one poll and 17th in the other last week, fell out of the Top 25 following Saturday’s 20-14 loss to UC Davis.

Cal Poly also is ranked No. 10 in the Any Given Saturday poll, dropping eight positions.

The third Gridiron Power Index (GPI) rating of the 2005 season was released by last week. The BCS-style rankings placed Cal Poly No. 1, followed by William & Mary and Montana.

In this week’s Jeff Sagarin ratings published Monday in USA Today, Cal Poly is ranked 97th among the 239 football teams in Divisions I-A and I-AA. The Mustangs are No. 7 among I-AA schools (behind New Hampshire, Texas State, Western Kentucky, Appalachian State, Illinois State and Youngstown State) and are ranked ahead of Division I-A schools such as Hawaii, Kentucky, Arizona, Army, Syracuse, Duke, San Jose State and Rice, among others.

Cal Poly visits UC Davis for a 1:07 p.m. kickoff Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on KXTY-FM Radio (99.7 FM) and, beginning with a 12:30 p.m. pre-game show.

The game also will be televised by Comcast SportsNet in the Bay Area.

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