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2013 Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 1

September 16, 2013
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By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Morningside (Iowa) remains atop the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 in the first regular-season poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs, who began the season ranked No. 1 after a national runner-up finish in 2012, are 2-0 on the season with wins over Valley City State (N.D.) and Nebraska Wesleyan, who both received votes in the preseason poll. Morningside tallied 314 points and all 14 first place votes en route to its second No. 1 ranking in school history.

Saint Francis (Ind.) compiled 301 points to earn the No. 2 ranking. The Cougars, who were ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll after finishing as a national semifinalist in 2012, are 1-0 this year, having defeated preseason No. 16 William Penn, 31-13.

With 282 points, Cumberlands (Ky.) landed the No. 3 ranking. The Patriots, who lead the NAIA in total rushing offense, have compiled over 1000 rushing yards (1119) in the first three games of the season—victories over preseason No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 25 Cumberland (Tenn.) and unranked Union (Ky.). Cumberlands, which has defeated its opponents by an average of 28.6 points, is ranked among the top five teams for the first time since Oct. 31, 2005. 

Carroll (Mont.) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) round out the top five with 272 and 255 points, respectively. The height of the Fighting Saints season, thus far, came when they stunned preseason No. 7 Montana Tech 21-7. The victory capped Carroll’s homecoming weekend with the school’s first win over a Top 25 opponent in 2013. The Cougars, a 2012 national semifinalist, remain among the top five teams nationally despite a 51-20 loss to NCAA DII University of Indianapolis (Ind.).

The Heart of America Athletic Conference, Mid-States Football Association Mideast, Mid-States Football Association Midwest and Mid-South Conference East each placed four teams among the Top 25 to lead the NAIA.

There were six newcomers to the Top 25: three who received votes in the preseason poll and three who were unranked. No. 17 St. Francis (Ill.), No. 19 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and No. 22 Robert Morris (Ill.) moved from the receiving votes category into the Top 25. No. 23 Faulkner (Ala.), No. 24 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 25 Pikeville (Ky.) jumped from unranked directly into the Top 25.

This is the first Top 25 appearance for Pikeville since Jan. 18, 2005. The Bears are 3-0 this season, including a 13-10 win over NCAA DI FCS Morehead State (Ky.). All other newcomers were ranked in multiple polls last season.

Preseason No. 9 Bethel (Tenn.), No. 14 Southern Oregon, No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 22 Evangel (Mo.) No. 23 Langston (Okla.) and No. 25 Cumberland (Tenn.) fell out of the Top 25. Among these teams, only Belhaven, who defeated unranked Texas College, 36-26, has recorded a win this season.

Within the poll, No. 9 Grand View (Iowa) and No. 14 Benedictine (Kan.) made the biggest jump, each moving up 10 spots, while defending national champion Marian (Ind.) fell 14 spots, landing at No. 16.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. For the entire 2013 Coaches' Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.

The second regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced Sept. 23.

For more information on NAIA football, please click here.

Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Morningside’s No. 1 ranking marks the second time the Mustangs have earned the top spot in the poll — both No. 1 rankings have occurred this season… Saint Francis’ (Ind.) No. 2 ranking is the Cougars highest since Sept. 26, 2011, when they were ranked No. 2… The No. 8 ranking is Baker’s (Kan.) highest, dating back to 1999… The Wildcats had previously been ranked as high as No. 9 in 2012… Missouri Valley fell out of the top 10 for the first time since the 2011 Preseason Poll on August 8, 2011, when they were ranked No. 11… Marian (Ind.) became the first team, since the spring poll began in 2007, to drop out of the top 10 after being ranked No.1 in the spring poll… The previous low ranking for a spring poll No.1 was set by Saint Xavier (Ill.) in 2012, when the Cougars were ranked No. 6 for three-straight polls… Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 — Carroll (2003, 2005), former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (2009) and Georgetown (Ky.) (2001) … Three teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2012: Marian, Saint Xavier and Georgetown… Carroll leads all institutions with 57 all-time first-place rankings and is followed by Sioux Falls (55), Georgetown (25), Saint Xavier (14) and former member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) … No. 2 Saint Francis boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll with 170 … Following Saint Francis in consecutive appearances are No. 4 Carroll with 157, No. 11 Missouri Valley with 92, No. 15 MidAmerica Nazarene with 83, No. 1 Morningside with 76 and No. 5 Saint Xavier with 65… No. 5 Saint Xavier holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 51-straight polls dating back to Sept. 21, 2009… Following the Cougars in consecutive top 10 appearances are No. 6 Georgetown (28) and No. 1 Morningside (24). 

2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Sept. 16)

RANK

LAST TIME^

SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)

2013 RECORD

TOTAL POINTS

1

1

Morningside (Iowa) (14)

2-0

314

2

5

Saint Francis (Ind.)

1-0

301

3

8

Cumberlands (Ky.)

3-0

282

4

12

Carroll (Mont.)

3-0

272

5

4

Saint Xavier (Ill.)

1-1

255

6

6

Georgetown (Ky.)

1-1

241

7

11

St. Ambrose (Iowa)

1-0

239

8

15

Baker (Kan.)

2-0

238

9

19

Grand View (Iowa)

2-0

205

10

17

Tabor (Kan.)

2-0

202

11

2

Missouri Valley

0-1

196

12

7

Montana Tech

1-1

175

13

18

Ottawa (Kan.)

1-1

168

14

24

Benedictine (Kan.)

2-0

141

15

10

MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

0-1

124

16

2

Marian (Ind.)

1-2

120

17

RV

St. Francis (Ill.)

2-0

113

18

20

Doane (Neb.)

1-1

100

19

RV

Rocky Mountain (Mont.)

3-0

92

20

16

William Penn (Iowa)

1-1

86

21

13

Northwestern (Iowa)

1-1

73

22

RV

Robert Morris (Ill.)

3-0

72

23

NR

Faulkner (Ala.)

3-0

47

24

NR

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)

3-0

34

25

NR

Pikeville (Ky.)

3-0

25


Others Receiving Votes:
Valley City State (N.D.) 17; Montana Western 16; Bacone (Okla.) 13; Concordia (Neb.) 11; Peru State (Neb.) 9; Friends (Kan.) 8

^ 2013 NAIA Football Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 12)