By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the eighth time this season, Morningside (Iowa) boasts the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs were the unanimous selection for the seventh-straight week, garnering all 14 first-place votes and 314 points in the seventh regular-season edition.
Morningside moved to 7-0 on the season after a 67-0 thrashing of Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Briar Cliff (Iowa) last Saturday. The Mustangs amassed a program record 712 yards of total offense against the Chargers, including 467 total yards in the first half. Wide receiver Kyle Schuck also had a record-breaking day, tying the school record with four touchdowns catches to become Morningside’s all-time touchdown leader with 39. He finished the contest with six receptions for 162 yards. With the win, the Mustangs (6-0 GPAC) hold a two-game lead over Concordia (Neb.), Northwestern (Iowa), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.), Doane (Neb.) and Nebraska Wesleyan in the GPAC standings.
No. 2 Cumberlands (Ky.) held its position for the fifth-straight poll with 300 points. The Patriots downed their third-straight ranked opponent last weekend, defeating then-No. 19 Reinhardt (Ga.), 28-24. Cumberlands trailed 24-7 entering the fourth quarter, but scored 21 unanswered points en route to the win.
Grand View (Iowa) received 292 points this week to maintain the No. 3 position. The Vikings picked up their fourth win against a ranked team in the last five weeks with a 35-21 victory against then-No. 8 St. Ambrose (Iowa). The victory gives Grand View a one-game lead in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League with two games – both against teams currently unranked – left to play.
Moving up one spot this week is No. 4 Benedictine (Kan.) with 278 points. The Ravens stayed undefeated after knocking off Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) foe Culver-Stockton (Mo.), 38-10. Benedictine’s defense shined in the contest, intercepting the Culver-Stockton quarterback a season-high four times, which set up four of the Ravens’ five touchdown drives.
Rounding out the top five, and returning to the group for the first time since Sept. 23, is No. 5 Carroll (Mont.) with 266 points, respectively. The Fighting Saints are currently tied with a red-hot No. 20 Southern Oregon squad – winners of five-straight – atop the Frontier Conference standings at 6-1 in the league. The sole possession of first place is up for grabs on Saturday when to two sides meet in Helena, Mont.
Four teams posted negative movements within the poll of five places-or-more, led by Concordia’s nine-spot fall from No. 16 to No. 25. The Bulldogs, who opened the year 6-0, have dropped two-straight, including a 28-7 loss against Doane (Neb.) last weekend. Other notable slips include No. 10 Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 12 Missouri Valley dropping six places and No. 13 St. Ambrose sliding down five spots.
No. 7 Tabor (Kan.) highlighted the positive movement this week, jumping four places from last edition. The Bluejays are 7-1 and host unranked Bethany (Kan.) on Saturday.
No newcomers joined the Top 25 for the first time this season.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference – Benedictine, Missouri Valley, No. 6 Baker (Kan.) and No. 9 Peru State (Neb.) – and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference – Tabor, No. 11 Ottawa (Kan.), No. 16 Friends (Kan.) and No. 19 Sterling (Kan.) – are tied for the most programs in the poll with four teams each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
The eighth regular-season Top 25 will be announced Nov. 4.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Morningside’s (Iowa) No. 1 ranking marks the eighth time the Mustangs have earned the top spot in the poll — all occurring this season … No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.), who is in its first season of existence, received its highest all-time ranking (No. 19) on Oct. 21 after joining the poll for the first time a one week prior … No. 10 Saint Francis (Ind.) is ranked outside of the top six for the first time since Oct. 22, 2012 … Baker’s (Kan.) No. 6 ranking is its highest dating back to 1999 … No. 2 Cumberlands (Ky.) and No. 3 Grand View (Iowa) both tied a program-best ranking in the seventh regular-season edition … Morningside, Cumberlands and Grand View have made up the top three for four-consecutive weeks … Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 – Carroll (Mont.) (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 (Ill.) 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) … Saint Francis boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll with 176 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 163, Missouri Valley with 98, Morningside with 82 and Saint Xavier with 71 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 30-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Forty-three teams have been ranked in the Coaches’ Poll this season.2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 7 (Oct. 28)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||7-0||314|
|3||3||Grand View (Iowa)||8-0||292|
|8||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||6-2||231|
|9||12||Peru State (Neb.)||7-1||213|
|10||4||Saint Francis (Ind.)||5-2||209|
|13||8||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||5-2||177|
|14||14||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||5-3||154|
|18||20||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||6-2||109|
|23||24||St. Francis (Ill.)||5-3||50|
Others Receiving Votes: Robert Morris (Ill.) 20; Nebraska Wesleyan 5; Trinity International (Ill.) 3.