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Top 25 - No. 3

September 26, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The top-eight teams went unchanged in the third regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25, the national office announced Monday. Top-ranked Saint Xavier (Ill.) cruised to a 49-14 win over Trinity International (Ill.) on Sept. 24 and remained a unanimous No. 1 for the third-straight week. The Cougars earned 340 points.

The rest of the top five stood still after each dominated their most recent opponents. Second-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.) collected 327 points, followed by No. 3 Marian (Ind.) with 313 points, No. 4 Carroll (Mont.) with 294 points and No. 5 William Penn (Iowa) with 286 points. Saint Xavier, Saint Francis and Carroll have been ranked in the top five in every poll this season.

Doane (Neb.) made the biggest jump within the Top 25, moving from No. 21 to No. 17 after a 27-3 win over Nebraska Wesleyan on Sept. 24. Cumberlands (Ky.) experienced the biggest drop of any team after a 35-28 loss to Bethel (Tenn.) and fell out of the poll after being ranked 15th last week. Rocky Mountain (Mont.), ranked 17th last week, and Shorter (Ga.), No. 18 last week, were also knocked from the rankings.

Montana State-Northern returned to the Top 25 after a week absence, checking in at No. 22. No. 23 Valley City State (N.D.), No. 24 Menlo (Calif.) and No. 25 Evangel (Mo.) are all making their first appearances in the poll this season after being mentioned among the "others receiving votes" a week ago.

The Heart of America Athletic Conference and the Great Plains Athletic Conference each garnered four ranked teams to lead all conferences once again.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents.

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Saint Xavier (Ill.), the top-ranked team for the third-straight week, moved into a tie with Saint Francis (Ind.) and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) for most appearances at No. 1 with three ... The Cougars rank behind only Carroll (Mont.) (56), Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (23) and Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) for the most No. 1 rankings ... Carroll extended its streak of consecutive top-five appearances with 82 ... Saint Francis leads the NAIA with 146-straight mentions in the Top 25 ... Shorter (Ga.) and Rocky Mountain (Mont.) were both ranked in the previous two polls before dropping out this week ... Valley City State (N.D.) is ranked for the first time since Sept. 22, 2008 ... Evangel (Mo.) is ranked for the first time since Sept. 24, 2007.

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2011 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (15) 4-0 340
2 2 Saint Francis (Ind.) 3-0 327
3 3 Marian (Ind.) 5-0 313
4 4 Carroll (Mont.) 3-1 294
5 5 William Penn (Iowa) 5-0 286
6 6 Missouri Valley 4-0 274
7 7 Georgetown (Ky.) 3-0 268
8 8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 2-1 243
9 9 Eastern Oregon 4-0 235
10 11 Morningside (Iowa) 3-1 223
11 12 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 4-0 214
12 13 Benedictine (Kan.) 4-0 200
13 14 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 3-1 187
14 9 Midland (Neb.) 3-1 155
15 16 Bethany (Kan.) 4-0 143
16 19 St. Francis (Ill.) 3-1 137
17 21 Doane (Neb.) 4-0 130
18 20 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 3-0 103
19 24 Campbellsville (Ky.) 3-1 95
20 25 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 2-1 76
21 23 Ottawa (Kan.) 2-2 52
22 NR Montana State-Northern 3-1 50
23 NR Valley City State (N.D.) 2-1 40
24 NR Menlo (Calif.) 4-0 37
25 NR Evangel (Mo.) 2-1 35

Others receiving votes: Bethel (Tenn.) 32; Shorter (Ga.) 31; Cumberland (Tenn.) 20; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 15; Cumberlands (Ky.) 10; Grand View (Iowa) 6; UVa-Wise 3; McPherson (Kan.) 1; SAGU (Texas) 1.