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Top 25 - No. 2

September 19, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The top-two teams are the only ones that hold their positions in the second regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Saint Francis (Ind.) hold at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Both teams won by more than three touchdowns on Sept. 17 to stay on top of the list. St. Xavier posted all 15 first-place votes and 340 total points, while the Cougars from Indiana recorded 327 total points.

No. 3 Marian (Ind.) is one of 23 programs to shift rank, as the Knights moved up one spot to its highest position in school history. They tallied 312 total points. No. 4 Carroll (Mont.) and No. 5 William Penn (Iowa) both move up one slot with 294 and 285 points, respectively. This is the second-consecutive week that 23 teams changed positions.

Overall, 11 teams moved just one position, while the biggest jump within the poll was No. 19 St. Francis (Ill.). The Fighting Saints leaped up five spots, thanks to a 69-3 thumping of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) on Sept. 17. Conversely, three teams fell out of the Top 25: Northwestern (Iowa) (No. 16), Langston (Okla.) (No. 18) and Montana State-Northern (No. 23). The biggest fall within the Top 25 was Morningside sliding down eight spots to No. 11.

No. 21 Doane (Neb.) is nationally mentioned for the first time since Sept. 9, 2003 when it was 23rd. Standing 3-0, the Tigers took down then-No. 16 Northwestern, 20-8, on Sept. 17. No. 22 Baker (Kan.) and No. 25 St. Ambrose (Iowa) are the only other additions to the Top 25. The Wildcats were ranked in the 2011 Preseason Top 25, while St. Ambrose was listed twice during the 2010 season.

The Heart of America Athletic Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) both placed four teams apiece in the Top 25. No. 6 Missouri Valley, No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 13 Benedictine (Kan.) and Baker all hail from the Heart of America Atheltic Conference. Holding status in the GPAC is No. 9 (tie) Midland (Neb.), No. 11 Morningside (Iowa), No. 20 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and Doane.

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) Northwestern (Iowa) fell out of the Top 25 for the first time in 72-straight polls, which was the third-longest active stretch; the last time the Red Raiders were not ranked was on Oct. 17, 2005… No. 3 Marian (Ind.), who received its first ranking last year, has been ranked in the top-10 for the last five-straight polls… Starting in the Sept. 12 poll, Saint Xavier (Ill.) is the first team since the 2006 season outside of Carroll (Mont.) and Sioux Falls (S.D.), which is a former NAIA member, to be ranked No. 1… Since 1999, Carroll holds the most No. 1 rankings with 56; Sioux Falls had 55, while Georgetown (Ky.) has 23, Northwestern Oklahoma State 11 and Saint Francis (Ind.) and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) both have three apiece… Carroll has now been ranked in the top five in the last 81-straight polls dating back to Jan. 17, 2005 (2004 Postseason Top 25 Poll)… Saint Francis boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – 145 straight mentions… The last time Saint Francis was not mentioned in the Top 25 was Oct. 19, 1999… After Saint Francis, Carroll is the next team in line with 132-straight Top-25 rankings, followed by MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at 58 and Morningside (Iowa) at 51… Sioux Falls holds the record (since 1997 when both divisions merged) for consecutive No. 1 rankings at 26 straight polls, accomplished from Jan. 12, 2009 (2008 Postseason) through Nov. 14, 2010 (final regular season).

RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2011 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (15) 3-0 340
2 2 Saint Francis (Ind.) 2-0 327
3 4 Marian (Ind.) 4-0 312
4 5 Carroll (Mont.) 2-1 294
5 6 William Penn (Iowa) 4-0 285
6 7 Missouri Valley 3-0 274
7 8 Georgetown (Ky.) 2-0 269
8 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 1-1 243
T9 11 Midland (Neb.) 3-0 225
T9 12 Eastern Oregon 3-0 225
11 3 Morningside (Iowa) 2-1 215
12 13 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 3-0 206
13 14 Benedictine (Kan.) 3-0 186
14 15 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 2-1 173
15 10 Cumberlands (Ky.) 2-1 141
16 19 Bethany (Kan.) 3-0 109
17 20 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 3-1 106
18 21 Shorter (Ga.) 2-0 96
19 24 St. Francis (Ill.) 2-1 87
20 21 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 3-0 84
21 NR Doane (Neb.) 3-0 62
22 NR Baker (Kan.) 3-1 61
23 24 Ottawa (Kan.) 2-2 44
24 17 Campbellsville (Ky.) 2-1 40
25 NR St. Ambrose (Iowa) 2-1 38

Others receiving votes: Nebraska Wesleyan 33; Langston (Okla.) 22; Valley City State (N.D.) 20; Evangel (Mo.) 19; Menlo (Calif.) 12; Montana State-Northern 8; Cumberland (Tenn.) 6; Grand View (Iowa) 1.