Marian earned the remaining first-place vote, thanks to the most wins in the NAIA with an 8-0 record. Marian joins St. Xavier, Georgetown and No. 7 Benedictine as the only undefeated schools. Two top-five programs face stiff competition on Saturday: Carroll heads to No. 22 Eastern Oregon and MidAmerica Nazarene hosts Benedictine. On Sept. 10, Eastern Oregon halted Carroll’s 44-game Frontier Conference win streak with a 41-33 victory.
A trio of teams suffered the largest fall of six positions within the poll: No. 12 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 19 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and No. 21 Southern Nazarene (Okla.). The drop for Saint Francis marks the first time the Cougars have been outside of the top 10 since Sept. 13, 2010.
This week’s newcomers are: No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 24 Langston (Okla.) and No. 25 Shorter (Ga.). All three teams have been ranked at least once earlier this season. Those three schools bumped out No. 21 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), No. 23 (tie) Northwestern Oklahoma State and No. 25 Menlo (Calif.).
The Great Plains Athletic Conference led all conferences and independents with four teams represented in the Top 25: No. 6 Morningside (Iowa), No. 18 Doane (Neb.), Dakota Wesleyan and Northwestern. Four other leagues placed three teams each in the poll.
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) No. 5 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) has been ranked in the top 10 for the last 27-straight polls… Two undefeated teams fell on Oct. 15, leaving four total: No. 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.), No. 2 Marian (Ind.), No. 4 Georgetown (Ky.) and No. 7 Benedictine (Kan.)… Top-ranked St. Xavier had its streak of five-consecutive polls of earning all first-place votes stopped as No. 2 Marian grabbed one this week… No. 4 Georgetown notched its highest ranking since a No. 4 spot on Oct. 2, 2006… With six total No. 1 rankings, with all of them coming in the last six weeks, St. Xavier boasts the fifth-most No. 1 billings… The Cougars rank behind Carroll (Mont.) (56), former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (23) and Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) for the most No. 1s … No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) extended its streak of consecutive top-five appearances with 85 … No. 12 Saint Francis (Ind.) leads the NAIA with 149-straight mentions in the Top 25… Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 136, MidAmerica Nazarene with 62, Morningside (Iowa) with 55 and St. Xavier with 42.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14)||7-0||340|
|2||2||Marian (Ind.) (1)||8-0||325|
|5||7||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||5-1||285|
|8||10||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||6-1||246|
|T9||11||William Penn (Iowa)||7-1||226|
|11||12||St. Francis (Ill.)||6-1||217|
|12||6||Saint Francis (Ind.)||4-2||188|
|13||14||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||5-1||183|
|16||18||Valley City State (N.D.)||6-1||137|
|19||13||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||5-1||121|
|21||15||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||5-2||75|
Others receiving votes: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 10; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 6; Menlo (Calif.) 3; Grand View (Iowa) 1; Hastings (Neb.) 1.