KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Marian (Ind.) ends the regular season with the No. 1 ranking in the final NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. One of two undefeated teams in the NAIA, the Knights are 10-0 and gathered 13 first-place votes for 339 points. Marian took over the top spot in the Nov. 7 installment for its' first-ever No. 1 billing.
The 2011 NAIA Football Championship Series 16-team field will be announced on Sunday at approximately 2 p.m. CST. The certified conference champions rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the final Coaches' Top 25 poll will automatically qualify for the Football Championship Series. The highest rated independent team (provided it is ranked in the top 20) shall automatically qualify. The remaining at-large berths will be awarded based on the final ranking.
No. 2 Carroll (Mont.) tallied the remaining two first-place votes to total 323 points. The other team with a perfect record at 10-0, No. 3 Georgetown (Ky.), earned 317 points. No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) rounded out the top five.
No. 24 Cumberlands (Ky.) is the lone newcomer. The Patriots defeated then-No. 20 Cumberland (Tenn.), 31-27, on Saturday to earn its first spot on the poll since Sept. 19 (15th). Cumberlands pushed out Bethany (Kan.) from its 25th ranking from the Nov. 7 edition.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and Mid-States Football Association Midwest Division (MSFA Midwest) landed four teams apiece in the Top 25 to lead all conferences. The HAAC claims MidAmerica Nazarene, No. 7 Missouri Valley, No. 15 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 21 Baker (Kan.). Hailing from the MSFA Midwest is No. 11 St. Francis (Ill.), No. 16 William Penn (Iowa), No. 18 Grand View (Iowa) and No. 22 St. Ambrose (Iowa).
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) There are four teams that tied for the most wins (10) heading into the Football Championship Series... No. 1 Marian (Ind.) is the third different top-ranked team this year, joining Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Carroll (Mont.)... There have been 41 different teams ranked in 2011, with 14 of those being listed in each poll... No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) has been ranked in the top 10 for the last 31-straight polls... Carroll leads all institutions with 56 first-place rankings and is followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (23) and Northwestern Oklahoma State (11)... Carroll extended its streak of consecutive top-five appearances with 89... No. 9 Saint Francis (Ind.) leads the NAIA with 153-straight mentions in the Top 25... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 139, MidAmerica Nazarene with 65, Morningside (Iowa) with 58 and St. Xavier with 45.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Marian (Ind.) (13)||10-0||339|
|2||2||Carroll (Mont.) (2)||10-1||323|
|4||4||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||9-1||297|
|5||5||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||10-1||294|
|8||9||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||8-2||247|
|9||10||Saint Francis (Ind.)||8-2||235|
|11||13||St. Francis (Ill.)||9-2||203|
|12||12||Valley City State (N.D.)||9-1||194|
|14||15||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||9-2||171|
|16||8||William Penn (Iowa)||9-2||156|
|18||23||Grand View (Iowa)||8-3||117|
|22||17||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||7-3||66|
Others receiving votes: Bethany (Kan.) 9, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 6, Midland (Neb.) 1