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Top 25 - No. 4

October 03, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thanks to a 42-31 win over then-No. 2 Saint Francis (Ind.), Saint Xavier (Ill.) remained in the top spot in the fourth regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25, the national office announced Monday. The Cougars gathered all 15 first-place votes for the fourth-straight time and tallied 340 total points. With a 5-0 record, Saint Xavier has held the top ranking for four-consecutive weeks.

Due to the second-ranked team losing, the next six teams improved one position. Second-ranked Marian (Ind.) posted 325 points for its highest ranking in school history. No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) recorded 307 total points and is the highest ranked team with one loss.

No. 4 William Penn (Iowa), No. 5 Missouri Valley and No. 6 Georgetown all shifted up the poll one spot. With the loss to the top-ranked Cougars, Saint Francis falls five spots to No. 7. No. 24 Midland (Neb.), who lost 43-39 to then-No. 17 Doane (Neb.) on Saturday, suffered this week’s worst drop (10) within the Top 25. Doane enjoyed the biggest improvement sliding up from No. 17 to No. 13.

No. 21 Bethel (Tenn.) halts the longest drought among this week’s Top 25. The school out of the Mid-South Conference West Division was last ranked on Sept. 15, 2008 when the Wildcats were 24th. No. 22 Shorter (Ga.), No. 23 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and No. 25 Cumberland (Tenn.) also join Bethel as newcomers. All three programs were ranked at some point earlier this season.

Campbellsville (Ky.) (No. 19), Montana State-Northern (No. 22), Menlo (Calif.) (No. 24) and Evangel (Mo.) (No. 25) all dropped out this week.

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) With four No. 1 rankings, with all of them coming in the last four weeks, Saint Xavier (Ill.) moved into the fifth spot for the most appearances at No. 1… 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 83 … Saint Francis leads the NAIA with 147-straight mentions in the Top 25… Following Saint Francis among consecutive rankings is Carroll with 134 and MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 60… No. 2 Marian (Ind.), who sports its highest ranking in school history, has been in the top five in each of the last four polls.

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2011 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (15) 5-0 340
2 3 Marian (Ind.) 6-0 325
3 4 Carroll (Mont.) 4-1 307
4 5 William Penn (Iowa) 6-0 300
5 6 Missouri Valley 5-0 288
6 7 Georgetown (Ky.) 4-0 280
7 2 Saint Francis (Ind.) 3-1 267
8 8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 3-1 251
9 10 Morningside (Iowa) 3-1 230
10 11 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 5-0 226
11 12 Benedictine (Kan.) 5-0 210
12 13 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 4-1 200
13 17 Doane (Neb.) 5-0 168
14 15 Bethany (Kan.) 5-0 164
15 16 St. Francis (Ill.) 4-1 157
16 18 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 4-0 136
17 9 Eastern Oregon 4-1 130
18 20 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 3-1 117
19 21 Ottawa (Kan.) 3-2 82
20 23 Valley City State (N.D.) 3-1 80
21 RV Bethel (Tenn.) 4-1 71
22 RV Shorter (Ga.) 4-1 62
23 RV Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 4-2 52
24 14 Midland (Neb.) 3-2 51
25 RV Cumberland (Tenn.) 3-1 40

Others receiving votes: UVa-Wise (Va.) 25; Pikeville (Ky.) 17; Menlo (Calif.) 6; Campbellsville (Ky.) 3; Langston (Okla.) 1; Northwestern Oklahoma State 1; Northwestern (Iowa) 1; Taylor (Ind.) 1