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2012 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5

October 08, 2012
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - No. 1 Marian (Ind.) claimed the top-ranking for the second-straight week as the top 10 remained intact in the fifth edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Knights received 12 first-place votes and 313 points, while second-ranked Georgetown (Ky.) garnered the other two first-place nods and 303 points.

Marian improved to 5-0 with a 49-21 win at Taylor (Ind.) last Saturday. The Knights, who boast the nation's top-ranked total defense (206.8 total yards per game) and fourth-best scoring defense (10.2 points allowed per game), held Taylor to only 57 yards rushing, forcing the Trojans into a one-dimensional offensive attack. Additionally, the hard-running Tevin Lake again shined for the Marian offense, setting season highs in carries (34), rushing yards (229) and touchdowns (four).

Rounding out the top five are No. 3 Missouri Valley with 287 points, fourth-ranked Morningside (Iowa) with 281 points and No. 5 William Penn (Iowa) with 261 points.

Despite Nos. 1 - 14 remaining unchanged from last week, plenty of movement occurred in the bottom half of the poll. No. 19 Dakota Wesleyan vaulted six positions after rebounding from its first loss of the season with a 45-31 shootout victory against Dordt (Iowa) on Oct. 6. Hastings (Neb.), who is responsible for the Tigers loss, posted the second-best positive movement with a leap from No. 21 to No. 17. This is the highest rating for the unbeaten Broncos (5-0) since they were No. 13 in the 2010 Preseason Poll (Aug. 9).

No. 20 St. Francis (Ill.) and No. 22 Doane (Neb.) took tumbles this week following losses. St. Francis' five-position slide was the farthest, followed by Doane's four-spot negative movement.

Four newcomers enter the poll for the first time this season: No. 21 Evangel (Mo.), No. 23 Robert Morris (Ill.), No. 24 Tabor (Kan.) and No. 25 Friends (Kan.). The Top 25 rating for Robert Morris is the first-ever for the Eagles who improved to 6-1 following a 42-9 thrashing of Concordia (Mich.) last Saturday. Of the remaining three newcomers, Evangel is the most recent returnee with a No. 25 mark on Sept. 26, 2011. Friends was last ranked on Sept. 25, 2006, while Tabor ends a five-year drought that dates back to the Sept. 18, 2006 poll.

Kansas Wesleyan (No. 20), Menlo (Calif.) (No. 22), Faulkner (Ala.) (No. 23) and Eastern Oregon (No. 24) dropped out of the rankings.

The Great Plains Athletic Conference and Heart of America Athletic Conference lead all conferences with five representatives in the Top 25, while the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League is third with four teams. Nine conferences/independents are represented in this week's Top 25.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll schedule, click here. The next Top 25 will be announced on Oct. 15.

For more information on NAIA football, click here.

NOTES: Marian's (Ind.) No. 1 ranking marks the fourth time - second-straight - the Knights have received the top spot since the program was established in 2006 ... The top 10 remained the same for the second-straight week, marking the second time this season that no movement has occurred amongst the group in consecutive polls ... Marian, Georgetown (Ky.), Missouri Valley, Morningside (Iowa) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season ... No. 23 Robert Morris (Ill.) is making its first-ever appearance in the Top 25 ... No. 24 Tabor (Kan.) is ranked for the first time since Sept. 18, 2006, snapping a streak of 80-straight non-ranked polls ... Carroll's (Mont.) No. 12 ranking on Sept. 10 marked the first time the Fighting Saints have been ranked outside the top 10 since Nov. 2, 2004 ... Additionally, Carroll had a 91-straight top-five rating streak end ... No. 13 is the highest ranking for Montana Tech since being No. 20 in the Nov. 5, 2011 poll ... Carroll leads all institutions with 56 first-place rankings and is followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (23), Saint Xavier (14) and former NAIA member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) ... No. 7 Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll with 161 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 146, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 72, Morningside with 64 and Saint Xavier with 51 ... Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 - Carroll (2003, 2005), Sioux Falls (2009), Georgetown (2001).

2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 5 (Oct. 8)
RANK LAST TIME SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2012 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Marian (Ind.) (12) 5-0 313
2 2 Georgetown (Ky.) (2) 6-0 303
3 3 Missouri Valley 5-0 287
4 4 Morningside (Iowa) 5-0 281
5 5 William Penn (Iowa) 6-0 261
6 6 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 4-1 249
7 7 Saint Francis (Ind.) 4-1 239
8 8 Carroll (Mont.) 4-2 234
9 9 Cumberlands (Ky.) 6-0 217
10 10 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 4-1 211
11 11 Northwestern (Iowa) 5-1 190
12 12 Benedictine (Kan.) 5-1 173
13 13 Montana Tech 5-1 170
14 14 Grand View (Iowa) 5-2 161
15 16 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 4-1 153
16 17 Cumberland (Tenn.) 5-1 138
17 21 Hastings (Neb.) 5-0 122
18 19 Baker (Kan.) 5-2 117
19 25 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 4-1 91
20 15 St. Francis (Ill.) 4-3 67
21 RV Evangel (Mo.) 4-2 65
22 18 Doane (Neb.) 4-2 64
23 RV Robert Morris (Ill.) 6-1 37
24 NR Tabor (Kan.) 4-2 27
25 RV Friends (Kan.) 4-2 22

Others receiving votes: Southern Oregon 18; Faulkner (Ala.) 15; Kansas Wesleyan 10; Ottawa (Kan.) 4.