By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Minimal movement occurred within the top-five this week, as Morningside (Iowa) retains its No. 1 ranking for the third-consecutive time in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs were a unanimous selection, tallying all 14 first-place votes and 314 points to receive the top spot.
Morningside improved to 3-0 on the season with a dominating 79-14 triumph against Dordt (Iowa) last Saturday. The Mustangs scored on all 12 of their offensive possessions en route to the program’s highest point total since defeating Western Union College, 79-0, during the 1933 season. Wide receiver Devin Thomas was one of many highlight performers for Morningside, recording three catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Saint Francis (Ind.) compiled 302 points to earn the No. 2 ranking. The Cougars are 2-0 on the year with both victories coming against ranked opponents, including a 38-37 win over then-No. 7 St. Ambrose (Iowa) on Sept. 21.
With 281 points, Carroll (Mont.) claims the No. 3 ranking and leapfrogs Cumberlands (Ky.). The Fighting Saints opened the season 4-0 for the eighth time in the last 10 years following a 24-17 win at then-No. 19 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) last weekend. Cumberlands drops one spot to No. 4 with 280 points after being idle last week.
Rounding out the top five is No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) with 264 points, respectively. The Cougars rebounded from their loss at NCAA Division II Indianapolis (Ind.) with an impressive 41-10 win against then-No. 22 Robert Morris (Ill.). Saint Xavier’s defense shined against Robert Morris, allowing only 166 yards of total offense to an Eagles team that entered the game averaging 405 yards of total offense per game.
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) made the largest improvement within the poll this week, vaulting eight spots from No. 24 to No. 16. The Blue Raiders are 4-0 this season after knocking off then-No. 25 Pikeville (Ky.), 35-26, last weekend. Other notable movers were No. 10 Benedictine (Kan.), No. 14 Doane (Neb.) and No. 17 Northwestern (Iowa), each moving up four spots.
Conversely, Montana Tech fell nine positions, landing at No. 21 this week.
For the second-consecutive week, at least five newcomers joined the Top 25 – No. 15 Montana Western, No. 19 Valley City State (N.D.), No. 20 Concordia (Neb.), No. 23 Peru State (Neb.) and No. 24 Trinity International (Ill.). Trinity International was the only team out of the quintet that was not in the receiving votes category a week ago.
Concordia snaps the longest streak without receiving a Top 25 mention amongst the newcomers. The Bulldogs, who enter the week 3-0 and are tied with Morningside and Doane atop the Great Plains Athletic Conference standings, were last ranked in the Sept. 10, 2002 edition.
Trinity International and Peru State last received the recognition in 2005, while Montana Western was previously ranked during the 2007 season.
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) – previously No. 15 – dropped out of the poll for the first time since 2006 to snap a streak of 83-consecutive mentions. Similarly, last week’s No. 16 Marian (Ind.) snaps a streak of 40-consecutive mentions dating back to the 2010 Preseason Poll. Robert Morris (Ill.) (No. 22), Faulkner (Ala.) (No. 23) and Pikeville (No. 25) also fell out of the Top 25.
The Mid-States Football Association Midwest League placed five teams among the Top 25 to lead the NAIA.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
The third regular-season Top 25 will be announced Sept. 30.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Morningside’s No. 1 ranking marks the third time the Mustangs have earned the top spot in the poll — all occurring this season … MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) fell out of the Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 6, 2006 – a string of 83-consecutive polls … Marian (Ind.), who had a streak of 40-consecutive mentions entering the week, became the first team to win a national championship and fall out of the poll the following season … Grand View’s (Iowa) No. 7 ranking is its highest in program history … No. 20 Concordia (Neb.) joins the Top 25 for the first time since Sept. 10, 2002 … No. 24 Trinity International (Ill.) and No. 23 Peru State (Neb.) were last ranked in 2005 … No. 15 Montana Western cracks the top 15 for the third time in program history … Since, 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 – Carroll (Mont.) (2003, 2005), former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (2009) and Georgetown (Ky.) (2001) … Three teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2012: Marian, Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Georgetown … Carroll leads all institutions with 57 all-time first-place rankings and is followed by Sioux Falls (55), Georgetown (25), Saint Xavier (14) and former member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) … No. 2 Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll with 171 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances is Carroll with 158, Missouri Valley with 93, Morningside with 77 and Saint Xavier with 66 … No. 5 Saint Xavier holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 52-straight polls dating back to Sept. 21, 2009 … Following Saint Xavier in consecutive top 10 appearances are No. 6 Georgetown (29) and No. 1 Morningside (25) … Thirty-six teams have been ranked in the Coaches’ Poll this season.
2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (Sept. 23)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||3-0||314|
|2||2||Saint Francis (Ind.)||2-0||302|
|5||5||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||2-1||264|
|7||9||Grand View (Iowa)||3-0||242|
|11||7||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||1-1||197|
|16||24||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||4-0||122|
|18||19||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||3-1||90|
|19||RV||Valley City State (N.D.)||3-1||75|
|22||17||St. Francis (Ill.)||2-1||50|
|23||RV||Peru State (Neb.)||3-0||41|
|24||NR||Trinity International (Ill.)||3-0||39|
|25||20||William Penn (Iowa)||1-2||28|
Others Receiving Votes: MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 23; Friends (Kan.) 22; Robert Morris (Ill.) 11; Faulkner (Ala.) 10; Montana State-Northern 7; Pikeville (Ky.) 3; Marian (Ind.) 3.