KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the sixth-straight week, Morningside (Iowa) receives the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs, who were the unanimous selection for the fifth time this season with 14 first-place votes and 314 points, improved to 5-0 with a 44-3 win over Hastings (Neb.) last weekend. Nine of the top 10 teams from the fourth regular-season edition went unchanged this week.
Morningside is looking to become the first team to last the entire season at No. 1 since former member and Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Sioux Falls (S.D.) accomplished the feat in 2009. The Mustangs enter the week as the NAIA leader in pass defense per game (118.6), third down conversion percentage (56.1 percent), first downs per game (32), pass efficiency (184.4) and pass defense efficiency (79.5). Morningside continues its conference schedule Saturday at Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.), who is receiving votes this week following a 31-20 upset win over then-No. 20 Doane (Neb.) on Oct. 12.
Cumberlands (Ky.) remains at No. 2 for the third-straight week with 300 points. The Patriots were inactive last week, but face arguably their toughest test on the year Saturday when they host No. 11 Georgetown (Ky.) at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Similarly to Cumberlands, Grand View claimed the No. 3 position for the second-consecutive week with 291 points following a 48-17 win at Olivet Nazarene (Ill.). The win improved the Vikings to 6-0 on the season, including a 2-0 mark in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League.
Rounding out the top five again this week are No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 5 Benedictine (Kan.) with 275 and 263 points, respectively. Both squads picked up wins this past weekend with the Cougar’s 45-20 victory against then-No. 10 Saint Xavier (Ill.) headlining the duo.
Previous No. 10 Saint Xavier fell the hardest among ranked teams this week, as the Cougars dropped seven spots to No. 17 – its lowest ranking since 2009 – following the aforementioned loss to Saint Francis. Additionally, the ranking snaps a streak of 54-straight top 10 mentions dating back to Sept. 21, 2009.
Montana State-Northern boasts the largest improvement this week, vaulting six places from No. 24 to No. 18. The Lights, who had a bye this past weekend, are 4-2 in the Frontier Conference and have won three of their last four games.
No. 24 Reinhardt (Ga.) and No. 25 Cumberland (Tenn.), who both boast 4-2 records on the season, are this week’s newcomers. The Eagles – one of the NAIA’s three new programs in 2013 – have won four-straight en route to the programs first-ever Top 25 mention, while Cumberland was previously ranked in the preseason edition.
Doane (Neb.) (No. 20) and Nebraska Wesleyan (No. 22) fell out of the Top 25 after losing last weekend.
The Mid-States Football Association Midwest League – Grand View, No. 9 St. Ambrose (Iowa), Saint Xavier and No. 23 Trinity International (Ill.) – and the Heart of America Athletic Conference – Benedictine, No. 6 Missouri Valley, No. 10 Baker (Kan.) and No. 16 Peru State (Neb.) – are tied for the most programs in the poll with four teams each.
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 fifth regular-season Top 25 will be announced Oct. 21.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Morningside’s (Iowa) No. 1 ranking marks the sixth time the Mustangs have earned the top spot in the poll — all occurring this season … No. 24 Reinhardt (Ga.), who is in its first season of existence, received its first-ever ranking this week … No. 2 Cumberlands (Ky.) and No. 3 Grand View (Iowa) both tied a program-best ranking in the fifth regular-season edition … 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. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll with 174 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 161, Missouri Valley with 96, Morningside with 80 and Saint Xavier with 69 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 28-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Saint Xavier (Ill.) had previously held the consecutive top 10 appearances mark with 54-straight, but fell to No. 17 this week to end the streak … Forty-one teams have been ranked in the Coaches’ Poll this season.2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5 (Oct. 14)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||5-0||314|
|3||3||Grand View (Iowa)||6-0||291|
|4||4||Saint Francis (Ind.)||4-1||275|
|9||9||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||4-1||219|
|12||13||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||5-1||178|
|16||19||Peru State (Neb.)||5-1||133|
|17||10||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||3-3||115|
|20||25||St. Francis (Ill.)||4-2||77|
|21||T17||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||5-2||61|
|22||16||Valley City State (N.D.)||4-2||56|
|23||21||Trinity International (Ill.)||4-2||48|
Others Receiving Votes: Montana Western 16; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 13; Southern Oregon 9; Sterling (Kan.) 5; Taylor (Ind.) 4; Bacone (Okla.) 4; Northwestern (Iowa) 3.