By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second-consecutive week, the top seven teams remain unchanged in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Top-ranked Morningside (Iowa) moved one step closer to becoming the first team since 2009 to last the entire season at No. 1, as the Mustangs received their seventh-straight top mention with 13 first-place votes and 288 points in the sixth regular-season edition.
Morningside, who has been the unanimous pick six times this season, improved to 6-0 with a 62-27 dismantling of Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) last Saturday. The victory – combined with a loss by then-No. 14 Concordia (Neb.) – gives the two-time defending Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) champion Mustangs sole possession of first place in the league standings. Morningside returns to action Saturday in a 1 p.m. CDT kickoff against Briar Cliff (Iowa).
Cumberlands (Ky.) holds the No. 2 position for the fourth-straight poll with 275 points. Similarly to Morningside, the Patriots are 6-0 on the year after knocking off then-No. 11 Georgetown (Ky.), 38-35, last Saturday. The victory was Cumberlands’ first against the Tigers since 2008 and is the fourth win against a ranked opponent this season. The Patriots, who match up with a red-hot No. 19 Reinhardt (Ga.) on Saturday, are the lone remaining unbeaten team in the Mid-South Conference East Division at 4-0 in the league.
No. 3 Grand View (Iowa) received 267 points this week to maintain its program-best position. The Vikings trounced then-No. 23 Trinity International (Ill.), 47-14, last week – their third win against a ranked team in the last four weeks. Grand View puts its unbeaten record on the line Saturday against No. 8 St. Ambrose (Iowa) in a battle of the lone undefeated teams in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League.
No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 5 Benedictine (Kan.) round out the top five with 252 and 244 points, respectively. Both squads earned key conference victories last week, as the Cougars defeated then-No. 20 St. Francis (Ill.), 37-28, and Benedictine claimed a 45-40 shootout win over MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.).
Within the poll, Reinhardt made the largest jump, moving up five places, while Georgetown fell six places to No. 17.
Four newcomers joined the Top 25 this week: No. 21 Sterling (Kan.), No. 22 Southern Oregon, No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa) and No. 25 Bacone (Okla.). Sterling, whose last ranking came in Sept. of 2010, snaps a streak of 42-straight polls without a Top 25 mention, the most among the newcomers. Bacone – last ranked in 2012 – is the first ranked team from the Central States Football League since Langston (Okla.) dropped out in the first regular-season edition.
Both Southern Oregon and Northwestern were ranked earlier this season.
Montana State-Northern (No. 18), Valley City State (N.D.) (No. 22), Trinity International (Ill.) (No. 23) and Cumberland (Tenn.) (No. 25) fell out of the Top 25.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference – Benedictine, No. 6 Missouri Valley, No. 9 Baker (Kan.) and No. 12 Peru State (Neb.) – and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference – No. 11 Tabor (Kan.), No. 13 Ottawa (Kan.), No. 18 Friends (Kan.) and Sterling – 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 seventh regular-season Top 25 will be announced Oct. 28.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Morningside’s (Iowa) No. 1 ranking marks the seventh time the Mustangs have earned the top spot in the poll — all occurring this season … No. 19 Reinhardt (Ga.), who is in its first season of existence, received its highest all-time ranking after joining the poll for the first time a week ago … No. 21 Sterling (Kan.) is making its first appearance among the Top 25 since Sept. 20, 2010 … No. 25 Bacone (Okla.) is the first team from the Central States Football League to receive a Top 25 mention since Langston (Okla.) in the Preseason Poll … No. 2 Cumberlands (Ky.) and No. 3 Grand View (Iowa) both tied a program-best ranking in the sixth 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 175 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 162, Missouri Valley with 97, Morningside with 81 and Saint Xavier with 70 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 29-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Forty-three teams have been ranked in the Coaches’ Poll this season.2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Oct. 21)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (13)||6-0||288|
|3||3||Grand View (Iowa)||7-0||267|
|4||4||Saint Francis (Ind.)||5-1||252|
|8||9||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||5-1||209|
|10||12||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||6-1||186|
|12||16||Peru State (Neb.)||6-1||164|
|14||17||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||4-3||137|
|20||21||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||5-2||92|
|24||20||St. Francis (Ill.)||4-3||25|
Others Receiving Votes: Montana State-Northern 13; Trinity International (Ill.) 7; Valley City State (N.D.) 5; Nebraska Wesleyan 3.