By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cumberlands (Ky.) closes the 2013 regular season with the No. 1 ranking in the final NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. One-of-two undefeated teams remaining in the NAIA, the Patriots, who received nine first-place votes and 310 points, are 10-0 and claimed the outright Mid-South Conference East Division championship with a 56-14 win at Bluefield (Va.) on Saturday. Cumberlands took over the top spot in the Nov. 11 edition and now own two No. 1 rankings since 1999.
The 2013 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) 16-team field and first round pairings will be announced on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST via a live selection show on www.NAIA.org. The conference champions rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the Final Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will automatically qualify for the FCS. The highest rated independent team – provided it is ranked in the top 20 – shall also automatically qualify. The remaining at-large berths will be awarded based on the final ranking.
No. 2 Grand View (Iowa) tallied the remaining five first-place votes and totaled 306 points to hold its position for the second-consecutive week. The Vikings, who were inactive last week, are the NAIA’s other unbeaten team at 10-0 and receive an automatic berth into the FCS after winning the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League title – the programs third-straight.
Third-ranked Carroll (Mont.) (288 points), No. 4 Baker (Kan.) (274 points) and No. 5 Morningside (Iowa) (271 points) round out the top five after wins this past weekend. Carroll, out of the Frontier Conference, and Morningside of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, won outright conference crowns. Baker shared the Heart of America Athletic Conference title with No. 7 Missouri Valley and No. 8 Benedictine (Kan.).
Sixteen teams moved at least one position in this week’s poll with No. 13 Sterling (Kan.), No. 18 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 21 Langston (Okla.) each jumping a poll-high three places. Sterling, who opened the season unranked, has won eight-straight en route to a 9-2 overall record and its first Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in program history. In similar fashion to Sterling, Langston has won six-straight and claimed the Central States Football League crown with a 33-0 thrashing of Wayland Baptist (Texas) last Saturday..
On the opposite end of the spectrum, No. 15 Ottawa slipped seven places to fall the hardest among the ranked teams. The Braves’ slide from No. 8 comes following a 23-20 loss against then-No. 12 Tabor (Kan.) on Saturday in the two sides’ regular-season finale.
No. 25 Eastern Oregon is this week’s newcomer. The Mountaineers are receiving their first Top 25 mention since Oct. 1, 2012.
Bacone (Okla.), previously No. 25, fell out of the poll.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and Frontier Conference 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.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Cumberlands’ (Ky.) No. 1 ranking marks the second time in program history the Patriots have topped the Coaches’ Poll … Cumberlands is the 10th team since 1999 to earn the No. 1 ranking … Two teams have been ranked No. 1 in 2013 – Morningside (Iowa) and Cumberlands … No. 2 Grand View’s (Iowa) and No. 4 Baker (Kan.) both set program-best rankings in the ninth 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 (Ind.), Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Georgetown … Carroll leads all institutions with 57 all-time first-place rankings and is followed by former member Sioux Falls (55), Georgetown (25), Saint Xavier (14) and former member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) … Saint Francis boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll with 179 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 166, Missouri Valley with 101, Morningside with 85 and Saint Xavier with 74 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 33-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Forty-five teams have been ranked in the Coaches’ Poll this season.2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final (Nov. 17)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cumberlands (Ky.) (9)||10-0||310|
|2||2||Grand View (Iowa) (5)||10-0||306|
|6||6||Saint Francis (Ind.)||8-2||251|
|10||11||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||8-3||206|
|16||17||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||7-3||137|
|18||21||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||7-4||108|
|19||15||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-3||101|
|20||22||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||8-3||90|
|22||17||St. Francis (Ill.)||7-4||47|
|24||19||Peru State (Neb.)||7-4||26|
Others Receiving Votes: Reinhardt (Ga.) 19; Southern Oregon 18; Ave Maria (Fla.) 7; Concordia (Neb.) 3.