By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Grand View (Iowa), who won its first-ever national title this past Saturday, received the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Vikings received all 12 first-place votes and 262 points en route to the first top ranking in program history.
In only its sixth year of existence, Grand View defeated then-No. 1 Cumberlands (Ky.), 35-23, at the 58th annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga. The Vikings finished the season as the NAIA’s only unbeaten team at 14-0 due in large part to sophomore quarterback Derek Fulton. The Bettendorf, Iowa, native accounted for five touchdowns against the Patriots, including four passing, which is the most in title game history dating back to 1997.
National runner-up Cumberlands, who had spent the previous two polls ranked No. 1, gathered 252 points to lock down the No. 2 position. The Patriots close 2013 with a 13-1 record following the previously mentioned loss to Grand View.
Carroll (Mont.) remained at No. 3 for the third-straight edition with 242 points. The Fighting Saints reached the semifinals of the 2013 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) before falling to Cumberlands, 34-27, in overtime.
Morningside (Iowa), who reached the FCS semifinals for the second-straight season, jumped one place to No. 4 with 232 points, while Baker (Kan.) dropped to No. 5 with 220 points.
Tabor (Kan.) made the largest improvement within the poll, jumping three spots to No. 8. The Blue Jays knocked off then-No. 8 Benedictine (Kan.), 14-13, in the first round of the FCS. The victory was Tabor’s first in the FCS since 2005.
No new teams joined the Top 25.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) lead all leagues with four teams each. Representing the HAAC is Baker, No. 7 Missouri Valley, No. 9 Benedictine and No. 24 Peru State (Neb.). The four KCAC teams are Tabor, No. 14 Sterling (Kan.), No. 15 Ottawa (Kan.) and No. 17 Friends (Kan.).
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 2014 NAIA Football Coaches Spring Top 25 Poll will be announced on April 14.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Grand View (Iowa) becomes the sixth different team to hold the No. 1 postseason ranking since the installment began in 2000 … The top ranking is the first ever for Grand View … There are no newcomers in this poll … There were 45 different teams ranked in 2013 … Three teams have held the No. 1 ranking this season – Grand View, Cumberlands (Ky.) and Morningside (Iowa) … Cumberlands, Morningside and Saint Francis (Ind.) have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season … 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) … 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 180 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 167, Missouri Valley with 102, Morningside with 86 and Saint Xavier with 75 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 34-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011.2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll (Dec. 23)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Grand View (Iowa) (12)||14-0||262|
|6||6||Saint Francis (Ind.)||9-3||214|
|11||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||9-4||161|
|16||16||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||7-4||117|
|18||18||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||7-4||90|
|19||19||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-3||84|
|20||20||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||8-3||77|
|21||22||St. Francis (Ill.)||7-4||55|
|24||24||Peru State (Neb.)||7-4||29|
Others Receiving Votes: Reinhardt (Ga.) 9; Southern Oregon 3