By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Morningside (Iowa) holds the No. 1 ranking for the third-straight week in the 2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs, who have now made 30-straight top-five appearances, accrued 14-of-15 first-place votes and 340 total points in the fourth edition.
Morningside (4-0) continues to roll through the regular season, including a 68-28 win against Midland (Neb.) last Saturday. The Mustangs pace the NAIA in eight statistical categories, including rushing defense per game (42.3), rushing offense per game (383.5), total offense per game (663.5) and scoring offense per game (69.8). Morningside travels to Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Hastings (Neb.) on Saturday.
Baker (Kan.) extends its reign at No. 2 to a third-straight week after receiving one first-place vote and 327 points. The Wildcats enter the week with a 5-0 overall record – one-of-five remaining unbeaten teams – and 3-0 mark in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). Defense keyed Baker’s 24-10 win at Peru State (Neb.) over the past weekend, as the Wildcats allowed only 196 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. Baker will play No. 19 Benedictine (Kan.) Saturday in the nightcap of the Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium – home of the National Football League’s (NFL) Kansas City Chiefs – in Kansas City, Mo.
Jumping up three spots this week is No. 3 Georgetown with 304 points. The Tigers knocked off a ranked team for the second week in-a-row with a 27-10 win against then-No. 4 Faulkner (Ala.) on Oct. 4 in the NAIA Football Game of the Week. The No. 3 ranking is the highest for Georgetown since topping the 2012 final regular season edition on Nov. 11, 2012.
A pair of Frontier Conference foes round out the remainder of the top five in No. 4 Carroll (Mont.) with 302 points and No. 5 Southern Oregon with 288 points. The Fighting Saints downed Montana Western, 31-14, last Saturday, while Southern Oregon was on a bye week.
Fifteen programs had positive movements within the poll, highlighted by Robert Morris’ two spot jump from No. 12 to No. 10. The Eagles, who are ranked among the top-10 for the first time in program history, downed then-No. 19 Marian (Ind.), 20-7, this past Saturday. Robert Morris travels to Taylor (Ind.) on Saturday.
Conversely, Saint Francis (Ind.) dropped a poll-high nine spots to No. 24. The Cougars have lost two-straight for the first time since the 2009 season en route to a 2-3 record. The road does not get easier for Saint Francis, as its next three games are against Top 25 teams, including a showdown with No. 16 Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Saturday.
No. 23 Valley City State (N.D.) and No. 25 Kentucky Christian are this week’s newcomers.
The Mid-States Football Association Mideast League and Frontier Conference each have a Top 25-best four ranked programs.
The fifth regular season Top 25 Poll will be announced Oct. 13.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2014 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): Morningside (Iowa) is making its 12th appearance at No. 1 … Three teams have held the No. 1 ranking since the 2013 Preseason Poll: Morningside (Iowa), Cumberlands (Ky.) and Grand View (Iowa) … Carroll (Mont.) leads all institutions with 57 all-time first-place rankings and is followed by former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14) and Morningside … Saint Francis boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll with 186 … Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 173, Missouri Valley with 108, Morningside with 91 and Saint Xavier with 81 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 40-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Overall, 33 teams have been ranked in 2014 … No. 23 Valley City State (N.D.) is making its first appearance since Oct. 14, 2013 … The Vikings are also the first team from the North Star Athletic Association to break into the Top 25 … No. 2 Baker (Kan.) has never been ranked higher than its current position … No. 10 Robert Morris (Ill.) is making its first-ever top-10 appearance2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Oct. 6)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||4-0||340|
|2||2||Baker (Kan.) (1)||5-0||327|
|6||8||Grand View (Iowa)||4-1||281|
|8||11||William Penn (Iowa)||5-1||240|
|10||T12||Robert Morris (Ill.)||5-0||220|
|14||16||St. Francis (Ill.)||4-1||168|
|16||10||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||3-2||161|
|17||18||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||3-2||132|
|18||20||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||4-1||119|
|20||22||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||4-2||95|
|23||RV||Valley City State (N.D.)||5-1||51|
|24||15||Saint Francis (Ind.)||2-3||36|
Others Receiving Votes: MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 4; Friends (Kan.) 4; Campbellsville (Ky.) 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Football Coaches Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (Sept. 28)