By Mark Colachico, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fourth-straight week, Morningside (Iowa) holds the No. 1 ranking in the 2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs, who have made 31-straight top five appearances, accrued 14-of-15 first-place votes and 340 total points.
Morningside (5-0) continues to roll through the regular season, including a 76-14 win against Hastings (Neb.) last Saturday. The Mustangs pace the NAIA in nine statistical categories, including rushing defense per game (45.2), rushing offense per game (386.0), total offense per game (714.0) and scoring offense per game (71.0). Morningside has scored 56-or-more points in each game this season, while holding its opponents to an average of 15.4 points per contest. The Mustangs host No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) this weekend in Sioux City, Iowa.
Baker (Kan.) extends its reign at No. 2 to a fourth-straight week after receiving one first-place vote and 327 points. The Wildcats enter the week with a 6-0 overall record – one-of-four remaining unbeaten teams – and a 4-0 mark in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). Baker defeated then-No. 19 Benedictine (Kan.) Saturday in the nightcap of the Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium, 27-21, extending its regular-season winning streak to 14-straight games.
Following a 55-7 victory over then-No. 15 Eastern Oregon, Carroll (Mont.) jumped up one spot to No. 3 with 309 points. The Saints, a six-time NAIA national champion, have won four-straight games following a season-opening loss to then-No. 22 Southern Oregon. Carroll has outscored its opponents by an average of 28.6 points during that stretch. The Saints welcome fellow Frontier Conference member and No. 4 Southern Oregon to Helena, Mont., this weekend.
Riding a season-opening six-game winning streak, Southern Oregon jumped up one spot to No. 4 with 303 points. The Raiders, who are led by the NAIA’s all-time passing leader Austin Dodge, are coming off a 31-6 victory over Montana-Western and will take on No. 3 Carroll this weekend in a key Frontier Conference matchup in Helena.
Grand View (Iowa) makes its return to the Top 5 after a three-week absence, as the Vikings move up to No. 5 with 291 points. Grand View is riding a three-game winning streak that includes a 32-2 victory last weekend over Olivet Nazarene (Ill.). The Vikings improved one position from last week.
Sixteen programs had positive movements within the poll, highlighted by No. 13 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 17 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) each moving up two spots. Conversely, Missouri Valley dropped seven spots to No. 14.
No. 23 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 24 Campbellsville (Ky.) are this week’s newcomers. The Pioneers were in the Top 25 two weeks ago (No. 24). Campbellsville is ranked for the first time since a No. 25 spot in the 2012 Preseason Top 25 (Aug. 6).
Saint Francis (Ind.) (No. 24) and Kentucky Christian (No. 25) both drop out this week. This is the first time Saint Francis is without a ranking since Oct. 19, 1999 – a streak of 186-consecutive rankings. That streak was the longest active mark in NAIA football. The Cougars have lost three games in-a-row and stand 2-4 on the season.
The Mid-States Football Association Mideast League and Frontier Conference each have a Top 25-best four ranked programs.
The sixth regular season Top 25 Poll will be announced Oct. 20.
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 13th all-time 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 … With the streak of Saint Francis (Ind.) snapped at 186-straight Top 25 rankings, Carroll now owns the active lead with 174, Missouri Valley with 109, Morningside with 92 and Saint Xavier with 82 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 41-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Overall, 35 teams have been ranked in 2014 … No. 22 Valley City State (N.D.) is making its second 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. 8 Robert Morris (Ill.) is making its second straight top-10 appearance following last week’s first-ever jump into the top-10.
2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5 (Oct. 13)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||5-0||340|
|2||2||Baker (Kan.) (1)||6-0||327|
|5||6||Grand View (Iowa)||5-1||291|
|6||8||William Penn (Iowa)||5-1||271|
|8||10||Robert Morris (Ill.)||6-0||248|
|13||16||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||4-2||184|
|15||17||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||4-2||152|
|16||18||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||5-1||150|
|17||20||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||5-2||128|
|18||14||St. Francis (Ill.)||4-2||111|
|22||23||Valley City State (N.D.)||6-1||76|
|23||NR||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||4-1||52|
Others Receiving Votes: Friends (Kan.) 7, Central Methodist (Mo.) 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Football Coaches Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Oct. 6)