By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the sixth-straight week, Morningside (Iowa) tops the 2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs, fueled by 15 first-place votes and 340 points, have been ranked No. 1 in 15 of the last 21 polls and have made 33-straight top-five appearances.
Morningside, which is the only remaining unbeaten team in NAIA football at 7-0, continues to roll through its Great Plains Athletic Conference schedule. The Mustangs downed cross-town rival Briar Cliff (Iowa), 63-0, last Saturday. Morningside was dominant in all facets of the game, racking up 693 yards of total offense while holding the Chargers to a season-low 86 yards of total offense. Morningside hosts Concordia (Neb.) on Saturday, one week before arguably its toughest test of the season when it hosts No. 8 Northwestern (Iowa) on Nov. 8.
No. 2 Carroll, No. 3 Grand View (Iowa) and No. 4 Faulkner each climbed one spot this week.
The Fighting Saints, who received 327 points, improved to 6-1 with a 20-12 win at Montana Tech over the weekend. All-America running back Dustin Rinker posted his sixth 100-plus rushing yard performance of the season with a 199-yard effort. Rinker enters the week with 957 rushing yards on the year, 43 yards shy of reaching 1,000 yards rushing for the third time in his career at Carroll.
Grand View garnered 313 points en route to its first top-three appearance since being No. 1 on Sept. 15. The Vikings have won five-straight, including a 53-24 victory at St. Ambrose (Iowa) on Oct. 25. Grand View, which is 4-0 in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League, holds a two-game advantage in the league standings over three teams tied in second place with three weeks to play.
Similarly to Grand View, Faulkner kept itself in the driver’s seat of the Mid-South Conference West Division race with a 27-7 win at Bethel (Tenn.). The Eagles, who received 291 points in this week’s edition, are 7-1 overall and 3-0 in conference action. Faulkner owns a one-game advantage over No. 12 Cumberland (Tenn.), Campbellsville (Ky.) and Reinhardt (Ga.), which are all tied for second at 2-1.
Rounding out the top five this week are No. 5 Southern Oregon and No. 5 Georgetown which both received 283 points. Southern Oregon enters the week with a 7-1 record after downing Frontier Conference rival College of Idaho, 66-16, last Saturday, while Georgetown (6-1) claimed a 37-26 win at Pikeville (Ky.) to remain unbeaten in the Mid-South Conference East Division.
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) enjoyed the largest positive movement in the poll with a six-spot jump from No. 20 to No. 14. The Pioneers downed then-No. 2 Baker (Kan.), 34-27, in overtime last Saturday to give them wins against ranked teams in two out of the last three weeks.
Conversely, No. 21 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) dropped eight positions this week after falling to Montana Western, 20-17, over the weekend.
No. 23 Eastern Oregon and No. 25 Langston (Okla.) are the two newcomers this week. The Mountaineers return to the poll following a one-week hiatus, while Langston is making its first appearance since ranking No. 23 on Sept. 15.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference and the Frontier Conference leads all leagues with four ranked schools each.
The eighth regular season Top 25 Poll will be announced Nov. 3.
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 15th all-time appearance at No. 1 … The Mustangs have held the No. 1 ranking in 15 of the last 21 Coaches’ Polls … 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), Morningside and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14) … With the streak of Saint Francis (Ind.) snapped on Oct. 13 at 186-straight Top 25 rankings, Carroll now owns the active lead with 176, Missouri Valley with 111, Morningside with 94 and Saint Xavier with 84 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 43-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Overall, 34 teams have been ranked in 2014 … No. 25 Friends is making its first appearance since Sept. 15, 2014 … On Oct. 6, No. 17 Valley City State (N.D.) became the first team from the North Star Athletic Association to crack the Top 25 … Baker (Kan.), Carroll, Faulkner (Ala.), Grand View and Morningside have been ranked among the top-10 in every edition this season … The Association of Independent Institutions and The Sun Conference are the only leagues not to have a team ranked at some point in the Top 25 this season.2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 7 (Oct. 27)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (15)||7-0||340|
|3||4||Grand View (Iowa)||7-1||313|
|9||9||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||5-2||244|
|11||14||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||6-2||208|
|14||20||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||6-1||162|
|16||11||William Penn (Iowa)||5-3||134|
|17||19||Valley City State (N.D.)||7-1||133|
|18||12||Robert Morris (Ill.)||6-2||120|
|19||21||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||6-2||109|
|21||13||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||5-3||89|
Others Receiving Votes: Campbellsville (Ky.) 12; Reinhardt (Ga.) 8; Siena Heights (Mich.) 3; Montana Western 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Football Coaches Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Oct. 27)