By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fueled by a top-10 win over the weekend, Morningside (Iowa) retains the No. 1 ranking for an eighth-straight week in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Mustangs were the unanimous top-team, receiving all 15 first-place votes and 340 total points. Morningside has now topped the Coaches’ Poll in 16 of the last 22 editions and has made 35-straight top-five mentions.
The 2014 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) 16-team field and first round pairings will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. CST via a live selection show on www.NAIANetwork.com. Each conference champion rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the Final Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, which will be announced on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m., 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.
In arguably its biggest game of the season, Morningside downed then-No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa), 42-24, last Saturday to clinch at least a share of a fourth-consecutive Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championship. The win was also a milestone victory for head coach Steve Ryan, who is now tied with former Mustang head coach Jason Saunderson (1912 – 1941) for the most wins in program history with 118. Morningside has the opportunity to win the outright title on Saturday in its regular-season finale against Doane (Neb.).
No. 2 Carroll (Mont.) (327 points) and No. 3 Grand View (Iowa) (313 points) hold steady for a third-straight week. The Fighting Saints improved to 8-1 on the year with a 27-10 victory against Rocky Mountain (Mont.) on Nov. 8. Carroll hosts College of Idaho on Saturday with a chance to claim at least a share of the Frontier Conference title.
Grand View won the outright Mid-States Football Association Midwest League (MSFAW) championship with a 25-19 victory against then-No. 16 William Penn (Iowa). The Vikings, who have now claimed at least a share of four-straight MSFAW banners, host No. 20 Siena Heights (Mich.) in its regular-season finale on Saturday.
Moving up one spot this week and rounding out the top five are No. 4 Southern Oregon with 297 points and No. 5 Georgetown (Ky.) with 293 points. The Raiders, who are 9-1 on the season and currently tied with Carroll at 8-1 in the Frontier Conference, face a tough test on Saturday when they host No. 16 Eastern Oregon. A victory will mean at least a share of the league championship.
Georgetown also controls its own destiny entering the final week of the regular season. The Tigers travel to No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Saturday with the Mid-South Conference East Division and an automatic berth into the FCS on the line. Both squads are currently 5-0 in the division.
No. 17 Langston (Okla.) and No. 19 Campbellsville (Ky.) both shifted up a poll-high six places this week, while five programs fell at least five spots.
Three newcomers joined the Top 25 this week in No. 20 Siena Heights (Mich.), No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.) and No. 25 Webber International (Fla.). Both Siena Heights and Reinhardt were ranked in 2013. Webber International last received a Top 25 mention in the 2011 Preseason Poll (August 8, 2011).
Six conferences are tied will three representatives in this week’s edition
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 17th all-time appearance at No. 1 … The Mustangs have held the No. 1 ranking in 17 of the last 23 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 178, Missouri Valley with 113, Morningside with 96 and Saint Xavier with 86 … Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 45-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Overall, 37 teams have been ranked in 2014 … On Oct. 6, No. 15 Valley City State (N.D.) became the first team from the North Star Athletic Association to crack the Top 25 … No. 25 Webber International (Fla.) is the first team from The Sun Conference to receive Top 25 mention … Carroll, Faulkner (Ala.), Grand View and Morningside have been ranked among the top-10 in every edition this season … The Association of Independent Institutions is the only league not to have a team ranked at some point in the Top 25 this season.2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 9 (Nov. 10)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (15)||9-0||340|
|3||3||Grand View (Iowa)||8-1||313|
|6||8||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||7-2||276|
|8||10||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-2||245|
|11||12||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||8-1||218|
|15||15||Valley City State (N.D.)||9-1||171|
|20||RV||Siena Heights (Mich.)||6-3||82|
|21||16||William Penn (Iowa)||6-4||69|
|23||17||Robert Morris (Ill.)||7-3||56|
|25||RV||Webber International (Fla.)||7-3||19|
Others Receiving Votes: Cumberland (Tenn.) 11; Saint Francis (Ind.) 10; Benedictine (Kan.) 8; Doane (Neb.) 4; Oklahoma Baptist 4; Montana Western 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Football Coaches Top 25 Poll – No. 8 (Nov. 3)