KANSAS CITY, Mo. – National champion Marian (Ind.) continues its reign at No. 1, as the Knights top the spring installment of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The 2016 preseason ranking will be announced in early August.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian (Ind.), which garnered 14 first-place votes and 314 total points, claimed the No. 1 ranking for the 13th time in program history and second-straight.
• The Knights were ranked No. 1 three times in 2015.
• Marian became the 22nd team in NAIA history to win at least two national championships when the Knights defeated Southern Oregon, 31-14, last December in the title game. Marian’s first national championship came in 2012.
• The Knights are expected to return nine starters on the offensive side of the ball, highlighted by wide receiver Krishawn Hogan. Hogan – the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the national championship and a 2015 AFCA-NAIA First Team All-American – led the NAIA in total receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,824) in 2015. He scored 31 touchdowns, including 15 on the ground.
• The rest of the top 10 from the postseason poll held strong in the spring poll – No. 2 Southern Oregon, No. 3 Morningside (Iowa), No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 5 Baker (Kan.), No. 6 Grand View (Iowa), No. 7 Montana Tech, No. 8 Tabor (Kan.), No. 9 Doane (Neb.) and No. 10 Reinhardt (Ga.).
• No. 17 St. Francis (Ill.) and No. 23 Georgetown (Ky.) highlighted the positive movement in the poll, jumping two places each. The Fighting Saints, who finished last season tied for the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League regular-season title, bring back a strong core of eight starters on both offense and defense. Georgetown, which won the Mid-South Conference East Division last season, has its eyes set on repeating that feat with all 11 starter back on offense, complimented by eight returners on defense.
• Point (Ga.) was the only team in the poll to drop more than one place, falling from No. 17 to No. 19. The Skyhawks won The Sun Conference championship last season to punch a ticket to the NAIA Football Championship Series for the first time in program history.
• No new teams joined the Top 25.
• Overall, 41 teams were ranked in 2015.
• Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (25), Morningside (20) and Saint Xavier (14).
• Morningside holds the longest active streak with 112-straight Top 25 mentions, followed by Saint Xavier with 100-consecutive.
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences.
• Each conference is given one rater for every four schools in the league.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first-place vote, 24 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low rating) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appear on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes.”
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2015 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Marian (Ind.) (14)||12-2||314|
|4||4||Saint Francis (Ind.)||11-1||280|
|6||6||Grand View (Iowa)||11-2||247|
|11||12||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||7-3||194|
|13||13||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-3||179|
|15||15||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||9-2||147|
|17||19||St. Francis (Ill.)||8-3||104|
|18||18||Dickinson State (N.D.)||8-3||94|
|21||20||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||8-2||75|
|25||24||William Penn (Iowa)||7-4||30|
Dropped from the Top 25: none
Others Receiving Votes: Sterling (Kan.) 10; Missouri Valley 9; Cumberlands (Ky.) 4; Peru State (Neb.) 4; Webber International (Fla.) 4; Robert Morris (Ill.) 3.
^ Top 25 ranking from Dec. 21, 2015 Top 25 Poll