KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending National Champion Marian (Ind.) once again comes out on top, as the Knights were rated No.1 in the 2016 NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Marian received 14 first place votes and 304 total points in the first poll of the 2016 season.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• The Knights of Marian (Ind.) claim the top spot with 304 total points and 14 first place votes. This is the second time Marian has been preseason No. 1 after tying for the top spot with Southern Oregon last season.
• The Knights were ranked No. 1 three times in 2015.
• Last season ended with Marian winning their second national championship after defeating Southern Oregon, 31-14. The Knights first national championship came in 2012 where they defeated Morningside (Iowa) in overtime, 30-27.
• The Knights are expected to return nine starters on the offensive side of the ball, highlighted by 2015 National Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player and 2015 AFCA-NAIA First Team All-American, Krishawn Hogan. The wide receiver led the NAIA in total receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,824) in 2015 and he also brought in 31 touchdowns, 15 of which were on the ground.
• The top nine teams ranked in the Top 25 preseason poll remain the same from the 2016 spring poll.
• Three teams made five spot jumps in the preseason poll from the spring poll. Benedictine (Kan.) moved from No. 20 to No. 15. The Ravens will return Second Team All-American wide receiver Christian Haack, who ranks fourth in the NAIA with 1157 total receiving yards and had nine touchdowns last season. Georgetown (Ky.) found themselves moving from No. 23 to No. 18 in the newest poll after a 6-4 season in 2015. The Tigers were picked to win the Mid-South Conference (MSC) East Division and will return 10 of their all-conference honorees. 2015 Rookie of the Year in the MSC East, Ross Cox, is also back after his 25 catches, 401 yards and seven touchdowns last year. Faulkner (Ala.) is the last team to make a big positive jump in the preseason as they move from No. 24 to No. 19. Last season, Faulkner ranked first in the NAIA in both pass offense and sacks per game with 385.6 yards and 4.8 sacks.
• Montana Western dropped nine places from the spring poll, moving from 16 to 25. Coming out of the Frontier Conference, the Bulldogs finished 2015 with a 7-3 record. Also making backwards movement is No. 17 Campbellsville (Ky.), which was chosen 12th in the spring poll after finishing with an 8-3 record.
• Carroll (Mont.) joins the Top 25 coming in at 22 in preseason.
• 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 113-straight Top 25 mentions, followed by Saint Xavier with 101-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||276|
|6||6||Grand View (Iowa)||11-2||251|
|10||11||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||7-4||209|
|12||13||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-3||177|
|14||17||St. Francis (Ill.)||8-3||138|
|16||15||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||9-2||107|
|21||18||Dickinson State (N.D.)||8-3||60|
|23||25||William Penn (Iowa)||7-4||54|
|24||21||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||8-2||52|
Others Receiving Votes: Eastern Oregon 24; Concordia (Neb.) 18; Southeastern (Fla.) 14; Webber International (Fla.) 11; Point (Ga.) 6; Robert Morris (Ill.) 5; Sterling (Kan.) 4; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 4; Ottawa (Kan.) 3; Missouri Valley 3.
^ Top 25 ranking from 2016 Spring Poll