KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Knights of Marian (Ind.) lock down the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for a fifth-straight edition, the national office announced Monday. Marian, which improved to 3-0 with a 45-7 win against Robert Morris (Ill.) last Saturday, garnered 15 first-place votes and 340 total points. The third regular season installment is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Defending national champion Marian claims the No. 1 spot for the 14th time in program history.
• The Knights have been nothing short of dominant through three games this season, outscoring their opponents 139-33, including the aforementioned contest against Robert Morris (Ill.) last weekend.
• Marian ranks among the top 10 nationally in 17 statistical categories, highlighted by the nation’s No. 2 rush defense (66.0 yards per game), and a top five ranking in total offense per game (528.0) and scoring offense (46.3).
• Marian has won 12-straight games dating back to last season. The Knights return to the field Saturday at Missouri Baptist, before heading to No. 3 Saint Francis (Ind.) on Oct. 1 for a key conference showdown.
• The rest of the top five remained unchanged from the first regular-season edition with No. 2 Morningside (Iowa) (325 total points), No. 3 Saint Francis (315 total points), No. 4 Baker (Kan.) (302 points) and No. 5 Doane (Neb.) (282 total points) making up that group.
• There are currently 14 undefeated teams in NAIA football led by three ranked teams with 4-0 records – Baker, No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 11 Missouri Valley and No. 25 (tied) Midland (Neb.)
• Four new teams joined the Top 25 this edition: No. 18 Sterling (Kan.), No. 24 Dakota State (S.D.), No. 25 Webber International (Fla.) and Midland.
• Since the start of the 1999 season, Dakota State has never been ranked in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Trojans are 3-1 on the year, including a 34-30 victory against then-No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on Aug. 26, and a 62-48 win against then-No. 24 St. Ambrose (Iowa) on Sept. 10. Dakota State hosts Jamestown (N.D.) Saturday.
• No. 11 Missouri Valley and No. 19 Faulkner (Ala.) saw the largest rise in this week’s poll, as both clubs jumped five places. The Vikings improved to 4-0 with a 21-17 win at Peru State (Neb.) last weekend, while Faulkner was dominant against Kentucky Christian, 31-6.
• Conversely, five teams fell five-or-more places in the poll. The most notable slide came from previous No. 10 Kansas Wesleyan. The Coyotes dropped to No. 20 after losing to then-unranked Sterling, 43-12.
• The Great Plains Athletic Conference leads all leagues with five teams represented – Morningside, Doane, No. 16 Concordia (Neb.), No. 22 Dakota Wesleyan and Midland.
• Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (25), Morningside (20), Saint Xavier (14) and Marian (14).
• Morningside holds the longest active streak with 116-straight Top 25 mentions, followed by Saint Xavier with 105-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)||2016 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Marian (Ind.) (15)||3-0||340|
|3||3||Saint Francis (Ind.)||3-0||315|
|7||7||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||4-0||260|
|8||8||Grand View (Iowa)||3-1||251|
|17||9||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||2-2||133|
|21||22||Dickinson State (N.D.)||2-1||78|
|22||14||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||2-2||76|
|23||18||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||3-1||56|
|24||RV||Dakota State (S.D.)||3-1||24|
|T25||NR||Webber International (Fla.)||1-1||13|
Dropped from Top 25: Carroll (Mont.) (No. 21); Montana Western (No. 22); Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (No. 25)
Others Receiving Votes: Montana Western 12; Carroll (Mont.) 11; Peru State (Neb.) 9; Arizona Christian 9; Southeastern (Fla.) 6; Hastings (Neb.) 5; Bethel (Tenn.) 5.