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2016 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3

September 26, 2016
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For a sixth-straight edition, Marian (Ind.) holds the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Knights were the unanimous selection once again, garnering 15 first-place votes and 340 total points. The fourth regular-season installment is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian claims the No. 1 spot for the 15th time in program history, which ranks fifth all-time in top billings dating back to 1999.
• The Knights continued their dominant run to start the year with a 70-10 win at Missouri Baptist over the weekend. The club has outscored opponents, 209-43, this season en route to a 4-0 start and a 13-game winning streak dating back to last season.
• Marian faces its toughest test Saturday when they travel to conference-rival and No. 2-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.). Saturday marks the 12th all-time meeting between the two clubs, with the Cougars owning a 6-5 edge in the all-time series.
• Rounding out the top five this week are Saint Francis (326 total points), No. 3 Baker (Kan.) (315 total points), No. 4 Doane (Neb.) (295 total points) and No. 5 Reinhardt (Ga.) (282 total points). All four teams moved up one spot due to Morningside (Iowa) falling to No. 6 after a loss to NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater.
• Despite the loss and drop in the Top 25 poll, the Mustangs extend their longest active streak within the Top 25 to 117-straight mentions, including 66-consecutive top 10 rankings.
• Midland (Neb.), which made its first appearance in the Top 25 since the 2011 season last week, highlighted the positive movement within the poll, jumping seven places from No. 25 to No. 18. The Warriors are 5-0 following a 41-33 victory against Dordt (Iowa) last weekend.
• Other notable movement came from No. 14 Kansas Wesleyan, No. 15 Dickinson State (N.D.) and No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) as each program vaulted six places from last week.
• No. 18 Benedictine (Kan.) fell farther than any institution still ranked in the Top 25, dropping six places after a loss.
• Three newcomers join the Top 25 – No. 22 Peru State (Neb.), No. 23 Bethel (Tenn.) and No. 24 Montana Western. All three programs received votes last edition. Bethel finds itself in the Top 25 for the first time since August 12, 2013. Peru State was last ranked in 2015, while Montana Western was listed among the group earlier this year.
• The Great Plains Athletic Conference leads all leagues with five teams represented – Doane, Morningside, Dakota Wesleyan, Midland and No. 21 Concordia (Neb.). The Frontier Conference is next with four teams.
• Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (25), Morningside (20), Marian (15) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14).

Poll Methodology
• 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.

2016 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (September 26)
RANK LAST TIME^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2016 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Marian (Ind.) (15) 4-0 340
2 3 Saint Francis (Ind.) 4-0 326
3 4 Baker (Kan.) 5-0 315
4 5 Doane (Neb.) 4-0 295
5 6 Reinhardt (Ga.) 4-0 282
6 2 Morningside (Iowa) 2-1 275
7 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 5-0 265
8 8 Grand View (Iowa) 4-1 251
9 9 Southern Oregon 2-2 239
10 10 Montana Tech 3-1 230
11 14 Georgetown (Ky.) 3-1 198
12 13 Tabor (Kan.) 2-1 193
13 11 Missouri Valley 4-1 189
14 20 Kansas Wesleyan 3-1 157
15 21 Dickinson State (N.D.) 3-1 152
16 22 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 3-2 127
17 15 Eastern Oregon 2-2 107
T18 12 Benedictine (Kan.) 3-2 105
T18 25 Midland (Neb.) 5-0 105
20 24 Dakota State (S.D.) 4-1 93
21 16 Concordia (Neb.) 3-1 83
22 RV Peru State (Neb.) 4-1 74
23 RV Bethel (Tenn.) 4-0 53
24 RV Montana Western 3-2 46
25 18 Sterling (Kan.) 2-1 27

Dropped from Top 25: Saint Xavier (Ill.) (No. 17); Faulkner (Ala.) (No. 19); MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (No. 23); Webber International (Fla.) (No. 25)

Others Receiving Votes: Southeastern (Fla.) 21; Faulkner (Ala.) 13; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 8; Concordia (Mich.) 4; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 4; Siena Heights (Mich.) 4.

Championship Information

Sports Rules - Football