KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Marian (Ind.) locks down the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for a seventh-straight edition, the national office announced Monday. The Knights collected all 15 first-place votes and 340 total points. The fifth regular-season installment is scheduled to release on Oct. 10.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian (Ind.) holds the No. 1 ranking for the 16th time in program history, which ranks fifth all-time in top billings dating back to 1999.
• The Knights improved to 5-0 and extended their current winning streak to 14 games with a 35-21 win at then-No. 2 Saint Francis (Ind.) last weekend. Marian, which trailed at halftime 21-14, scored 21 unanswered second half points en route to its second win this year against a ranked opponent.
• Marian opens a stretch of three-straight home games Saturday against Taylor (Ind.).
• With the aforementioned loss by Saint Francis, No. 2 Baker (Kan.), No. 3 Doane (Neb.) and No. 4 Reinhardt (Ga.) all move up one spot from last week. The No. 4 ranking is the highest in program history for the Eagles, who improved to 5-0 with a 64-3 victory against Bluefield (Va.) last week.
• Rounding out the top five is No. 5 Saint Francis, which dropped three spots after the loss.
• There are six teams with unbeaten records in the poll – Marian (5-0), Baker (6-0), Doane (5-0), Reinhardt (5-0), No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (6-0) and No. 19 Bethel (Tenn.) (5-0).
• No. 6 Morningside (Iowa) extended its active streak in the Top 25 to a current NAIA-best 118-straight polls, including 67-consecutive top 10 rankings.
• The Wildcats of Bethel headline the positive movement in this week’s poll, vaulting four places from No. 23. Bethel kept its unbeaten season alive and surpassed its season win total from 2015 last Saturday with a 48-14 victory at Cincinnati Christian (Ohio). This is the best start to the season for Bethel since going 4-1 thru its first five games in 2011.
• No. 23 Concordia (Mich.), which received votes in the previous edition, breaks into the Top 25 for the first time in program history. The Cardinals are 4-1, including a 24-21 overtime victory at St. Francis (Ill.) last weekend. Concordia travels to Saint Xavier (Ill.) Saturday.
• No. 25 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) is the other newcomer in the installment. The Battlin’ Bears are 3-2 on the year and were previously ranked on Sept. 12.
• The Frontier Conference leads all leagues with five teams represented – No. 9 Southern Oregon, No. 10 Montana Tech, No. 16 Eastern Oregon, No. 22 Montana Western and Rocky Mountain. .
• Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Morningside (20), Marian (16) and Saint Xavier (14).
• 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)||5-0||340|
|5||2||Saint Francis (Ind.)||4-1||289|
|7||7||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||6-0||262|
|8||8||Grand View (Iowa)||5-1||249|
|T14||15||Dickinson State (N.D.)||4-1||157|
|T16||16||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||3-2||126|
|18||20||Dakota State (S.D.)||5-1||108|
|24||22||Peru State (Neb.)||4-2||29|
|25||RV||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||3-2||24|
Dropped from Top 25: Concordia (Neb.) (No. 21); Sterling (Kan.) (No. 25)
Others Receiving Votes: Concordia (Neb.) 23; Southeastern (Fla.) 22; Faulkner (Ala.) 12; Friends (Kan.) 3; Siena Heights (Mich.) 3; Sterling (Kan.) 3.