Photo by Marian (Ind.) Sports Information Department
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Marian (Ind.) rests atop the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll once again, the national office announced Monday. The Knights, who have been the unanimous No. 1 pick in every poll this season, collected all 15 first-place votes and 340 total points in the fifth regular-season edition. The sixth installment is scheduled to release on Oct. 17.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian (Ind.), which has been ranked No. 1 17 times in program history, improved to 6-0 on the season with a 48-14 victory against Taylor (Ind.) last Saturday.
• The defending national champions have been nothing short of dominant through the majority of the season, outscoring its opponents 292-78. No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) and NCAA Division II Indianapolis (Ind.) are the only clubs to score more than 14 points against the Marian defense.
• The Knights return to the field Saturday against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.).
• No. 2 Baker (Kan.), which was idle last week, was the only other team in the top 10 to hold its position for at least a second-straight week. The Wildcats open Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) South Division play Saturday against Avila (Mo.).
• Rounding out the remainder of the top five are No. 3 Reinhardt (Ga.), Saint Francis and No. 5 Morningside (Iowa). All three clubs jumped one place.
• The movement within the top 10 was due to then-No. 6 Morningside’s dominant 69-7 victory over then-No. 3 Doane (Neb.) last Saturday in Sioux City, Iowa. The loss for the Tigers dropped the club to No. 10 this week, which is the farthest fall among teams still in the Top 25.
• The most notable positive movement came from Peru State (Neb.), which jumped from No. 24 to No. 22. The Bobcats, who enter the week coming off a bye, are 4-2 on the year and travel to William Penn (Iowa) on Saturday.
• Two newcomers – No. 23 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 24 Concordia (Neb.) – joined the Top 25 this week. The Fire are ranked for only the second time in program history and first since Oct. 19, 2015 (No. 25). Concordia returns to the poll after a one-week hiatus.
• No. 18 Bethel (Tenn.) is the only unbeaten team – Marian (6-0), Baker (6-0), Reinhardt (6-0) and No. 6 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (7-0) are the others – not ranked in the top 10. The Wildcats, who broke into the Top 25 on Sept. 26, face Campbellsville (Ky.) on Saturday. Arguably the toughest portion of Bethel’s schedule is still looming, as the Wildcats travel to Lindsey Wilson on Nov. 5 and host Reinhardt in the regular-season finale on Nov. 12.
• The Great Plains Athletic Conference leads all leagues with five teams represented this week – Morningside, Doane, No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 21 Midland (Neb.) and Concordia
• 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 (17) 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)||6-0||340|
|4||5||Saint Francis (Ind.)||5-1||297|
|6||7||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||7-0||275|
|7||8||Grand View (Iowa)||5-1||259|
|14||T14||Dickinson State (N.D.)||5-1||161|
|T16||T16||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||4-2||136|
|19||18||Dakota State (S.D.)||5-1||118|
|22||24||Peru State (Neb.)||4-2||65|
Dropped from Top 25: Concordia (Mich.) (No. 23); Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (No. 25)
Others Receiving Votes: Concordia (Mich.) 9; Robert Morris (Ill.) 9; Arizona Christian 7; Sterling (Kan.) 5; Siena Heights (Mich.) 3.