KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Marian (Ind.) holds the No. 1 ranking in the sixth regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Knights collected all 14 first-place votes and 314 total points, and have been the unanimous top choice all season. The seventh installment is scheduled to release on Oct. 24.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian (Ind.) garnered its 18th No. 1 ranking in program history after beating Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 66-0, last Saturday.
• The Knights have held the No. 1 spot for nine-straight polls, marking the longest such streak since Morningside (Iowa) held the top spot for nine-consecutive weeks in 2013.
• Marian is looking to become the first team to go the entire season ranked No. 1 and win the national championship since former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) accomplished the feat in 2009. That Cougars’ team was also the last to win back-to-back national titles (2008 and 2009) – an achievement the Knights hope to match this year.
• No. 2 Baker (Kan.), No. 3 Reinhardt (Ga.), No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 4 Morningside round out the top five once again this week. The Wildcats and Eagles, similar to Marian, enter the week with 7-0 records, while Saint Francis is 6-1 and Morningside is 5-1, respectively.
• Aided by then-No. 8 Southern Oregon’s loss to then-No. 16 Eastern Oregon over the weekend, No. 10 Georgetown (Ky.) joined the top 10 this week for the first time since Nov. 10, 2014. The Tigers are 6-1 on the year with their only loss coming in a Mid-South Conference cross divisional game against No. 6 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
• The most notable jumps in the poll came from a pair of Frontier Conference schools, as No. 12 Eastern Oregon and No. 21 Montana Western both moved four places from last edition. The Mountaineers’ previously mentioned win against rival Southern Oregon marks the third-straight road win against the Raiders.
• Southern Oregon suffered the farthest fall, dropping from No. 8 to No. 17.
• No. 24 Robert Morris (Ill.) and No. 25 Sterling (Kan.) are the newcomers this edition. Robert Morris was most recently ranked on Nov. 9, 2015, while Sterling was among the Top 25 earlier this season.
• For a second-straight week, No. 16 Bethel (Tenn.) (7-0) is the only unbeaten team not ranked in the top 10 – Marian (7-0), Baker (7-0), Reinhardt (7-0) and Lindsey Wilson (8-0) are the others. The Wildcats, who broke into the Top 25 on Sept. 26, face Faulkner (Ala.) 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 Frontier Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference league all leagues with four teams represented each.
• Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by Sioux Falls (55), Georgetown (25), Morningside (20), Marian (18) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (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.) (14)||7-0||314|
|T4||4||Saint Francis (Ind.)||6-1||274|
|6||6||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-0||255|
|7||7||Grand View (Iowa)||6-1||240|
|T12||14||Dickinson State (N.D.)||6-1||169|
|15||T16||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||5-2||137|
|23||19||Dakota State (S.D.)||5-2||39|
|24||RV||Robert Morris (Ill.)||4-2||36|
Dropped from Top 25: Peru State (Neb.) (No. 22); Concordia (Neb.) (No. 24)
Others Receiving Votes: Arizona Christian 24; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 4; Peru State (Neb.) 3.