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2016 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 8

October 31, 2016
By -, -
By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Marian continues its stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, pushing its streak to 11-straight editions, the national office announced Monday. The Knights were the unanimous pick once again, collecting all 15 first-place votes and 340 total points. The ninth installment is scheduled to release on Nov. 7.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian, which has been the unanimous No. 1 selection all season, garnered its 20th all-time No. 1 ranking. Since the start of the 1999 season, only Carroll (Mont.) 58, former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Morningside (Iowa) (20) and the Knights boast 20-plus top billings.
• The Knights are looking to become the first team to go the entire season ranked No. 1 and win the national championship since Sioux Falls did it in 2009. That Cougars’ team was also the last to win back-to-back national titles (2008 and 2009) – an achievement that Marian hopes to match this year.
• Marian improved to 8-0 and extended its NAIA-best winning streak to 17 games with a 55-13 victory against Concordia (Mich.) last Saturday. The Knights scored 28 unanswered second-half points in the club’s final regular-season home game of the year. Next up for Marian is St. Francis (Ill.) on Saturday.
• There was no movement among the top 10 this week with No. 2 Baker (Kan.), No. 3 Reinhardt (Ga.), No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 5 Morningside (Iowa) making up the top five.
• Baker and Reinhardt both earned victories over the weekend to improve to a NAIA-best 9-0 on the year. The Wildcats have a top-10 showdown with No. 9 Missouri Valley on Saturday, while the Eagles host Campbellsville.
• Robert Morris (Ill.) highlights the positive movement within the poll, as the Eagles vaulted five spots to No. 19. Robert Morris has won four of its last five games, including a 52-6 win against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) last week. The Eagles play Saint Xavier (Ill.) Saturday.
• Other notable positive movement came from No. 13 Tabor (Kan.), No. 14 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 15 Sterling (Kan.). All three teams moved three spots, respectively. The No. 14 ranking is the highest in program history for Southeastern.
• Conversely, No. 16 Dickinson State (N.D.), No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and No. 23 Bethel (Tenn.) each fell four places after losses.
• No. 20 William Penn (Iowa), No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas), No. 24 Montana Western and No. 25 Langston (Okla.) all joined the Top 25 this week. William Penn and Montana Western were ranked earlier this season, while Langston garners Top 25 notoriety for the first time since Sept. 14, 2015. Wayland Baptist is ranked for the first time in program history.
• The Pioneers enter the week 7-1 on the year and 4-0 in the Central States Football League. The toughest portion of Wayland Baptist’s schedule is over the next two weeks, as the club travels to Arizona Christian Saturday and hosts Langston on Nov. 12. These three teams – Wayland Baptist, Arizona Christian and Langston – are within one-game of each other in the conference standings with two weeks remaining in the regular-season.
• Arizona Christian (No. 20), Benedictine (Kan.) (No. 22), Southern Oregon (No. 23) and Dakota State (S.D.) (No. 25) dropped out of the Top 25. Southern Oregon had previously appeared in 35-straight Top 25 polls.

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. 8 (October 31)
RANK LAST TIME SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2016 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Marian (Ind.) (15) 8-0 340
2 2 Baker (Kan.) 9-0 327
3 3 Reinhardt (Ga.) 9-0 305
4 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) 8-1 298
5 5 Morningside (Iowa) 7-1 296
6 6 Grand View (Iowa) 8-1 272
7 7 Montana Tech 7-1 265
8 8 Doane (Neb.) 7-1 239
9 9 Missouri Valley 8-1 238
10 10 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 9-1 225
11 11 Eastern Oregon 6-2 217
12 13 Kansas Wesleyan 8-1 200
13 16 Tabor (Kan.) 6-2 178
14 17 Southeastern (Fla.) 6-1 168
15 18 Sterling (Kan.) 6-2 154
16 12 Dickinson State (N.D.) 7-2 148
17 15 Georgetown (Ky.) 6-3 125
18 14 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 6-3 117
19 24 Robert Morris (Ill.) 5-3 87
20 RV William Penn (Iowa) 6-3 78
21 21 Concordia (Neb.) 5-3 74
22 RV Wayland Baptist (Texas) 7-1 62
23 19 Bethel (Tenn.) 7-2 51
24 RV Montana Western 5-4 39
25 RV Langston (Okla.) 5-2 26

Dropped from Top 25: Arizona Christian (No. 20); Benedictine (Kan.) (No. 22); Southern Oregon (No. 23); Dakota State (S.D.) (No. 25)

Others Receiving Votes: Arizona Christian 16; Presentation (S.D.) 7; Warner (Fla.) 6; Benedictine (Kan.) 5; Midland (Neb.) 4; Saint Mary (Kan.) 3.

Championship Information

Sports Rules - Football