KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 12th-straight edition, Marian (Ind.) garners the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Knights were the unanimous pick once again, collecting all 15 first-place votes and 340 total points. The final regular-season installment is scheduled to be released on Sunday, Nov. 13.
The 2016 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) 16-team field and first round pairings will be announced Sunday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. CST via a live selection show on www.NAIANetwork.com. Each conference champion rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the Final Coaches’ Poll will automatically qualify for the FCS. The remaining at-large berths are awarded based on the final rating.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Marian, which claimed its 21st all-time No. 1 ranking this week, improved to 9-0 on the season with a dominant 63-14 victory at St. Francis (Ill.) last Saturday. The Knights racked up 670 yards of total offense, marking the third time this season that the club eclipsed the 650-yard mark.
• Marian ends the regular-season Saturday at Siena Heights (Mich.).
• Since the start of the 1999 season, only Carroll (Mont.) (58), former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Marian (21) and Morningside (Iowa) (20) boast 20-or-more 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.
• The rest of the top five went unchanged this week as No. 2 Baker (Kan.), No. 3 Reinhardt (Ga.), No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 5 Morningside (Iowa) round out the group.
• Baker (10-0) and Reinhardt (10-0) join Marian (9-0) as the only remaining unbeaten teams in NAIA football. All three clubs have secured at least a share of their respective conference crowns. The Wildcats close the year against Evangel (Mo.) on Saturday, while Reinhardt travels to Bethel (Tenn.).
• Five teams jumped a poll-high two spots this week, highlighted by Eastern Oregon’s leap from No. 11 to No. 9 and Kansas Wesleyan’s vault from No. 12 to No. 10. Both clubs were ranked as high as No. 10 earlier this season.
• No. 11 Grand View (Iowa) and No. 12 Missouri Valley were the only two clubs to move negatively in the poll and remain ranked. Grand View slid five places after falling to Benedictine (Kan.), while Missouri Valley dropped three spots due to a loss at Baker.
• No. 24 Benedictine and No. 25 Arizona Christian are the two newcomers to the poll. Both clubs were ranked previously this season.
• Wayland Baptist (Texas) (No. 22) and Bethel (No. 23) both dropped from the Top 25. The Pioneers, who were in the rankings for the first time in program history last week, had their six-game winning streak snapped over the weekend by Arizona Christian, 45-35. Bethel, which had climbed as high as No. 16, has lost three-straight.
• Morningside (Iowa) owns the active lead with 121-consecutive Top 25 mentions, including 72-straight polls in the top 10. The Mustangs last ranked outside of the top 10 on Sept. 19, 2011 (No. 11).
• All conferences are represented in the poll.
• Forty-one different teams have been ranked in 2016.
• The Mid-States Football Association Mideast League, Mid-South Conference West Division, Great Plains Athletic Conference and the Frontier Conference all have two teams ranked in the top 10.
• 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)||9-0||340|
|4||4||Saint Francis (Ind.)||9-1||299|
|8||10||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||10-1||251|
|11||6||Grand View (Iowa)||8-2||203|
|T15||16||Dickinson State (N.D.)||8-2||150|
|18||18||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||7-3||118|
|19||19||Robert Morris (Ill.)||6-3||95|
|20||20||William Penn (Iowa)||7-3||91|
Dropped from Top 25: Wayland Baptist (Texas) (No. 22); Bethel (Tenn.) (No. 23)
Others Receiving Votes: Warner (Fla.) 8; Bethel (Tenn.) 8; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 8; Southern Oregon 4; Midland (Neb.) 3.