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2016 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll - Postseason (Dec. 20)

December 20, 2016
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By Nikki Sherrill, Communications and Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After winning its first-ever title in a 38-17 victory over Baker (Kan.), the Cougars of Saint Francis (Ind.) conclude the 2016 season at No. 1 in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Postseason Poll. The Cougars swept all first-place votes with 288 total points to earn their first No. 1 ranking since 2006. The 2017 spring installment is scheduled for release on Monday, April 10.  

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• Saint Francis (Ind.) earns its fifth all-time No. 1 rating in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, after making history by defeating Baker (Kan.) 38-17 to bring home the first-ever football title for the program. The Cougars captured all 13 first-place votes and 288 total points to earn the final No. 1 rating of 2016 season.
• Led by NAIA All-America wide receiver Seth Coate, who recorded three touchdown receptions in the title game, the Cougars ended the season with a 13-1 final record. Saint Francis’ only loss this season came at the hands of defending national champion, Marian (Ind.).
• This season’s runner-up, Baker comes in at No. 2 in this installment after finishing with a 14-1 record, one of the program’s best seasons. The Wildcats have been ranked in the top five since Oct. 12 of last season. 
• The remainder of the top five in the postseason ratings includes No. 3 Reinhardt (Ga.), No. 4 Eastern Oregon and No. 5 Marian.
• Eastern Oregon made the biggest improvement this week as it moved up five spots to No. 4. Saint Francis previously was ranked No. 4 as it made a three-spot jump. Southeastern (Fla.) crawled forward two rankings, while Grand View (Iowa) rounds out the positive adjustments with a one spot slide to No. 9.
• No teams fell out of the Top 25 this week, but seven programs saw their rankings face negative movement – No. 5 Marian, No. 6 Morningside (Iowa), No. 7 Montana Tech, No. 10 Doane (Neb.), No. 19 Concordia (Neb.), No. 20 Montana Western and No. 24 William Penn (Iowa).
• Twelve programs remained in their previous ranking.
• Overall, twelve conferences are represented in the poll, with the Frontier Athletic Conference, Great Plains Athletic Conference, Heart of America North Conference and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference each bringing three teams to the Top 25.  
• Forty-two different teams made the ratings at least once this season.  
• 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) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14).
• Morningside holds the longest active streak with 112-straight Top 25 mentions, followed by Saint Xavier with 100-consecutive.
• For more information of NAIA Football click here

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 – Postseason (Dec. 20)
RANK LAST TIME SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2016 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 4 Saint Francis (13) 13-1 288
2 2 Baker (Kan.) 14-1 277
3 3 Reinhardt (Ga.) 13-1 262
4 9 Eastern Oregon 10-3 255
5 1 Marian (Ind.) 11-1 244
6 5 Morningside (Iowa) 10-2 236
7 6 Montana Tech 10-2 223
8 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 11-2 212
9 10 Grand View (Iowa) 9-3 194
10 7 Doane (Neb.) 9-2 193
11 11 Missouri Valley 9-3 175
12 12 Tabor (Kan.) 8-3 161
13 13 Sterling (Kan.) 8-3 155
14 14 Dickinson State (N.D.) 9-3 150
15 15 Robert Morris (Ill.) 7-4 128
16 16 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 8-3 116
17 17 Kansas Wesleyan 9-2 108
18 20 Southeastern (Fla.) 6-3 100
19 18 Concordia (Neb.) 7-3 93
20 19 Montana Western 7-4 88
21 21 Langston (Okla.) 7-2 58
22 22 Arizona Christian 7-3 52
23 23 Benedictine (Kan.) 7-4 40
24 23 William Penn (Iowa) 7-4 31
25 25 Georgetown (Ky.) 7-4 26

Dropped from Top 25: None

Others Receiving Votes: Saint Mary (Kan.) 11; Warner (Fla.) 7