KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After a thrilling 35-28 victory over Benedictine (Kan.) in the 2018 NAIA National Championship, Morningside (Iowa) completed an undefeated season and remained atop the NAIA Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 poll. The Mustangs received all 16 first-place votes as the team from Sioux City captured its first national title in team history.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
- Morningside scored to take the lead for good on a 16-yard connection from Trent Solsma to Connor Niles.
- Benedictine finishes 2018 No. 2 overall, its highest ranking to conclude a season. Overall, the last time the Ravens were as high as No. 2 in the poll was on Sept. 24, 2002.
- The Baker (Kan.) Wildcats checked-in at No. 5. It is the highest ranking for the team since Oct. 30, 2017 when the squad from Baldwin City, Kan., was ranked No. 2.
- Saint Francis (Ind.) and Kansas Wesleyan both jumped into the top five after completing their seasons in the NAIA Football Championship Series Semifinal Round.
- Saint Xavier (Ill.) made the biggest jump. The team rose 10 spots from 17 to seven. The Cougars provided perhaps the biggest upset of the championship after handing then-No. 2 Marian (Ind.) a 34-21 loss in the first round.
- Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1-rankings with 57, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55) Morningside (28), Georgetown (Ky.) (25) and Marian (22).
- Morningside holds the longest active streak with 149-straight Top 25 mentions.
- 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.
2018 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Postseason (Dec. 18)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL [1st Place Votes]||RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) ||15-0||366|
|3||8||Saint Francis (Ind.)||10-3||338|
|7||17||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||9-4||271|
|8||15||Dickinson State (N.D.)||9-3||269|
|15||10||Grand View (Iowa)||8-3||184|
|16||16||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||8-4||161|
|18||18||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||7-3||127|
|22||22||College of Idaho||6-5||66|
|25||25||Siena Heights (Mich.)||7-3||22|
Dropped from the Top 25: Arizona Christian.
Others Receiving Votes: Arizona Christian 20, Montana Western 5, Southern Oregon 5, Tabor (Kan.) 3.