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NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2

September 17, 2012
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Twelve teams hold their positions and Saint Xavier (Ill.) garners its fifth-straight No. 1 ranking in the second regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Cougars, who claim the top spot for the 13th time in program history, received all 14 first-place votes and 314 points.

The Cougars, who have been No. 1 in 13 of the last 15 polls, are 3-0 on the season following a 37-7 victory against Langston (Okla.) on Sept. 15. Running back Nick Pesek led the charge for Saint Xavier with 140 yards rushing on 17 carries, including a school record 85-yard touchdown scamper on the Cougars' second play from scrimmage.

The rest of the top-five remained unchanged from last week with Marian (Ind.) coming in at No. 2 (301 points), Georgetown (Ky.) third (291 points), Morningside (Iowa) fourth (273 points) and Missouri Valley fifth (271 points).

Among the top-five, Georgetown posted the most notable victory with a 33-7 win against then-No. 24 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the NAIA Football Game of the Week on Sept. 15. The Tigers amassed 382 yards of total offense, while holding the Blue Raiders to only 204 yards, including -3 rushing.

Cumberland (Tenn.) made the biggest improvement in the poll, jumping four spots from No. 25 to No. 21 following a 36-30 overtime victory against Belhaven (Miss.) on Sept. 15, while No. 17 Montana Tech and No. 19 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) each leapt three positions after posting wins.

No. 23 Doane (Neb.) fell farther than any other teams still ranked in the Top 25 - seven spots - after losing to No. 16 Northwestern (Iowa) on Sept. 15.

Two newcomers join the Top 25 in No. 24 Kansas Wesleyan and No. 25 Menlo (Calif.). The rating is the first since the 2011 Preseason Poll (Aug. 8) for the Coyotes when they were rated No. 21. Menlo was last ranked on Oct. 10, 2011 (No. 25).

Taylor (Ind.) (No. 23) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (No. 24) slipped out of the rankings this week.

The Frontier Conference, Mid-States Football Association Mideast, Great Plains Athletic Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference and the Mid-States Football Association Midwest all boast four teams in the Top 25 as nine conferences/independents are represented in this week's edition.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll schedule, click here. The next Top 25 will be announced on Sept. 24.

For more information on NAIA football, please click here.

NOTES: Saint Xavier's (Ill.) No. 1 ranking marks the fifth-straight time - 13 of last 15 - the Cougars have received the top spot ... Carroll's (Mont.) No. 12 ranking on Sept. 10 marked the first time the Fighting Saints have been ranked outside the top 10 since Nov. 2, 2004 ... Additionally, Carroll had a 91-straight top five rating streak end ... 17th is the highest ranking for Montana Tech since being No. 20 in the Nov. 5, 2007 poll ... Kansas Wesleyan joins the Top 25 for the first time since the 2011 Preseason Poll (Aug. 8) ... Carroll leads all institutions with 56 first-place rankings and is followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (23), Saint Xavier (13) and former NAIA member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) ... Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll with 158 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 143, MidAmerica Nazarene with 69, Morningside (Iowa) with 61 and Saint Xavier with 48 ... Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 - Carroll (2003, 2005), Sioux Falls (2009), Georgetown (2001).

2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 2 (Sept. 17)

RANK LAST TIME SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2012 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14) 3-0 314
2 2 Marian (Ind.) 3-0 301
3 3 Georgetown (Ky.) 3-0 291
4 4 Morningside (Iowa) 3-0 273
5 5 Missouri Valley 3-0 271
6 6 Benedictine (Kan.) 3-0 245
7 7 William Penn (Iowa) 4-0 242
8 8 Eastern Oregon 2-0 215
9 9 Baker (Kan.) 4-0 210
10 9 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 3-0 199
11 12 Carroll (Mont.) 2-2 192
12 11 Saint Francis (Ind.) 2-1 186
13 13 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 1-1 180
14 14 Cumberlands (Ky.) 3-0 165
15 15 Grand View (Iowa) 3-1 143
16 17 Northwestern (Iowa) 2-1 138
17 20 Montana Tech 2-1 104
18 17 St. Francis (Ill.) 2-2 103
19 22 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 3-0 87
20 21 Valley City State (N.D.) 2-1 70
21 25 Cumberland (Tenn.) 2-1 67
22 19 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 3-1 66
23 16 Doane (Neb.) 2-1 62
24 RV Kansas Wesleyan 2-1 33
25 RV Menlo (Calif.) 3-1 17


Others receiving votes:
Hastings (Neb.) 15; Faulkner (Ala.) 14; McPherson (Kan.) 8; Friends (Kan.) 7; Taylor (Ind.) 5; Midland (Neb.) 3.