KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The top-four teams posted dominant performances - winning by an average margin of 34.8 points - last week to hold their positions in the seventh edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Led by a season best 59 point margin of victory against Concordia (Mich.) on Oct. 20, Marian (Ind.) remained the top-ranked team for the fourth-straight time - sixth all-time. The Knights received 13 first-place votes and 314 total points and is 1-of-4 undefeated NAIA programs.
Georgetown (Ky.) garnered 302 points and picked up the final first-place vote to capture the No. 2 spot for the fourth-consecutive poll. The Tigers remained perfect with a 35-10 win at Pikeville (Ky.) last Saturday. No. 3 Missouri Valley held strong with 286 points, while No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) knocked off then-No. 14 Hastings (Neb.) (now No. 18), 53-23, en route to 283 points. No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) returns to the top-five after a three week hiatus at No. 6 with 261 points.
No. 20 Cumberland (Tenn.) registered the largest upward movement in the poll, leaping five places from No. 25 following a 28-23 victory against Campbellsville (Ky.) on Oct. 20. The Bulldogs were led by running back Lemeco Miller's 20-carry, 126-yard performance against the Tigers. No. 19 Southern Oregon was the other major-mover in the Top 25 this week. Led by another program record setting offensive performance in the Raiders 76-29 thrashing of Montana Western, Southern Oregon vaulted four spots from No. 23 to No. 19. In the victory, the Raiders set new team highs in points (76) and total yards (732).
No. 11 William Penn (Iowa), No. 21 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 18 Hastings each took at least a four position dive in this week's poll. The Statesmen took the hardest tumble (six positions) after losing their first game of the season, 28-19, against No. 7 Saint Francis (Ind.).
No. 24 Ottawa (Kan.) and No. 25 Dakota Wesleyan, who were both ranked previously this season, replace Doane (Neb.) (No. 20) and Faulkner (Ala.) (No. 21). The Braves have won five-straight and are currently tied with Kansas Wesleyan atop the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference standings at 5-1. Doane and Faulkner both lost to unranked opponents over the weekend.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference leads all conference with five teams in the Top 25 (Missouri Valley, No. 13 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 14 Baker (Kan.), No. 15 Evangel (Mo.), Benedictine), while the Great Plains Athletic Conference and the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League are tied for second with four programs each. Nine conferences/independents are represented in this week's Top 25.
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 Oct. 29.
For more information on NAIA football, click here.
NOTES: Marian's (Ind.) No. 1 ranking marks the sixth time - fourth-straight - the Knights have received the top spot since the program was established in 2006 ... The top four remained unchanged for the fourth-straight week ... Marian, No. 2 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 3 Missouri Valley, No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) and No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season ... Carroll's (Mont.) No. 12 ranking on Sept. 10 marked the first time the Fighting Saints were ranked outside the top 10 since Nov. 2, 2004 ... Additionally, Carroll had a 91-straight top-five rating streak end ...Carroll leads all institutions with 56 first-place rankings and is followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (23), Saint Xavier (14) and former NAIA member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) ... No. 7 Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll with 163 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 148, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 74, Morningside with 66 and Saint Xavier with 53 ... Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 - Carroll (2003, 2005), Sioux Falls (2009), Georgetown (2001) ... William Penn's (Iowa) No. 11 ranking snaps a streak of six-straight top 10 rankings for the Statesmen.2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 7 (Oct. 22)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Marian (Ind.) (13)||7-0||314|
|2||2||Georgetown (Ky.) (1)||8-0||302|
|5||6||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||6-1||261|
|7||9||Saint Francis (Ind.)||5-2||232|
|9||10||Grand View (Iowa)||6-2||206|
|11||5||William Penn (Iowa)||7-1||201|
|12||11||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||6-1||191|
|13||13||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||5-2||186|
|17||19||St. Francis (Ill.)||5-3||113|
|T22||24||Robert Morris (Ill.)||7-1||49|
|25||RV||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||5-2||26|
Others receiving votes: Bethel (Tenn.) 20; Kansas Wesleyan 16; Doane (Neb.) 6.