KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Georgetown (Ky.) ends the regular season with the No. 1 ranking in the final NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. One-of-three undefeated teams remaining in the NAIA, the Tigers are 10-0 and received 13 first-place votes and 314 points. Georgetown, who has been ranked within the top four in every poll this season, took over the top spot in the Nov. 5 installment. The Tigers own 25 top billings since 1999.
The 2012 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) 16-team field and pairings will be announced on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST on NAIA.org. The certified conference champions rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the final regular-season Coaches' Top 25 poll will automatically qualify for the FCS. The highest rated independent team (provided it is ranked in the top 20) shall also receive an automatic berth. The remaining at-large teams will be awarded based on the final rating.
No. 2 Missouri Valley tallied the remaining first-place vote to total 298 points, while third-ranked Morningside (Iowa) claimed 295 points. The Vikings and Mustangs are the other two unbeaten teams at 10-0, respectively. No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (277 points) and No. 5 Marian (Ind.) (264 points) rounded out the top five.
Seven squads posted positive movements of at least two places with No. 22 Benedictine's (Kan.) three-place jump leading the pack. The Ravens, who nearly dropped from the rankings after losing 3-of-4 games between Oct. 13 and Nov. 3, claimed a 34-7 win against Culver-Stockton (Mo.) to end the regular season on a positive note. All three of Benedictine's previously mentioned losses were against teams currently ranked in the top 11.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, No. 14 Montana Tech and No. 16 Grand View (Iowa) both slipped seven places to fall the hardest of the ranked teams. Montana Tech's slide from No. 7 comes following a 46-28 loss against then-No. 12 Southern Oregon (now No. 10) on Saturday in the NAIA Football Game of the Week. Similarly, the Vikings fell to long-time rival then-No. 15 William Penn (Iowa) (now No. 13), 17-12, to drop from No. 9.
No. 24 Valley City State (N.D.) and No. 25 Kentucky Christian are the newcomers this week. The Knights defeated Faulkner (Ala.), 18-15, on Saturday to earn its first-ever spot in the poll, while Valley City State was last rated on Sept. 24 (poll No. 3).
Bacone (Okla.) (No. 23) and St. Francis (Ill.) (No. 24) fell out of the Top 25.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference leads all conferences with five teams in the Top 25 (Missouri Valley, No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 11 Baker (Kan.), Benedictine and No. 23 Evangel (Mo.)), while five other conferences are tied for second with three teams 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 postseason poll will be announced on Dec. 18.
For more information on NAIA football, click here.
NOTES (all information dates back to 1999): There are three unbeaten teams (10-0) heading into the Football Championship Series ... Three teams have held the No. 1 ranking this season - Saint Xavier (Ill.), Marian (Ind.) and Georgetown (Ky.) ... Georgetown receives the top ranking for the second-straight week and 25th all-time ... Georgetown, No. 2 Missouri Valley, No. 3 Morningside (Iowa), No. 4 Saint Xavier and No. 5 Marian have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season ... Carroll's No. 12 ranking on Sept. 10 snapped a streak of 91-straight top-five rankings ... Carroll leads all institutions with 56 first-place rankings and is followed by former member Sioux Falls (55), Georgetown (25), Saint Xavier (14) and former NAIA member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) ... No. 6 Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll with 166 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 151, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 77, Morningside with 69 and Saint Xavier with 56 ... Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 - Carroll (2003, 2005), Sioux Falls (2009), Georgetown (2001) ... No. 23 Bacone (Okla.) Top 25 mention is the first-ever for the Warriors.
2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll - Final (Nov. 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgetown (Ky.) (13)||10-0||314|
|2||2||Missouri Valley (1)||10-0||298|
|4||4||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||9-1||277|
|6||6||Saint Francis (Ind.)||8-2||251|
|8||10||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||9-1||227|
|9||11||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||8-2||220|
|13||15||William Penn (Iowa)||9-2||175|
|16||9||Grand View (Iowa)||8-3||132|
|24||RV||Valley City State (N.D.)||7-3||30|
Others receiving votes: Robert Morris (Ill.) 13; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 7; Nebraska Wesleyan 7.