By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – National champion Southern Oregon claims the No. 1 ranking in the 2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Raiders, who downed Marian (Ind.), 55-31, to win their first-ever title, received all 12 first-place votes and 262 points en route to the first top ranking in program history.
Southern Oregon finished the year with a 13-2 overall record. The Raiders were led throughout the season by Rawlings-NAIA National Player of the Year and National Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Game Austin Dodge. The senior quarterback threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns in the title game. Southern Oregon’s seven-spot jump in this week’s edition was a poll-high.
National runner-up Marian garnered 251 points to lock down the No. 2 spot. The Knights won nine-straight, including five against ranked opponents, en route to an appearance in the title game for the second time in the last three seasons. With the loss, Marian closes the 2014 campaign with an 11-3 record. The Knights opened the year unranked.
Sliding up one position is No. 3 Morningside (Iowa) with 235 points. For the second-straight year, the Mustangs ranked among the top five in every poll, including holding the No. 1 ranking from Sept. 22 – Nov. 10. Morningside reached the 2014 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) semifinals for the third-consecutive year.
No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 5 Carroll (Mont.) round out the top five with 232 and 229 points, respectively. Both the Cougars and Saints were eliminated from the FCS by eventual national champion Southern Oregon. Saint Xavier ends the year with a 10-3 mark, while Carroll is 10-2 – both losses coming to Southern Oregon.
Eleven teams held their spots from the final regular season edition, allowing no new teams to join the poll.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) leads all leagues with four representatives – No. 8 Missouri Valley, No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 17 Baker (Kan.) and No. 25 Benedictine (Kan.). The Frontier Conference, Great Plains Athletic Conference, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League are tied for second with three programs each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Southern Oregon is making its first-ever No. 1 appearance … The Raiders highest previous ranking was No. 4 (Oct. 13, 2014 and Nov. 10, 2014) … Four teams held the No. 1 ranking this season: Carroll (Mont.), Grand View (Iowa), Morningside (Iowa) and Southern Oregon … Carroll owns the most top-billings with 58, followed by former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Morningside (17) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14) … With the streak of Saint Francis (Ind.) snapped on Oct. 13 at 186-straight Top 25 rankings, Carroll now owns the active lead with 180, Missouri Valley with 115, Morningside with 98 and Saint Xavier with 88 … Morningside holds the longest active streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 47-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011 … Overall, 38 teams were ranked in 2014 … On Oct. 6, No. 16 Valley City State (N.D.) became the first team from the North Star Athletic Association to crack the Top 25 … No. 23 Webber International (Fla.) is the first team from The Sun Conference to receive Top 25 mention … Carroll, Grand View and Morningside were ranked among the top-10 in every edition this season … The Association of Independent Institutions is the only league not to have a team ranked at some point in the Top 25 this season.2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll (Dec. 22)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||8||Southern Oregon (12)||13-2||262|
|4||3||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||10-3||232|
|6||2||Grand View (Iowa)||11-2||212|
|7||6||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||10-3||197|
|9||9||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||9-2||181|
|16||14||Valley City State (N.D.)||9-2||116|
|19||19||William Penn (Iowa)||7-4||84|
|20||20||Robert Morris (Ill.)||8-3||70|
|23||23||Webber International (Fla.)||7-3||34|
Others Receiving Votes: Oklahoma Baptist 3; Montana Western 3
^ 2014 NAIA Football Coaches Top 25 Poll – Final (Nov. 16)