KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Marian (Ind.) remains No. 1 as the Knights grabbed 13-of-14 first-place votes in the sixth regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Marian received 314 points en route to its third-straight top billing. The remainder of the top six went unchanged with No. 2 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 3 Missouri Valley, No. 4 Morningside (Iowa), No. 5 William Penn and No. 6 Saint Xavier (Ill.) rounding out the group.
Top ranked Marian improved to 6-0 on the season after knocking off then-No. 7 Saint Francis (Ind.) (now No. 9), 45-38, last Saturday in the NAIA Game of the Week. The Knights, who trailed 21-7 after the opening quarter, outscored the Cougars 38-17 over the next three periods to complete the come-from-behind win. Running back Tevin Lake again was the key for the Marian offense, rushing the ball 28 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns. It was his fifth 100-yard performance of the season.
Similarly to Marian, Georgetown, Missouri Valley, Morningside and William Penn continue to roll along. The Tigers defeated then-No. 9 Cumberlands (now No. 11), 41-35; the Vikings downed then-No. 12 Benedictine (Kan.) (now No. 16), 42-26; Morningside beat then-No. 19 Dakota Wesleyan, 63-7; and William Penn knocked off Saint Mary (Kan.), 53-14. Combined, the top six teams own a 32-0 record this season.
Outside of the top six, no team remained in its previous position. Montana Tech, who was idle last week, registered the Top 25's largest positive movement, vaulting five positions from No. 13 to No. 8. It marks the first time the Orediggers were ranked in the top 10 since Sept. 25, 2006. Grand View (Iowa), who also was inactive last week, followed suit with a four-spot improvement from No. 14 to No. 10. It is the first-ever top 10 ranking for the Vikings (dating back to 1999).
Conversely, Cumberland (Tenn.) and Northwestern (Iowa) took hard falls after losses to unranked opponents. The Bulldogs dropped nine spots back to No. 25, while the Red Raiders slipped seven positions to No. 18.
No. 21 Faulkner (Ala.), who returns to the poll after a one week hiatus, and No. 23 Southern Oregon are this week's newcomers. The Raiders Top 25 mention marks the first time for the program since Sept. 13, 2010.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) leads all conferences with five teams in the Top 25 - Missouri Valley, No. 13 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 15 Baker (Kan.), Benedictine and No. 17 Evangel (Mo.). 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. 22.
For more information on NAIA football, click here.
NOTES: Marian's (Ind.) No. 1 ranking marks the fifth time - third-straight - the Knights have received the top spot since the program was established in 2006 ... The top six remained unchanged for the third-straight week ... Marian, No. 2 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 3 Missouri Valley, No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) and No. 6 Saint Xavier (Ill.) have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season ... No. 10 Grand View (Iowa) is making its first-ever appearance in the top 10 ... No. 23 Southern Oregon is ranked for the first time since Sept. 13, 2010 ... 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 ... Additionally, it is the first top 10 rating for the Orediggers since Sept. 25, 2006 ... 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 162 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 147, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 73, Morningside with 65 and Saint Xavier with 52 ... 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. 6 (Oct. 15)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Marian (Ind.) (13)||6-0||314|
|2||2||Georgetown (Ky.) (1)||7-0||302|
|5||5||William Penn (Iowa)||7-0||259|
|6||6||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||5-1||253|
|9||7||Saint Francis (Ind.)||4-2||208|
|10||14||Grand View (Iowa)||5-2||200|
|11||15||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||5-1||188|
|13||10||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||4-2||178|
|19||20||St. Francis (Ill.)||5-3||94|
|24||23||Robert Morris (Ill.)||6-1||50|
Others receiving votes: Ottawa (Kan.) 17; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 3.