KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the 24th time since 1999, Georgetown (Ky.) boasts the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Tigers slid up one spot after previous No. 1 Marian (Ind.) fell, 23-6, at then-No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Nov. 3. Georgetown improved to 9-0 with a dominating 77-0 victory against Union (Ky.) en route to receiving 13-of-14 first-place votes and 314 total points. Additionally, the win guaranteed at least a share of the Mid-South Conference East Division championship.
The 2012 NAIA Football Championship Series 16-team field and first round pairings will be announced on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org. The certified conference champions rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the Final Coaches' Top 25 Poll, which will be announced on Sunday at 1 p.m., will automatically qualify for the Football Championship Series. The highest rated independent team - provided it is ranked in the top 20 - shall also automatically qualify. The remaining at-large berths will be awarded based on the final ranking.
The Nos. 2 - 4 all improved one position after Marian's loss. No. 2 Missouri Valley notched the remaining first-place vote and 298 points. The Vikings joined Georgetown and Morningside (Iowa) as the only remaining unbeaten teams at 9-0 with a 35-21 victory against then-No. 15 Evangel (Mo.) on Nov. 3. Third-ranked Morningside captured 294 points to crack the top three for only the second time since 2005. Defending national champion Saint Xavier leapt to fourth with 278 points, while Marian slipped to fifth with 258 points, respectively.
Doane (Neb.) enjoyed the largest improvement, jumping four spots from No. 24 to No. 20. The Tigers have won two-straight games and close out the regular-season on Saturday against Concordia (Neb.). Five other squads enjoyed multi-position improvements with No. 14 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 16 Ottawa (Kan.), No. 17 Tabor (Kan.) and No. 18 Bethel (Tenn.) all jumping three places and No. 12 (tied) Southern Oregon moving up two spots.
Conversely, four teams outside of Marian dropped at least four positions this week. No. 25 Benedictine (Kan.) fell the hardest with a seven-spot slide after suffering a 38-28 setback at then-No. 13 Baker (Kan.), followed by a six-spot drop by No. 22 Carroll (Mont.), who lost at Rocky Mountain (Mont.), 31-28.
Three teams entered the Top 25 this week: No. 21 Cumberland (Tenn.), No. 23 Bacone (Okla.) and No. 24 St. Francis (Ill.). It's the first-ever Top 25 mention for Bacone (dating back to 1999), while Cumberland and St. Francis were ranked earlier this season.
Robert Morris (Ill.) (No. 22), Kansas Wesleyan (No. 23) and Hastings (Neb.) (No. 25) fell out of the poll.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference leads all conferences with five teams in the Top 25 (Missouri Valley, No. 11 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 12 Baker, No. 19 Evangel, Benedictine) while the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League is second with four programs. 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 final regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. CST.
For more information on NAIA football, click here.
NOTES (all information dates back to 1999): Georgetown's (Ky.) No. 1 ranking marks the 24th all-time top billing for the Tigers and first since Sept. 10, 2002 ...No. 2 is the highest all-time ranking for Missouri Valley, while No. 3 Morningside (Iowa) cracks the top three for the first time since 2005 ... Georgetown, Missouri Valley, Morningside (Iowa), No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 5 Marian (Ind.) have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season ... Carroll's (Mont.) No. 22 ranking marks the first time the Fighting Saints have been rated outside the top 20 since Nov. 7, 2000 ... Carroll's No. 12 ranking 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 (24), 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 165 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 150, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 76, Morningside with 68 and Saint Xavier with 55 ... 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 - No. 9 (Nov. 5)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Georgetown (Ky.) (13)||9-0||314|
|2||3||Missouri Valley (1)||9-0||298|
|4||5||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||8-1||278|
|6||6||Saint Francis (Ind.)||7-2||245|
|9||9||Grand View (Iowa)||8-2||221|
|10||11||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||8-1||207|
|11||12||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||7-2||204|
|15||10||William Penn (Iowa)||8-2||151|
|24||RV||St. Francis (Ill.)||6-4||28|
Others receiving votes: Valley City State (N.D.) 21; Hastings (Neb.) 7; Robert Morris (Ill.) 5.