By Alan Grosbach, Associate Director of Athletic Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight edition, Saint Francis (Ind.) locks down the No. 1 ranking in the 2017 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Cougars swept all 15 first-place votes and earned 340 total points en route to the club's seventh all-time top billing.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
• The defending national champions are off to a 2-0 start this season, including a 68-23 victory against St. Francis (Ill.) in a Mid-States Football Association crossover contest. Senior quarterback Nick Ferrer threw for 301 yards and five touchdowns in the contest despite playing only in the first half.
• Saint Francis (2-0), which has been ranked among the top 10 in 22-straight polls, puts its 11-game winning streak on the line Saturday at No. 24 St. Ambrose (Iowa) (2-0).
• Four new teams joined the Top 25 this week – No. 16 Benedictine (Kan.), No. 19 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa) and No. 24 St. Ambrose. Northwestern is making its first appearance in the poll since ranking No. 22 on Nov. 2, 2015. The three other squads were all ranked at some point during the 2016 season.
• Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Morningside (Iowa) (20) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14).
• No. 4 Morningside holds the longest active streak with 127-straight Top 25 mentions.
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences.
• Each conference is given one rater for every four schools in the league.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first-place vote, 24 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low rating) is removed and the team's ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appear on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered "receiving votes."
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.
2017 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll – No. 1 (Sept. 11, 2017)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2017 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Saint Francis (Ind.) (15)||2-0||340|
|6||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||2-0||275|
|9||9||Grand View (Iowa)||2-1||221|
|13||24||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||2-0||181|
|19||NR||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||3-0||91|
|21||15||Dickinson State (N.D.)||2-1||79|
|22||17||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||2-1||60|
|23||RV||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||2-0||49|
Dropped from the Top 25: Missouri Valley (No. 12); Robert Morris (Ill.) (No. 13); Montana Western (No. 19); William Penn (Iowa) (No. 23)
Others Receiving Votes: Cumberland (Tenn.) 23; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 21; Montana Western 20; Robert Morris (Ill.) 19; Concordia (Mich.) 12; Missouri Valley 10; Hastings (Neb.) 8; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 7.