FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Saint Francis (Ind.) retained the No. 1 slot in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll after having claimed its first title in 2016. The Cougars claimed all of the first-place votes and earned 366 total points to remain in the top spot.Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
- For just the sixth-time in program history and third-consecutive poll, Saint Francis (Ind.) holds a No. 1 ranking in the Coaches’ Poll. Capturing all first-place votes and 366 total points. The Cougars will open the 2017 season at the top. The Cougars first No. 1 ranking came in the 2016 postseason Coaches Poll.
- In 2016, Saint Francis won its first-ever national title in football as it defeated No. 2 Baker (Kan.) in Daytona Beach, Fla., 38-17. This victory gave the Cougars their first red banner to take back to Indiana. • Led by Kevin Donely, who is the NAIA leader in career wins at 302 and entering his 20th season at USF, the Cougars will open their 2017 campaign on the road against Jamestown, N.D. September 2. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two. The Cougars have won nine consecutive games and is 25-2 over the last two seasons.
- New to the poll is Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Southern Oregon at 24 and 25 respectively.
- Carroll (Mont.) owns the most No. 1 rankings with 58, followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (25), Morningside (20) and Saint Xavier (14).
- Morningside holds the longest active streak with 126-straight Top 25 mentions.Poll Methodology
- 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 – Preseason (August 7)
|1||1||Saint Francis (Ind.) (16)||13-1||366|
|8||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||11-2||268|
|9||9||Grand View (Iowa)||9-3||259|
|13||15||Robert Morris (Ill.)||7-3||183|
|15||14||Dickinson State (N.D.)||9-4||156|
|17||16||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||8-3||122|
|23||25||William Penn (Iowa)||7-4||51|
|24||RV||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||5-6||34|
Dropped from Top 25: Concordia (Neb.), Benedictine (Kan.)
Others Receiving Votes: Concordia (Neb.) 28; Benedictine (Kan.) 23; Faulkner (Ala.) 19; Carroll (Mont.) 19; Pikeville (Ky.) 9; Warner (Fla.) 5; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 5