KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Union College moved up four positions in the final 2008 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll to finish the regular season the 11th-ranked team, announced Sunday.
The Bulldogs (9-2 overall, 5-1 Mid-South Conference East) 241 total points, finishing 30 points behind No. 10 Northwestern Oklahoma State University and nine points ahead of No. 12 Shorter (Ga.) College.
Carroll (Mont.) College earned the distinction as the No. 1 team in the NAIA Top 25 Poll. The top ranking marks the 13th straight time overall for Carroll, a team that has won 26 consecutive games. The Fighting Saints look to defend their national championship and will await word from the NAIA Football Selection Committee on who they will play in the 2008 Football Championship Series (FCS) Opening Round, which is set to begin Nov. 22. The official field for the FCS, along with the pairings, will be announced by 5 p.m. CST today.
Carroll earned all 18 possible first-place votes and 418 total points. The Saints are 11-0 on the year and becomes the second team in the last two years to run through the regular season as the No. 1 - Sioux Falls (S.D.) was the top-ranked team during the 2007 regular season.
Staying at No. 2 is Sioux Falls, a position the Cougars have held throughout the entire season. The Cougars posted 400 points in the poll and moved to 10-0 on the year after a 34-31 victory over then-No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) on Saturday. USF was down 31-27 in the fourth quarter before scoring the game-winning touchdown with 10:12 remaining.
St. Francis (Ind.) is at No. 3 and recorded 388 points. The Cougars won its ninth Mid-States Football Association-Mideast title in the last 10 years getting past then-No. 18 St. Xavier (Ill.) 47-30 yesterday. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) moved up one spot at No. 4 and finished off its undefeated regular season by defeating Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 59-22. The fifth and final undefeated team in the ranks is No. 5 Friends (Kan.), who got past St. Mary (Kan.) 57-22.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The official field for the 2008 Football Championship Series, along with the pairings, will be announced by 5 p.m. CST today.
To view the entire NAIA Top 25 poll, click here.