Carroll (Mont.) Ends 2007 as No. 1 Team in Football World

Fighting Saints won fifth title in the last six years

Jan. 14, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Powered behind the 17-9 Championship victory Dec. 15, Carroll (Mont.) holds the distinction of No. 1 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Football Top 25 Coaches' Postseason Poll, announced today  (Jan. 14). The Fighting Saints snapped the 27-game winning streak of then undefeated and No. 1 Sioux Falls (S.D.) in Savannah, Tenn., to finish 15-0 and with the hardware for the fifth time in six years. USF ended with a No. 2 ranking after spending 12 straight polls (including preseason) as the top-ranked team.

Missouri Valley moved up to No. 3 after advancing to the NAIA Semifinal round. The Vikings pushed Sioux Falls to the limits, falling 11-10 back on Dec. 2 in snow-filled Sioux Falls, S.D. No. 4 St. Francis (Ind.) and No. 5 Bethel (Tenn.) both were mainstays in the Top 10 all season. In fact, St. Francis and Bethel have held the four and five spots for the last seven straight polls.

The poll was voted upon by a 17 member-panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents.

Head coach Mike Van Diest gathered his third AFCA Coach of the Year award (in nine seasons) after his Saints were the first 15-0 team since 2003. Sioux Falls quarterback Chad Cavender was awarded the Rawlings-NAIA Player of the Year as he went 27-1 in his career as a two-year starter. This season, Cavender was 250-for-379 passing (66.0 %) with 26 touchdowns and 3,409 yards.

2007 NAIA Football Top 25 Coaches' Poll - Jan. 14 (Rating #11 - POSTSEASON)


 

 

RANK

LAST WEEK

SCHOOL

1st PLACE VOTES

2007 RECORD

TOTAL POINTS

1

2

Carroll (Mont.)

15

15-0

375

2

1

Sioux Falls (S.D.)

 

13-1

360

3

9

Missouri Valley

 

10-3

339

4

5

St. Francis (Ind.)

 

11-2

334

5

4

Bethel (Tenn.)

 

11-2

305

6

3

Ohio Dominican

 

12-1

302

7

11

Morningside (Iowa)

 

9-3

280

8

10

Saint Xavier (Ill.)

 

10-3

266

9

12

Lindenwood (Mo.)

 

10-2

238

10

7

St. Ambrose (Iowa)

 

8-3

231

11

6

Jamestown (N.D.)

 

9-2

227

12

8

Friends (Kan.)

 

9-2

223

13

13

MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

 

9-3

197

14

14

Virginia-Wise

 

9-2

165

15

15

Northwestern (Iowa)

 

8-2

162

16

17

Cumberlands (Ky.)

 

8-3

151

17

16

Bethel (Kan.)

 

8-1

149

18

18

Northwestern Oklahoma

 

8-4

122

19

19

Sterling (Kan.)

 

8-2

100

20

20

Black Hills State (S.D.)

 

7-4

96

21

T21

Azusa Pacific (Calif.)

 

6-5

48

T22

24

Montana Tech

 

7-4

47

T22

T21

Nebraska Wesleyan

 

7-3

47

24

23

Georgetown (Ky.)

 

6-4

41

25

25

Malone (Ohio)

 

7-4

39

 

Others receiving votes:

Minot State (N.D.) 15; William Jewell (Mo.) 11; Shorter (Ga.) 3; Southern Oregon 2

Carroll's Gabe Le and the Fighting Saints are the No. 1 team in the final poll

Fanstore.com