COLUMBIA – A quartet of Mid-South Conference teams are ranked in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, NAIA officials announced on Monday.
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) – who was the last MSC team playing in 2014 reaching the national quarterfinals – leads the Mid-South teams at No. 7.
Faulkner (Ala.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Campbellsville (Ky.) are also ranked while Reinhardt (Ga.) opens the 2015 season just outside the top 25 but still receiving voting points from the national raters.
Lindsey Wilson received 240 voting points to match its Spring Top-25 rating. The Blue Raiders captured the program’s first divisional title in 2014 en route to a 10-3 season. Lindsey Wilson opens the season on Sept. 5 at Lyon (Ark.) in Batesville, Arkansas.
Faulkner garnered 200 voting points and sits at No. 10. The Eagles were co-champs in the MSC West Division last season while posting a 9-3 overall record. Faulkner kicks off its 2015 campaign on Sept. 5 at Southeastern (Fla.) in Lakeland, Florida. The Eagles defeated the Fire 45-24 last season in Montgomery, Alabama.
Georgetown is on the heels of Faulkner checking in at No. 11 in the preseason poll. The Tigers – who was one of four teams from the Mid-South in the Football Championship Series last season – received 198 voting points. Georgetown finished 2014 with an 8-3 overall mark. The Tigers face MSC West foe Cumberland (Tenn.) on Sept. 5 in Lebanon, Tennessee in both team’s openers.
Campbellsville opens the season at No. 16 in the preseason poll after picking up 136 voting points from the national raters. The Tigers are coming off a 7-4 season while sharing the West title with Faulkner. Campbellsville opens the season on Aug. 27 at home against Cumberlands (Ky.).
Reinhardt (Ga.) is one of four teams just outside the poll. The Eagles – who opens at Point (Ga.) on Aug. 29 in West Point, Georgia – received three voting points from the national raters.
Defending national champion Southern Oregon and Marian (Ind.) are tied atop the preseason poll with 304 voting points. Southern Oregon received eight first-place votes while Marian collected five. Morningside (Iowa) is at No. 3 with 289 voting points while Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Carroll (Mont.) tied at No. 4 with 277 voting points. Carroll received the final first-place vote.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents.
The first regular season poll is scheduled to be released on Monday, Sept. 14.