NAIA Playoff Picture Becoming Clearer Following Release of Latest Coaches Poll

by coach___cooper
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On Monday, the NAIA unveiled its sixth poll of the season. From here on out, we are going to see a clearer picture of which 16 teams will be making the playoffs.

For those unaware, to make the NAIA Playoffs, a program must be a conference/division champion ranked in the top 20 of the Coaches Poll. The four highest ranked non-champions will receive the four at-large berths to the postseason.

Here’s a look at this week’s NAIA top 25, and the conference breakdown:

NAIA Coaches Poll

NAIA Top 25 poll 6

Conferences Represented

  • KCAC 4
  • Frontier 3
  • GPAC 3
  • Mid-South Conference 3
  • Sooner 3
  • Mid States East 2
  • Mid States West 2
  • Sun 2
  • Appalachian 1
  • Heart North 1
  • Heart South 1

Notes

  • Ranked No. 23, Dickinson State seems like almost a sure thing to win the North Star. If it wins out, it will eat up a playoff bid. Currently, there are four at-large bids available, but if Dickinson State finished outside the top 20, that would open up a fifth at-large bid.
  • On the same topic, at-large hopefuls need to be watching out for Keiser and St. Thomas in the Sun Conference. If both of these teams slip up again, it will be hard to finish in the top 20. The more conference champions that finish outside the top 20, the more at-large bids there will be.
  • Morningside has been the No. 1 team for eight consecutive polls now. It is the 2-time reigning national champions.
  • The NAIA National Championship will be held Dec. 17 Durham, N.C.

Featured image courtesy of Grand View Athletics

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