After winning 1st, Cougars rise to 2nd in NAIA Top 25

Just one win into the 2013 season, the University of Saint Francis has risen to No. 2 in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25.

The Cougars, who were ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll that came out Aug. 12, defeated No. 16 William Penn University last Saturday, 31-13, in Oskaloosa, Iowa in USF’s first game of its 16th season. USF received 301 ratings points, no first-place votes. Morningside was No. 1 with 14 first-place votes, 314 rating points.

USF rose thanks to some helpful losses by some ‘friends.’ Then No. 2 Marian lost its second consecutive game, 34-13 at home to Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday. The week before the Knights (1-2) dropped a 31-24 decision at then No. 4 St. Xavier. Previous No. 3 Missouri Valley got tripped up at No. 18 Ottawa (Kan.) 20-6. No. 4 St. Xavier dropped a 51-20 decision at NCAA Division II University of Indianapolis.

This is the Cougars 170th consecutive rating in the NAIA Top 25, all under the guidance of Head Coach Kevin Donley.

Combined with the Cougars’ next opponent’s rise to No. 7, it makes USF’s game against St. Ambrose University an NAIA Top 25 Top 10 clash at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m. The 1-0 Fighting Bees, who rallied to claim a 48-37 shoot-out win over Taylor University on Saturday night, handed USF just its fourth loss at D’Arcy Stadium in the last 73 games in the last meeting on Sept. 8, 2012. SAU won 15-14.

This is USF’s first stay at No. 2 since Sept. 26, 2011. This is the 36th time USF has been ranked No. 2. USF has been ranked in the Top 10 of the Top 25 143 times.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.