This Saturday will be the biggest day in junior college football in years.
In Corsicana, Texas, No. 2 Navarro will welcome No. 1 Blinn as the top two teams in the NJCAA/jcfootball.com poll face off for the Southwest Junior College Football Conference regular-season title.
Meanwhile, here at Frary Field, No. 3-ranked Fort Scott will host No. 4 Butler in a battle for the regular-season championship of the Jayhawk Conference.
The winners of each game will also become the top seed in each conference's playoffs. The winner of the Blinn-Navarro game will be at home on Nov. 7 against a team -- most likely Kilgore -- that will finish the regular season with a losing record. The loser will host 15th-ranked Tyler (6-2).
Blinn and Navarro are both 5-0 in conference play and 8-0 overall.
The winner of the Fort Scott-Butler game will host the winner of Saturday's Garden City-Hutchinson contest in the first round of the Region VI Playoffs on Nov. 8. Garden City (3-3 Jayhawk, 4-4 overall) and Hutch (3-3, 5-3) will face off in Hutchinson. The loser of the Garden City-Hutchinson game will not qualify for the playoffs.
The loser of Fort Scott-Butler will host No. 17 Coffeyville in the first round of the Region VI Playoffs. Coffeyville (4-2, 5-3) has cliched the No. 3 seed even if it should be upset by Independence Saturday night as it holds tie-breakers by virtue of victories over both Garden City and Hutchinson.
No. 5-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (8-1) is hoping that the inevitable shake-up in the top 4 -- since two of them will lose Saturday -- will put it into the national championship picture. Gulf Coast won the South Division of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges by beating then No-14 Jones County, 20-17, last week. MGCCC will host unranked Coahoma (6-3), the runner up in the MACJC North, in the first round of that state's playoffs this Saturday.
Also looking to get back into the national title picture is Snow College (Utah). Snow (8-1) leads the Western States Football League, which does not have a playoff. The Badgers beat Phoenix, 34-14, last week and host Scottsdale (3-3) Saturday. Snow will be idle on Nov. 7 before finishing the regular season with a trip to current No. 9 Arizona Western (6-1) on the 14th.
Grand Rapids (Mich.) remains undefeated (8-0) and heads into the Midwest Football Conference Eastern Division playoffs this weekend. Grand Rapids will face Harper (2-6) for the second consecutive week after beating them in the last game of the regular season, 33-9.
East Mississippi, Arizona Western, Rochester Tech (Minn.), Ellsworth (Iowa) and Central Lakes (Minn.) all moved up one spot after former No. 8 Dean (Mass.) suffered its first loss of the season, 14-11, to then-No. 18 Nassau (N.Y.). Dean (7-1) fell all the way down to No. 14.
Rochester Tech is the last undefeated team in the poll and is the only team in the NJCAA with 9 victories.
Eastern Arizona moved up three positions into a tie for 12th with Central Lakes. Tyler (Texas) is up two to No. 15. Nassau moved up to No. 16 and Coffeyville (5-3) was boosted three spots to No. 17 after its 23-7 victory at Dodge City.
Rounding out the poll are Georgia Military at No. 18, Jones County at 19 and Pearl River (Miss.) re-entering at No. 20. All three teams have three losses. Jones County qualified for the the Mississippi playoffs while Pearl River did not. Georgia Military is an independent.
In addition to Mississippi and the eastern half of the MFC, Minnesota also begins its playoffs this week. Both ranked teams, Rochester and Central Lakes, play in the same division with Rochester hosting Mesabi Range (5-4) and Central Lakes (8-1) traveling to Vermillion (6-3).
The top seven teams in the JCGridiron.com "Dirty 30," which also includes the California junior colleges, are also the same as last week. El Camino and San Francisco, both 7-0 California teams, are on top of the poll. Blinn is No. 3 followed by Navarro, Fort Scott, Mississippi Gulf Coast and Butler. Mount San Antonio (Calif.), East Mississippi and Bakersfield (Calif.) round out the top 10.
"Next game" is this Saturday unless noted.
|Team||Record||Points||Previous||Last week||Next game|
|1. Blinn, Texas (7)||8-0||140||1||def. Cisco, 84-13||at No. 2 Navarro|
|2. Navarro, Texas||8-0||132||2||def. Arkansas Baptist, 24-6||vs. No. 1 Blinn|
|3. Fort Scott||8-0||126||3||def. Air Force Prep, 48-28||vs. No. 4 Butler|
|4. Butler||7-1||117||4||def. Highland, 54-3||at No. 3 Fort Scott|
|5. Mississippi Gulf Coast||8-1||112||5||def. No. 14 Jones County, 20-17||vs. Coahoma (playoffs)|
|6. Snow, Utah||8-1||104||6||def. Phoenix, 34-14||vs. Scottsdale|
|7. Grand Rapids, Mich.||8-0||98||7||def. Harper, 33-9||vs. Harper (playoffs)|
|8. East Mississippi||8-1||90||9||def. Mississippi Delta, 28-10||vs. No. 19 Jones Co. (playoffs)|
|9. Arizona Western||6-1||81||10||def. Pima, 53-0||vs. Glendale|
|10. Rochester Tech, Minn.||9-0||71||11||def. Minnesota West, 23-21||vs. Mesabi Range (playoffs)|
|11. Ellsworth, Iowa||6-2||67||12||def. North Dakota Science, 10-7||vs. Iowa Western|
|12. Central Lakes, Minn.||8-1||55||13||def. Ridgewater, 20-6||at Vermillion (playoffs)|
|Tie. Eastern Arizona||6-2||55||15||def. No. 16 New Mexico Military, 42-27||vs. Pima|
|14. Dean, Mass.||7-1||48||8||lost to No. 18 Nassau, 14-11||at Alfred State|
|15. Tyler, Texas||6-2||39||17||def. Trinity Valley, 36-33||at Northeastern Okla. A&M|
|16. Nassau, N.Y.||5-2||32||18||def. No. 8 Dean, 14-11||at Louisburg (N.C.)|
|17. Coffeyville||5-3||23||20||def. Dodge City, 23-7||vs. Independence|
|18. Georgia Military||5-3||21||19||def. Louisburg (N.C.), 55-3||at Erie (N.Y.), Nov. 7|
|19. Jones County, Miss.||6-3||18||14||lost to No. 5 Miss. Gulf Coast, 20-17||awaiting bowl bid|
|20. Pearl River, Miss.||6-3||13||NR||def. East Central Miss., 30-27||awaiting bowl bid|
Others receiving votes
|Team||Record||Points||Previous||Last week||Next game|
|Hutchinson||5-3||12||NR||def. Independence, 30-20||vs. Garden City|
|Lackawanna, Pa.||5-2||6||NR||def. Alfred State, 29-19||at Princeton JV, Sunday|
|Iowa Central||5-3||4||NR||def. Rock Valley, 5-26||at North Dakota Science|
|New Mexico Military||5-3||3||16||lost to No. 15 Eastern Arizona, 42-27||at Phoenix|
|Northwest Mississippi||5-3||3||NR||def. Holmes, 26-19||vs. Northeast Mississippi|
Here is a look at the latest JCGridiron.com "Dirty 30":
|1. El Camino (Calif.)||7-0|
|2. City College of San Francisco (Calif.)||7-0|
|3. Blinn (Texas)||8-0|
|4. Navarro (Texas)||8-0|
|5. Fort Scott||8-0|
|6. Mississippi Gulf Coast||8-1|
|8. Mt. San Antonio (Calif.)||6-1|
|9. East Mississippi||8-1|
|10. Bakersfield (Calif.)||7-1|
|11. Fullerton (Calif.)||6-1|
|12. Grossmont (Calif.)||7-1|
|13. Palomar (Calif.)||7-1|
|14. Cerritos (Calif.)||7-0|
|15. Grand Rapids (Mich.)||8-0|
|16. Los Angeles Harbor (Calif.)||7-0|
|17. Allan Hancock (Calif.)||7-1|
|18. Ventura (Calif.)||6-1|
|19. Arizona Western||6-1|
|20. Rochester (Minn.)||9-0|
|21. Snow (Utah)||8-1|
|22. Ellsworth (Iowa)||6-2|
|23. Foothills (Calif.)||5-1|
|24. Eastern Arizona||5-2|
|25. San Mateo (Calif.)||6-1|
|26. Jones County (Miss.)||6-3|
|27. Tyler (Texas)||6-2|
|28. Santa Rosa (Calif.)||5-2|
|29. Saddleback (Calif.)||6-2|
|30. Butte (Calif.)||5-2|