It may only be July but junior college football followers are already looking forward to the beginning of the season. And JCGridiron.com has jumped on that anticipation by being the first of the two major juco polls to release its pre-season rankings.
Fort Scott, 11-1 and the National Junior College Athletic Association runner-up last season, has been placed into the sixth position in the JCGridiron.com pre-season poll.
The NJCAA membership does not include the junior colleges in California. The JCGridiron poll includes those schools in its rankings.
Arizona Western, 9-2 last season, has been given the No. 1 spot in the poll, which may come as a surprise to most NJCAA observers, who would probably put Fort Scott, Butler or Blinn (Texas) at No. 1.
Blinn, last year's NJCAA national champion, begins this season with the No. 2 ranking. The first California school to make an appearance is El Camino, which was 8-3 last year, at No. 3. El Camino was not in the top 10 last season.
East Mississippi (10-1) is ranked No. 4 followed by San Francisco (10-1) at No. 5.
Fort Scott is followed by Mount San Antonio (Calif., 13-1), which was No. 2 in the so-called "Dirty 30" going into the post-season bowls and was awarded JCGridiron's national championship.
Starting the season in the No. 8 position is Navarro (Texas, 10-1), last year's regular-season champion in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference. Blinn won the SWJCFC playoff championship game over Navarro.
Fullerton (Calif., 10-2) and Mississippi Gulf Coast (9-2) round out the top 10.
The other Jayhawk Conference teams in the poll include Butler (7-3) and Coffeyville (6-4), appearing in the No. 11 and 12 spots. Butler's losses were to Blinn in the season opener and to Fort Scott in the regular-season finale and the Region VI Championship Game.
Hutchinson (6-4) is ranked No. 30, giving the Jayhawk Conference four teams in its poll.
The NJCAA is not likely to release it's pre-season poll before August 1.
Fort Scott opens its season with a game at Blinn Aug. 28 as one of the games in the season-opening Jayhawk Conference-SWJCFC series of games.
|1. Arizona Western||9-2|
|2. Blinn, Texas||10-1|
|3. El Camino, Calif.||8-3|
|4. East Mississippi||10-1|
|5. San Francisco||10-1|
|6. Fort Scott||11-1|
|7. Mount San Antonio, Calif.||13-1|
|8. Navarro, Texas||10-1|
|9. Fullerton, Calif.||10-2|
|10. Mississppi Gulf Coast||9-2|
|13. Saddleback, Calif.||9-2|
|14. Palomar, Calif.||10-3|
|15. San Mateo, Calif.||10-2|
|16. Snow, Utah||10-2|
|17. Bakersfield, Calif.||10-2|
|18. Grand Rapids, Mich.||9-1|
|19. Cerritos, Calif.||9-2|
|20. Grossmont, Calif.||8-3|
|21. Butte, Calif.||8-3|
|22. Pearl River, Miss.||6-3|
|23. Georgia Military||6-4|
|24. Canyons, Calif.||6-5|
|25. Tyler, Texas||7-3|
|26. Iowa Western||4-4|
|27. Reedley, Calif.||6-5|
|28. Riverside, Calif.||1-9|
|29. Ellsworth, Iowa||9-2|
Others: Santa Rosa, Calif., 5-5; Glendale, Ariz., 6-5; Los Angeles Harbor, Calif., 9-2; Dean, Mass., 5-2; Citrus, Calif., 3-7; Ventura, Calif., 7-4; Pasadena City, Calif.; 5-5, Los Angeles Pierce, Calif.; 7-4, Santa Monica, Calif., 3-7; ASA, NY, 2-3.