Defending national champion Navarro (Texas) will enter the 2011 football season as the No. 1-ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association. The pre-season poll was released late last week.
This is in stark contrast to the jcgridiron.com pre-season "Dirty 30", released a month ago, which has Navarro ranked No. 11. The NJCAA poll does not include the schools in California, which are not members of the organization, while the jcgridiron.com poll does.
Mississippi Gulf Coast holds the No 2. pre-season NJCAA ranking while Butler is third, followed by Blinn (Texas) and Arizona Western as the top five.
Hutchinson is ranked sixth followed by Snow (Utah), Pearl River (Miss.), Northwest Mississippi, and Georgia Military at No. 10.
Nassau (N.Y.) is at No. 11 followed by Iowa Western, Grand Rapids (Mich.), Trinity Valley (Texas) and Coffeyville. East Mississippi is 16th followed by Ellsworth (Iowa), Eastern Arizona, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) and Lackawanna (Pa.).
The final five teams are Central Lakes (Minn.) at No. 21, Cisco (Texas) 22nd, Independence 23rd, Iowa Central 24th and Dean (Mass.) 25th.
The widely-varying opinions of the voters in the two polls is easy to see. Blinn is No. 2 in the jcgridiron.com Dirty 30 with Butler sixth, Hutchinson eighth and Fort Scott 23rd. Coffeyville and Independence are not mentioned in the jcgridiron.com poll, not even in "Others on the bubble" while Fort Scott did not gather enough votes to be included in the NJCAA poll.
Butler and Navarro, who met in the Citizens Bank Bowl for the national championship last season, begin the season at Corsicana, Texas, on August 25 as Butler tries to avenge it's championship-game loss, it's only one of the season. Fort Scott will host No. 4 Blinn that night at Frary Field as the 2009 Citizens Bank Bowl combatants battle for the third consecutive season.
Navarro (10-1 last season) has 17 returning players, 10 on offense. Butler finished 11-1 in 2010.
The NJCAA also released the coaches polls for every conference. The Jayhawk Conference poll was released July 29 in Wichita with Butler on top followed by Hutchinson, Coffeyvile, Independence, Fort Scott, Garden City, Highland and Dodge City.
Navarro was picked to win the Southwest Junior College Football Conference title followed by Blinn, Trinity Valley, Cisco, Kilgore, Tyler and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Other predicted champs are Arizona Western in the Western States Football League, Grand Rapids and Iowa Western taking their divisions of the Midwest Football Conference, Mesabi Range and Central Lakes claiming their respective divisions in Minnesota, Northwest Mississippi and Mississippi Gulf Coast in their state's respective divisions, and Nassau in the Northeast Football Conference.
The next NJCAA poll will be released Sept. 6.
A comparision of the pre-season NJCAA poll (left) with the jcfootball.com pre-season "Dirty 30," which includes the schools in California, shows how differently voters feel about some of the teams that are common in the polls.
|1. Navarro, Texas||10-1|
|2. Mississippi Gulf Coast||10-2|
|4. Blinn, Texas||8-3|
|5. Arizona Western||10-2|
|7. Snow, Utah||10-2|
|8. Pearl River, Miss.||6-3|
|9. Northwest Mississippi||9-1|
|10. Georgia Military||6-3|
|11. Nassau, N.Y.||11-0|
|12. Iowa Western||9-2|
|13. Grand Rapids, Mich.||10-2|
|14. Trinity Valley, Texas||6-5|
|16. East Mississippi||5-5|
|17. Ellsworth, Iowa||8-3|
|18. Eastern Arizona||8-4|
|19. Copiah-Lincoln, Miss.||9-2|
|20. Lackawanna, Pa.||9-2|
|21. Central Lakes, Minn.||10-2|
|22. Cisco, Texas||5-4|
|24. Iowa Central||7-3|
|25. Dean, Mass.||6-4|
|1. Coll. of San Francisco||11-1|
|3. Mt. San Antonio, Calif.||13-0|
|4. Northwest Mississippi||9-1|
|5. Mississippi Gulf Coast||10-2|
|7. Butte, Calif.||9-2|
|9. Arizona Western||10-2|
|10. Saddleback, Calif.||8-3|
|12. Riverside, Calif.||10-1|
|13. Ventura, Calif.||5-5|
|14. East Mississippi||5-5|
|15. Iowa Western||9-2|
|16. College of San Mateo||8-3|
|17. Grand Rapids||10-2|
|18. Bakersfield, Calif.||8-3|
|19. Fullerton, Calif.||7-4|
|20. Ellsworth, Iowa||7-3|
|21. Pierce, Calif.||8-3|
|22. Pearl River||6-3|
|23. Fort Scott||3-6|
|24. Coll. of the Canyons||6-5|
|25. Eastern Arizona||8-4|
|26. El Camino, Calif.||2-8|
|27. Los Angeles Harbor||8-2|
|28. Georgia Military||6-3|
|29. Santa Rosa, Calif.||3-7|
|30. Diablo Valley, Calif.||8-3|