Arizona Western Takes over No. 1 Ranking in NJCAA Football Poll
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With only one week remaining before the start of bowl season, there is a new team atop the NJCAA Football rankings. Tensions are high going into the final week of the season as teams fight to impress both poll voters and bowl game committees for coveted spots in the postseason.
Patiently sitting at No. 2 since the first poll of October, Arizona Western College continued to add up wins and their work has paid off. The Matadors are the new No. 1 in the rankings with only one game remaining on their regular season schedule. With 137 points and four first-place votes in the poll, Arizona Western is drawing closer to their second national championship and first since 1972.
East Mississippi Community College moved up to No. 2 in the rankings following their 55-24 thrashing of former-No. 14 Hinds CC (Miss.) in the MACJC semifinals. The Lions have one first-place vote and trail Arizona Western by five points in the poll. East Mississippi will have a chance to eat away at that deficit when they take on No. 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Saturday in the MACJC championship game. The Bulldogs of Mississippi Gulf Coast have 112 points in the poll and can get themselves back in the national championship conversation with a victory.
No. 3 Butler Community College (Kan.) inched up one spots this week at 9-1 overall. The Grizzlies currently enjoy a slim a one point advantage in the poll over Grand Rapids Community College (Mich.) who is 10-0 overall. Butler has ripped off nine-straight wins since losing their season-opener at Navarro College (Texas) while GRCC wrapped up their season with a victory over Iowa Western Community College to win the MFC Championships. Both teams have one first-place vote in the poll.
No. 6 New Mexico Military Institute moved up three spots in the rankings with 97 points but is still 15 points outside the top five. After spending five weeks as the nation’s top-ranked team, Blinn College (Texas) fell 37-34 in overtime to Tyler JC (Texas) in the SWJCFC semifinals. The Buccaneers suffered from losing late in the season and dropped to No. 7 in the rankings.
Advancing two places in the poll were No. 8 Hutchinson Community College (Kan.), No. 9 Navarro College (Texas) and No. 10 Rochester Community & Technical College (Minn.). Hutchinson and Navarro will have opportunities to improve their resumes this week as both teams will be playing in their respective conference championship games. The Yellowjackets of Rochester completed their perfect season Sunday, trouncing Northland CTC (Minn.) 45-14 in the MCAC championship game.
Stumbling out of the Top 20 were Northeast Mississippi Community College and Coffeyville Community College (Kan.) following defeats in conference semifinal matchups. Jumping into the Top 20 for the first time this season, Tyler Junior College (Texas) is ranked No. 17 going into Sunday’s SWJCFC championship game. No. 18 Glendale Community College (Ariz.) returns to the rankings following a two week hiatus.
The final NJCAA Football Poll of the regular season will be announced on Nov. 14th.
NJCAA Bowl Game Information
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NJCAA Football Poll – Nov. 8, 2011
School, Record, Poll Votes (1st Place Votes), Previous Ranking
1. Arizona Western College, 10-0, 137 (4), 2
2. East Mississippi CC, 10-0, 132 (1), 3
3. Butler CC, Kan., 9-1, 125 (1), 4
4. Grand Rapids CC, Mich., 10-0, 124 (1), 5
5. Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, 9-1, 112, 6
6. New Mexico Military Institute, 9-1, 97, 9
7. Blinn College, Texas, 9-1, 95, 1
8. Hutchinson CC, Kan., 8-2, 86, 10
9. Navarro College, Texas, 8-2, 85, 11
10. Rochester CTC, Minn., 11-0, 75, 12
11. Iowa Western CC, 8-2, 71, 7
12. Trinity Valley CC, Texas, 8-2, 62, 8
13. Dean College, Mass., 7-1, 60, 13
14. Nassau CC, N.Y., 7-2, 54, 16
15. Central Lakes College-Brainerd, Minn., 7-2, 36, 18
16. Eastern Arizona College, 7-3, 31, 19
17. Tyler JC, Texas, 7-3, 27, RV
18. Glendale CC, Ariz., 7-3, 23, RV
19. Snow College, Utah, 7-3, 18, 15
20. Hinds CC, Miss., 7-3, 14, 14
Others: Northeast Mississippi CC, 6-4, 2, 17; Northwest Mississippi CC, 6-3, 2, RV; Scottsdale CC, Ariz., 7-4, 1, RV; Georgia Military College, 6-3, 1, NR
Dropped from Rankings: Northeast Mississippi CC (17), Coffeyville CC, Kan. (20)
ABOUT the NJCAA
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. It is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year over 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. For more visit http://www.njcaa.org.
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