Butler will open the 2013 football season ranked fifth in the NJCAA, as the national office released its preseason poll Tuesday.
The ranking marks the 11th consecutive season that the Grizzlies have been ranked in the NJCAA preseason top 10. Since 2003, the lowest preseason ranking Butler has received was sixth (2010).
The last time Butler failed to crack the top 10 preseason was 2002, as the Grizzlies opened the season ranked 17th. After a 17-14 road victory at Coffeyville on Sept. 28 during that season, Butler moved back into the top 10 and has not been ranked below 10th since. The Grizzlies have now been ranked in the top 10 in 142 consecutive NJCAA polls.
Butler was also ranked seventh in the JCGridwire.com "Dirty 30" preseason poll, which was released last month.
The Grizzlies finished the 2012 campaign with an 11-1 record, winning both the Jayhawk Conference and Region VI titles for a third consecutive season. Butler finished ranked second in the NJCAA final poll after losing to Iowa Western in the NJCAA National Championship game.
Butler was picked to finish first in the Jayhawk Conference coaches preseason poll. The Grizzlies will open the 2013 campaign with a home meeting against Dodge City on Saturday, Aug. 24, with the kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Butler is one of four Jayhawk Conference teams ranked in the preseason poll, as Region VI runner-up Hutchinson (sixth), Coffeyville (12th) and Garden City (17th) was also ranked. Butler finishes the regular season with all three opponents – at Garden City, Oct. 5; at Coffeyville, Oct. 19; vs. Hutchinson, Oct. 26.
Mississippi Gulf Coast is the top preseason team in the opening NJCAA poll, followed by Snow (Utah), Navarro (Texas) and defending national champion Iowa Western.
|2013 NJCAA Preseason Football Poll|
|1.||Mississippi Gulf Coast||9-2|
|14.||Northeastern Oklahoma A&M||9-3|
|18.||Central Lakes-Brainerd (Minn.)
|19.||College of DuPage (Ill.)
Other schools receiving votes: Tyler (Texas), Georgia Military, Jones County (Miss.), Rochester Community and Technical College, New Mexico Military Institute.