After being ranked 19th the last two weeks, Butler football moved up two spots to 17th in this week's NJCAA Top 20 National poll.
Having won six of its last seven games, Butler (7-3 overall, 5-2 KJCCC) completed conference play Saturday with a 41-10 road win at Highland. The Grizzlies received 46 votes - an increase of 25.5 votes from the previous week. Butler is one of four three-loss teams in this week's poll.
The top four spots remained unchanged this week, with Iowa Western, East Mississippi, Trinity Valley and Scottsdale holding its position. Iowa Western (10-0) and East Mississippi (10-0) each received four first-place votes, but the Reivers retained the top spot with 205 points - six more votes than East Mississippi. Trinity Valley (10-0) received the other first-place vote and had 186.5 points.
Scottsdale (8-1) is the highest-ranked one loss team with 174 votes, while Hutchinson (9-1) was the new addition in the top five by moving up two spots after defeating Ellsworth 38-7. Also moving up two spots was Central Lakes-Brainerd, Nassau, and Arizona Western, as they were ranked 6-7-8. Rounding out the top 10 were two Mississippi schools - Mississippi Gulf Coast and Copiah-Lincoln.
For the seventh straight week, three KJCCC teams - Hutchinson, Butler and Coffeyville - were ranked this week's poll. Coffeyville, winners of four straight, moved up to 12th with a 49-19 road win at Dodge City. The Red Ravens have gradually moved up the rankings over the last three weeks.
Butler will host Ellsworth, Iowa, in the regular season finale this Saturday at 1 p.m. The Panthers (3-6) have lost two straight games - falling to Iowa Central (23-15 on Oct. 25) and Hutchinson (38-7 on Nov. 1). Ellsworth has gone 3-4 against KJCCC teams this year, with wins against Dodge City, Fort Scott and Independence. This will be the third meeting between Butler and Ellsworth, as the two teams have not played each other since 1988. The Grizzlies will be seeking their first win against Ellsworth, who leads the season series 2-0.
|2014 NJCAA TOP 20 FOOTBALL POLL|
|Nov. 4, 2014|
|1.||Iowa Western (4)||10-0||205||1|
|2.||East Mississippi (4)||10-0||199||2|
|3.||Trinity Valley, TX (1)||10-0||186.5||3|
|6.||Central Lakes-Brainerd, MN
|9.||Mississippi Gulf Coast||8-2||128.5||5|
|20.||Hudson Valley, NY||8-1||13||17|
Other schools receiving votes: Jones County, MS (5-4, 3.5); Glendale, AZ (5-4, 2).
Dropped from rankings: Glendale (20)