After taking down No. 1 Coffeyville in a thrilling 42-39 road contest Saturday, Butler moved into the top spot in the NJCAA rankings for the first time since 2010.
Butler (8-0 overall, 5-0 conference) received all nine first-place votes and had 206.5 total points in this week's poll. The Grizzlies have an 11.5 point lead over No. 2 Rochester (MN), who also remains undefeated at 8-0.
Butler claimed the top spot after a wild week of top 10 upsets, with previous No. 1 Coffeyville, No. 2 Snow (UT) and No. 4 Northwest Mississippi all losing. Coffeyville dropped to fourth, Northwest to sixth and Snow plummetted to eighth.
Following Butler and Rochester, East Mississippi vaulted five spots to No. 3 after knocking off Northwest Mississippi on Thursday. Coffeyville and Central Lakes-Brainerd (MN) finish off the top five. Northwest Mississippi and Tyler (TX) were tied for sixth, with Snow, Lackawanna (PA) and Copiah-Lincoln rounding out the top 10.
In addition to Butler and Coffeyville, Dodge City remained in the top 20 at No. 17, giving the Jayhawk Conference three teams in the rankings.
Butler finished the 2010 regular season with the No. 1 ranking before falling to Navarro (TX) in the national championship game. The Grizzlies were ranked No. 1 for seven straight polls and finished the 2010 season at No. 2. Since 2010, Butler has not been ranked any higher than second, coming as recently as 2012.
The Grizzlies also continue its streak of being ranked by the NJCAA, as Butler has been ranked in 177 consecutive polls - a streak that started in 2002.
Butler will put its No. 1 ranking on the line this Saturday against Garden City (1-7 overall, 1-4 conference). The Broncbusters have lost seven straight games after winning the season opener at Highland. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. from BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
|2015 NJCAA TOP 20 FOOTBALL POLL|
|Oct. 20, 2015|
|5.||Central Lakes-Brainerd, MN
|11.||Mississippi Gulf Coast||6-2
|14.||Trinity Valley, TX||6-2
|16.||East Central, MS||6-2
|18.||North Dakota School of Science
|20.||ASA Miami (FL)||5-1||20||RV|
Other schools receiving votes: ASA, NY (6-2, 8).
Dropped from rankings: *Louisburg, NC (10); Blinn, TX (18).
*Dropped due to violation of national stat entry requirement