Battle of the Champions

The highly-anticipated contest features the past two NJCAA national champions (Blinn 2006, Butler 2007) and the only two programs to ever win back-to-back NJCAA national championships. Blinn accomplished the feat first, in 1995 and 1996, while Butler won consecutive titles in 1998 and 1999.

The game also features two of the most successful head coaches at the community college level. Troy Morrell begins his ninth season in charge at Butler with an overall record of 85-10, while leading the Grizzlies to two national championships (2003, 2007) and the past seven consecutive Kansas Jayhawk Conference titles. Brad Franchione enters his fourth season at Blinn with an overall record of 26-6, including a perfect 12-0 national championship campaign his second year in 2006.

Last season the Butler Grizzlies capped a 12-0 season with an impressive 56-27 win over top-ranked Snow College in the national title game in Salt Lake City, finishing as co-national champions with 12-0 Mississippi Gulf Coast. It was Butler's fifth national championship (1981, 1998, 1999, 2003, and 2007).

Blinn, 3-time national champions and members of the SWJCFC (Southwest Junior College Football Conference), finished 7-3 last year and 18th in the NJCAA poll. The Buccaneers top returnees from 2007 include red-shirt sophomore quarterback Terrance Cain, who passed for 2,185 yards and 22 touchdowns, along with sophomore wide receiver Justin Jordan (30 receptions, 381 yards, 5 touchdowns). The Grizzlies return sophomore quarterback Press Taylor (749 yards, 5 touchdowns) and sophomore wide receiver Tyrece Gaines (23 receptions, 424 yards, 5 touchdowns).

The two programs have met just once before, in 1987 at the Texas Shrine Bowl, with Blinn defeating Butler, 35-14. Over the years Blinn is 5-0 in games against Kansas Jayhawk Conference opponents, with wins over Butler in 1987, Coffeyville in 1996, 2006, 2007, and Fort Scott in 1999. Butler is 8-4 against teams from Texas, having posted a 5-1 record against Lone Star State teams under Troy Morrell.

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