NJCAA Pre-Season Poll

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Blinn College will begin the 2010 NJCAA Football season ranked number 1 in the NJCAA Preseason Top 20 Poll, released on July 28, 2010. The defending national champions from Texas are ranked ahead of Arizona Western, Fort Scott, Navarro, and Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Buccaneers return eight starters (3 offense / 5 defense) from last season's championship team and they also welcome a NCAA Division I transfer at the quarterback position in Justin Tuggle (Boston College). Tuggle started three games for the Eagles in 2009. Top returners for Blinn include Honorable Mention All-American and First-Team All-Southwest JC Football Conference linebacker Dextrell Simmons and offensive lineman Sean Robertson who started 10 games in 2009 for the Bucs.

Brad Franchione is back for his sixth season at Blinn. The son of former Alabama, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, and New Mexico head coach Dennis Franchione, Brad has led the Buccaneer program to a 46-10 record, including two NJCAA Football Championships and three SWJCFC titles. He has also twice been named the NJCAA Football Coach of the Year and last season was the American Community College Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

Blinn opens the season on Saturday, August 28th against No. 3 Fort Scott (Kan.) in Brenham, Texas, in a rematch of the 2009 NJCAA Football Championship Game at the Citizen's Bank Bowl. The Bucs won the title on a last second punt-return for a touchdown by Chad Froechnicht to give Blinn a 31-26 victory. 

Butler Community College (Kan.), East Mississippi Community College, Snow College (Utah), Ellsworth Community College (Iowa) and Grand Rapids Community College (Mich.) round out the preseason Top 10.

2010 NJCAA Football Season Begins Aug. 26-28
The 2010 season kicks off August 26-28 with several important games slated for play. Action begins Thursday, August 26, with the annual challenge series between the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and the Southwest JC Football Conference. In the first game of the series, No. 4 Navarro (Texas) will travel north to face No. 6 Butler (Kan.) in Wichita, Kan. Also on the 26th the Minnesota College Athletic Conference begins play with their Kickoff Classic on the campus of St. Cloud State University. No. 20 Rochester (Minn.) opens the event against Northland (Minn.).

All eyes will be on Brenham, Texas on August 28 when No. 1 Blinn and No. 3 Fort Scott take the field in a rematch of last year's title game. Other intriguing matchups on the first Saturday of the season include No. 14 Tyler (Texas) at No. 18 Coffeyville (Kan.). The MCAC Kickoff Classic gets into full swing with four games on Saturday all at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud, Minn.

Nine All-Americans from 2009 Slated to Return to NJCAA Gridiron in 2010
The 2010 NJCAA football season will be an exciting one as several 2009 All-Americans are set to return to their teams for 2010. On the offensive side of the ball, Grand Rapids (Mich.) returns two All-Americans in First-Team offensive lineman Dion Howze and Honorable Mention return specialist Juwan Hemphill. A lot of attention will be given to Arizona Western running back Reggie Bullock who earned 2nd Team All-American honors last season. Bullock ranked second in the NJCAA last year with 1,417 rushing yards and 20 TDs. Lastly, Rochester (Minn.) wide receiver Chris Hicks returns to the Yellow Jackets after earning Honorable Mention All-American honors with 38 receptions, 797 yards and 10 TDs.

First-Team All-American defensive back J.D. Ratliff of Southwest Mississippi returns after leading the nation with 10 interceptions last season. Other defense All-Americans returning this season include Blinn linebacker Dextrell Simmons, Louisburg (N.C.) defensive back Jamel Coles, Georgia Military linebacker Antonio Mitchum and Scottsdale (Ariz.) punter Josh Hubner.

One Lost, One Gained - 69 NJCAA Football Teams Will Take the Field in 2010
The 2010 NJCAA Football season will see the departure of Rock Valley College (Ill.) and the addition of Lon Morris College (Texas). Rock Valley ended its football program due to budget issues. RVC had fielded a football team for over 40 years.

As one long standing program ended its football program, another NJCAA college decided to reinstate football. Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas will resurrect its football program this year after being absent for over 60 years. Lon Morris is one of seven new football programs set to begin in 2010 across the entire college football landscape (NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, NJCAA). The LMC Bearcats will compete as an Independent this season and will operate as a 'club' team.

Eight Teams Enter 2010 with New Head Coaches
Several NJCAA Football programs are under new leadership this season. A total of eight NJCAA football programs will be directed by new head coaches.

         - Chris Bocage - Hudson Valley Community College (N.Y.)
         - Steve Carson - Independence Community College (Kan.)
         - Denver Latimore - Mesa Community College (Ariz.)
         - Jermaine Miles - Nassau Community College (N.Y.)
         - Tim Pfiefer - Dakota College - Bottineau (N.D.)
         - Johnnie Richey - Lone Morris College (Texas)
         - Keith Turner - Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College (Minn.)
         - Jon Williams - Itawamba Community College (Miss.)

2010 NJCAA Football Conference Predictions
(Based on survey filled out by all NJCAA football programs)

Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference
1. Fort Scott Community College, Kan.
2. Butler Community College, Kan.
3. Hutchinson Community College, Kan.
4. Coffeyville Community College, Kan.
5. Garden City Community College, Kan.
6. Independence Community College, Kan.
7. Dodge City Community College, Kan.
8. Highland Community College, Kan.

Midwest Football Conference - East Division
1. Grand Rapids Community College, Mich.
2. Joliet Junior College, Ill.
3. College of DuPage, Ill.
4. Harper College, Ill.

Midwest Football Conference - West Division
1. Ellsworth Community College, Iowa
2. Iowa Central Community College
3. Iowa Western Community College
4. North Dakota State College of Science

Minnesota College Athletic Conference - North Division

1. Mesabi Range Community & Technical College, Minn.
2. Vermilion Community College, Minn.
3. Itasca Community College, Minn.
4. Northland Community & Technical College, Minn.
5. Fond du Lac Community & Tribal College, Minn.

Minnesota College Athletic Conference - South Division
1. Rochester Community & Technical College, Minn.
2. Central Lakes College, Minn.
3. Ridgewater College, Minn.
4. Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Minn.
5. Minnesota State Community & Technical College, Minn.

Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges - North Division
1. East Mississippi Community College
2. Northwest Mississippi Community College
3. Coahoma Community College, Miss.
4. Mississippi Delta Community College
5. Holmes Community College, Miss.
6. Northeast Mississippi Community College
7. Itawamba Community College, Miss.

Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges - North Division
1. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
2. Pearl River Community College, Miss.
3. Jones County Junior College, Miss.
4. Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Miss.
5. Hinds Community College, Miss.
6. Southwest Mississippi Community College
7. East Central Community College, Miss.
Northeast Football Conference

1. Dean College, Mass.
2. Lackawanna College, Pa.
3. Nassau Community College, N.Y.
4. ASA, N.Y.
5. Erie Community College, N.Y.
6. Hudson Valley Community College, N.Y.
7. Alfred State College, N.Y.
Southwest JC Football Conference

1. Blinn College, Texas
2. Navarro College, Texas
3. Tyler Junior College, Texas
4. Kilgore College, Texas
5. Trinity Valley Community College, Texas
6. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
7. Cisco College, Texas

Western States Football League
1. Arizona Western College
2. Snow College
3. Eastern Arizona College
4. Glendale Community College, Ariz.
5. New Mexico Military Institute
6. Mesa Community College, Ariz.
7. Phoenix College, Ariz.
8. Scottsdale Community College, Ariz.
9. Pima Community College, Ariz.

NOTE: Arkansas Baptist College, Dakota College - Bottineau (N.D.), Georgia Military College, Globe Institute of Tech (N.Y.), Lone Morris College (Texas) and Louisburg College (N.C.) are all Independents for 2010.

About the NJCAA Football Poll

The weekly NJCAA Top 20 Football Poll will rank the top teams in the nation and will be released each Tuesday during the regular season beginning Sept. 7th. The NJCAA Football Poll ranks the top 20 team in the NJCAA each week. NJCAA Football Panel Directors (see previous page for names) select their top 20 teams each week, which are then formulated into the weekly rankings. Panel Directors are not allowed to vote a team No. 1 from their own district until they have played at least five contests. After five contests, a Panel Director may only vote a team from their district No. 1 if they are undefeated. A Panel Director may vote a team from their district No. 2 at any time during the season.

The weekly poll will be released nationally on the NJCAA website (www.njcaa.org) and sent to various media outlets on each poll day at approximately 1 p.m. (Mountain Time). This year's poll dates are as follows: Sept. 7, Sept. 14, Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 19, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 15 (Monday - Final Regular Season Poll). The Championship Poll and the release of All-Americans will be done following the week following the completion of all post-season bowl games.

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