Butler football holds its highest preseason ranking in four years as the Grizzlies were ranked 10th in the 2019 NJCAA preseason poll, which was released by the national office Monday afternoon.
The ranking is the Grizzlies' highest since 2016, when Butler opened the year fifth in the nation. This year's preseason ranking marks third consecutive season Butler has been ranked in the opening poll and the 21st time in the last 22 polls. Butler has opened in the Top 10 a total of 16 times since 1998.
Butler received 73 votes in the opening poll and is one of three Jayhawk Conference teams ranked in the Top 10. Defending conference champion and NJCAA runner-up Garden City is ranked third in the poll with 125 votes, while Hutchinson received 92 votes and will open the season at No. 5.
The Grizzlies are coming off an 8-4 season in 2018, which saw Butler finish third in the Jayhawk Conference and capped the year with a 34-30 Midwest Classic Bowl victory over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Butler will face three NJCAA Top 20 teams in the first three weeks of the season -- all on the Grizzlies home turf. The Grizzlies open the season at home facing No. 14 Iowa Central on Saturday, August 24 at 7:00 p.m. at BG Products Veterans Memorial Complex.
Following the season opener, Butler will host Snow College (Utah) on August 31. The meeting with the Badgers will be Butler's first since winning the 2008 NJCAA National Championship over Snow in a wild 37-30 double-overtime contest. Butler will close out the three-game homestand against its first conference opponent in Highland, who landed at 16 in the poll.
|2019 NJCAA PRESEASON TOP 20 FOOTBALL POLL|
|Aug. 19, 2019|
|1.||East Mississippi (6)||136||12-0|
|3.||Garden City (1)||125||10-1|
|12.||Mississippi Gulf Coast||66||7-2|
|13.||Northeastern Oklahoma A&M||62||8-4|
|15.||Monroe College, N.Y.||31||7-2|
|20.||Trinity Valley, Texas||15||4-5|
Other schools receiving votes: Nassau, N.Y., 14.0; Northeast Mississippi, 12.0; ASA Brooklyn, NY, 8.0; Coffeyville, 7.0; East Central, MS, 7.0; Tyler, TX, 7.0; North Dakota SCS, 5.0; Holmes, Miss., 3; DuPage, Ill., 1.0; Hinds, Miss., 1.0; Independence, 1.0.
|BUTLER FOOTBALL - PRESEASON RANKINGS|
|1998 - 2019|