|East Mississippi ranked second nationally in NJCAA/JCFootball.com Top 25|
SCOOBA – Set to begin defense of their 2008 MACJC North Division championship this week against Holmes, the second-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College will enter Thursday’s division opener sporting the team’s highest NJCAA football ranking in school history.
Following wins over Copiah-Lincoln (27-13) and Jones County (28-17) to kick off the 2009 campaign, head coach Buddy Stephens’ 2-0 EMCC club trails only Blinn College of Texas in the first NJCAA/JCFootball.com poll of the regular season. The Lions received 130 total poll points and one first-place vote, while Blinn garnered 139 poll points and the other six first-place votes.
Around the state of Mississippi, Pearl River jumped from 11th to fifth in this week’s NJCAA poll. Reigning MACJC state champion Mississippi Gulf Coast and North Division foe Northwest Mississippi – EMCC’s next two opponents following this week’s action – come in at 11th and 15th, respectively. Navarro College of Texas went from seventh to third, while Kansas’ Butler Community College slid from preseason No. 1 to fourth this week after falling to Blinn in the season opener.
In the midst of a three-game September home stand, the EMCC Lions play host to the 0-2 Bulldogs of Holmes Community College Thursday on the Scooba campus. Kickoff for the North Division contest is set for 7 p.m. at Sullivan-Windham Field.
East Mississippi’s current No. 2 national ranking marks the school’s highest rating ever in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s football poll. However, the first EMJC football team guided by legendary hall of fame coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan earned a No. 2 national ranking in a different poll during the 1950 campaign. The following decade under Sullivan’s direction, the Lions garnered No. 3 national rankings during back-to-back seasons in 1963 and 1964.
In Stephens’ first year at the EMCC helm, the 2008 Lions broke into the NJCAA/JCFootball.com Top 25 for the first time since 1996. During the team’s seven-game winning streak a year ago, East Mississippi went from a No. 20 national ranking during Week 6 to a No. 8 rating at regular season’s end after claiming the MACJC North Division title with a perfect 6-0 division record. Making their first MACJC state football playoff appearance since 1984, the 8-2 Lions were ranked 10th nationally in the final NJCAA poll of the 2008 campaign. This preseason, EMCC was tabbed sixth nationally in the NJCAA/JCFootball.com Top 25.
Additionally this week, the EMCC Lions are ranked fifth nationally in the J.C. Grid-Wire/JCFootball.com National Top 25 behind top-ranked Blinn College, El Camino, Navarro and Mt. San Antonio.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 September 2009 )|
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