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JUCO Top 50 Teams: May 13

Juco : : Rankings
Allan Simpson        
Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For the second straight year entering post-season play, the No. 1 team in Perfect Game’s ranking of the nation’s Top 50 junior-college teams has bitten the dust without winning a single playoff game.

Coincidentally, both teams are from Florida and were dispatched in two straight games in the state junior-college tournament, a grueling 10-team, double-elimination affair that may be even more hotly-contested, and talent-laden as the Junior College World Series itself. The winner of the Florida state tournament (or, technically, the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8 champion) advances to the national final May 24-31 in Grand Junction, Colo.

Chipola, the nation’s top-ranked team a week ago, won’t be advancing after its demise in the Florida JC tournament, just as Miami-Dade, PG’s No. 1 team at the same stage a year ago, fell far short of expectations. One-loss Miami-Dade still remains alive in this year’s tournament after dispatching the State College of Florida-Manatee, PG’s No. 1-ranked pre-season team, on Monday.

The State College of Florida-Manatee at least one a post-season game this year, unlike in 2013 when Central Arizona, ranked No. 1 by PG to start that season, was sidelined without winning so much as a single playoff contest.

Call it the Perfect Game jinx that so many of its No. 1-ranked teams have had difficulty getting out of their own way early in post-season play the last two years, but Chipola’s demise this year was entirely unexpected as it may have the most talented roster in the country with as many as four players projected to go in the first 10 rounds of this year’s draft.

Not only did Chipola falter in state-tournament play, but No. 2 Grayson (Texas) was bounced from the NJCAA Region 5 tournament and No. 5 St. Johns River, the second-highest ranked team in Florida, met the same fate as Chipola by losing two straight games, despite entering the state tournament with 13 straight wins.

This week’s Top 50 JC ranking took into consideration tournament games played all around the country through Monday, and form pretty much ruled elsewhere. No team had yet to punch its ticket to the Junior College World Series, but new No. 1 Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) was one the verge of winning the Alabama state tournament and the automatic bid to Grand Junction that goes with it. Of note, defending national champion Central Alabama went out in two straight games in that tournament this year.

Several berths in this year’s Junior College World Series will be determined in the next day or two with qualifying tournaments in Region 5 (Western Texas, New Mexico), Region 6 (Kansas) and Region 14 (Eastern Texas, Louisiana), nearing completion, along with those in Region 8 (Florida) and Region 22 (Alabama).

California junior colleges are not members of the NJCAA, but every top-ranked team in that state tournament, which began with 36 entrants and has been narrowed to a field of eight, has moved on. Orange Coast, the No. 1 seed in southern California, has moved to No. 2 nationally, while Chabot, the No. 1 seed in northern California, has climbed to No. 5. The final four teams in California will meet in Fresno May 24-26 to determine a state champion.

Six NJCAA Division II schools are ranked in PG’s all-inclusive Top 50, led by No. 15 Mesa (Ariz.) CC, which became the first team to qualify for the D-II World Series, also from May 24-31, in Enid, Okla.

RK Prev. Team ST Record
1 3 Chattahoochee Valley AL 45-9
2 4 Orange Coast CA 31-9
3 6 Georgia Perimeter GA 43-12
4 10 Polk State FL 39-12
5 7 Chabot CA 31-8
6 8 Alvin TX 44-15
7 9 Oxnard CA 31-11
8 11 Gulf Coast State FL 40-13
9 12 Columbia State TN 41-11
10 14 Crowder MO 45-15
11 1 *Chipola FL 36-12
12 2 *Grayson TX 42-14
13 16 San Joaquin Delta CA 31-9
14 26 Iowa Western IA 48-10
15 18 Mesa AZ 47-12
16 20 Miami-Dade FL 32-15
17 21 Wabash Valley IL 45-11
18 22 Johnson County KS 48-12
19 23 Delgado LA 40-10
20 5 *St. Johns River FL 37-14
21 29 Western Nevada NV 39-16
22 24 Galveston TX 40-18
23 13 Spartanburg Methodist SC 42-15
24 30 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M OK 39-16
25 31 Jones County MS 43-9
26 35 *Central Arizona AZ 42-16
27 36 *Walters State TN 43-18
28 32 LSU-Eunice LA 41-11
29 33 Darton State GA 42-18
30 15 *Connors State OK 46-13
31   USC Sumter SC 39-13
32 19 *Salt Lake UT 34-18
33 25 *Hutchinson KS 43-17
34 37 Central Florida FL 34-18
35 40 Santa Rosa CA 29-12
36 41 Sequoias CA 31-10
37 38 Mercer County NJ 37-6
38 NR  South Mountain AZ 37-23
39 NR  Kansas City KS 39-20
40 46 Santa Barbara CA 27-13
41 NR  Faulkner State AL 37-15
42 27 *Santa Ana CA 28-13
43 28 *Indian Hills IA 38-17
44 34 *Middle Georgia GA 38-15
45 NR  Heartland IL 42-11
46 39 *Cowley County KS 38-17
47 NR  Frederick MD 45-10
48 NR  Sinclair OH 44-9
49 NR  Edmonds WA 31-7
50 NR  *Tallahassee FL 40-18

DROPPED OUT: No. 17 Tacoma, Wash. (35-6); No. 42 Shelton State, Ala. (34-23); No. 43 Palomar, Calif. (28-11); No. 44 Paris, Texas (29-23); No. 45 Navarro, Texas (32-21); No. 47 Florence-Darlington, S.C. (33-19); No. 48 New Mexico (34-24); No. 49 Pitt, N.C. (31-14); No. 50 Howard, Texas (42-19).

* Season complete


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