Juco : : Rankings
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

JUCO: Top 50 Teams (5/23)

Allan Simpson        
No. 1 Central Arizona, Defending Champ Iowa Western Headline World Series Field
The 2011 edition of the Junior College World Series begins Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo., and defending champion Iowa Western will be among the 10 teams in the double-elimination competition.
The Rievers (40-18) punched their ticket to the tournament by beating Illinois’ John A. Logan JC twice on Sunday to win the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Northern District championship. They will seek to become the first repeat champion since Texas’ Grayson County CC won in back-to-back years in 1999 and 2000, right on the heels of Cowley County (Kan.) winning in successive years in 1997-98.
Grayson County, which also won the Junior College World Series in 2008, is back in this year’s field after winning the Southwest District qualifying tournament in harrowing fashion over 2009 champion Howard College. The Vikings (42-15) are one of two Texas teams in the World Series as Navarro JC (42-17) captured the Southern District tournament, beating last year’s juco World Series runner-up team and five-time former champion San Jacinto (Texas), among other teams, along the way.
Central Arizona is the nation’s No. 1-ranked team as the Junior College World Series is set to begin. The Vaqueros (52-13), the 2002 national champ, needed to beat Utah’s Salt Lake CC twice on the final day of the highly-competitive Western District qualifying tournament to secure a berth in the tournament.
With those wins, Central Arizona climbed to the top spot in the latest Perfect Game / NJCAA ranking of the nation’s top 50 junior-college teams. The two Texas teams, Grayson County and Navarro, move up to No. 2 and No. 3. Chipola (39-20), a surprise champion in Florida, is ranked No. 5.
All 10 teams in the Junior College World Series are ranked in the top 50, including No. 42 South Georgia, which upset heavily-favored Georgia Perimeter and 2006 national champion Walters State (Tenn.) to capture the East Central District championship in three straight games. The trio of wins boosted South Georgia’s record on the season to 33-31.
South Georgia will draw Central Arizona in its tournament opener Saturday.
The complete link to NJCAA Division I region and district tournaments:
Through the years, teams from Texas (18 champions) and Arizona (12) have dominated the Junior College World Series. Florida has produced only four champions through the years, most recently Chipola in 2007, even as the state has been the greatest producer of draftable talent in recent years. That includes this year with Indian River State infielder Cory Spangenberg and Miami-Dade outfielder Brian Goodwin both projected to be drafted in the first round.
Not only does Central Arizona boast the No. 1 team entering the Junior College World Series, but it has the best prospect for the 2011 draft, outfielder Keenyn Walker, among the 10 teams entered. Walker, the Arizona junior college player of the year, projects as a sandwich to second-rounder after hitting .402-4-50 with 65 stolen bases in 68 attempts. The draft begins two days after the Junior College World Series is scheduled to end.
Having the best draft pick on a roster is no guarantee of success as upstart Iowa Western proved a year ago. The Rievers didn’t have a single player drafted, and yet knocked off talent-laden Southern Nevada and San Jacinto, both of which had nine players selected, in their final two games to win the 2010 title. Among Southern Nevada’s legion of premium draft picks was catcher Bryce Harper, the top pick in last year’s draft.
Southern Nevada never even qualified for post-season play this year as it endured significant turnover on both its roster and coaching staff.
Teams in other western states like California, Oregon and Washington, meanwhile, are not members of the NJCAA and stage their own championships. But those teams are still eligible for the all-encompassing PG / NJCAA Top 50 junior-college poll, and San Joaquin Delta JC (35-12) climbed to No. 6 nationally by winning the California Final Four over the weekend, beating defending champion Ohlone (28-19) in the final.
The Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges comprises junior colleges in Oregon and Washington, and its eight-team tournament begins Thursday. Washington power Bellevue (33-13), the top-ranked team at No. 26, is regarded as a slight favorite.
Not only does the Junior College World Series open Saturday, but the NJCAA Division II World Series also kicks off that day, as well, in Enid, Okla. Top-ranked Heartland (Ill.) was forced to come through the loser’s bracket in the Midwest District to make the eight-team field. At No. 17, Heartland is the only Division II team in the PG / NJCAA top 50.
The link to the NJCAA Division II tournament:
Compiled by Perfect Game USA / National Junior College Athletic Association
Through Games of May 23, 2011

5-23 5-9 TEAM STATE DIVISION Overall Conf. Post-Season Record Post-Season Status
1 2 Central Arizona AZ NJCAA I 52-13 32-8 4-1 at Western District JC World Series
2 10 Grayson County TX NJCAA I 42-15 22-10 4-1 at Region 5 JC World Series
3 18 Navarro TX NJCAA I 42-17 17-8 4-0 at Region 14 JC World Series
4 3 Howard TX NJCAA I 46-13 26-6 5-2 at Region 5 Season complete
5 25 Chipola FL NJCAA I 39-20 16-8 6-1 at Region 8 JC World Series
6   San Joaquin Delta CA California 35-12 13-8 4-1 at California Final 4 State champion
7 15 Salt Lake UT NJCAA I 49-16 28-12 2-2 at Western District Season complete
8 38 Seward County KS NJCAA I 44-18 21-7 4-0 at Region 6 JC World Series
9 7 Northwest Florida State FL NJCAA I 39-16 16-8 3-2 at Region 8 Season complete
10 40 Jefferson MO NJCAA I 43-20 18-10 2-1 at South Central District JC World Series
11 8 Western Nevada NV NJCAA I 46-13 37-3 2-2 at Region 18 Season complete
12 6 Polk State FL NJCAA I 43-12 16-5 3-2 at Region 8 Season complete
13 32 Southern Union AL NJCAA I 41-18 22-8 5-0 at Region 22 JC World Series
14 34 Iowa Western IA NJCAA I 40-18 15-1 3-1 at Northern District JC World Series
15 1 Santa Fe FL NJCAA I 37-11 18-6 2-2 at Region 8 Season complete
16 11 San Jacinto TX NJCAA I 41-16 24-7 2-2 at Region 14 Season complete
17   Heartland IL NJCAA II 53-9 29-3 6-1 at Region 24 II JC II World Series
18   Potomac State WV NJCAA I 35-10 0-0 2-1 at Eastern District JC World Series
19 9 Santa Ana CA California 30-14 17-4 0-2 at California Final 4 Season complete
20 4 Walters State TN NJCAA I 43-15 20-6 1-2 at East Central District Season complete
21 39 Pitt NC NJCAA I 38-13 16-10 1-2 at Eastern District Season complete
22 5 Rio Hondo CA California 37-5 22-2 1-2 at California super regional Season complete
23 12 USC Sumter SC NJCAA I 41-11 20-4 3-2 at Region 10 Season complete
24 13 Orange Coast CA California 32-10 14-7 2-2 at California super regional Season complete
25 31 Eastern Oklahoma OK NJCAA I 38-22 13-7 1-2 at South Central District Season complete
26 35 Bellevue WA NWAACC 33-13 21-3 NONE NWAACC playoffs
27 26 Lamar CO NJCAA I 47-17 25-5 1-2 at Western District Season complete
28 47 John A. Logan IL NJCAA I 37-19 19-13 2-2 at Northern District Season complete
29 43 Delgado LA NJCAA I 42-17 5-7 2-2 at South Central District Season complete
30 16 Chattanooga State TN NJCAA I 43-12 18-8 3-2 at Region 7 Season complete
31 21 Georgia Perimeter GA NJCAA I 42-17 21-7 0-2 at East Central District Season complete
32 14 Seminole State OK NJCAA I 40-15 15-5 1-2 at Region 2 Season complete
33 20 Neosho County KS NJCAA I 46-13 29-7 0-2 at Region 6 Season complete
34 27 Crowder MO NJCAA I 40-19 20-6 2-2 at Region 16 Season complete
35   Columbia State TN NJCAA I 35-16 16-10 2-2 at East Central District Season complete
36   Ohlone CA California 28-19 16-8 2-2 at California Final 4 Season complete
37 28 Wabash Valley IL NJCAA I 46-17 22-10 2-2 at Region 24 Season complete
38 19 Northwest Shoals AL NJCAA I 37-16 24-3 2-2 at Region 22 Season complete
39 30 Yavapai AZ NJCAA I 36-27 24-17 0-2 at Western District Season complete
40 42 Yakima Valley WA NWAACC 32-10 22-6 NONE NWAACC playoffs
41 23 Blinn TX NJCAA I 38-17 23-8 2-2 at Region 14 Season complete
42   South Georgia GA NJCAA I 33-31 14-14 3-0 at East Central District JC World Series
43 17 McLennan TX NJCAA I 36-22 26-6 0-3 at Region 5 Season complete
44 44 Cowley County KS NJCAA I 43-13 30-6 NONE Season complete
45 33 Olney Central IL NJCAA I 42-17 21-11 1-2 at Region 24 Season complete
46 36 Feather River CA California 31-7 23-2 0-2 in California regional Season complete
47 45 New Mexico NM NJCAA I 37-22 20-12 2-2 at Region 5 Season complete
48 29 Chattahoochee Valley AL NJCAA I 37-19 23-7 0-2 at Region 22 Season complete
49 22 Palomar CA California 28-13 19-6 0-2 at California super regional Season complete
50   Pierce WA NWAACC 31-7 20-4 NONE NWAACC playoffs
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