Upset losses by two of the top four teams in last week’s NJCAA poll have set the stage for a top-five showdown this weekend between No. 2 Iowa Western and No. 5 Georgia Military.
The Reivers and Bulldogs, both 5-0, moved up in the rankings this week heading into their Saturday meeting in Milledgeville, Ga. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
Reigning national champion Iowa Western, which garnered three of the nine first-place votes, moved within three points of claiming the top spot after previous No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast fell to current No. 9 Jones County (Miss.) in a 42-32 shootout last Thursday night.
Navarro (Texas), ranked second a week ago, moved into the top spot following its 35-21 win over Kilgore on Saturday. But it lost its starting quarterback to a shoulder injury in the victory. Josh Greer’s status for Saturday’s game with Trinity Valley, the team IWCC beat 24-17 in its 2013 opener, is unclear.
Georgia Military advanced in the poll following then-No. 4 Butler’s stunning 23-21 loss to Highland, which snapped a 47-game home winning streak by the Grizzlies dating to 2005. The Bulldogs, who began the season unranked, have ascended to No. 5 thanks to a road victory over preseason No. 2 Snow (Utah) and a neutral-site win over then-No. 10 ASA (N.Y.) in Morgantown, W.Va.
Led by running back Jovon Robinson, the NJCAA’s leading rusher, GMC is the only rated team remaining on Iowa Western’s schedule. The Reivers face improved Arkansas Baptist next week before beginning their second set of double round-robin games in the Midwest Football Conference.
Iowa Western outscored its four MFC opponents by a combined 181-10 margin the first time through.