Blinn College will open the 2008 football season on Aug. 28 against Butler Community College of Kansas in the "Battle of the Champions." The game features the 2007 NJCAA national champion Butler Grizzlies against the 2006 national champion Blinn Buccaneers. The two teams are ranked first and second in the NJCAA pre-season poll. The game will be played in the 24,000-seat Cessna Stadium on the Wichita State University campus.
The highly-anticipated contest features the only two programs to ever win back-to-back NJCAA national championships: Blinn in 1995 and 1996, and Butler in 1998 and 1999.
The game also features two of the most successful head coaches at the community college level. Brad Franchione enters his fourth season at Blinn with an overall record of 26-6, including a perfect 12-0 national championship campaign his second year in 2006. Troy Morrell begins his ninth season at Butler with an overall record of 85-10 and two national championships (2003, 2007).
Blinn's All-American quarterback Terrance Cain returns behind a huge offensive line (averaging 300+ lbs.) and with seasoned players at receiver, tight end, and running back. Cain set a NJCAA record last season with a 71.1 percent completion rate. He led the Southwest Junior College Football Conference with 2,185 passing yards completing 178 of 290 passes including 22 touchdowns
Cain, linebacker Prentice Joseph, and kicker Brad Hicks are Pre-Season All-American selections. Joseph returns as the only remaining player from the 2006 National Championship team. Hicks started every game in 2007.
"There are tremendous leaders in this returning group and an abundance of talent in the freshman class," Franchione said. "I'm impressed by their work ethic and their ability to listen and learn. That gets me excited about going into this season."
The Bucs return six starters each on offense and defense along with the returning kicker and punter. Thirteen Blinn players signed with Division I schools - five of those very late in the year, complicating a challenging schedule that features only three home games: Tyler (Oct. 4), Northeastern Oklahoma (Oct. 18), and Navarro College (Nov. 1).
Blinn and Butler have met only once before. In 1987 in the Texas Shrine Bowl, the Bucs defeated the Grizzlies 35-14.
Aug. 28 Butler Community College 7 p.m. Wichita, KS
Sept. 8 Abilene Christian University JV TBA Abilene
Sept. 13 Open
Sept. 20 Arkansas Baptist University 3 p.m. Rockwall, TX
Sept. 27 Kilgore College 7 p.m. Kilgore
Oct. 4 Tyler Junior College 3 p.m. Home
Oct. 11 Trinity Valley College 3 p.m. Athens
Oct. 18 Northeastern Oklahoma 3 p.m. Home (Homecoming)
Oct. 25 Cisco Junior College 3 p.m. Cisco
Nov. 1 Navarro College 3 p.m. Home
Nov. 8 1st round of SWJCFC playoffs
Nov. 15 SWJCFC Championship