JCGridiron - Dirty 30 Preseason Rankings crowded at the top
{{ timeAgo('2021-07-05 09:59:52 -0500') }} football Edit

Dirty 30 Preseason Rankings crowded at the top

With the fourth of July in the rear window, it’s time for the 17th edition of the JCGridiron Dirty 30 Preseason Rankings. After a year of turbulence, turmoil and heartbreak, normal looks like a welcoming site as we head into the heart of the summer months.

Michael Hiers leads a talented cast at Northwest this fall
Michael Hiers leads a talented cast at Northwest this fall (nwccrangers.com)

Last year was a year like no other. Over half the programs in the nation didn’t play, and nearly all of the rest played some sort of an abbreviated schedule. Hutchinson College navigated the season better than anyone, hoisting the banner of Dirty 30 National Champions for the first time in school history. Although there will always be an asterisk attached to the 2020-21 season, Hutch was no different than any other champion before them. They were equally deserving, filled with talent and checking all of the boxes necessary.

Having said that, JCGridiron is not in the business of anointing the previous champion as the preseason favorite the following season. That’s a lazy man’s approach, and doesn’t take into account all of the turnover in two-year football. It’s only happened a couple of times in the history of the rankings, and it won’t happen in 2021. The Blue Dragons could very well end up hoisting the banner again in 2021, but they’ll be doing it with new players, new opponents and what appears to be a full complement of competition.

After close to 20 months away from football, the West Coast appears to be on track to start back up this fall. Only five of the 65+ programs in California played during the spring of 2021, with nobody playing more than four games. The reports out of California are pretty similar among the traditional powers … huge rosters with little experience. Most of the schools will now have three years’ worth of players for two years’ worth of uniforms, making for a unique battle for roster spots and playing time. The level of play should be off the charts once the dust settles, making for a compelling season.

Every season we get a ton of questions regarding our preseason rankings. We also get criticism, praise and tons of hyperbole. I’ll take this time to explain the methodology the best I can. The JCGridiron Dirty 30 Rankings and based upon information available. If we don’t have much information on your team, don’t be surprised if they show up lower than expected in the preseason rankings. We solicit the programs during the spring, with most responding and some choosing to be coy. What I always remind people, is that the difference between 1-15 in the preseason rankings is minimal. All of these programs are solid. Most have quarterbacks and a solid supporting cast around them. The rest is up to them.

Northwest Mississippi starts the fall 2021 campaign as the top team in the nation. The Rangers return a solid nucleus from a team that won the Mississippi state title during the fall. If it weren’t for the abbreviated schedule during the fall, Northwest could have easily been holding the banner last month. They led the rankings from early December until week eight of the spring when Hutchinson finally passed them. With Michael Hiers at quarterback and a full complement of returning stars around him, the Rangers are going to score a lot of points. The question is, will they have enough to fend off the tidal wave of talent that exists in the Mississippi ranks. And let us not forget, East Mississippi is back in the mix this season after taking the 2020 season off due to COVID-19. The Lions have won or shared a record four Dirty 30 Titles since 2005, and are rumored to be as solid as ever. East Mississippi enters the season at No. 4 in the rankings.

The No. 2 team to start the summer is Iowa Western, who has won or shared two Dirty 30 national titles. The Reivers return the 2021 (spring) NJCAA Offensive Player-of-the-Year in quarterback Nate Glantz. After an opening day loss to Snow during the spring, Iowa Western ripped off seven straight wins to close the season, including four shutouts along the way.

Hutchinson starts the season at No. 3 in the rankings. The Blue Dragons will turn the reigns over to Dylan Laible under center. Laible played in six games this spring, sharing time with Chidi Ogbonna (SE Missouri St). Hutch will also go into battle with a ton of new faces on defense after graduation ran its course. The Blue Dragons also face the challenge of a quick turnaround. Having just finished playing last month, what does that do to the evaluation process and rehabilitation? Only time will tell.

The California ranks should be a battle. This season’s early favorite is San Mateo, who came within an eyelash of winning the 2019 state title. The Bulldogs have leadership under center in Luke Bottari, and are always tough in the trenches. San Mateo starts the season at No. 5 in the rankings, followed in the Golden State by Riverside City (#9), Modesto (#11), San Francisco (#14) and Fullerton (#17).

Without further ado, here is the JCGridiron Preseason Dirty 30 Rankings.

JCGridiron Preseason Dirty 30 Rankings (7/5/21)
Rank Program City 20-21 Rec Prev 

1

Northwest

Senatobia, MS

6-0

2

2

Iowa Western

Council Bluffs, IA

7-1

6

3

Hutchinson

Hutchinson, KS

8-0

1

4

East Mississippi

Scooba, MS

0-0

NR

5

San Mateo

San Mateo, CA

0-0

NR

6

Snow

Ephraim, UT

6-1

3

7

Gulf Coast

Perkinston, MS

5-1

7

8

Lackawanna

Scranton, PA

1-1

12

9

Riverside City

Riverside, CA

0-0

NR

10

Garden City

Garden City, KS

7-1

5

11

Modesto

Modesto, CA

0-0

NR

12

Cisco

Cisco, TX

7-0

4

13

Jones

Ellisville, MS

3-2

14

14

San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

0-0

NR

15

Northeast

Raymond, MS

5-1

13

16

Kilgore

Kilgore, TX

7-1

8

17

Fullerton

Fullerton, CA

0-0

NR

18

Independence

Independence, KS

5-2

9

19

Iowa Central

Fort Dodge, IA

5-3

15

20

American River

Sacramento, CA

0-0

NR

21

Trinity Valley

Athens, TX

5-2

11

22

Butler

El Dorado, KS

2-4

20

23

Sierra

Rocklin, CA

0-0

NR

24

Hinds

Raymond, MS

3-1

10

25

Ventura

Ventura, CA

0-0

NR

26

Saddleback

Mission Viejo, CA

0-0

NR

27

Coffeyville

Coffeyville, KS

3-3

16

28

Coahoma

Clarksdale, MS

3-2

28

29

Butte

Oroville, CA

0-0

NR

30

Canyons

Santa Clarita, CA

0-0

NR

Others on the Bubble: Laney (CA), Copiah-Lincoln (MS), Mt. San Antonio (CA), New Mexico Military, Long Beach City (CA), Navarro (TX), Blinn (TX), Fresno City (CA), Holmes (MS), Golden West (CA), Georgia Military, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, ASA-Miami (FL), Minnesota State, Gila River (AZ), Antelope Valley (CA), Bakersfield (CA), Tyler (TX), El Camino (CA), Monroe (NY), Santa Rosa (CA), Cerritos (CA), San Diego Mesa (CA), Itawamba (MS), Chaffey (CA), Shasta (CA), North Dakota SCS, East Los Angeles (CA), ASA-Brooklyn (NY), San Bernardino Valley (CA)

DIRTY 30 TITLE HISTORY

History of JCGridiron Dirty 30 National Champions
Year Champion(s)

20-21 (C-19)

Hutchinson College (KS)

2019

Riverside City College (CA)

2018

East Mississippi College (MS)

2017

Iowa Western College (IA) *

2016

(split) Garden City College (KS) / Fullerton College (CA)

2015

City College of San Francisco (CA)

2014

East Mississippi College (MS)

2013

(split) East Mississippi College (MS) / Butte College (CA)

2012

Iowa Western College (IA)

2011

East Mississippi College (MS)

2010

Mt. San Antonio College (CA)

2009

Mt. San Antonio College (CA)

2008

Butte College (CA)

2007

(split) Gulf Coast College (MS) / Butler College (KS)

2006

Blinn College (TX)

2005

Glendale College (AZ)

* won Dirty 30 title as a result of Fullerton College having to forfeit all of their games