Garden City, KS-Following a practice during his team's a 1-7 start last year, Garden City football coach Jeff Sims looked at his team straight in the eyes with encouragement.
"Guys, I've coached teams that have won three games, and I have coached teams that have played for the national championship," he said. "But I promise you this-if you guys buy in and work, this staff will get you where you want to go."
A few days later, the Broncbusters knocked off then No. 1 Butler. 12 months after that, Garden City received its highest national ranking since the turn of the century.
"I promise you that we were doing the same things last year," Sims said. "It's just a very long process. I was always told that you win with players at this level. We have the players."
Those players just handed Butler their first shutout loss in 25 years (43-0 on Saturday). That win also opened more eyes across the country on Monday when Garden City came in at No. 3 in the latest NJCAA rankings.
It's the highest Garden City has been in the polls since September 4, 2002 following a 20-12, opening-week victory over Dodge City. However; a week-two loss to Coffeyville dropped the Broncbusters from No. 2 to No. 13.
This was also the first week of the FCR rankings. Those algorithms pushed the Broncbusters in front of 5-0 Lackawanna, PA, who dropped from four to six.
Those same rankings flipped flopped the No. 1 and 2 teams as NW Mississippi became the new top team followed by former No. 1 Arizona Western, who plays another former No. 1 in Snow College this weekend.
Another team that held that prestiguous top spot was Trinity Valley, who pushed their way back into the top five at No. 4 following their victory over sixth-ranked New Mexico Military.
East Mississippi, who faces off with NW Mississippi in two weeks, slid up to No. 5. Dodge City, who overcame a 16-point deficit to beat Independence, stayed put at No. 10.