RCTC to play in national title game

Has the clock struck midnight on the Rochester Community and Technical College football team?

RCTC Football 05
Jonathan Rojas celebrates with his teammates after defeating North Dakota State College of Science in the MCAC football state championship game at St. Cloud State University.

Rochester Community and Technical College announced this morning that it will face off against No. 1 Northwest Mississippi in the NJCAA Championship game in Biloxi, Miss. next month.

The Yellowjackets, ranked second in the nation among junior college teams, had received an offer to play in the Mississippi Bowl national title game on Dec. 6.

A press conference was to be held at 1 p.m. today in the college's atrium to provide more information, according to an email from Nate Stoltman, director of marketing and communications for the college.

Earlier in the morning, RCTC President Leslie McClellon said in an interview on KROC-AM this morning that the matter was "in negotiations."

McClellon said the negotiations were about contract terms, not financial issues.


Stoltman told the Post-Bulletin before the announcement that "there's language in the contract that had to be agreed upon through everyone's system office about legal liability indemnification and we have not received the OK from Mississippi yet."

When the college uses a standard Minnesota State Colleges and Universities contract, Stoltman said, it typically doesn't need MnSCU approval, but this one did require MnSCU review.

Stoltman said there are a few things MnSCU institutions are not allowed to do, such as pre-pay for some items. There's also specific language involving indemnification that the college is required to use.

The Yellowjackets' head coach, Bill Quistorff, said Wednesday, "As far as I know, it's in the process and it should be right around the corner here." Sophomore quarterback Nick Rooney said, "We're just going with the flow. Nothing's happening. We're just practicing and waiting to see what happens."

Most other highly ranked teams had already committed to bowl games, and according to the National Junior College Athletic Association , only two football matchups remain to be determined, the national championship game and the Valley of the Sun Bowl in Phoenix. If for whatever reason RCTC declines a berth in the title game, that could have an impact of other teams trying to find a way to play Northwest Mississippi (10-1).

RCTC, a Division III non-scholarship school, is 11-0 and remains the only unbeaten junior college team in the nation. It's rare for a non-scholarship team to get a shot in the national title game, but the Yellowjackets have been frequent invitees to bowl games. Since 2005, the team's last seven bowl games have been played in Iowa or Minnesota, but in a four-year span prior to that, RCTC played in bowl games in Utah, Kansas, Texas and Arizona.

Rochester Community and Technical College players hoist the trophy to celebrate their victory over North Dakota State College of Science to capture the MCAC football championship.

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