Football - Wed, Aug. 16, 2006
Olathe, Kan. - With its season opener against Lambuth University (Tenn.) nearly two weeks away on Saturday, September 2, the Saint Xavier University football team got good news from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) when it released its 2006 Preseason Football Ratings Wednesday. The Cougars earned a No. 8 ranking in the preseason poll, their highest ever ranking in the opening top 25 listing.

In addition to Saint Xavier, two other Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League teams were ranked in the NAIA's top 25. McKendree College (Ill.) earned the highest ranking with the No. 5 overall spot, while St. Ambrose University (Iowa) earned No. 19. Earlier this summer, Saint Xavier nabbed the No. 8 preseason rank from Victory Sports Network, a national publication dedicated to coverage of NAIA football. SXU also earned a No. 6 overall preseason ranking from Don Hansen's Football Gazette.

The Cougars also recently received the preseason standings for the MSFA Midwest League as voted by the coaches that make up both leagues of the MSFA. SXU received two first-place votes and finished with 72 total points to earn second place in the standings behind McKendree. University of Saint Francis (Ind.) was the choice to win the Mideast League.

Last season, Saint Xavier finished the 2005 campaign with an overall record of 9-3 for its sixth straight winning season. The Cougars finished in a tie for first place with McKendree College for the MSFA Midwest League crown with a 6-1 mark and ranked in the NAIA's final top 25 poll for the fifth straight season. SXU also qualified for the NAIA postseason for only the second time in its 13-year history and hosted its first-ever playoff game at SXU Stadium.

SXU opens the 2006 season on Saturday, September 2, with a 6 p.m. non-conference home game against Lambuth University (Tenn.). This year's season opener will mark the first night football game in the history of Saint Xavier University and will also debut the new field at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field (to be officially dedicated on September 2), which upgraded to Field Turf from natural grass this summer.