With a season-opening road game against 2007 NCAA Division III national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Wis.) scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, September 5, Saint Xavier University head football coach Mike Feminis is anxiously awaiting the start of spring practices next week. The Cougars will hold 12 practice sessions beginning on Wednesday, April 2, before culminating their annual routine with a Spring Scrimmage game scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at 11 a.m. at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.
"I'm really excited about the 2008 schedule, because we are obviously throwing ourselves right into the fire by opening up against Wisconsin-Whitewater," said Feminis. "Sometimes it is difficult to compare the different levels of competition, because they are not your normal Division III program. I look at Whitewater as being similar to the Carroll's, Sioux Falls', and Saint Francis' (Ind.) of the NAIA, which are more like a mid-level NCAA Division II program."
Saint Xavier opens its home slate on Thursday, September 11, at 7 p.m. with a Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover game against former MSFA Midwest League rival University of St. Francis (Ill.). The remaining home games include: Walsh University (Ohio) on October 4 at 1 p.m., Marian College (Ind.) on October 25 at 7 p.m., Taylor University (Ind.) on November 8 at 1 p.m., and University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on November 15 at 1 p.m. The other road games include: Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) on September 20 at 6 p.m., Trinity International University (Ill.) on September 27 at 1 p.m., Ohio Dominican University (Ohio) on October 11 at 11:30 a.m., Urbana University (Ohio) on October 18 at 11 a.m., and Malone College (Ohio) on November 1 at 10 a.m.
"We have three crossover games, which are always battles, with our Chicago area rivals in St. Francis (Ill.), Olivet Nazarene, and Trinity International," continued Feminis. "As for our conference schedule, I think the MSFA Mideast League proved to be the best conference in the country last year. We had six teams in the top 25 at one time during the season and three of us (SXU, Saint Francis-Ind., and Ohio Dominican) qualified for the playoffs and ended up rated in the top 10. I know that it sounds like a cliché, but every week in this league is like a heavyweight fight."
Saint Xavier ended its 2007 season with a 10-3 overall record. It was the third straight season the Cougars have qualified for the 16-team NAIA Championships Series and the second straight year it has earned a berth to at least the quarterfinals. SXU finished with a No. 8 national rank in the 2007 NAIA Football Top 25 Postseason Coaches' Poll, which was released on January 14, 2008.Click here to go to the 2008 Saint Xavier University Football schedule