Kansas City, Mo. - With its season opener against 2007 NCAA Division III national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Wis.) just over three weeks away on Friday, September 5, the Saint Xavier University football team received good news from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) when it released its 2008 Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll late Monday from the national office in Kansas City, Mo. The Cougars earned a No. 8 ranking in the preseason poll voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. SXU was also ranked No. 7 in the 2008 Victory Sports Network Preseason NAIA Football Top 25 Poll earlier this month. VSN is a national media outlet based out of Grand Island, Neb., that covers NAIA Athletics.
SXU will play its second straight season in the highly competitive Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League in 2008 and were recently predicted to finish third in the league behind Ohio Dominican University (Ohio) and University of Saint Francis (Ind.), respectively. In the preseason ranks for the MSFA, Saint Xavier finished third with 48 points, while ODU garnered 60 points and USF posted 59 points. The MSFA Mideast League was well represented in the 2008 NAIA preseason poll as well with Ohio Dominican ranked No. 2, Saint Francis (Ind.) at No. 5, and Malone College (Ohio) sitting at No. 19.
Last season, Saint Xavier finished the 2007 campaign with an overall record of 10-3 for its eighth straight winning season all under head coach Mike Feminis. The Cougars finished third in the MSFA Mideast League behind ODU and USF, but still earned an at-large berth for the NAIA Championship Series. SXU played well in only its fourth postseason appearance (third consecutive) knocking off No. 7 Saint Ambrose University (Iowa) before falling in quarterfinals action to No. 1 University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).
The Cougars host their first home game of the 2008 season on Thursday, September 11, with a 7 p.m. MSFA crossover game against former Midwest League rival University of St. Francis (Ill.). The home opener will mark the first Thursday night football game at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.To see the entire NAIA Football Preseason Top 25 Poll, click hereTo view the 2008 MSFA Preseason Poll, click here