Kansas City, Mo. - With its season opener at Lambuth University (Tenn.) just over a week away on Saturday, September 1, the Saint Xavier University football team got good news from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) when it recently released its 2007 Preseason Football Top 25 Rankings from the NAIA national office in Kansas City, Mo. The Cougars earned a No. 5 ranking in the preseason poll, their highest ever in the opening top 25 listing.
With the realignment of the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA), SXU will move from the Midwest League to the Mideast League for the next two seasons of play (2007 & 2008). In the preseason rankings for the MSFA, Saint Xavier ranked in a tie for second place with Ohio Dominican University (Ohio) with 49 points. The preseason favorite in the Mideast League is 2006 national runner-up University of Saint Francis (Ind.). The move to the Mideast League will present a much tougher regular season slate for the Cougars with four of their league opponents ranked among the NAIA top 25, including No. 2 University of Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 13 Ohio Dominican University, No. 15 Walsh University (Ohio), and No. 23 Malone College (Ohio).
Last season, Saint Xavier finished the 2006 campaign with an overall record of 10-3 for its seventh straight winning season all under head coach Mike Feminis. The Cougars finished second in the MSFA Midwest League behind St. Ambrose University (Iowa), but still earned an at-large berth for the NAIA Championship Series. SXU played well in only its third postseason appearance knocking off No. 7 Georgetown College (Ky.) and four-time defending national champion No. 4 Carroll College (Mont.) before falling in the semifinals to No. 1 University of Saint Francis (Ind.).
The Cougars host their first home game of the 2007 season on Saturday, September 15, with a 6 p.m. MSFA crossover game against former Midwest League rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The home opener will mark just the second night football game in the history of Saint Xavier University and Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.Click here to see the 2007 NAIA Preseason Top 25 RankingClick here to see the 2007 MSFA Preseason Rankings