Kansas City, Mo. - For Saint Xavier University head football coach Mike Feminis, the good news just seems to keep getting better. On Monday, he learned that his Cougars had moved up two spots to No. 3 nationally in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Top 25 Football Poll (September 10). It is the highest national ranking in the history of the program and ties the highest ranking ever by a Saint Xavier University team. Last season, the SXU women's basketball team reached the No. 3 plateau during its record-breaking season. The previous highest mark for Saint Xavier University football came in the 2006 Postseason Top 25 Poll when the Cougars garnered the No. 4 spot.
"I think the rating is great for our program and the University from a publicity standpoint, but I told our guys that we have to keep things in perspective," said Feminis. "We're only two weeks into the season and there is still a long way to go. We just have to keep working hard and try to get better every week."
In addition to the new rating, Feminis also got some good news from the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) this week when he learned that junior linebacker Joe Miller (Chicago, Ill./Gordon Tech) and senior kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) were named Mideast League Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively. Both players were instrumental in SXU's 52-8 road win over MSFA crossover opponent University of St. Francis (Ill.) last Saturday. Miller finished with nine total tackles (seven solos), a sack of nine yards, and a pass break-up. Longest was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra-point attempts and connected on a 33-yard field goal, his lone attempt of the night. He also averaged 45.0 yards a punt on four punt attempts, including a 75-yarder, and three of his eight kickoffs were downed as touchbacks.
Saint Xavier (2-0 overall) opens its home schedule this Saturday, September 15, when former MSFA Midwest League rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) comes to town. The Cougars will host only their second night game in their 15-year history with the kickoff set for 6 p.m. at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Click here to see the latest NAIA Football Top 25 Poll in its entirety.Click here to see the MSFA Mideast League Players of the Week page