CHICAGO – With the players flocking to campus Monday for the start of preseason camp, the Saint Xavier University football team also learned that it earned a No. 16 national ranking on the 2014 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll and are projected to take second in the 2014 Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League standings behind only 2013 NAIA National Champion Grand View University (Iowa). The NAIA preseason poll was released by the national office Monday afternoon, while the MSFA released its preseason projections earlier this month. SXU had 31 points and one first-place vote in the conference poll, while Grand View had 35 points and five first-place votes.
"It is always nice to see your team ranked among the NAIA's best in the polls, but to our program, being No. 16 is nowhere near good enough," said SXU head football coach Mike Feminis. "Our players and coaches expect to compete for a national championship every single season and missing the postseason last season was completely unacceptable.
"We may have one of the toughest schedules in the NAIA this fall, but that is exactly what we want because you have to beat the best to be the best," continued Feminis. "Our guys are hungry to get back out on the field and prove that they are one of the elite teams in the nation and that all starts today."
Saint Xavier kicks off the 2014 season on the road against Marian University (Ind.) on Saturday, September 6. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (eastern) start at St. Vincent Health Field in Indianapolis. The Cougars host their first home game on Saturday, September 13, with NCAA Division II University of Indianapolis coming to Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field. That kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
2014 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll (August 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Grand View (Iowa) (15)||14-0||340|
|6||6||Saint Francis (Ind.)||9-3||278|
|9||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||9-4||226|
|16||T16||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||7-4||147|
|17||T16||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||7-4||130|
|18||18||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-3||123|
|20||20||St. Francis (Ill.)||7-4||88|
|21||21||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||8-3||72|
|24||23||Peru State (Neb.)||7-4||42|
Others Receiving Votes: Eastern Oregon 17; Reinhardt (Ga.) 13; Siena Heights (Mich.) 5.
^ Top 25 ranking from 2014 Spring Top 25 Poll