Football - Thu, Sep. 27, 2007
CHICAGO - It has been a picture perfect start for the 2007 Saint Xavier University football team. A No. 3 national ranking, a perfect 4-0 record, and decisive victories in each of their four non-conference games this season have the Cougars feeling pretty good heading into their new Mideast League slate after spending the last 13 seasons as members of the Mid-States Football Association's Midwest League. However, the transition will not be an easy one as, based on the latest NAIA Football Poll (Sept. 24), four of the seven Mideast opponents SXU will face over the next seven weeks are ranked in the nation's top 25.

"I can't imagine there is a tougher conference in the country than the MSFA Mideast," said Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis. "We have three teams ranked in the top six, two others in the top 25, and another one receiving votes (Urbana University). When everything shakes out at the end of the year, there's going to be some really good football teams that won't make the playoffs. The next seven weeks are going to be a grind to say the least."

The Cougars will open the Mideast League slate with a road game this Saturday at 12 p.m. eastern time against No. 12 ranked Walsh University (Ohio). The game will be played at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, which is also home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Saint Xavier will then return home for a huge Homecoming game against No. 6 Ohio Dominican University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field.

The remaining five weeks will feature a home rematch against No. 25 Malone College (the only team to beat the Cougars at home last season) and a road rematch against No. 2 ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.), the team that ended SXU's postseason run in the 2006 NAIA semifinals. The rematch against Saint Francis (Ind.) will serve as the regular season finale for both teams and will take place on Saturday, November 10, at 12 p.m. eastern time in Fort Wayne, Ind.