Kansas City, Mo. - In 37 years of varsity competition, the Saint Xavier University Athletics Department has never boasted a team with a No. 2 national ranking. That streak ended Monday as the SXU football team moved up one spot to claim No. 2 in this week's NAIA Top 25 Football Poll. The unprecedented upward move comes just two days after the Cougars defeated No. 12 ranked Walsh University (Ohio), 13-10, in Canton, Ohio. University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) claims the top spot in the poll for the fifth straight week after winning the national championship in 2006.
The Saint Xavier players and coaching staff will have little time to enjoy the new ranking as they prepare for a monster Homecoming match-up with No. 4 ranked Ohio Dominican University. ODU is also a perfect 5-0 this season and is coming off a big 30-20 upset win Saturday over previously unbeaten and then-No. 2 ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.). The Panthers bring a high-powered offense that averages 44.6 points and 535.4 yards of total offense per game.
"We're obviously very excited about where we are right now, but to be honest, we just need to focus on Ohio Dominican," said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. "They are a tremendous football team and we'll have to play mistake-free football to beat them. With it being Homecoming and Ohio Dominican coming here undefeated, I'm anticipating a huge crowd and quite a lively atmosphere Saturday. It should be fun."
Saint Xavier (5-0 overall/1-0 MSFA) hosts its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, October 6. The Cougars-Panthers match-up is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.Click here to see the NAIA Top 25 Football Poll for October 1.