Football - Fri, Aug. 19, 2005
Olathe, Kan. - With its season and home opener against No. 8 Northwestern Oklahoma State University just over two weeks away, the Saint Xavier University football team got some good news from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) when it released its 2005 Preseason Football Ratings this week. The Cougars earned a No. 17 ranking in the preseason poll, up five spots from their final 2004 postseason ranking of No. 22.

In addition to Saint Xavier, three other Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League teams were ranked in the NAIA's top 25. McKendree College (Ill.) earned the highest ranking with the No. 9 spot, while Trinity International University (Ill.) garnered No. 16 and St. Ambrose University (Iowa) earned No. 22.

SXU also cracked the top 25 in NAIAFOOTBALL.NET, a national publication dedicated to coverage of NAIA football. Saint Xavier earned a No. 25 ranking when the list was released in its NAIA Preview edition earlier this month. McKendree (No. 13), Trinity International (No. 19) and St. Ambrose (No. 24) all earned spots on NAIAFOOTBALL.NET's Top 25 list as well.

The Cougars also recently received the preseason standings for the MSFA Midwest League as voted by the fifteen coaches that make up both leagues of the MSFA. SXU received one first-place vote and finished with 86 total points to earn third place in the standings behind McKendree and St. Ambrose, respectively. University of Saint Francis (Ind.) was the unanimous choice to win the Mideast League.

Last season, Saint Xavier finished the 2004 campaign with an overall record of 7-4 for its fifth straight winning season. The Cougars finished in a tie for second place with Trinity International with a 5-2 mark in the MSFA Midwest League. It was also the fourth straight year that Saint Xavier has finished the season rated in the NAIA's top 25.

SXU opens the 2005 season on Saturday, September 3, with a 1 p.m. home game against No. 8 Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The Rangers finished the 2004 season with a 9-2 record.