Yes, it’s Balladeer’s Blog’s preseason rankings for the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) football teams. The NAIA has so many potent football teams from top to bottom I’ll be doing an entire Top 25 for them every week instead of my usual Top 12.

The football season in the NAIA kicks off on August 24th, and as always Balladeer’s Blog will be there covering the action all season long.

 The reigning national champions, the Saint Xavier University Cougars will begin defending their title soon with Dianne “The Cougar” Zajdel cheering them on. Coach Mike Feminis’ boys are fresh off their first national football crown but they are not the top team in my rankings here in the preseason.

Based on overall performance over the past several years the C.C. Fighting Saints, last year’s runners- up, are at number 1. The Hellions from Helena, as I call them, have earned a name for football excellence season after season and have won six of the last ten national championships and played in eight of those ten title games. Teams named Cougars have been a hurdle for C.C., with the University of Sioux Falls Cougars and Chicago’s own SXU Cougars being the only two teams to defeat the Fighting Saints in Rome, GA, the home of the NAIA Championship Game.

Coach Fem’s boys are at number two, with the entire Top 25 looking like this:

1. C.C. Fighting Saints   ###   2. SXU Cougars (defending champs)   ###   3. Georgetown (KY) Tigers   ###   4. Marian University Knights   ###   5. MidAmerica Nazarene University Pioneers   ###   6. Morningside Mustangs   ###   7. St Francis (IL) Fighting Saints   ###   8. Missouri Valley College Vikings   ###   9. Northwestern (IA) Red Raiders   ###   10. St Francis (IN) Cougars   ###   11. William Penn University Statesmen   ###   12. Ottawa (KS) Braves   ###   13. Benedictine Ravens   ###   14. Bethel (TN) Wildcats   ###   15. Saint Ambrose University Fighting Bees   ###   16. Eastern Oregon Mountaineers   ###   17. Cumberland Bulldogs   ###   18. Baker Wildcats   ###   19. Cumberlands Patriots   ###   20. Grand Valley Vikings   ###   21. Langston Lions   ###   22. Bethany College Swedes   ###   23. MSUN Lights   ###   24. University of St Mary Spires   ###   25. Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raiders



Filed under college football


  1. You’ve got the Fighting Bees up where they belong!

  2. Never knew these teams existed! I’l; be following them at ur blog this year!

  3. Pingback: Coaching Football » Best College Football Coaches

  4. You got onions, dude! Everyone else put SXU at number 1 just cuz they’re defending champs but you got your eye on CC’s football history all the time .Good for you!

  5. You’re making me a fan of these divisions. Can’t wait to get the results as the games start!

  6. Never heard of NAIA sports before but this rocks! I’ll be following you!

  7. Don’t overlook the USF Cougars in Fort Wayne, Ind. . . . USF Head Coach Kevin Donley is just 2 wins away from tying record for most wins in NAIA history with 254. Thanks for opening up to NAIA football!

    • No problem at all! In fact when Balladeer’s Blog started in 2010 I was covering ONLY NAIA sports! D3 and the others came later! I agree it definitely looks like Donley will get there before Coach Beez out at Dickinson State who seemed a shoe-in to beat him to that goal a few years ago!

  8. I never heard of these teams until now! Awesome! I’ll be checking how they’re doing on this blog later in the month.

  9. You’re the only pollster giving SAU the respect they deserve! All of Davenport Iowa thanks you!

  10. GO Fighting Bees! U give em the luv they deserve!

  11. U know what u r talking about! CC deserves the number one spot, not SXU!

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