Tag Archives: Mike Feminis


Today the NAIA’s number 1 team, the St Xavier University Cougars (defending champions) welcome the 7th- ranked St Francis (IL) Fighting Saints in an early season test for Coach Mike Feminis’ Cougars.

In NCAA Division 2 their top-ranked defending champs, the Pittsburg (KS) State Gorillas, are hosting the Central Oklahoma Bronchos (their spelling) while in Division 3 the 1 and 2 teams are off but the Continue reading


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 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. Continue reading


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SXU Cougars QB Jimmy Coy, Offensive Player of the Game

 Sad to say, the college football playoffs and bowls for the divisions covered by Balladeer’s  Blog are all over now, except for some All-Star Games. The SXU Cougars won the NAIA football championship in the latest game of Saturday night, giving the Cougars and their head coach Mike Feminis their first national title. It’s not at all true that when Feminis hoisted the trophy over his head that he cried out “This one’s for Dianne!” (As in Zajdell, a Cougar of a different kind)

Anyway, to wrap up this year’s gridiron action here’s a final nod of recognition to the 2011 champions and the teams they played in their title matchups.

NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics ) – Champions – SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS  Runners up – CC Fighting Saints

NCAA Division 2 – Champions – PITTSBURG (KS) STATE GORILLAS   Runners up – Wayne State Warriors 

NCAA Division 3 – Champions – WHITEWATER WARHAWKS (Threepeat)   Runners up – Mt Union Purple Raiders

NJCAA – Champions – EAST Continue reading


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 THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE ROME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – That’s Rome, GA, where the NAIA college football championship game is once again being played. I’ve taken to describing NAIA  football as “a league full of Tim Tebows” to help appeal to people who are sick and tired of the cheaters, felons and alleged child- abusers of NCAA Division 1 football. Besides, anyone fed up with the NCAA’s endless power plays and the way it goes after the minnows while letting the sharks roam free should embrace this alternative brand of collegiate athletics.

Today’s championship game finds the Saint Xavier University Cougars making their first- ever appearance in the title matchup. Their opponents, the CC Fighting Saints, are the current ruling dynasty in NAIA football, having won 6 of the last 9 championships, and Continue reading


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Well, the new polls are out for the divisions of college football that Balladeer’s Blog covers. I’ll have the entire Top 25 lists in a moment, but first, since this is the last poll for September let’s take a closer look at our number 1 teams at present.

NAIA – The unanimous number 1 team continues to be the Saint Xavier University Cougars. Coach Mike Feminis, AKA Coach Fem, knows football even better than he knows B-Movies, all of which makes him one of my favorite coaches in college sports. This past weekend the Cougars completely dismantled the Trinity International Trojans by a score of 49-14. The Menlo Oaks, making a name for themselves this year by consistently defeating NCAA Division 3 teams, make their first appearance in the 2011 Top 25, as do the Evangel Crusaders and the VCS Vikings.

NCAA DIVISION 3 – The Whitewater Warhawks  maintain their stranglehold on the top spot, with the Mt Union Purple Raiders naturally right behind them at number 2. For newbies to D3 football, the Warhawks and Purple Raiders are the Yankees and Red Sox of the sport and have played each other in the D3 national championship game for the past 6 years in a row. Each team has won 3 during that run. Will it be “Purple Bowl VII” this December 16th, or will another team manage to rise up in the playoffs and actually beat one of these two powerhouses?  

NCAA DIVISION 2 – The Northwest Missouri Bearcats, after a cruel and heart- breaking offseason, are getting it done on the field and are number 1 for the 2nd week in a row. This week the Bearcats prepare for the Fall Classic against the Pittsburg (KS) State Gorillas coming up on Saturday. At 2, 3 and 5 in Division 2 are 3/5’s of the pitifully few remaining teams in the Gulf South Conference, formerly the SEC of D2 football. In second place  are Terry Bowden’s North Alabama Lions, in the 3 spot are the Lions’ GSC rivals, the Delta State Statesemen and the VSU Blazers are at number 5.

NJCAA – The Navarro College Bulldogs, the defending champions of NJCAA football, retain the top spot. The ‘dogs from Corsicana, TX have rarely been challenged so far this season outside of opening night, when they needed overtime to win the rematch with the Butler (KS) Grizzlies, the team they defeated for the title on December 5th. The Blinn College Buccaneers, where Cam Newton played college ball before transferring to Auburn, clung to the 2 spot, with the Arizona Western College Matadors and the Iowa Western Reivers hanging around the Top 5.

SCFA – The Saddleback Gauchos are the new number 1 in the SCFA poll, after the former number one, and the defending champs, the Mt San Antonio College Mounties, were upset by the Riverside Tigers on Saturday. The 4th place Tigers garnered 2 number 1 votes after bringing down Mt SAC and 3 more went to the 2nd place team, the El Camino Warriors. The Mounties themselves fell to number 5, just behind the team that unseated them, and coming in at the 3 spot are the Fullerton Hornets. Mt SAC is the only team in the Top 5 with a Continue reading


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Maher Intrigues NFL Scouts at Northwestern Pro Day

Evanston, Ill. – After spending the last four seasons impressing Saint Xavier University football fans on Saturday afternoons, former standout wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) may get the opportunity to showcase his skills for a national audience on Sunday afternoons after impressing some National Football League (NFL) scouts at Continue reading

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