If you’re new to Balladeer’s Blog let me start by telling you that I refer to the Mid-States Football Association as “The Association” just like Jim Rome does with the NBA. “Reee-DIK-ulous” I know, but what can I say?
Anyway, Saint Xavier University has been picked in the preseason MSFA poll to win the Mideast League, garnering 62 points and 6 first-place votes. In the national picture, the NAIA Football Coaches Poll was released and Saint Xavier was in the number four spot in the Top 25. Last year the Cougars had the best season in program history, going a perfect 11-0 in the regular season, winning their first MidEast League title in The Association and making it all the way to the quarter-finals in the playoffs, losing to eventual national champs the Sioux Falls Cougars.
Recently I interviewed St Xavier Head Football Coach Mike Feminis for my tell-all book about NAIA sports titled: Why Are Half The Teams In The Top 25 Called The Cougars? (NAIA fans will get it). Eventually, after the coach told me I represented the future of blogging (Or maybe I was the one who blurted that out. It’s all lost in a bourbon haze now) the conversation eventually turned to his team’s 2010 season:
“I know we will be the team that is circled on everyone’s schedule in the MSFA (AKA The Association) and that’s fine with us” Coach Feminis said.
I interrupted the coach with an observation that if his team ever felt the need to appeal to more female fans a good slogan would be “You can’t spell ‘feminist’ without ‘Feminis'” but he just ignored me and continued.
“I honestly believe we should be even better than last year but you don’t win a national championship on paper. The talent is definitely there and I really like what I’ve seen so far in camp…That game against Sioux Falls left a bitter taste in their mouths.”
I asked if that was a not-so-subtle jab at those so-called “Cougar Chips” that USF sells at their concession stand but he indicated that it was actually a reference to his players’ feelings about the playoff loss.
To take a look at the full NAIA Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 just read below:
1. Sioux Falls Cougars
2. Lindenwood Lions
3. Carroll College (MT) Fighting Saints
4. Saint Xavier Cougars
5. Morningside Mustangs
T6. MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers
T6. Lambuth Eagles
9. Ottawa (KS) Braves
10. Missouri Valley Vikings
11. Cumberlands Patriots
12. McPherson Bulldogs
13. Hastings Broncos
14. Minot State Beavers
15. Friends Falcons
16. Walsh Cavaliers
17. Saint Francis Cougars
18. Dickinson State Blue Hawks
19. Langston Lions
20. Grand View Vikings
21. Eastern Oregon Mountaineers
22. Taylor Trojans
23. Northwestern (IA) Red Raiders
24. Baker Wildcats
25. Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers
For the full text of Coach Feminis’ response to my suggestion that he change his team’s name to “The Saint Xavier Cougats” click here: http://www.sxu.edu/athletics/
Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or the NCAA or any of their member institutions.
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