- Free Agency
OTTAWA — The reigning Vanier Cup champion McMaster Marauders top the Football Reporters of Canada – CIS rankings for the sixth time in as many polls this season.
The Marauders (5-0) once again received 29 first-place votes and 299 points from the 30-member FRC panel, with the remaining first-place nod going to the Calgary Dinos (5-0), who earned 270 points to remain comfortably in second place for the fourth consecutive week.
The rest of the leading quintet also remains intact in the new Top 10 as the No. 3 Montreal Carabins (5-0) and No. 4 Laval Rouge et Or (5-0) also kept their undefeated record over the past weekend, while the No. 5 Queen’s Gaels (4-1) were victorious for the fourth time in five outings, their only loss coming two weeks ago against top-ranked McMaster.
Rounding out the new media poll are the Regina Rams (4-1), up one position to a season-high No. 6; the Western Mustangs (3-2), down one spot to a season-low No. 7; the Manitoba Bisons (3-2), staying put at No. 8; as well as the No. 9 Guelph Gryphons (4-1) and No. 10 Acadia Axemen (3-1), both unranked last Tuesday.
The Marauders kept their one-game lead atop the OUA standings thanks to a second straight win over a Top-10 opponent. After defeating Queen’s 33-20 two weeks ago, the national champs traveled to London on Saturday and edged Western 33-27 in front of a boisterous homecoming crowd of 10,900 at TD Waterhouse Stadium. McMaster visits York (1-4) on Thursday afternoon and will be seeking its 16th consecutive overall victory dating back to the third week of the 2011 schedule, three shy of the all-time CIS mark set by Laval from 2004 to 2005.
In Calgary, the Dinos crushed archrival Saskatchewan 45-4 at home to preserve a one-game cushion in the Canada West standings going into the conference’s bye week. The reigning four-time CWUAA champions have outscored their rivals 242 to 50 so far this fall for a CIS-best point differential of +192.
In Quebec, Montreal rolled over Concordia 38-0 and Laval dominated then-No. 9 Sherbrooke 48-10 on the road, setting the table for a much-anticipated home-and-away series between the Carabins and Rouge et Or that will go a long way in deciding who will finish first in the RSEQ.
The first end of the two-game set goes Sunday in Quebec City (1:30 p.m. ET, Radio-Canada), with the rematch scheduled the following Saturday (Oct. 13) in Montreal. The Rouge et Or go into the first head-to-head contest riding a CIS-record streak of 53 wins in a row on home turf but will face the last team to beat them at TELUS Stadium, a 14-13 setback that dates way back to Sept. 19, 2004.
Other results by Top-10 teams this past week were Queen’s 32, Ottawa 25 (at Queen’s); Regina 30, Manitoba 27 (at Regina); Guelph 22, Laurier 19 (at Laurier); Acadia 30, Mount Allison 6 (at Acadia).
In addition to Sunday’s Montreal-Laval showdown, another Top-10 battle highlights the Week 6 schedule as Western visits Guelph on Saturday afternoon.
FRC – CIS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#6)
Pts (1st place) Last week
1. McMaster (5-0) 299 (29) 1
2. Calgary (5-0) 270 (1) 2
3. Montreal (5-0) 236 3
4. Laval (5-0) 220 4
5. Queen’s (4-1) 175 5
6. Regina (4-1) 157 7
7. Western (3-2) 115 6
8. Manitoba (3-2) 87 8
9. Guelph (4-1) 50 NR
10. Acadia (3-1) 41 NR
Other teams receiving votes: Sherbrooke (10), Windsor (5), Saskatchewan (3).
– With files from CIS