OTTAWA — The reigning Vanier Cup champion McMaster Marauders top the Football Reporters of Canada – CIS rankings for the seventh time in as many polls this season.
The Marauders (6-0) 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 268 points to remain comfortably in second place for the fifth consecutive week.
There are a number of changes behind the leading duo in the new media poll with five teams on the move.
The No. 3 Laval Rouge et Or (6-0) and No. 4 Queen’s Gaels (5-1) both moved up one position; the No. 5 Montreal Carabins (5-1) are down two spots; the No. 6 Regina Rams (4-1) stay put; the No. 7 Guelph Gryphons (5-1) are up two; the No. 8 Manitoba Bisons (3-2) hold on to their previous position; the No. 9 Western Mustangs (3-3) are down a pair; and the No. 10 Acadia Axemen (4-1) also stay put.
The No. 4 ranking is a season best for Queen’s, while Guelph had not been ranked this high nationally since reaching fourth place in October of 1997 (Oct. 21 poll).
Results by Top-10 teams this past week were McMaster 54, York 14 (at York); Laval 30, Montreal 11 (at Laval); Queen’s 24, Windsor 7 (at Windsor); Guelph 42, Western 39 (at Guelph); Acadia 41, StFX 14 (at StFX). Calgary, Regina and Manitoba all enjoyed a break in the Canada West schedule.
With their domination of York, the top-ranked Marauders moved to 6-0 in league play for the first time since 2003 – when they went 8-0 in conference action for the second straight year – and extended to 16 games their overall winning streak dating back to Week 3 of the 2011 schedule, three shy of the all-time CIS mark set by Laval from 2004 to 2005.
The defending national champs and all-star quarterback Kyle Quinlan, who leads the country with 15 touchdown passes and has yet to throw an interception this season, can clinch first place in the OUA on Saturday with a home victory against Windsor (3-3).
In the most anticipated matchup of Week 6, Sunday in Quebec City, third-ranked Laval sent a message to its RSEQ rivals and to the rest of the country with a convincing 30-11 win over previously undefeated Montreal. The result extended Laval’s CIS-record streak to 54-straight overall victories on home turf dating back to 2004, but more importantly it gave the Rouge et Or a 19-point cushion going into Saturday’s rematch at Montreal. Point differential in head-to-head competition will serve as the first tiebreaker should the archrivals finish the campaign with identical records.
In the other Top-10 battle of the past weekend, Saturday in Guelph, the No. 7 Gryphons built a 33-7 lead by halftime and then held on to upset visiting Western 42-39. Things don’t get any easier this week for the upstart Gryphons as they host No. 4 Queen’s for a contest that will most likely decide second place in Ontario.
Queen’s is coming off a solid 24-7 road win against Windsor.