OTTAWA -- For the second consecutive season and the eighth time in 10 years, the Laval Rouge et Or top the first national ranking of the CIS football season.
The Rouge et Or, who last November repeated as Vanier Cup champions and have now won a record eight CIS titles in program history, were a unanimous choice at No. 1 in the first poll of 2014, receiving all 30 first-place votes and 300 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel.
Following in order in the inaugural Top 10 are the second-ranked Calgary Dinos (260 points), No. 3 Western Mustangs (250), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (164), No. 5 McMaster Marauders (144), No. 6 Manitoba Bisons (140), No. 7 UBC Thunderbirds (80), No. 8 Guelph Gryphons (60), No. 9 Queen’s Gaels (56) and No. 10 Saskatchewan Huskies (56).
In a rematch of last year’s Vanier Cup final, Laval hosted Calgary in pre-season action last Saturday in Quebec City and once again came out on top, this time by a 35-23 score in front of 10,210 fans at TELUS-UL Stadium. The Rouge et Or face a serious test on Saturday night when they open their RSEQ schedule at home against archrival Montreal, which they edged 14-11 in last fall’s Dunsmore Cup final.
The Dinos also open conference play at home, on Friday, against Alberta.
The regular season got under way on Labour Day in the OUA with McMaster coming back to edge Guelph 34-27 in overtime, Queen’s defeating Windsor 39-30, Ottawa dominating York 51-7, Laurier cruising to a 53-17 victory over Toronto, and Carleton outscoring Waterloo 33-14 for its first win since returning to CIS football a year ago.
Reigning OUA champion Western enjoyed a bye week and kicks off its Yates Cup title defence Saturday at York.
Defending AUS titlist Mount Allison opens at home against Acadia, also on Saturday.
|Week 1 Rankings|
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Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (36), Sherbrooke (26), Mount Allison (20), Laurier (16), Bishop's (14), Ottawa(12), Regina (6), Windsor (2), Carlton (1).