OTTAWA -- There are no changes this week in the CIS football Top 10. Only three nationally-ranked teams were in action on Thanksgiving weekend, which featured only four games in Ontario and two in the Maritimes.
The Western Mustangs (7-0) top the Football Reporters of Canada poll for the third straight week thanks to 20 first-place votes and 290 points. The reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or (6-0) once again earned the remaining 10 first-place nods and 280 points from the FRC panel to remain comfortably in second position.
Rounding out the eighth national poll of the campaign are the No. 3 Calgary Dinos (6-0 / 234 points), No. 4 Guelph Gryphons (7-0 / 206), No. 5 Queen’s Gaels (6-1 / 186), No. 6 Montreal Carabins (4-2 / 146), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (4-2 / 110), No. 8 Bishop’s Gaiters (4-2 / 87), No. 9 McMaster Marauders (4-3 / 67) and No. 10 Windsor Lancers (4-3 / 17).
Guelph, Queen’s and McMaster were the only Top-10 squads to take the field last weekend and all registered convincing road wins. The Gryphons defeated newcomer Carleton 48-12, the Gaels crushed Waterloo 78-21, while the Marauders beat Laurier 28-5.
Guelph and Queen’s face off Saturday in Kingston in the feature match-up of Week 9, live on Sportsnet 360 at 1 p.m. ET.
Heading into the final weekend of OUA league play, the undefeated Gryphons are tied with Western atop the conference standings and would secure at least second place with a win. The Gaels can no longer finish first after losing to Western three weeks ago but would leapfrog Guelph with a victory on home turf.
Meanwhile, Western and Laval can clinch first place in the OUA and RSEQ, respectively. The top-ranked Mustangs host York (2-5) Saturday afternoon, while the Vanier Cup champs host Sherbrooke (2-4) Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET, live nationally on Radio-Canada.
Should Western and Guelph end up with identical 8-0 records in the OUA, the Mustangs would get the edge thanks to a better point differential. The Mustangs have scored a whopping 408 points in their first seven outings and need 17 more against York to shatter the single-season OUA mark set by McMaster in 2003, a tally which ranks third on the all-time CIS list (Laval, 481, 2003 / Saint Mary’s, 480, 2001).
Western kicker Lirim Hajrullahu could also make CIS history on Saturday. The fifth-year senior needs nine points in his final league game to break the CIS career standard of 410 established by former Ottawa great Neil Lumsden from 1972 to 1975.
In Quebec, in addition to securing top spot in the standings, Laval will be looking to extend a pair of impressive streaks which date back to 2003, the year their next opponent, Sherbrooke, joined the RSEQ. The Rouge et Or have won a CIS-record 61 consecutive games at home overall and are 17-0 all-time against the Vert & Or, including a 20-0 shutout on the road earlier this season.
Other games involving Top-10 teams this weekend include Regina (2-4) at No. 3 Calgary; No. 6 Montreal at McGill (3-3); Manitoba (3-3) at No. 7 Saskatchewan; No. 8 Bishop’s at Concordia (0-6); No. 9 McMaster at Carleton (0-7); No. 10 Windsor at Ottawa (4-3).
Saskatchewan can clinch second place in Canada West, while McMaster and Windsor are hoping to finish fourth in Ontario and earn home-field advantage for the first round of the OUA playoffs.
|Week 8 Rankings|
|Rank||School||Record||Points||1st Place||Last week|
Other teams receiving votes: Saint Mary’s (11), Sherbrooke (6), UBC (5), Manitoba (3), Ottawa (2).
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|