CIS Football Report (Week 3)

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Three weeks are done in the CIS football season and the usual suspects are again beginning to rise to the top of the league. Teams like Laval, McMaster, Calgary, Montreal, and Queen’s are all looking good once again this year. With each team earning yet another win this week they have become the teams to watch this season as all look to have a shot at their conferences and the much bigger prize of the Vanier Cup. Meanwhile there are a number of teams sitting in the basement after the first three weeks who look to have little hope of any big accomplishments. Some of these teams are surprises like the Ottawa Gee Gees, UBC Thunderbird, and the Bishop’s Gaitors  who have all started their season with no wins despite being early favorites. Then there are the teams like the Waterloo Warriors and the Mount Allison Mounties who have done what is expected of them this year and have made little impact on their conferences. Then there are those teams that have done better than expected. Not those surprise teams who have rocketed to the top of the league but instead two specific programs that have had a rough go over the last few years. The McGill Redmen and York Lions are two teams that have fought against each other to avoid being crowned as the worst team in the CIS. Both are programs that look to avoid the subject of their long losing streaks and try to get at least one win a year. They are not programs that are expected to do anything in the big picture and for the most part are the teams that others circle on the schedule as an easy win. Something has changed though in the last few years as both teams seem to be following the path of the formerly terrible University of Toronto. Not too long ago the Varsity Blues were grouped with these teams as the worst in the CIS but their last few years have seen a resurgence in the legendary program. The Varsity Blues are now a team that looks to be fighting to stay in a playoff spot and looking to do so consistently. The Redmen and Lions are looking to do the same thing starting with this season. For once in a very long time both the York Lions and the McGill Redmen have that one win they always look for and it is only in the third week of games. The Lions earned their first win in week 2 when they took on the surprisingly bad Ottawa Gee Gees. It has not been a bad rest of the season either as the first game was a tough one against the very good Queen’s Golden Gaels and their week 3 game was a very close one losing 24-20 to the Laurier Golden Hawks. The Lions are looking better than they did a year ago and have a possibility of a few more wins this season. They will not be the team to surprise everyone and earn a playoff spot, that could be reserved for Windsor, but increasing their wins is a good start. Meanwhile in Quebec the McGill Redmen were a little lucky to get their first win as they took on the Mount Allison Mounties in week three to get the win. Something that they can take away from the first few weeks though is that they did hang in there for a good part of the game against the Laval Rouge et Or. They will be in tough though in the very competitive RSEQ but their first win in 23 games is a good start to a resurgence. Both teams should not expect to be in the national picture any time soon but if they can build on these wins that they earned these programs can see a change in attitude. For the rest of the league this will lead to a much more even league that can see any number of teams with a possibility of winning the conference. It won’t happen overnight but for the sake of the fans and the CIS this type of even league could be a great thing. It is up to the damaged programs though as McGill and York are on their way to becoming better while teams like Mount Allison and Waterloo are still a far way off.  It is something to look at though as the season continues on and the bottom of the standings could be the most interesting.

 

CIS Top 10:
1. McMaster Marauders (1)
2. Calgary Dinos (2)
3. Montreal Carabins (4)
4. Laval Rouge et Or (3)
5. Queen’s Golden Gaels (6)
6. Western Mustangs (5)
7. Saskatchewan Huskies (9)
8. Manitoba Bison (7)
9. Regina Rams (10)
10. Sherbrooke Vert et Or (–)

 

CIS Standings:

 

CanWest:
1. Calgary Dinos (6)
2. Manitoba Bison (4)
3. Regina Rams (4)
4. Saskatchewan Huskies (4)
5. Alberta Golden Bears (0)
6. UBC Thunderbirds (0)

 

OUA:
1. McMaster Marauders (6)
2. Queen’s Golden Gaels (6)
3. Guelph Gryhpons (4)
4. Western Mustangs (4)
5. Windsor Lancers (4)
6. Laurier Golden Hawks (2)
7. Toronto Varsity Blues (2)
8. York Lions (2)
9. Ottawa Gee Gees (0)
10. Waterloo Warriors (0)

 

RSEQ:
1. Laval Rouge et Or (6)
2. Montreal Carabins (6)
3. Concordia Stingers (4)
4. Sherbrooke Vert et Or (4)
5. McGill Redmen (2)
6. Bishop’s Gaiters (0)

 

AUS:
1. Acadia Axemen (2)
2. StFX X-Men (2)
3. Mount Allison Mounties (0)
4. Saint Mary’s Huskies (0)

 

Key Scores:
McGill Redmen 39 – 9 Mount Allison Mounties
– The Redmen got their first win in 23 games as they kicked off the crossover games between the RSEQ and AUS with that win against the Mounties who are struggling in their conference and a loss will not help them breakout

 

#6 Queen’s Golden Gaels 18 – 11 Western Mustangs #5
– The Gaels and Mustangs were fighting to prove who the best team not named the Marauders were in the OUA and after these two defences battled it out all game the Gaels came out on top thanks to a Ryan Granberg Touchdown run

 

#9 Saskatchewan Huskies 39 – 34 UBC Thunderbirds
– The T-Birds continued to struggle in the 2012 season as they are quickly returning to their old losing ways while the Huskies are looking to continue their climb back into the fight for the conference and did that in a tough fought battle for their second win

 

#3 Laval Rouge et Or 31 – 7 Acadia Axemen #8
– The crossover matches are generally a measure of just how good the AUS teams are compared to the tough RSEQ and for Acadia it was a real test as they took on the Laval Rouge et Or who looked like their old selves for the first time this year dominating the Axemen

 

Next Week:
#9 Regina Rams vs. #7 Saskatchewan Huskies (September 21st; 7:00 pm; MDT)
– The battle of Saskatchewan goes again as the Rams and Huskies face off once again in a battle that will not determine the best of the west but could go a long way in determining a playoff spot for either team

 

Acadia Axemen vs. Saint Mary’s Huskies (September 22nd; 2:00 pm ADT)
– The Huskies and Axemen will continue their season long battle for AUS supremacy with Acadia taking the first shot earlier in the season as the Huskies look to even the score at their Homecoming weekend

 

#10 Sherbrooke Vert et Or vs. #3 Montreal Carabins (September 22nd; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The middle of the RSEQ conference is a tough one as multiple teams fight it out to position themselves for a playoff spot while the Vert et Or look to climb back into the race while the Carabins look to continue leading the fight

 

#5 Queen’s Golden Gaels vs. #1 McMaster Marauders (September 22nd; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The challenges continue to come for the Gaels as they take on the only team standing between themselves and first place unfortunately for them it is the defending champion and #1 ranked McMaster Marauders

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