CIS Football Report (Week 5)

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It’s that time of year again in the CIS as the season begins to wind down and look to the playoffs with only four games left for most teams. As the season looks to the end every conference is beginning to see more clear who will be making the playoffs. It is passed the halfway point of the season and so it is time to look back and look forward towards the playoffs and the Vanier Cup. At the beginning of the year there were the teams that many thought would be good again this year. The McMaster Marauders, Laval Rouge et Or, and Calgary Dinos were all seen as true threats to the Vanier Cup at the beginning of the year. So far all three teams have lived up to their preseason expectations although the Rouge et Or are not the team they once were. They are still one of the best in the country but before this season they were always considered the best team in the country. Still undefeated the Rouge et Or are at the top of the conference but have not looked like the that team that uses the regular season as a warm-up and waits for the national playoffs. Now they are a team that wins but needs to focus to make sure nobody can sneak up on them. Meanwhile the Marauders and Dinos are completely comfortable at the tops of their leagues taking on every challenger with ease and looking like the best teams in the CIS. There are a number of other teams that were expected to do well despite not being first and they are living up to their expectations too. The Montreal Carabins, Western Mustangs, Acadia Axemen, and Guelph Gryphons have all looked good. These teams are on their way to the playoffs despite a massive failure in the last few weeks. They will all make it hard for the top teams and all have a shot at the title with some big upsets. Then there are those teams that have surprised everyone like the Windsor Lancers, Regina Rams, and the Queen’s Golden Gaels. The Gaels were expected to make the playoffs but being as good as they have been, only losing to McMaster, was not expected. Meanwhile Windsor and Regina are in the mix in both of their conferences as they look to continue a great run and could be the dark horses in the playoffs. There are also the teams that continue to struggle all season with no wins and no realistic shot at the playoffs. The Ottawa Gee Gees and Alberta Golden Bears are the teams with no wins this year and are now just looking to get one win and possibly play spoilers for the playoffs. The most exciting group are the teams on the bubble though as the playoff race really heats up with only 4 games left in the season. For the CanWest conference it will be between Saskatchewan and UBC for that final spot. Both teams have been disappointing with the Huskies winning only two games and the T-Birds only winning their first game this week. If the Thunderbirds can begin to put together wins they will challenge the Huskies for the last spot and it could come back to the last game of the season when both teams face each other. In the OUA there are more teams looking for a playoff spot and with only three games left in the season it will be a hectic sprint to the end. The biggest battle will be between the Laurier Golden Hawks and the Toronto Varsity Blues. Both have two wins this year and are looking to take the 6th spot while fending off the Waterloo Warriors and York Lions who could make it in with some luck. In the RSEQ the playoffs will be decided between Sherbrooke and Concordia as both teams have two wins. The fight may come down to Week 6 when both team face off to take the advantage in the playoff race. In the AUS the playoffs are pretty even with Saint Mary’s, Mount Allison, and StFX all tied with one win. One team will be eliminated from the playoffs while the other two will face off in the semi-finals. It will be a tight battle between all three with every game marking the difference between playoff football and waiting until next season. There are only 4 weeks left, 3 in the OUA, for teams to make their mark as playoff spots will begin to disappear soon. It will be another great finish to the CIS season so sit back relax and enjoy the beginning of the road to the Vanier Cup.

 

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

 

CIS Standings:

 

CanWest:
1. Calgary Dinos (10)
2. Regina Rams (8)
3. Manitoba Bison (6)
4. Saskatchewan Huskies (4)
5. UBC Thunderbirds (2)
6. Alberta Golden Bears (0)

 

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

 

RSEQ:
1. Laval Rouge et Or (10)
2. Montreal Carabins (10)
3. Bishop’s Gaiters (4)
4. Concordia Stingers (4)
5. Sherbrooke Vert et Or (4)
6. McGill Redmen (2)

 

AUS:
1. Acadia Axemen (6)
2. Mount Allison Mounties (2)
3. Saint Mary’s Huskies (2)
4. StFX X-Men (2)

 

Key Scores:
#7 Regina Rams 30 – 27 Manitoba Bison #8
– The Rams and Bison met early in Week 5 to fight for the second place spot in the CanWest conference as both teams went back and forth with the Rams coming out on top and taking the second place spot with only a few weeks left in the season

 

Saint Mary’s Huskies 32 – 9 StFX X-Men
– The Huskies have struggled to earn a win this year as they went the start of the season without a win but it finally came as they took on the X-Men and got the win in Antigonish during homecoming making up for their own homecoming loss

 

Bishop’s Gaiters 26 – 18 McGill Redmen
– The Gaiters have struggled at the beginning of the season as they could not seem to get a win and continue competing at the top of the division but they were able to get their second win and get back into the fight in the RSEQ

 

#1 McMaster Marauders 33 – 27 Western Mustangs #6
– In the premier matchup of the weekend the McMaster Marauders took on their strongest competition yet in the Western Mustangs in a rematch of the 2011 Yates Cup as the Marauders came out on top yet again to remain undefeated and at the top of the OUA

 

Next Week:
#10 Acadia Axemen vs. StFX X-Men (October 6th; 2:00 pm ADT)
– Acadia is looking to run away with the AUS division as they take on their rivals the X-Men while StFX is just looking to stay in the fight for a playoff spot and if they can pull off the win they will have a good shot

 

Ottawa Gee Gees vs. Toronto Varsity Blues (October 6th; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Blues are looking to end a long playoff drought and they will need to step it up in the last few weeks of the season if they hope to take the last spot this game could be essential as the Gee Gees are playing desperate to get their first win against the Blues who are on the bubble

 

#7 Western Mustangs vs. #9 Guelph Gryphons (October 6th; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Mustangs are coming off of a close loss to the Marauders and will be trying to recover against the Gryphons who are sitting above the Mustangs in the standings as both teams fight for the first round bye

 

#3 Montreal Carabins vs. #4 Laval Rouge et Or (October 7th; 1:30 pm EDT)
– It is the matchup that everyone has been waiting for in the RSEQ as the top two teams finally determine who the best team in Quebec is as the Rouge et Or look to hold on to their top spot while the Carabins come for the title

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