Will the Dominance End? (2013 CIS Football Preview)


The CIS Football season is about to get underway once again as the 49th Vanier Cup is only a few months away. CIS Football is in a different place than a few years ago as the league has grown through the last few years. With the “Greatest Game Ever Played” in 2011 the CIS gained a reputation of being unpredictable. Then staying true to the fact that the CIS is unpredictable that sense of anything can happen seemed to go away. Everyone believed that there would be some movement throughout the league but instead the status quo would stay. All four leagues would see the same champions in 2013 and eventually the same final two in the Vanier Cup. There was a difference though as the McMaster Marauders would lose out to the Laval Rouge et Or for the 48th Vanier Cup. In the end the season was the status quo as the surprises were few throughout the league. In every conference the champion would repeat leaving the same structure in the CIS once again. The Calgary Dinos, McMaster Marauders, Laval Rouge et Or, and Acadia Axemen will all be looking to continue the dominance in the CIS and continue to be the champions of all four conferences. This may be a tougher goal than it sounds as a three-peat can be one of the toughest things to do in college sports. With university football all players are on the team for a maximum of 5 years until they graduate and are no longer eligible to play. That means that a team only has one recruit class for 5 years and with 1 or 2 years as backups the best players are only going to play for a few years. This makes creating a dynasty a very tough task in the CIS as the turnover is so fast that winning time and time again is a challenge. With back to back champions last year the majority of the star players on every championship team are no longer on the field. Instead many of them will be on the sidelines or playing on another field in the CFL. This is where the biggest test comes for these four teams as they will have to move on from some of their best players to try to win again. The Big Four in the CIS are all back and eyeing another championship in every conference but there are a lot of other teams looking to get their own championship.

With a new season comes a new crop of stars as the Steven Lumbalas and Kyle Quinlans are no longer in the CIS. As a result there may be some openings for programs to start winning and eliminate the champions. That in itself is a tough task but not impossible as a new champion could be crowned this year. The Big Four only need to follow the path of the Laval Rouge et Or to see how they can prevent a new champion. The Rouge et Or have been the most dominant team in the CIS over the last decade winning the RSEQ for ten straight years. They will be going for number 11 this year while the McMaster Marauders, Acadia Axemen, and Calgary Dinos all look for their third straight title. Meanwhile teams like Montreal, Sherbrooke, Guelph, Queen’s, Regina, and Saint Mary’s are all looking to knock them off. There are plenty of teams that are looking to be the next champions and all are looking to win now when the stars of last year are gone. The 2013 season will be an interesting one as the Big Four will once again be favorites but with the turnover can they hold on for the three-peat? We will find out over the next two months when the 2013 CIS season ends up in Quebec City once again for the 49th Vanier Cup to crown a new, or maybe a repeat, Vanier Cup champion.

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