2013 OUA Playoff Preview

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The CIS season began with a big question as the Big Four in the conferences were the main story that everyone was watching. The Calgary Dinos, Laval Rouge et Or, Acadia Axemen, and the McMaster Marauders had all won their conferences in the last two years and questions of three-peats were beginning to surface. Two of the teams had already been through the three-peat and had won plenty of titles ahead of last year. Two teams in the big four were looking to win the title for the third straight year and begin a time of dominance like in the other two conferences. For the OUA the latter was the case as the McMaster Marauders had won two titles in a row with another team coming before them. Unlike in the RSEQ and the CanWest the OUA has seen plenty of different champions and the Marauders were just the latest in putting together a string of championships. As they went into the 2013 season the Marauders were looking to a potential three-peat that would make them the most dominant champion since the 2000-2003 Marauders who won four Yates Cups in a row. They would have a rough time of doing that though with some of their biggest stars leaving the school. It would leave a lot of questions as they would enter a season without their leaders leaving massive holes in the team. Their dominant time seemed to be coming to an end as they left an opening for another team to take over. The Marauders would make the playoffs again this year but they were not the same team they were in the last two years. The opening they left at the top of the conference was filled though with three very good teams including one that would break records on their way to the top spot. The Western Mustangs would take control of the league once again after being the best team in the league before the Marauders too over. They would break almost every scoring record a team could break on their way to the top spot in the league. They are clearly the favorites for the Yates Cup and even are a favorite to make the Vanier Cup this year. The Guelph Gryphons and the Queen’s Golden Gaels could not keep the pace with the Mustangs but they were still dominant teams. Fighting for the second place spot to the last game of the season the Gryphons and the Gaels would show that they are teams that can challenge the Mustangs. With the top three teams in the conference looking like they will determine the championship three more teams are trying to surprise everyone. The Marauders will host another playoff game this year as the #4 team in the conference and will look to get the three-peat despite all odds. Rounding out the top six teams in the conference are two teams that were not expected to make it this year. Many believed that the Windsor Lancers and the Ottawa Gee Gees were on the bubble about making the playoffs but both would do it and will get a tough road to try to make their way to the Yates Cup. They are the underdogs and will have to take on some of the most dominant teams in the CIS to earn a championship. Anything is possible though as single game elimination playoffs are unpredictable and can mean plenty of excitement for the playoffs. The OUA playoffs are here and six team begin their march toward the Yates Cup and the CIS playoffs and all six teams are hoping that they can get the opportunity to represent Ontario in the CIS.

 

1. Western Mustangs
Strength: Offence (They are the highest scoring offence in the history of the CIS)
Weakness: Overconfident? (Might believe that they can walk through everyone)
What They Need to Do:
Don’t get ahead of themselves and focus on each game using their offence to dominate

2. Queen’s Golden Gaels
Strength:  Offence (Behind Western they are the top scoring offence in the CIS)
Weakness: Sloppiness (Although they are very good the Gaels can get sloppy and get caught)
What They Need to Do:
Ensure that the do not get caught up in sloppy play and continue to be disciplined

3. Guelph Gryphons
Strength:  Defence (#1 defence in the OUA and the #4 defence in the CIS)
Weakness:  Discipline (They have had 907 penalty yards in the season as they are their own worst enemies)
What They Need to Do:
Keep focused and disciplined using their defence to stifle the powerful offences in the OUA

4. McMaster Marauders
Strength:  They Finish (With a 74% redzone TD percentage the Marauders know how to finish)
Weakness: Can’t Keep Up (They have a good offence but it might not be enough to keep up)
What They Need to Do:
Take advantage of their opportunities when they have them and catch others by surprise 

5. Ottawa Gee Gees
Strength:  Offence (In terms of yardage the Gee Gees are the second best offence in the CIS)
Weakness: Don’t Finish (Despite a great offence they are ranked 7th in points and 16 in red zone efficiency)
What They Need to Do:
Must learn how to finish if they want to keep up with the record pace of other teams

6. Windsor Lancers
Strength: Special Teams (Ranked among the top 5 return teams in the CIS)
Weakness: Taking Advantage (They keep the ball for a long time but they cannot score)
What They Need to Do:
Take advantage of an offence that keeps the ball and put up points to keep the ball away from opponents

 

Prediction

Quarterfinals:
McMaster Marauders 45 – 26 Ottawa Gee Gees
– The Marauders are the better team in this matchup as the Gee Gees are not able to take advantage of a good offence to score while the Marauders will for exactly that and take a step towards a return to the Yates Cup

Guelph Gryphons 51 – 21 Windsor Lancers
– The Gryphons may have been forced to the quarterfinals but they are one of the best teams in the CIS and they will prove it when they take out the Lancers who will not be able to overcome the defence of the Gryphons

Semifinals:
Western Mustangs 51 – 36 McMaster Marauders
– The Marauders will be looking to get back to the Yates Cup and although they are a good team the Mustangs are on a different level and they will continue their dominant run through the OUA by easily beating the Marauders

Guelph Gryphons 36 – 33 Queen’s Golden Gaels
– They will face off once again much like the last game of the season as the Gaels and Gryphons look to earn a berth in the Yates Cup with the Gryphons coming out on top this time as their defence will shut down the Gaels as much as they can to earn the win

 

2013 Yates Cup:

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Western Mustangs 45 – 36 Guelph Gryphons
– The Mustangs have shown that they are on the path to the Vanier Cup as they are the most potent offence the CIS has ever seen and although the Guelph defence will stop them from putting up 50 points they will still take the win and move into the CIS playoffs

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