49th Vanier Cup Preview

2013In the year of the Big Four it seems only fitting that the only two big four teams remain fighting to the last game of the season. The Calgary Dinos and the Laval Rouge et Or are the two teams that have survived through the CIS season to earn their spot in the Vanier Cup and it seems no surprise that they are left as the only two teams left. The season would begin with the stories of the Big Four teams who were all going for at least three conference titles in a row. The McMaster Marauders and the Acadia Axemen would not accomplish their three-peats while the two most dominant teams in the league moved on. The Laval Rouge et Or would win 10 straight RSEQ titles and this year would make it 11 and would solidify their spot as the most dominant team in the CIS. The Calgary Dinos have been the next greatest team in the CIS as they would win their 5th straight CanWest title. With both teams on big runs in their conferences there was no doubt that they would both meet each other at some point in the biggest game of the year. They would do just that in 2010 when the Dinos and Rouge et Or would meet in Quebec City where they would take their first shots at the title of the most dominant team in the CIS. The Rouge et Or would come out on top in the first matchup between the two teams and would have some big results for the future. The loss would be the Dinos’ second straight in the Vanier Cup and they would continue to struggle for the next few years to get back to the Vanier Cup despite being one of the best teams in the league. The win against Calgary would launch another record-breaking campaign for the Rouge et Or as they would end up in 4 straight Vanier Cups since 2010. The fourth straight appearance in this year’s Vanier Cup would be the most by any team in CIS history. Out of the three last years the Rouge et Or have won two of these Vanier Cups and they are hoping for a fourth this year. Meanwhile the Calgary Dinos are looking to win their first Vanier Cup since 1995 and while they are at it get a little revenge against the last team to deny them their 5th Vanier Cup. The rivalry is one that has not had a lot of history as they have not played all that often yet still they are linked. As the two most dominant teams in the CIS the Dinos and Rouge et Or will always be linked as the two best. Every time they do face off they will always bring about the match of two best teams in the country. Whoever wins will get bragging rights as the best program in the nation. As the two most dominant teams in the CIS face off there will be plenty to watch for including some great football.


Laval Rouge et Or


It has been said time and time again that the Laval Rouge et Or are the most dominant team in CIS history and every year they are favorites. It is always hard to bet against the Laval Rouge et Or because no matter what year or who they face the Rouge et Or are a team to be feared. They have consistently put out teams that easily get through their competition in the RSEQ and can make an impact in the CIS playoffs. Every year the Rouge et Or seem to have a new weakness that people would try to expose but they would always overcome the weakness. The same could be said this year as the Rouge et Or began the season with plenty of questions surrounding them. The biggest one was just how long the Rouge et Or could extend their winning streak and if their offence could continue rolling. The offence would not roll on this year for the Rouge et Or though as the usually strong output from their QB and running back would disappear. It was a concern for Laval as they would not see the same dominance on that side of the ball as they were used to. Luckily for the Rouge et Or the dominance would be seen on the defensive side of the ball as they would hold the best defence in the league. The Rouge et Or were a team that could prevent other teams from scoring and give their offence plenty of chances to put up points. They would take advantage of the opportunities as they would once again run through the entire RSEQ on their way to their Dunsmore Cup win. The one hiccup for the Rouge et Or was in that Dunsmore Cup final when they would face the Montreal Carabins who had a similar defence to the Rouge et Or and would give Laval the biggest challenge of the season. They would hold the Rouge et Or to only 14 points but would be limited to 11 points themselves and would lose the game. It would expose the Rouge et Or and their biggest weakness as a good defence can beat Laval they just have yet to face anyone good enough. Laval still remains the team to beat though with a great defence that has shut down some great teams and an offence that can take advantage of opportunities to score enough points to keep winning. The Rouge et Or will go into the game as the favorites for another year but they are far from guaranteed a win this year as they try to earn their second straight Vanier Cup and their third in four years.


Key to the Game
The Offence
– Their defence is clearly great but this game could come down to how good their offence can perform and if they can score enough points to get ahead and let their defence play with a lead that they will not lose


Calgary Dinos


The Calgary Dinos have played second fiddle to the Laval Rouge et Or as they are considered the second most dominant team in the CIS. This does not get them a lot of recognition on the national stage as they seem to always be left in the shadows for the likes of the OUA and the Laval Rouge et Or. Now they will look to step out of that shadow when they take on Laval and try to win their first Vanier Cup since 1995. The Dinos have gone through the season relatively under the radar as they have really just been business as usual throughout the season. The Dinos have been consistent more than anything in the last five years. They are never the best offensive teams or the best defensive teams but they are always among the top in every category. The Dinos are a team that does everything well and this year they would show it when they would get through everyone on their way to the Hardy Cup. The Dinos would not get much challenge from any of their conference opponents and would move to their biggest proving ground in the Mitchell Bowl. The game would be their biggest challenge of the season when they took on the best offence in the country in the Western Mustangs. The Mustangs would break records throughout the year and they would go into the Mitchell Bowl as the clear favorites. The majority of people believed that there was nothing that the Dinos defence could do to stop the Mustangs and that their offence would not be able to keep up. The Dinos would prove everyone wrong as their defence would keep the most potent offence in the CIS that averaged over 50 points a game to 3 points in the Mitchell Bowl. Then the Dinos’s offence would then put up 44 points to bury the Mustangs in a game that would wake everyone up to the Dinos. The Mitchell Bowl performance was the game that made everyone take notice as the Dinos would shut down the best offence in the country on their way to the Vanier Cup. The Dinos now look to do the same to the Laval Rouge et Or as they will have the better offence and a defence that, if they can play like they did against the Mustangs, should shut down the Rouge et Or. They are still the underdogs though as they are not overly great at much besides their running game but they are good at almost everything. The Dinos will still have the lore of the Rouge et Or to deal with when he goes to the Laval’s campus to try to upset the kings of the CIS.


Key to the Game:
The Defence
– Much like the Rouge et Or the offence is known for the Dinos but the defence is what will win them this game much like in the Mitchell Bowl as they will need to step up once again and outplay a great Laval defence if they want to win


Calgary Dinos 24 – 21 Laval Rouge et Or
– In what is looking like a defensive battle the Dinos will step up one more time and prove that their performance in the Mitchell Bowl was no fluke as they will be able to shut down Laval’s iffy offence and will break through Laval’s great defence for just enough points to win

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