2015 CIS Football Preview: Road to the Vanier Cup

vanier_cupLast year the CIS went to Montreal to celebrate a milestone as the 50th Vanier Cup was a celebration of CIS football.

Luckily for the CIS the game truly did celebrate the sport as it featured one of the best teams in the CIS over the last few years against one of the new faces of the league.

The McMaster Marauders returned to the Vanier Cup for the third time in four years as they were set to take on a brand new opponent.

The two matchups before saw the Marauders take on the Laval Rouge et Or, a matchup that resulted in both teams winning the Vanier once.

This time they took on the Quebec representative once again but this time it was an unfamiliar team taking the field.

The Montreal Carabins had surprised everyone by beating the Laval Rouge et Or for the Dunsmore Cup, the first team to do so in twelve years.

As a result the Carabins were thrust into the national playoffs for the first time in school history.

They clearly had little nerves on their way as they beat another surprising team in the Manitoba Bisons.

It was a close game but the Carabins came out on top and got their chance to win their first Vanier Cup in their hometown.

Throughout the game it did not look promising for the Carabins as they went down early and stayed down early.

A 10-point fourth quarter put them in the lead while their great defence kept the Marauders off the board.

With seconds left the Carabins blocked a field goal from the Marauders that would have ended the game with the Marauders taking another Vanier Cup.

So the Carabins were champions as they celebrated in front of a hometown crowd and took home their first ever Vanier Cup.

It was a surprising end to a season full of surprises and the CIS can only hope that the pattern continues in 2015.

The Vanier Cup will return to Quebec City this year and with the return to Quebec City one team has an eye on doing the same thing that Montreal did.

The Laval Rouge et Or hope to return to the Vanier Cup this year as they try to get through the RSEQ after their first loss in twelve seasons.football-sidebar

As the hometown team tries to work their way towards the Vanier Cup there are plenty of other teams that will attempt to find their way to Quebec City and become the next Montreal Carabins.

Nobody expected the Carabins to make it to the Vanier Cup let alone win the Vanier Cup and that has given plenty of hope to other teams.

There are still a number of teams that have yet to win a Vanier Cup and will look to be the latest to add the nation’s top prize to their trophy room.

It won’t be an easy move though as dominant teams look to return to dominance and to the national playoffs while other teams are trying to play as the Cinderella story.

Someone has to take it home though and to do that they need to get through a long season that includes getting through their conference.

Unfortunately it won’t be as interesting as 2014 with many of the dominant teams returning to the top.

The Calgary Dinos and Laval Rouge et Or will win their divisions after both losing massive win streaks as their programs are just too good to hold down for long.

McMaster will take the OUA as they are in a conference with a lot of changes and plenty of competition but they remain the most put together team even if the battle will be close.

In the AUS there are just too many teams trying to rebuild right now to challenge a more put together Mounties team who will take their third straight division in a battle with the X-Men.

The four winners will then battle it out in a familiar group of teams that will all try to find their way to the Vanier Cup and become the nation’s best team.

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