CIS Football Report (Week 5)

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There are some major differences in the CIS as the best teams are far away from the worst teams.

They remain that way for more than just a few years that is just the way of university football.

Good teams recruit well while bad teams struggle in that aspect which creates long periods of dominance from the top teams.

The differences aren’t just limited to the teams in each conference though as there are strong and weak conferences throughout the CIS.

Unfortunately there always seems to be three strong conferences and one weak conference.

The AUS is the conference that is often an afterthought as they have struggled to make an impact on the national stage.

It wasn’t always that way though as the saint Mary’s Huskies were one of the strongest teams only ten years ago.

Between 1999 and 2009 the Huskies appeared in four Vanier Cups winning two of them, both came in back-to-back year in 2001 and 2002.

They are part of a group of teams that have made a total of 9 Vanier Cups throughout the 51 years of the championship.

That group includes some of the best programs in the country as in Laval and Calgary.

Overall they have taken three championships and were the team responsible for putting the AUS on the map.

Those days are over though as the last time SMU made the Vanier Cup was the 2007 season and no other AUS team has made a Vanier Cup final since then.

The schools in the east coast’s league are a proud group but they are a small one and once that can often find it tough to recruit the best players.

The east coast is a great place in Canada but it is not necessarily for everyone as the lure of a bigger city can draw players to other schools.

It takes a specific type of player to go into a town like Wolfville or Antigonish, where the population doubles when school is in, to play

So sometimes the schools have the extra challenge of finding great players with a little less.

There is nothing that shows the difference between the conferences than during the crossover weeks in the CIS.

The crossover weeks are two unique weeks that pit the RSEQ against the AUS.

It was created to avoid the AUS teams playing each other too much during a season as there are only four teams in the conference.

With the limited amount of teams a full season would see every team face each other more than twice while providing the same level of competition.

Instead the AUS travels to Quebec and some of the Quebec teams travel to the coast in take on some new faces twice a year.

Week 5 marked the first of these crossover weeks this year as the tradition of Quebec against the East Coast continued.

It was a display of just how far the AUS has to come as the week ended with the RSEQ winning all four of the crossover games.

Most of the games weren’t even close despite the fact that some of the AUS teams were facing the worst teams in the RSEQ.

The Huskies were the only team to put up a fight against the Bishop’s Gaiters but still dropped the game 23-17.

That is the last place team in the RSEQ and the last place team in the AUS facing off with the RSEQ looking better than the Huskies.

Even the best team in the AUS couldn’t take a win as the Acadia Axemen taking on the McGill Redmen who only had one win all season.

The Axemen were shut down in the game as McGill scored 45 points and only allowed a fairly potent offence to amass 15 points.

The crossover was just a taster of what could be about to happen as one team from the AUS will make the national playoffs.

They will need to show something a lot more than they did in Week 5 if they want to make it to the Vanier Cup for the first time since 2007.



Key Scores:
Saskatchewan Huskies 45 – 29 UBC Thunderbirds
– The Thunderbirds were a team that came into Week 5 with something to prove as they hoped to beat the Huskies and prove they are ready to compete but that wasn’t the case as the Huskies easily got by them and moved into second place

Bishop’s Gaiters 23 – 17 Saint Mary’s Huskies
– The two worst teams in the AUS and RSEQ faced off in the tightest crossover game but in the end it was the school from the bigger conference that took the win, their first and only win of the season so far

Western Mustangs 70 – 14 Carleton Ravens
– The Ravens were another team coming into the week looking to prove that they were ready to compete after a strong start to the year but the Mustangs showed that they still have ways to go easily getting by the newest program

Queen’s Gaels 37 – 18 Toronto Varsity Blues
– The Gaels and Blues are two very old programs that have seen plenty of success and this year they were both looking to take over that last playoff spot with a win and the Gaels got it while moving up to give them a better shot

Next Week:
Toronto Varsity Blues vs. York Lions (Friday October 2nd; 7:00 pm EDT)
– The Red/Blue Bowl has not necessarily been the best in recent years when both teams were just looking for their only win of the season but this year they have a little more to play for with both teams looking to move into playoff contention as the last month begins

Mount Allison Mounties vs. Acadia Axemen (Saturday October 3rd; 2:00 pm ADT)
– The Axemen and Mounties couldn’t gain anything in the crossover week so it will come down to the second game between the two teams after the first one ended with the Axemen winning by one as both teams try to take the top spot in the conference

Laurier Golden Hawks vs. Waterloo Warriors (Saturday October 3rd; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Battle of Waterloo will be another feature rivalry game in the OUA this year as the Warriors would love to gain their first win of the season against their crosstown rivals and the Hawks try to stay within striking distance of the top six

Carleton Ravens vs. Ottawa Gee Gees (Saturday October 3rd; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Panda Bowl revival is only two years old but it is a great rivalry after both teams put together the best game of the year last season and they hope to do the same with both teams fighting to stay in playoff contention

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