CIS Football Report (Week 9)

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So the season is coming to a close as the playoff runs are about to close or, in the case of one of the conferences, have already finished.

The OUA begins their season early and so they end their season early as well with a different playoff format than the other conferences.

With more teams in the conference there are more playoff spots to earn and therefore one more round than anyone else.

The playoff run in the OUA got interesting in the last few weeks but was not as wide open as some would have liked.

In a season where many were hoping to see some changes in the conference the top teams once again remained at the top.

The Western Mustangs went through the entire conference without a loss and despite some less than perfect performances by some of the top players they were never in danger of a loss.

The Mustangs outscored their opponents 494-110 in what was another dominant performance.

It did get interesting at the top this week though as the Mustangs won another game to take one of the two byes but the Guelph Gryphons and McMaster Marauders fought for the next one.

Western’s win against McMaster gave Guelph a chance and they took advantage beating Carleton to take second place and the second bye as they move directly to the semi-finals.

The rest of the playoff teams are an interesting collection as the Carleton Ravens earned their first playoff berth in their third year clinching earlier in the season.

They did lose home advantage to the Queen’s Gaels this week as Queen’s and McMaster will host the quarter-finals.

The biggest battle was for the final spot though as it all came down to this week as the Toronto Varsity Blues and Laurier Golden Hawks were both fighting for a spot and needed a win and some help to earn it.

The Hawks took care of their side beating the Gaels in their last game while the Blues couldn’t do their part losing big to the Ottawa Gee Gees and losing out on their chance to make the playoffs.

Next week the OUA will being their quest for the Vanier Cup as they work through the Yates Cup playoffs with one team coming out on top and entering the national playoffs.

Last week is also important for the rest of the conferences as well with plenty on the line for every other conference in the CIS.football-sidebar

The AUS may not be fighting for playoffs anymore as StFX, Acadia, and Mount Allison have all clinched their spots eliminating the Huskies.

What is on the line is positioning though as the Mounties and X-Men are set to face-off with the winner taking the bye straight to the Loney Bowl.

The loser will take on the Acadia Axemen in the semi-final playing an extra game before the finals.

In the RSEQ only Montreal and Laval have secured their spots while Concordia, Sherbrooke, and McGill could all finish next week in or out of the playoffs.

Concordia and Sherbrooke just need to win to earn their spots and McGill will need a lot of help as they need to win and need one of either Concordia or Sherbrooke to lose if they want a spot.

That isn’t the only fight either though as Montreal and Laval fight for first with the Rouge et Or needing a win to solidify their home-field advantage and the Carabins needing a win and a Laval loss to take over first place.

The CanWest is also in a big fight heading into the last week of the season as there is only one spot left in the playoffs and two teams are fighting for that chance.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are tied for fourth place in the conference and will need wins and some help to get into the playoffs.

For the OUA this week was the last as they now enter into games where a loss means the official end to the season but many teams are joining them next week.

With the playoffs arriving the CIS is ready for another great run as teams look for their chance to earn a spot among the best in the nation and plenty try to continue the surprises from a year ago in the most important time of the year.

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Key Scores:
UBC Thunderbirds 41 – 36 Saskatchewan Huskies
– The Huskies needed a win to stay ahead of Alberta but the new Thunderbirds are a far better team than a year ago and they were able to get by the Huskies to take over second place while forcing Saskatchewan just out of the playoffs heading into the final week

StFX X-Men 7 – 5 Acadia Axemen
– Both teams had already clinched a playoff spot but this game was going to go a long way to figuring out where they were going to play and with the win the X-Men have a chance to play for first place and could host the semi-final

Laurier Golden Hawks 49 – 26 Queen’s Gaels
– The Hawks needed a win to hold onto their playoff spot and avoid being eliminated in the last week which they did against a good team in the Gaels who got enough points to move up and host a quarter-final game next week

Montreal Carabins 52 – 3 Bishop’s Gaiters
– The Carabins are just trying to keep up with the Rouge et Or after beating their rivals a week ago and they did just that with a big win against Bishop’s that puts them in striking distance of first place and home-field advantage

Next Week:
Saskatchewan Huskies vs. Regina Rams (Friday October 30th; 7:00 pm CST)
– The Huskies took a tough loss in Week 9 but they will be looking to recover as they are still in the fight for a playoff spot and hope to take advantage of the worst team in the CanWest conference to earn the fourth and final playoff spot

StFX X-Men vs. Mount Allison Mounties (Saturday October 31st; 2:00 pm ADT)
– The X-Men have a chance to earn their spot in the Loney Bowl as they take on the Mounties and hop for a big win that will help them in the tiebreaker as a loss could mean going to Acadia for the semi-final

Concordia Stingers vs. Montreal Carabins (Saturday October 31st; 2:00 pm EST)
– The Carabins need to win and need to win big if they want a chance at first place and home-field advantage as they take on the stingers who are still looking to clinch their playoff spot and a morale boost in beating the defending champions

Calgary Dinos vs. Alberta Golden Bears (Saturday October 31st; 1:00 pm MDT)
– The Bears need a win if they want to stay in the playoffs without help but it won’t be easy as the Dinos are the consensus best team in the country and will try to go into the playoffs playing their best football

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