2015 RSEQ Playoff Preview

dunsmore_cupIn Quebec there hasn’t been a lot of change in the RSEQ as one team has been on top of the conference for years.

It was over a decade that the Laval Rouge et Or sat at the top of the RSEQ conference with nobody coming close.

They were a team that only received their first challenge when they entered the national playoffs.

Even then they were not necessarily a team to falter much winning seven Vanier Cups in their period of conference dominance.

They were a team that many thought could never be beaten as the bigger question was just how many Dunsmore Cups they could take.

There was a difference over the last few years though as the Montreal Carabins had brought in a new coach in Danny Maciocia who had led the Edmonton Eskimos to a Grey Cup in 2005.

Maciocia brought the Carabins to the top of the league and had challenge the Rouge et Or for years before the 2014 season.

They made a habit of ending the winning streaks of the Rouge et Or and in 2014 they did it once again.

Montreal took the first Dunsmore Cup for a team that wasn’t Laval in 12 seasons.

It was a shocker for the CIS as one of the best teams in the league had lost the championship and wouldn’t be making an appearance in the national playoffs.

Instead the Carabins took the Dunsmore Cup and moved on to take their first ever Vanier Cup.

Now both teams are back in the RSEQ playoffs with the Rouge et Or looking to get back to the top and the Carabins trying to start their own winning streak.

Throughout the year both teams fought back and forth to get to the top splitting the season series each winning their home game.

The difference came at the hands of Sherbrooke who beat Montreal and handed them a second loss while the Rouge et Or remained a one-loss team.

That gave the Rouge et Or first place and home field throughout the playoffs while the Carabins fell to second place.football-sidebar

The focus will always be on the top two teams in the conference but there are still two more that will attempt to keep this newfound parity into another year.

The Sherbrooke Vert et Or were once the team to unseat Laval but fell off recently. This year they had a good performance but it wasn’t without bumps in the road.  Losses to Laval and Montreal kept them out of the first place battle.

Then again they did beat Montreal in their second game and easily got by the rest of the teams in the conference.

They will take on Montreal in the first game and have that boost of confidence after their one win earlier in the year.

Concordia snuck into the playoffs after a season with plenty of ups and downs. The key was their wins over McGill, Concordia swept the season series, who were the closest team to taking that fourth and final playoff spot.

Both Sherbrooke and Concordia are not expected to do a lot in the playoffs but they can pull off a massive upset.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that either could win and if they do it could be the biggest upset in years for the CIS.

The more likely outcome is another big game between Laval and Montreal to determine who wins the title.

They are more than familiar with each other as they have played plenty of important games against each other.

If it does come down to the two top programs it will be a great game and a defensive battle with the winner likely entering the national playoffs as early favourites.

Despite the fact that the RSEQ doesn’t have the offence that other conferences do they will always enter the national playoffs as favourite.

This year that path will need to go through the OUA where offence rules so whoever takes the title will need that great defence to step up in a big way both throughout the playoffs and into the national bowls.

laval montreal

They didn’t dominate like they have but Laval has the best defence in the league. They may not get much offence but they get to the quarterback.

Sitting behind Laval is Montreal holding the league’s second best defence. They are the best rush defence but like Laval don’t get a lot of offensive production.

su-vertetor.fw cu-stingers.fw

It is another great defence in the playoffs for the RSEQ as they rank as the best pass defence in the league. They have a better offence but it can be shut down.

Unlike the rest the Stingers are built on offence with the best passing offence in the league. Their offence is potent but the defence doesn’t match-up.

rseq-playoffs.fw

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