U Sports Football Report (Week 3)

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In the era of the CIS, University football was not extremely exciting as a number of teams ruled over everyone else.

It wasn’t fun to watch when the same teams continued to make the national playoffs and continued to march towards the Vanier Cup.

The Laval Rouge et Or and the Calgary Dinos were often the only teams that anyone needed to watch.

Not many teams could unseat these two and often they were the favourites to take the Vanier Cup with their divisions easily being taken.

Things began to change recently though as the U Sports era is in for a treat heading forward with more competition throughout the country than ever before.

It started a few years ago when the most dominant team in Canadian University Football history all of a sudden got a challenger.

After a decade of dominance, the Laval Rouge et Or were finally handed losses as the Montreal Carabins began to put together teams that could beat the powerhouse.

The Carabins launched a new era in the RSEQ when they beat the Rouge et Or for the 2014 Dunsmore Cup.

They followed it up with another win in 2015 only to relinquish the title back to Laval last year.

It isn’t perfect as everyone would love to see a McGill or Sherbrooke win a title too and make things even more interesting.

For now, though the RSEQ is made up of a real battle that actually means something to both teams.

Neither can walk to the Dunsmore Cup as they have to go through each other to get there bringing competition back to Quebec football.

This week in the RSEQ season was one of the biggest for the division as the biggest game outside of the Dunsmore Cup final got underway.

Montreal and Laval played their first game of the season against each other in a big match that will have some serious consequences for the rest of the season.

It has become one of the bigger regular season games every year as one team could take both matchups and take first place in the conference.

It used to be all about Laval cruising through everyone on their way to the national playoffs and now Montreal brings that extra fight to the series.

The first game is important as it gives them their first attempt to take an advantage in the battle for first place.

This year the Rouge et Or couldn’t get it done in another chapter of this developing rivalry with the Carabins getting the 21-16 win.

It was a big one for the season as Montreal took the first win and if they can continue their usual great play the next game in October between the two could very well be for the division lead.

As the RSEQ continues to develop this great rivalry the CanWest conference is seeing their own shift.

The Dinos were the only team for years winning six straight Hardy Trophies and leaving little room for anyone else.football-sidebar

Then in 2014, they dropped their first final in a long time when the Manitoba Bisons took their first title since 2007.

A year after another team took over when the UBC Thunderbirds won their first Hardy Trophy since 1997.

Things were shifting in the league and after finishing second in the standings last year it looked like they were about to lose it again with the Regina Rams coming up and finishing first.

The Dinos were able to get back to the title but the fact was that the CanWest conference was quickly becoming unpredictable.

With UBC getting a potential star QB and Regina moving up behind their own rising quarterback things were not as easy as they used to be.

The Dinos came into a new season look to stave off all of the new challengers and as they continue their season games against those teams are getting more important.

Much like the game against the Rams this week which both teams needed if they wanted to move closer to that top spot in the conference.

The Dinos came out on top in a big way beating the Rams 46-26 and proving that they are ready to take a serious run at the top of the conference.

For Calgary, the battle is to take back their division but there are more challengers than ever and plenty of season left for other teams to make their case.

U Sports football is better than it has been for years as there are more teams fighting it out in their conferences than ever.

The OUA is always competitive although this year the Waterloo Warriors are surprising everyone and the AUS is an ever-changing group.

The rest of the season could be interesting for every conference and with bigger games every year the rush to the playoffs is already getting interesting.


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