U Sports Football Report (Conference Finals)

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The National Playoffs are almost set and much like the Conference Semi-Finals a lot of familiar teams will be entering the national stage.

It wasn’t as easy for most teams in the Finals as there were some serious battles throughout the country.

The OUA was one of the few that didn’t have a big battle as the Western Mustangs got revenge in a big way against the Laurier Golden Hawks.

The Mustangs took yet another Yates Cup with a 75-22 win over Laurier in the biggest deficit of the weekend to take another shot at a Vanier Cup.

In the west, it wasn’t as easy as the Calgary Dinos and UBC Thunderbirds fought right until the end to get their chance at the national playoffs.

It came down to a last second 59-yard kick that would seal the win for the Dinos if they could make it or would send UBC to the national playoffs if they missed.

The field goal wasn’t very probable but the Dinos made it and punched their ticket to the national playoffs on the final play of the game.

In Quebec things were very familiar with one of the best rivalries in the sport was going to determine the Dunsmore Cup for another year.

It was another tight matchup as the Laval Rouge et Or beat Montreal to head back to the National Playoffs and keep their Vanier Cup hopes alive.

Western, Calgary and Laval will all be headed back to the national playoffs in a spot that they are all very familiar with.

It has been the point where things get really interesting as these three teams have all taken Vanier Cups over the years.

The one conference that has struggled to take those Vanier Cups has been the AUS and this year things got strange on championship Saturday.

Although the AUS has struggled in the past few years on the national stage they have had some pretty good battles in their conference.

This week they didn’t get that battle thanks to an indiscretion by the Saint Mary’s Huskies that had them kicked out of the championship game.

Leading up to the Finals weekend, U Sports launched an investigation into Saint Mary’s University.

The investigation surrounded receiver Archelaus Jack who was on the Saskatchewan Roughriders practise roster last year.football-sidebar

Eligibility rules are fairly strict about players who are members of CFL teams stating that they cannot play in University athletics for a full year if they were on a CFL roster.

The rule requires players to sit out a year should they be a member of a CFL team after August 15 every year.

Jack was released on October 11, 2016, by the Roughriders meaning that he should technically not be allowed to play with the Huskies until October 11, 2017.

Jack played in every game for the Huskies this year including five games prior to October 11 and every game after that date.

That makes the Huskies a team with an advantage that they should never have had for the beginning of the season.

The investigation was launched and the Huskies’ season was essentially erased from the records forfeiting all of their wins.

The biggest problem was that the Huskies had taken that good season into the Loney Bowl but without any of their wins, they never should have even made the playoffs.

That forced U Sports to take the Huskies out of the playoffs and out of the championship game leaving Acadia without an opponent.

It looked like Acadia would be headed straight for the national playoffs without having to play a championship game until a judge ruled that the game would go ahead.

Saint Mary’s got an extra chance despite the investigation and the use of an ineligible player after the court’s decision.

It will make things a little more interesting as the game will take place on Tuesday and whoever wins gets three days to prepare for the Western Mustangs.

That was going to be a tough test for whoever one when they were going to play on Saturday but now the extra time restraints are going to make it that much tougher.

The AUS does not have a champion yet but whoever it is will have to get through a very tough team on short notice leaving many to take away their hopes of success on the national stage.

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