U Sports Football Report (Week 10)

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Playoff season is officially here in Canadian University Football as the final games of the regular season for every conference are now in the books.

There was a lot to play for in the final week as a number of conferences were still open for business when it came to the final spots in the playoffs.

While the other conferences finished off their season though the OUA got their playoff season started with the quarterfinals.

As the biggest division in football, they take that extra week to find their way through the playoffs and potentially to the national stage.

That is the goal after all as every team still playing into next week is looking for that national spotlight.

For Canadian football, this is the second highest level to play but unlike the NCAA the best university teams actually have to find their way to the national championship through the playoffs.

They are a league based in conferences and to get to that national stage they need to get through their conferences first.

It can sometimes lead to issues as not all conferences are created equal and often the national semi-finals can be seen as a tough game and a gimme.

That usually comes with the team playing the champion of the AUS where the teams have not been nearly as strong in the last decade.

It wasn’t always that way as the AUS used to hold champions even if their conference play wasn’t the biggest challenge.

Most of those championships came for the Saint Mary’s Huskies who were not only an eastern power but a national power.

They are hoping to return to that level this year and it could be their best chance as they have looked good.

Like they had in the years when they were dominant they got through the entire 2018 season with almost no challenge.

Their only loss came in Week 10 with some of their biggest players taking a seat and without much to play for in that final week.

Now they have to get through the Loney Bowl in order to truly test themselves and that test could be a big one.football-sidebar

Last week the AUS was figured out leaving the Huskies to wait for their opponent in the title game between StFX and Acadia who will get the AUS playoffs started next week.

The winner will take on the Huskies with the Huskies looking to turn back the clock and take the conference title while they head to the national stage looking to put the AUS back on the map.

It is going to be a tough test as they will have to play in the Uteck Bowl against whoever wins in the RSEQ.

It seems likely to be either Laval or Montreal, both of which are familiar with winning national championships.

The AUS is the conference that everyone wants to play and for the RSEQ it seems to be an obvious win.

That falls into the overall theme of the season though as every conference has been looking to unseat the dominant teams with little to no success.

Laval went through the entire season without a loss and are joined by the Calgary Dinos and the Western Mustangs.

These are the big three in U Sports and they have been for years now, despite the pressure from other teams over the last couple of years.

This year the hope was that pressure would continue and that the races would return to make sure things were exciting throughout the season.

That didn’t happen and now the playoffs are set to truly get underway and everyone is chasing these big teams.

Whether or not someone can unseat them is going to be the reason to watch these playoffs but judging by the season nobody will.

It could lead to an interesting national playoff though as the RSEQ and AUS face off in what on the surface seems like an easy decision.

Then there is the Mitchell Bowl between the CanWest conference and the OUA where Western and Calgary are among the best teams over the last few years.

That is still up for grabs though as the playoffs have to be played until the national games are determined.

If anyone can launch an upset, things could finally get interesting this year as the march to the national playoffs officially begins.

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