U Sports Football Report (Conference Semi-Finals)

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The playoffs are underway for the U Sports season as the weekend saw the semi-finals for every conference determine who will be playing for the championships.

It is one step closer to the national stage as teams were looking to get that step closer to the Uteck and the Mitchell Bowl.

The playoffs were always going to be an interesting case study for the season as the entire year has not been the most exciting.

Throughout the year the best teams have been the best teams as the teams with plenty of success behind them have been the teams who have been the most successful.

These teams have the best teams over the last decade with Western, Laval and Calgary all taking first place in their conferences.

This week was a chance for all of the best teams to get on the field and get to the point where they were expected to be.

That is a lot of pressure for these teams to carry but they carried them just fine this week with all in action and all trying to get to the championship games.

There will always be that potential of surprise when it comes to single-elimination games like in football.

At any given point one of the best teams can lose thanks to any number of issues that could happen in that game.

Those surprises have never been able to show through this season though and as the playoffs started there was some doubt as to who could actually beat these teams.

That doubt proved to be reasonable as the semi-finals moved through the weekend with the biggest teams taking pretty easy wins.

In the RSEQ the battle is far more exciting than anywhere else but that battle is between two very good teams and everyone else.

The Laval Rouge et Or were able to take the first place spot in the conference this year beating the Montreal Carabins twice.

Both would finish top two and host the semi-finals with the thought that they were both going to meet for the Dunsmore Cup.

Neither had much of a challenge in their semi-finals as Laval shut down the Sherbrooke Vert et Or and Montreal took care of McGill.football-sidebar

They were easy wins for both teams and now they will do what was expected of them, meeting in the Dunsmore Cup to compete for a spot in the national playoffs.

In Ontario, the Western Mustangs were the team to watch as they have been ranked as one of the top teams all year.

It was going to be a somewhat more interesting matchup as they were facing the Carleton Ravens who were the only team to really challenge the Mustangs with their full complement of players.

Western did get by the Ravens at that point but it was close leaving some to wonder if things would be different this time around.

It was different but it was different because the Mustangs left no doubt easily getting past the Ravens.

Now the Mustangs meet the Guelph Gryphons in the Yates Cup Final with a shot at heading back to the national semi-finals.

In the west, all eyes were on the Calgary Dinos who have been the best team in the CanWest division for years despite a few times when they fell short.

They were taking on Manitoba but like the rest of their season had gone it was a pretty easy game.

The Dinos took the win without much of a challenge and earned yet another berth in the Hardy Trophy Final this time against Saskatchewan.

All three of the major teams this year are where they were expected to be while the Montreal Carabins look to launch a bit of an upset although they are still one of the top teams.

The playoffs have followed the pattern of the season as they continue to show the difference between programs.

There is no doubt that these teams are the best in the country and they will all have to prove it when it comes to the conference final next week.

If they do all continue to perform as expected they will meet in the most important games of the season.

That is where things could get interesting as really good teams face off with both having the ability to win and move into the Vanier Cup.

Surprises could still happen next week but judging by the patterns these programs remain out of touch from the rest of the country.

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