The Big Four of Montreal, Calgary, Laval and Western stays put in the eighth national rankings of the U SPORTS football campaign but there is some movement behind the leading quartet going into the final stretch of the regular season.
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The Montreal Carabins (5-0) are the team to beat for the sixth consecutive week after receiving eight of 15 first-place votes and 141 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel.
The second-ranked Calgary Dinos (6-0 / 132 points), No. 3 Laval Rouge et Or (5-1 / 124) and No. 4 Western Mustangs (7-0 / 113) also hold on to their previous positions, with Calgary (6) and Laval (1) once again meriting first-place consideration from the panel.
Rounding out the new top 10 are the No. 5 McMaster Marauders (6-1 / 78 points / up one position), No. 6 UBC Thunderbirds (4-2 / 65 / up one), No. 7 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (5-2 / 50 / down two), No. 8 Regina Rams (4-2 / 44 / no change), No. 9 Guelph Gryphons (4-3 / 31 / up one) and No. 10 Saint Mary’s Huskies (5-1 / 29 / down one).
The No. 5 ranking is a season-high for the Marauders, and their best since a No. 4 nod in the penultimate poll of 2016 (Oct. 19 poll).
While Laval and Western both enjoyed a bye this past weekend, Montreal (47-15 over Sherbrooke), McMaster (29-13 over Windsor) and Saint Mary’s (55-11 over Bishop’s) were the only top-10 squads to record convincing wins.
Calgary needed 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to edge visiting Manitoba 36-27. UBC was outscored 23-6 by Saskatchewan in the final frame but held on for a 29-25 home victory. Regina escaped with a 58-55 decision against Alberta following a pair of overtime shootout sessions in Edmonton.
However, the most unexpected result of the weekend came in Guelph, where the Gryphons held defending OUA champion Laurier to 186 yards of total offence en route to a 24-14 triumph. It marked the Golden Hawks’ first loss to a conference opponent other than Western since a 30-21 setback against McMaster on Oct. 17, 2015.
Highlighting the Week 9 schedule are a trio of exciting top-10 matchups as well as a battle for first place in the AUS conference. All 12 U SPORTS games this week are set for Saturday.
In Quebec, first place in the RSEQ standings will be on the line when No. 1 Montreal visits No. 3 Laval, live on TVA Sports at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The Carabins prevailed 21-16 on home turf in the first duel of the campaign back on Sept. 9.
In Canada West, No. 2 Calgary travels to Regina to face the No. 8 Rams at 2 p.m. CT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV). The Dinos took the first confrontation of the fall 46-26 on Sept. 8.
In the OUA, where the regular schedule comes to an end this weekend, No. 5 McMaster visits No. 7 Laurier at 1 p.m. ET (Rogers TV & OUA.TV), with the winners meriting second place in Ontario behind Western.
Last but not least, in the Maritimes, No. 10 Saint Mary’s can clinch first place in the AUS standings with a road win over Acadia (5-2). Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. AT, live on Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca.
U SPORTS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#8)
Other teams receiving votes: Ottawa (12), Saskatchewan (4), Concordia (2).
Week 8 results
- Acadia 35, StFX 17 (at Acadia)
- Ottawa 40, Waterloo 30 (at Ottawa)
- Guelph 24, Laurier 14 (at Guelph)
- Queen’s 52, York 34 (at Queen’s)
- McMaster 29, Windsor 13 (at McMaster)
- Carleton 43, Toronto 0 (at Carleton)
- Saint Mary’s 55, Bishop’s 11 (at Saint Mary’s)
- Concordia 36, McGill 10 (at McGill)
- Montreal 47, Sherbrooke 15 (at Sherbrooke)
- Regina 58, Alberta 55 (2OT) (at Alberta)
- Calgary 36, Manitoba 27 (at Calgary)
- UBC 29, Saskatchewan 25 (at Saskatchewan)
Week 9 schedule
Click HERE for the complete 2017 regular season schedule & results
- No. 10 Saint Mary’s (5-1) at Acadia (5-2), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca)
- No. 9 Guelph (4-3) at Carleton (3-4), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (OUA.TV)
- No. 5 McMaster (6-1) at No. 7 Laurier (5-2), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Rogers TV & OUA.TV)
- York (1-6) at Windsor (0-7), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (YourTV & OUA.TV)
- Queen’s (3-4) at Toronto (1-6), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (OUA.TV)
- Ottawa (5-2) at No. 4 Western (7-0), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Rogers TV & OUA.TV)
- Mount Allison (2-4) at Bishop’s (1-5), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (AUStv.ca & GaitersTV)
- No. 1 Montreal (5-0) at No. 3 Laval (5-1), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (TVA Sports)
- Sherbrooke (1-6) at McGill (1-5), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (StretchTV)
- No. 6 UBC (4-2) at Manitoba (1-5), 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (CanadaWest.TV)
- Saskatchewan (2-4) at Alberta (1-5), 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (CanadaWest.TV)
- No. 2 Calgary (6-0) at No. 8 Regina (4-2), 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
VANIER CUP FACT: The longest continuous football programs in Canada are: Toronto (1867), McGill (1874), Ottawa (1881), Queen’s (1882), Bishop’s (1884), and McMaster (1901). To note, these were originally rugby-football teams until the codification of Canadian football in 1906.
Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the U SPORTS football semifinals and final in 2017... The Mitchell Bowl (RSEQ at Canada West) and Uteck Bowl (OUA at AUS) are set for Saturday, Nov. 18, while the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup follows on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton... For all the information on the 53rd Vanier Cup (including tickets) visit vaniercup.com.
Publication of ballots - 2017 FRC media panel