For the second straight season and the third time in four years, the Laval Rouge et Or top the final national rankings of the U SPORTS football campaign.
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The reigning Vanier Cup champions (8-1) received eight of 13 first-place votes and 125 points in the 11th media poll of 2017 after they secured a spot in their conference final for the 15th consecutive year, an all-time U SPORTS record. Laval had spent the first two weeks of the season at No. 1 in late August and early September, and regained the pole position last Tuesday.
The rest of the top six also remains unchanged this week, including the second-ranked Western Mustangs (9-0 / 119 points), No. 3 Montreal Carabins (7-1 / 102), No. 4 Calgary Dinos (8-1 / 95), No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (7-2 / 73) and No. 6 UBC Thunderbirds (7-2 / 71). Western merited all remaining first-place nods for the second week in a row.
Rounding out the final top 10 of the fall are the No. 7 Acadia Axemen (6-2 / 40 points / up three positions), No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies (6-3 / 32 / previously unranked), No. 9 Regina Rams (4-5 / 25 / no change) and No. 10 McMaster Marauders (7-3 / 25 / down three). Regina edged McMaster for ninth place based on number of higher-placed votes.
Home-field advantage was as crucial as ever in last Saturday’s conference semifinals with all seven local sides coming out on top, including Laval 45, Sherbrooke 0; Western 66, Guelph 12; Montreal 42, Concordia 20; Calgary 39, Alberta 22; Laurier 19, McMaster 6; UBC 28, Regina 21; Saint Mary’s 16, StFX 15.
These results set up rematches from the 2016 conference finals in the RSEQ, OUA and Canada West, while in the AUS, two new teams will compete for the Jewett Trophy following three straight title matches between StFX and Mount Allison.
All four finals are set for Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern (Laurier at Western on CHCH & OUA.TV), 2 p.m. Atlantic (Saint Mary’s at Acadia on Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca), 2 p.m. Eastern (Montreal at Laval on TVA Sports) and 1 p.m. Mountain (UBC at Calgary on Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV).
At TELUS-UL Stadium in Quebec City, the Rouge et Or and Carabins will face off in the Dunsmore Cup for the fifth year in a row. The archrivals split the four previous matchups, all of which were decided by three points or less, including a thrilling 20-17 Laval road win last November thanks to a touchdown on a trick play with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
At TD Stadium in London, the Mustangs will host the Golden Hawks in the Yates Cup for the second straight season, hoping to avenge a heartbreaking 43-40 loss a year ago, when Laurier erased a 40-19 deficit in the last eight minutes of regulation.
At McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the Dinos will host the Hardy Cup final for the eighth consecutive campaign, including the last two against the Thunderbirds. Last fall, Calgary triumphed 46-43 to avenge a 34-26 upset loss to UBC in 2015.
Finally, at Raymond Field in Wolfville, N.S., host Acadia will play in its first Loney Bowl since a 17-9 home win over Saint Mary’s in 2012, while the Huskies will battle for AUS supremacy for the first time since 2013, when they were upset 20-17 by visiting Mount Allison.
FRC – U SPORTS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#11)
|* Regina edges McMaster for ninth placed based on number of higher-placed votes.
Other teams receiving votes: Alberta (4), Guelph (2), Concordia (1), StFX (1).
WEEK 11 RESULTS (conference semifinals)
- AUS: Saint Mary’s 16, StFX 15 (at Saint Mary’s)
- OUA: Western 66, Guelph 12 (at Western)
- OUA: Laurier 19, McMaster 6 (at Laurier)
- RSEQ: Laval 45, Sherbrooke 0 (at Laval)
- RSEQ: Montreal 42, Concordia 20 (at Montreal)
- CW: Calgary 39, Alberta 22 (at Calgary)
- CW: UBC 28, Regina 21 (at UBC)
VANIER CUP FACT: There have been five repeat champions in Vanier Cup history: Manitoba (1969/70); Western (1976/77); St. Mary’s (2001/02); and Laval twice (2003/04 and 2012/13). To note, the St. Mary’s Huskies almost completed a “threepeat,” losing to Laval in 2003; while Laval was denied a “fourpeat” by McMaster in the double-overtime 2011 Vanier Cup (it would have been their second of potentially four championships in a row).
Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the U SPORTS football semifinals and final in 2017... The Uteck Bowl (OUA at AUS, 12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT) and Mitchell Bowl (RSEQ at Canada West, 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT) are set for Saturday, Nov. 18, while the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup follows on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT 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