Tuesday, November 06, 2007


A beaten man will say almost anything, which is to say that there is shock and indignation over the OUA football all-star selections.

Namely, where are all the Western Mustangs? (Yes, you read that right, coming from a Queen's Golden Gaels fan.) The 'Stangs are after all playing in the Yates Cup vs. Guelph this Saturday, so it is a snub that that they only had two players on the first team (d-back Cory McNair and punter Derek Schiavone). That honestly sets the Tricolour blood to boiling.

Why? It fuels Western types being able to play the underdog card for the big showdown on Saturday vs. the Guelph Gryphons. The largest school in Ontario that actually emphasizes football, one that often enjoys very favourable media coverage, should never be an underdog in anything. It's like when George W. Bush called himself an "outsider." The Mustangs are not underanythings in this Yates Cup.

Guelph had a 4-4 regular season, and come to think of it, only had one first-team pick and scatback Nick FitzGibbon (see below) wasn't named. Not that it would keep Western from playing this underdog card.

C'est la vie. It's Western who is supposed to flame out in the post-season and then walk off with more than its fair share of post-season baubles. This year in the OUA, it's the Gaels. No amount of all-star selections -- a conference-best 12, count 'em -- can take away from that sting from two weeks ago, when Western came in and beat the Gaels fair and 98% square. It's a pain that never ends, till next year.

Half-hearted stab at serious analysis:

  • If two tailbacks are going to be selected, than Guelph's Nick FitzGibbon should have had the nod over Laurier's Ryan Lynch.

    FitzGibbon averaged 7.3 yards per touch in the regular season, when he totalled 1,170 rushing-receiving yards and scored 13 touchdowns.

    Lynch averaged just 6.0 on his way to 1,131 yards and scored 10 TDs. Remember, FitzGibbon didn't play the worst defence, Toronto (Lynch did and had a stats-padding 133 yards on just 11 carries) and did face a top defence from Western (Lynch didn't). Not only that, but FitzGibbon had four TDs vs. the Mustangs.
  • Ottawa fifth-year slotback David Crane is an obvious omission from the first team. Crane was the OUA's third-leading receiver (seventh in the CIS) and his diving touchdown catch in the Gee-Gees' Oct. 13 win over Laurier was replayed endlessly on The Score, which even made it one of the best plays of October. Why isn't he on the first team?
  • Western might be the first team to have a 1,000-yard rusher (Randy McAuley) and not have even a second-team pick from its offensive line. Western had sack and penalty problems all season, and that hurt.

More on this is over at The CIS Blog. Send your thoughts to neatesager@yahoo.ca.


Anonymous said...

Why not over Giffin? Aside from the bleeding Tri-colours that is.

Yes I think Giffin deserves to be there as do I believe Lynch does.

Do you punish him because Laurier has more weapons they use to spread the ball to rather than Fitz who is option #1 be it out of the backfield or receiving.

It would be like saying Luciani and Baechler aren't great players due to them spreading the ball around compared to a Bagg or Bradwell (again both excellent players, but depended to do more by their respective teams out of necessity).

The KEY stat for Giffin, fumbles at inopportune times against both Laurier and Ottawa leading directly or indirectly to losses in those games.

sager said...

How is it a question of the ball being spread around more at Laurier? Lynch had more touches than FitzGibbon did.

As for Giffin, he averaged more than 7 yards a touch (205 for 1,462 yards) and led the OUA in touchdowns. True, he laid it on the ground, but the Gaels might not have won the Western, Mac and Guelph games without him.

Funny thing about the fumbles... Lynch's team had more than the Gaels... As a general rule, people make too much of fumbles... there's little cause and effect between fumbles and winning.

Saint Mary's was tied for the second-most fumbles in the country, Laurier was tied for fourth, and they each went 7-1.

McGill was tied for the second-fewest and didn't win a game. Interceptions are usually a bigger killer since it's more of a swing in field position; with a fumble, it's usually 50-50 which team will end up with the ball.