Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top 27 for Sept 16

This week's list is below the jump.

* indicates biggest gain
** indicates biggest drop

No. 27 – York (NC)

The Lions might be the worst CIS team this decade.

No. 26 – Waterloo (-2)

It’s still evident that the Warriors have a long way to go to get to the top of the OUA. The MAC game will be a highlight Waterloo holds onto for a while.

No. 25 – Toronto (+1)

Usually you judge a team when it blows another out. You think that maybe it would have been sporting for them to put the breaks on. Not with U of T Saturday. If ever a program deserved to run the score…

No. 24 – McGill (+1)

McGill can put points up, that’s without question. But someone’s gotta stop at some point.

No. 23 – Mount Allison (-1)

The AUS did not represent well on the weekend, although MtA did play the closest game. At home. Against Sherb. Still lost, of course. The Mounties stay behind X based on the week two result.

No. 22 – St FX (-4)

Speaking of X…It wasn’t close in Montreal and it probably could have been worse. The positive for the X-Men is that the AUS gives you lots of chances to rebound and they could find themselves in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game with a win this week against Acadia.

No. 21 – Manitoba (-11)**

It’s been a spectacular fall for the Bisons. Going into the season, we were prepared to give Manitoba the benefit of the doubt. They were the defending champions and U of M always has a big turnover (and usually handles it well). But, now…it’s about the results, stupid.

No. 20 – Alberta (-3)

The Bears are increasingly looking like they are…just a bit behind the rest of ultra balanced CanWest.

No. 19 -- McMaster (+4)

MAC rebounded nicely to compete against Ottawa in the stadium opener. They didn’t win though. It’s full on rebuilding time in Hamilton.

No. 18 – WLU (-3)

Ant Waterloo….Laurier has a nice collection of young athletes, but last week showed that they aren’t anywhere near the top of the OUA yet. This is Laurier circa 2003, not the 2004-05 powerhouse just yet.

No. 17 – Bishop’s (+2)

BU has to feel unlucky not to have pulled the upset last week against SMU. But, don’t read too much into the fairly close result. Every advantage was Bishop’s way—they were at home, they were facing a team that is missing its best offensive player and that had a bad case of bus legs.

No. 16 – Windsor (-3)

There is no shame in losing to a solid Guelph team, but last week showed that the Lancers are going to be in a three way fight for the two final playoff spots this year rather than battling it out for the top. And, don’t expect them to pull a Western in the playoffs either (actually, don’t expect anyone to pull a Western in the playoffs this year).

No. 15 – Acadia (-6)

And it can be argued that they should be further back still. A bad, bad result against Laval seems to indicate that they are closer to X than they are to SMU. We shall see just how close they are to X this weekend.

No. 14 – Sherb (+2)

You don’t gain too much Top 27 rep by beating Mount Allison, but don’t discount the effort needed to overcome an 8-hour bus ride.

No. 13 -- UBC (+8)

A very nice little (shut-out!) win for the Thunderbirds. CanWest is a mess this year with everyone seemingly able to beat everyone. The question is, are there five contenders in the west, or five mediocre teams. Time will tell.

No. 12 – Regina (+2)

Bye week. Moving up as part of a overall (and slight) adjustment of all the CanWest teams.

No. 11 – Simon Fraser (+9)*

Yeah, can’t say I saw that coming. But, when you look at things objectively, the Clan are playing like a top 10 cusp team. I’m not ready to bump them up to that level yet, but credit needs to be given for what has happened so far.

No. 10 – Guelph (+2)

A nice win over Windsor seemed to point to the possibility that the first week loss to Laurier was just a first blip. Guelph looks to be the only OUA team outside of the top three with a shot at the Yates.

No. 9 – Concordia (-1)

That was not pretty. But, it counts the same in the standings. There area lot of interesting match-ups this week. Top among them is the Laval/Concordia tilt, which will be a real barometer game in the Q.

No. 8 – Calgary (+3)

The Dinos continue to improve each week and in the unpredictable west that’s all you can ask for right now.

No. 7 – The GOLDEN Gaels (NC)

The GOLDEN Gaels stay put despite a big win over Laurier. Why? Blame geography. Still a nice win and one that showed that the GOLDEN Gaels are legitimate Yates contenders.

No. 6 – Montreal (NC)

Whether it was a first week blip is yet to be determined, but Montreal looks closer to Laval than ever. When the Rouge et Or finally do lose in the Q it will likely be to the Carabins. It’s unlikely that too many people would be willing to lay money on that happening this season, but it doesn’t seem as outrageous as in the past.

No. 5 – Saskatchewan (-3)

One bad road game is not enough to throw the program under the bus (besides, Saskatchewan always loses a game it shouldn’t. Every year. They are predictable in their unpredictability that way). So, the Huskies drop…but not that far.

No. 4 – Ottawa (+1)

The talent is without question. The chemistry…that week one loss to Western will linger until the Gee-Gee’s get a chance to directly address the questions it raised. That chance will likely come Nov 15.

No. 3 – Western (+1)

Greg Marshall is proving that he is one hell of a CIS coach (evidence = MAC now and then and the return to glory of the Purple Bastards now). That said, they still seem just bit too highly placed. But, who else should go ahead? In the least predictable CIS season in memory, that’s hard to say.

No. 2 – SMU (+1)

There is no clear cut No. 2 at this point of the season. I’ll give the nod to SMU based on potential and on the fact that they found a way to win last week when a lesser team would have folded up the tent. Bishop’s may not have been the toughest Q test, but one needs only to look at the rest of the Interleague results to understand that any win by the AUS is impressive. So, No. 2 for now. Sort of. With no promises moving forward.

No. 1 – Laval (NC)

Laval is the clear No. 1 at this point, but it’s as much to do with questions in the rest of the country—can SMU solve its QB questions, is Ottawa a team or just a collection of talent, is Western ready to take the final step, is the CanWest parity because there are so many good team, or because there are no great ones. All those questions add up to a Rouge et Or team at No. 1. Not by default, quite, but not in the slam-dunk way they have been in the past.


Anonymous said...

I have seen both Laval and SMU play this season I expect once SMU has Glavic back they will be hard to stop even for Laval. SMU's team is huge with serious athletes and they looking like they can push teams around when they want to. Laval looked like a well oiled machine but not as big or athletic as SMU. Clearly the top two teams in the CIS (I guess that comes as no shock).

Andrew Bucholtz said...

I'm biased, but I think the CIS poll ranking Queen's at 4 is far more realistic than leaving the Gaels at 7 after that win over Laurier. Western is also 3-0, but their win was against a weak Waterloo squad. Still, they've got a more legitimate case to be made in my mind than a 2-1 Ottawa squad that barely beat Mac or a 2-1 Saskatchewan team that lost by 10 points to SFU. Laval, Saint Mary's and possibly Western should be ahead of the Gaels, but Ottawa and Saskatchewan should not. The other rankings are pretty good, though.

Duane Rollins said...

Three words Andrew.




Andrew Bucholtz said...

That doesn't explain 2-1 Ottawa being ahead of 3-0 Queen's, though (especially considering that Queen's beat Guelph by 11 points and the Gryphons knocked off the Gee-Gees, while Queen's ran over Laurier this week and Ottawa squeaked by Mac). Also, Canada West can't be too much better than the OUA, seeing how the former has only two teams in your top 10 (#5 and #8) and the latter has three (#3, #7 and #10).

sager said...

Queen's hasn't beaten in Ottawa since ... 2003? It's not just this year, it's what came before. Ottawa's got a better rep and their loss was first game (which is always a wild card) at Western (whom Queen's gets at home). I'm OK with the GGs and 'Stangs each being ahead of Queen's, since in the end it's a matter of what happens on the field.

Charley said...

I also saw both SMU and Laval play Acadia...and Laval IS big, very big, but so is SMU. I would certainly not give SMU an advantage on size. As far as athleticism goes...we must have seen different teams...Laval has great athletes at pretty much every position...they must have played 10 receivers in that game, and they're all great athletes. Their Dline is very strong and fast. Acadia could not match them on speed and strength.

I think SMU vs Laval would be a great re-match, but only if Glavik is healthy and SMU's D plays better than in the last two games. Otherwise...

Duane Rollins said...


The Top 27 has never been just about the W/L column--especially in the early going. It has always tried to balance potential with results.

Queen's two "big" wins so far have come against young teams that are both looking more at contention in '09 than this year.

Also, don't read too much in the lack of CanWest teams in the top 10--it's a situation unique to this year. More telling is that I've had four different CanWest teams in the top 10 so far (and I currently have two of the four that haven't been there on the cusp). It's been a wacky year out there. One that is making it very difficult for both the official list voters and for me.

I'm actually not comfortable with having two Ontario teams in the top five--I just can't justify anyone else being ahead. Understand that since 1994 Ontario has won a total of *two* out of conference playoff games, both in the same year by the same team. It's really hard to ignore that.

Queen's is my No. 3 Ontario team. I think they are closer to the top two than Guelph is to them. But, I would like to see the Golden's pushed by a veteran team before I can justify ranking them higher.

Queen's has always sacrificed at the grunt positions to go after explosive offensive skill positions. Because of recruiting disadvantages inheritance in Ontario and at Queen's that's the only way they can compete ("We can't do everything well," I was told by a VERY high source, "so we have to do one thing really well to have a chance").

Tyler King said...

God damnit, Duane, stop being so rational. You're making it excessively hard to argue with you.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Fair enough, Duane, thanks for the clarification. The rankings make more sense under those criteria.