This week's list below the jump.
Top 27 for Oct 7
No. 27 – York
No. 26 – McGill
Lost in the 80-point York loss was the fact that McGill fell by 60 to Laval. There are two tiers in the CIS, they just don’t have two leagues.
No 25 – Waterloo
Although the Warriors seem able to hang in with most teams they haven’t been able to play a full 60 minutes. As always the question is whether the staff will be given the resources needed to truly compete moving forward. If not, Waterloo will be a plus-20 team for years to come.
No. 24 – Toronto
More than two wins was never going to happen (actually two is a bit shocking), but the Blues return to relative competitiveness is a nice story. Toronto is where Mount Allison was about three years ago. However, if the Blues can appear ready to make a jump up, they could convince recruits that it’s a worthwhile place to go. A U of T Vanier win (or Yates even) would be the best story ever told in the CIS, so fans of the sport should always be cheering for a full revival.
No. 23 – Acadia
At this point of the season results mean more than potential and the results show this: 0-5
No. 22 -- Bishop’s
A nice win two week’s ago was followed up by a real stinker last week. It’s still hard to shake the feeling that it’s a one-man team.
No. 21 – Manitoba
The Bisons are just not good enough this year. They are getting very little protection for the QB and, as a result, John Makie is statistically one of the worst starters in the country. That’s a problem, since they can’t seem to run the ball either. At least they have the ’07 rings to look at when things seem bleak.
No. 20 – Alberta
There is nothing particularly wrong with the Golden Bears. They just aren’t all that good either. And just OK ain’t gonna cut it in CanWest (in the OUA however…)
No. 19 – Windsor
The Lancers beat Ottawa. The Golden Gaels beat Western in 2000 too. If you follow. Let’s look at the Western game as a better indication of the Lancers position.
No. 18 – McMaster
MAC is a bit hard to figure this year. The young team can occasionally step it up, but it can also lose to Waterloo and barely squeak by Toronto (the Blues outscored MAC 14-7 in the second half – not good).
No. 17 – University of British Columbia
The measure of a CanWest’s team’s worth is always found on the road. That’s where you separate the championship level teams from the just average ones. UBC was kicked around in Saskatoon last week. The season’s on the line against SFU this weekend.
No. 16 – St. FX
The X-Men are competitive every time they step on the field (in the AUS), but they have yet to pull out a real big performance. And, with Mount Allison seemingly on the rise…still don’t count Antigonish’s finest in the playoffs. They always seem to step it up.
No. 15 – Guelph
Windsor, Toronto and Waterloo. That’s who U of G’s wins have come against. Undoubtedly explosive, Guelph has yet to step it up against the top teams (although they did play Queen’s better than anyone else, it should be said). They are still a year away.
No. 14 -- Mount Allison University
And, having watched more Mounties games than any human should have in the early part of this decade it warms my heart to see MtA finally looking to earn its keep in the AUS. The playoffs are almost assured. Could a home date be in the cards? Maybe, and that’s good news for the AUS and the CIS
No. 13 – Montreal
Based on the strength of results that Quebec has shown in the cross over games, it’s the opinion here that it is the strongest conference top to bottom. Although the Carabins are still struggling on the offensive side of the ball, they remain competitive in the tough conference and are still in the conversation for the province’s second best team. Can they beat Laval…um, probably not..
No. 12 – Wildrid Lauier University
They still aren’t scoring nearly enough to be taken seriously as a championship contending team. At some point Gary Jefferies is going to have to learn to develop a QB (he inherited Pyear) if the Hawks are going to get back to 2005 levels.
No. 11 – Simon Fraser University
Still hanging around, but are the Clan a championship contending team? Getting smacked by Regina and barely getting by struggling Manitoba would seem to indicate not yet.
No. 10 – Ottawa
This is going to cause some debate, but the talent is too much to ignore completely. How much would you bet against Ottawa not being in the Yates? Exactly.
No. 9 – Calgary
The Dinos enjoyed the week off after getting a nice win over UBC. This week’s showdown with Regina will tell us a lot about where the strength is in CanWest.
No. 8 – Regina
The Rams finally seem to be clicking on offence putting up 769 total yards in their last two games. They will need more of that to get the job done against Calgary.
No. 7 – Sherbrooke
I was high on this team a couple week’s ago, but the loss to Bishop’s is troubling. Certainly the two-headed rushing attack can be effective, but can it upset one of the big players in Quebec come playoff time? To me, you have to beat BU consistently before you can be taken seriously as a contender. Still, a breakthough season for the Vert et Or.
No. 6 – University of Western Ontario
That Golden Gaels game is troubling. You just don’t like to see a team self-destruct in such a big game. Still, if you want to keep things on the positive, you can point out that the ‘Stangs moved the ball against the Goldens. If Greg Marshall can whip the purple boys into shape the rematch could be different (and if a Golden Gaels, Western Yates Cup game can’t draw big on the tube then this sport will never get over the niche hump…).
No 5 – Saint Mary’s University
SMU is still the clear best team in the AUS. But, you would like to see the Huskies doing a bit more against the conference. Of course SMU didn’t look that tough in ’07 (and ask Laval how that went). Remember…OUA bye…
No. 4 – Concordia
So far the only team that has played Laval close. If the Stingers don’t cough the ball up three times in the rematch in Ste. Foy we might have seen one of the CIS’ biggest regular season upsets in some time. When everything plays out the Stingers will probably be the forgotten team again, but…I’m not sure Laval wants to see Concordia a third time.
No. 3 – The Golden Gaels
The Goldens have silenced all the doubters so far. They are playing tougher and more balanced than at anytime since, oh, about 1992. The Bowl game against the AUS looks winnable, alumni are already warming up their vocal cords for some late November Oil Thighs in Hamilton. Ottawa is reeling. Laurier is rebuilding. Western is still not quite Western. What is the sport of Kings again?
No. 2 – Saskatchewan
As the weather gets colder, the green Huskies get better. The WTF loss is on the books (it isn’t a Saskatchewan season without one), it’s time to get busy. The clear Hardy favourites.
No. 1 – Laval
The only fault I can see with the team is that I’d like to see a bit more production from the backfield. But, even then you just get the feeling that the Rouge et Or could just turn it on and grind the yards out if they wanted to. And at any rate so long as Benoit Groulx keeps up with his Hec of a season, Laval must be considered the Vanier favourite.