- Guelph (3-5 last season): A sincere thanks. The Gryphons open with Toronto and York before taking a bye on Sept. 11, buying time to for the new coaching staff and starting quarterback to get acclimatized. A recent resolution proscribes mocking anyone who gets overexcited should the Stu Lang era begin with two wins.
The Gryphons then run a four-week gauntlet: Queen's and Western at home, at Laurier and at McMaster. By the way, three guesses who didn't mention Guelph will have a new starting QB.
- Laurier (6-2): A sarcastic thanks from Coach Jeffs. The Gary Jeffries-guided Golden Hawks now open at Western, which was supposed to be their non-combatant, followed by a trip to McMaster. Laurier also, as the hometown Record noted, trade a rivalry game against the Warriors that "could " for a game against York that "might draw 1,800 to 2,000 fans." That's a small fortune flying out the window.
On the first point, though, you could question the worth of having two rivals such as Laurier and Western not scheduled to face each other. That wouldn't happen with realignment, hint-hint.
- McMaster (6-2): A sarcastic thanks. The Marauders open with a four-game, 18-day Queen's-Laurier-Western-Ottawa gauntlet and their bye is in Week 9. (The first two are at home, the latter two are away.)
The upshot is Mac will be in a great spot if it gets a split. It won on Western and Ottawa's fields last season. A bye week before the quarter-final might also hit the spot.
They will also likely have to cancel an Aug. 29 exhibition game at Laval, which is too bad since playing at PEPS Stadium should be experienced by as many CIS players as possible (this changes if Rouge et Or fans ever get their hands on vuvuzelas).
- Ottawa (6-2): A sincere thanks. The Gee-Gees now have to schlep to Windsor for a season opener and then hustle back for a home opener vs. Western, which it has not beaten since its 2006 opener. The rub is Ottawa doesn't have to travel west of the GTA again and their bye, on Oct. 16, might be well-timed.
- Queen's (7-1): A sincere thanks. The Golden Gaels will open at McMaster instead of Waterloo, but it's only fair since their past three meetings were in Kingston. Queen's also has a full 10 days between its first and second games, which cannot hurt a team with a potential first-year starting quarterback, Justin Chapdelaine.
- Western (6-2): In-between. The Mustangs' slate is front-loaded, like McMaster's. They begin the post-Michael Faulds era with Laurier, Ottawa and Mac, two home games sandwiched around a trip to a stadium where they have won twice in a row.
Then it's clear sailing for 'Stangs, whose Oct. 2 rematch against Queen's stacks up as their toughest tilt the rest of the way. (Five-of-6 Western-Queen's meetings since from '06-09 were in Kingston, which no doubt helped the Gaels.)
Coach Greg Marshall's Mustangs also enjoy their bye over Thanksgiving. Dibs on the drumstick!
- Windsor (2-6): A sarcastic thanks. Not to give people the same deja vu caused by seeing UW run off-tackle for the 15th time in a half, but the Lancers were done out of a homecoming game. Their home slate also includes Ottawa. What kind of attendance would there be for an Ottawa-Windsor game played before classes start?
Football: How Waterloo's decision affects OUA playoff contenders
The release of a re-jigged OUA football schedule is a cue to wonder which teams are saying, "Thank you, Feridun Humdullahpur" sincerely and which are saying it sarcastically: