Football: AUS football coming to Moncton?

If you build it, they will come ...

A story on CBC Radio this morning (as well as on their website), has Université de Moncton president Yvon Fontaine striking a committee to study whether to form a university football team that would play in the Atlantic University Sports conference. He said that committee begins work next month and will have a final report by the end of December.

Moncton has just finished successfully hosting the 2010 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships and UdeM now has a spanking new 10,000 seat stadium on campus.

Of course just down the highway in Sackville this might be a love-hate deal. Mount Allison has played a couple of "home" games in Moncton to reach out to that much bigger market, and one would think that might evaporate if UdeM was to have a team. On the other hand there is always the language issue -- francophones in eastern New Brunswick would surely rally behind a UdeM squad while anglophones might continue to support Mount A. Nothing like a cultural rivalry played out on the field (okay, I'm kidding here, because language is not that big an issue in Canada's only officially bilingual province, other than on the fringes ...).

I'm not sure where UdeM would find the financial resources for recruiting, but there is obviously a huge pool of francophone footballers next door in Quebec to augment the locals kids. Recruiting Quebecers has certainly benefited Aigles Bleus hockey teams over the years.

Now if the financial picture can ever improve in Fredericton, so that the Red Bombers can be promoted from club status to varsity!

Related: University ponders legacy after IAAF games (CBC)

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  1. John Bower passed along some thoughts:

    "Last year on CIS Touchdown we spoke with our AUS correspondant Dan Robertson about this possibility after SMU played a game at Moncton.

    "The feeling in the AUS is that if Moncton adds a team, which would be in direct competition with Sherbrooke, Montréal, Laval and Ottawa for players, that it opens the door to Mt. A possibly cutting football. It would be fantastic to add another team to the AUS, but they couldn't enter until after the 2011 season as the AUS-QSSF interlock contract is finalized for the next two years.

    "Once that ends, a fifth team in the AUS would be a boost to the conference and would allow the QSSF to eliminate the interlock games that many coaches feel provide little value (honestly, MtA vs. Laval - no one is a winner in that scenario)."

  2. I also editorialized that if there was to be only one N.B. team in CIS football, maybe it should be U de M rather than Mount A.

    Ideally, you would like to have a six-team AUS. Perhaps Dal and UPEI interests continue to push?

    Honestly, I'd love it if we could ever get to 30 teams and have five divisions -- AUS, Canada West, a southern Ontario league, an O-QIFC of Carleton, Ottawa and Quebec schools, and a league for the heavy-hitters, Western, Laval, Montreal, Queen's, Concordia and Laurier.

  3. I doubt one will see a league of the heavy hitters for many years.Ten or twenty.
    Your version of heavy hitter league seems to be limited to Ont-Quebec. Smu and Western Canada fans may disagree with that.
    Now, if you limit this super league to Ont-Que for logistics reasons, then why include WLU and Concordia, but not an Ottawa team? Ottawa has certainly done as well as these teams in the last 20 years. Probably as well as Queen's too.
    It is the fourth largest national TV market in the country ; which is why the CFL keeps trying to be there. Ottawa has not done very well at the gate, but if you check, neither has Concordia.
    Ideally a central Canada super league would have to have a Toronto team , again because of the huge TV market.
    And who knows ? In 10-20 years Toronto may be a CIS power again. In fact it is pretty hard to predict who will be a power in a decade or two from now and who will be drawing fans then. Things can change a lot in that time.Such as a couple of OUA teams successfully adopting the Laval model developing and bringing in the fans.
    Kind of premature anyway to predict a super league , let alone who belongs in it. As it stands now, there are only 26 teams, 25 if Waterloo drops out completely. It will be quite a few years before CIS football is up to 30 teams.

  4. We can dream, can't we? It's not premature to be putting an idea out there if you believe it will have merit. I'm with you; it probably wouldn't happen for another 10 years at least, but if we don't say anything now, in 10 years CIS will still be doing nothing.

    You must have been reading the e-mails John and I were trading, since we tweaked the "Central Conference."

    How does this sound?

    Ottawa (instead of Concordia)
    Toronto (rather than Laurier)

    That's four biggish TV markets plus two schools with a long tradition and a big alumnni base in Southern Ontario.

    It's also 3 French schools and 3 English schools.

    You also recreate the old Big Four, with Montréal in place of McGill, and you add two big schools.

    Also, those schools could play cross-overs -- which would count toward at-large consideration for the national tournament -- against Canada West. Set up a rotation.

    The only reason to not include Western Canada or Saint Mary's was logistics.

    What happens to Canada West if suddenly Saskatchewan and Calgary were gone? What happens to AUS football if Saint Mary's is taken away? They're the "anchor tenant" of that league.

    Ultimately, we want the national exposure for CIS football, but we also want to build up regional rivalries. I think highly of Saint Mary's, but we have to be somewhat realistic.

    Yeah, 30 teams will take a while. Look at it this way: one team per million Canadians. It's do-able.

    Thanks for the comment. Maybe we'll call this our "30 for '30" (as in 2030) plan.

  5. Did not read your e-mails. Would not know how to hack into them if I wanted to.

    Yes, that is a better line-up with all the big markets stretching along a corridor from Quebec City to London.

    Don't know about Queen's though as it will be the smallest school in a quite small market. Had to throw that in just for Sager's benefit!!!!

    It would be three French schools and four English schools , as Ottawa would claim to be both. Unless Carleton is the big power in Ottawa in 2030, in which case it could be two and four.

    "30 for 30" is a good slogan, but just think how old we will be when that goal is reached!

  6. Queen's has the alumni base ... big U.S. powerhouses play in off-the-beaten-path towns.

  7. I bet if the CFL granted a franchise to the Maritimes we would never have to have a UdeM or Mt. A discussion

  8. Montcon may be better suited to back a CIS team at the University de Montcon. The stadium fits the new style of stadiums that the CIS teams are building. Where as the area most lickely is too small to support a CFL team the local business community could form a Laval corp Model to fund such a program with the money needed to bring in top coaching to go along with the other thing that keeps other CIS school from starting fooball programs and that is a top rate facility which they already have. Along with a recruiting area which they all ready have with the french Quebec CEGAP growing so big that a 4th university is fast becoming neccessary to accomodate all of the talent coming out of Quebec