Never say never. It is probably a good idea to mention the bowl rotation flips the host conferences for Semifinal Saturday from last season. The Yates Cup winner has to venture east to play the best of Québec. Should that be Laval — and lookee, already the talk is that everyone there is playing for second place — please keep in midn the Rouge et Or have a ginormous home-road split in national semifinals.
At PEPS: 4-0, average score 38-13In reverse chronological order, the margins keep getting larger: 59-10, 57-10, 30-11, 27-21. That last one, in 1999 against Saskatchewan, is barely pertinent to the present day.
On the road: 1-4, average score 21-33
That isn't meant to diminish the OUA's chances of having a team in the championship game for three consecutive seasons [fixed] for the first time since 1993-95 (U of T in '93 and Western in '94-95). No on in her/his right mind would suggest coaches and players slack off this season since it's so hard to win in Laval's lair in November.
It's just in keeping with trying to bring the audience up to speed on a reality in CIS. You know how stories about opinion polls have that disclaimer about margin of error? There should be something similar in whatever conference draws the Stade PEPS short straw.
Playing at home or close to it has a huge effect on outcomes at championship time in most university sports. You think UBC might have won a men's basketball banner if the Final 8 was ever held in the Mountain or Pacific time zone? It has more weight in football since it's a one-shot deal, and the host team is a conference champion, which might not always be the case in other team sports.
As for 2011, the Yates Cup winner heads to Halifax to face the Atlantic conference rep and the Dunsmore Cup winner travels west for Mitchell Bowl. Wouldn't Calgary love a chance to get Laval at home?