It's a new feature combined with the resurrection of an old feature. Five To Ponder will highlight five upcoming games that might be worth your attention. After the weekend, Five For Pondering will recap the five games that were worth our attention. Hopefully the games we encourage you to watch end up being the interesting ones.
Since it's still early, this week we only have three games to ponder, all on the gridiron.
1. This One's For Those Who Don't Believe In Delayed Gratification
Football: Saskatchewan at Calgary, Saturday, 7:00pm MT
The preseason voting by the Fans Committee put the Calgary Dinos and Saskatchewan Huskies in first and second. And look: they play Saturday night! How fortunate.
The consensus, and I've checked with the officials on this, is that Canada West will be a dogfight and a horse race. And Saturday's opener is the first of two (possibly three) games they'll play against each other this year. The green team has (or had) a dominant defence; the red team has a dynamic offence.
I mean, last year's first Dog vs. Dinosaur game was so good, Canada West still thinks it was a tie! That is when you know you're part of something special.
And if all that wasn't enough of an enticement, Evan Daum (live from Calgary) and Andrew Bucholtz will have live coverage on this very site!
2. The Battle Of Schools Which Feature Many 905 High School Graduates In Their Business Programs
Football: Laurier at McMaster, Monday, 1:00pm ET
Mac's coming off an important win over Queen's in which they were lucky to be ahead (and Kyle Quinlan was lucky to not lose his head), and conventional sports-talk wisdom says they will have something to prove in their next game. Laurier lost badly (no, worse than that) to their hated rival (no, more hated than that), and conventional sports-talk wisdom says they will have something to prove in their next game.
More seriously, it's another early-season matchup between two teams expected to win an OUA playoff game or two. In true AlwaysOUA style, both teams have question marks entering the Labour Day game: Mac had half their lineup, give or take, on stretchers and crutches by halftime on Tuesday; WLU learned that it's not enough for a quarterback to have D-I experience. (I am oversimplifying for rhetorical effect.)
Best joke from the "Waterloo players transferring to Laurier" department belongs to Neate: "Western 46-Laurier 1? Guess they told the truth when they said the Waterloo transfers were having an impact on Golden Hawks."
3. The New Attitude At Low Altitude Bowl
Football: Alberta at UBC, Saturday, 1:00pm PT
In a typical week, this game might not be one to ponder, but don't forget, we are now entering the Olson Era in Vancouver. Will Doug Mitchell show up to the season opener?
These teams, in their only matchup last year, fought to a 25-24 UBC win, during which the Bears took an odd safety that, one could argue, was the difference between losing and winning.