Football: The CIS Blog shares its Top 10 picks — then prepares to duck

It's time for our third look at the FRC-CIS Top 10 voters' poll and a rundown of how our staff's ballots compare. This thread will be updated as contributors turn in their ballots. Please keep in mind it is solely for fomenting discussion and only wins and losses will matter in November.

Note: all our ballots were published here before the official top 10 was released.

The official results:
1. Laval (499 points, 42 first-place votes) (last week, No. 1)
2. Ottawa (434, 1 first-place vote) (2)
3. Montreal (333) (3)
4. Calgary (332) (4)
5. Western (308) (5)
6. Regina (227) (6)
7. Alberta (129) (7)
8. McMaster (84) (8)
9. Bishop's (70*) (NR)
10. Guelph (70) (NR)
* Bishop’s received the highest ranking following tie-breaking procedures.

Neate Sager's ballot:
  1. Laval (3-0 QUFL) — Did the Quebec conference go to a nine-game reg season just to see if the Constantins could have the first 13-0 season in CIS history?

  2. Montréal (3-0 QUFL) — It's election season in Ontario, so an Ottawa-based voter is flip-flopping in the 2-3 slots.

  3. Ottawa (4-0 OUA) — Sure, the Gee-Gees won, but a No. 2 team shouldn't get the cardiac kids label. A one-spot drop for the four interceptions against a McMaster secondary of freshmen and sophomores and 21 penalties for 242 yards. Thriller to watch, though.

    Another reason for the downgrade: the OUA is either in an off-year, or perhaps this season is showing '09 was an outlier.

  4. Calgary (2-1 Canada West) — Beat a pretty good Alberta team on the road without its head coach and starting quarterback.

  5. Western (3-1 OUA) — Face the only unbeaten team not yet mentioned next Saturday. Are people going to cheer for the Mustangs to expose Guelph worse?

  6. Regina (2-1 Canada West) — A pretty high spot for a team your humble agent did not include last week, but it's tough to justify moving up Alberta after it lost at home.

  7. Alberta (2-1 Canada West) — It's an either-or with those 6-7 slots. Each Golden Bears win was on the road whereas as Regina got both of its at home.

  8. Bishop's (2-1 QUFL) — Second verse, same as the first: the Gaiters and Stingers seem separated by about the thickness of a credit card. Besides, they play on Sept. 25, so let them sort it out.

    A batted ball that Concordia linebacker Max Caron grabbed in the end zone for a decisive touchdown was all that separated the two in their game at Lennoxville.

  9. Concordia (2-1 QUFL) — Were one yard from being bested by McGill and backup QB Ryne Bondy on Friday before escaping 34-29.

  10. Guelph (3-0 OUA) — McMaster's collapse vs. Ottawa ushered in the Gryphons, grudgingly. That said, full credit to coordinator Kevin MacNeill, whose defence is far and away the most improved in the OUA.

    The rubber could be about to hit the road for the Gryphons, who play three of their last four on the road following Saturday's matchup vs. Western. The real test of MacNeill's's defensive scheme will come as opposing coaches have more and more film to analyze. Guelph's D under former coach Kyle Walters also tended to tucker out later on in the season.

    However, this is about ranking teams' strength based on performance, not predicting final standings. Guelph gets the nod over two-loss McMaster (and two-loss Saskatchewan) for this week, since the latter teams are even tougher to gauge.

    Worth noting: The last Gryphons team which opened 3-0 (back in 2004) finished 4-4 and was easy pickings in the quarter-final (losing by 24 up in Ottawa). And guess what? A Queen's team going with two untested QBs after the graduation of a decorated, record-setting passer was one of the three that season, too. Not sure if anyone else has picked up on that coincidence, besides Layson.

Andrew Bucholtz's ballot: (last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. Laval (1)
2. Ottawa (2)
3. Montreal (5)
4. Calgary (3)
5. Western (4)
6. Regina (8)
7. Concordia (NR)
8. Alberta (7)
9. Bishop's (NR)
10. McMaster (9)

Dropping out: Saskatchewan (6), Queen's (10)

Explanation: The top two are pretty self-explanatory. I bumped Montreal above Calgary and Western because they turned in an impressive thumping of St. FX. Calgary beat a good Alberta team, but wasn't as dominant as Montreal, and Western got the job done against a bad Windsor team (but one that doesn't care about the scoreboard). The Mustangs didn't play all that particularly well, though. Regina gets a bump for a big win over Saskatchewan; I've got them ranked above fellow 2-1 Canada West team Alberta because their two wins were decisive ones over Manitoba and Saskatchewan while their loss was by three to Calgary. Alberta beat UBC and Manitoba, but lost by nine to Calgary. You can put Alberta ahead of Regina if you think the Bears' victory over UBC is better than the one over Saskatchewan (UBC did beat Saskatchewan on the road last week, after all), but I'm still more impressed with the Huskies than the T-Birds this year because Saskatchewan beat Calgary and UBC lost to Manitoba. Concordia and Bishop's enter my rankings this week thanks to impressive wins over McGill and Acadia respectively; I've got the Stingers above the Gaiters thanks to their head-to-head victory in Week One. McMaster takes the final spot thanks to keeping it close against Ottawa; Mac has been anything but consistent this year, but they've got the ability to be very dangerous when they put it together. Guelph was the toughest omission for me; they beat a team I had in my top-10 in Queen's, but were considerably aided by turnovers and looked thoroughly capable of losing that game. Their other two wins are over Toronto (by two points) and York, so for now, they're on the outside looking in despite a 3-0 record. There are lots of teams you can make an argument for in the bottom half of the poll, though.

Evan Daum's ballot: (last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. Laval (1) - Until they lose, there's no way they fall out of this top spot.

2. Ottawa (2) - Still the best team in the OUA, and despite the tight victory this week they'll have to lose before I downgrade them.

3. Calgary (3) - After that bizarre loss to the now 1-2 Huskies in week one, they've been able to win with a rookie QB at the helm, and without their head coach this weekend. True freshmen QB Eric Dzwilewski has shown glimpses that he could be the premier QB in the nation before his collegiate career is over.

4. Montreal (4) - Can I rank them 3B? Alright I'll put them at four. They look just as good as Calgary and Ottawa for that matter, but I can't justify dropping Calgary down a notch from my poll last week.

5. Western (6) - A convincing win over Windsor, so the 'Stangs crack my top five for the first time this season.

6. Regina (NR) - A huge win over their provincial rivals this weekend at home. QB Marc Mueller has been the best arm in the conference thus far, and among the best in the nation.

7. Bishop's (NR) - A convincing win this weekend over Acadia despite surrendering 15 fourth quarter points to the Axemen.

8. Concordia (NR) - Probably just as good as Bishops, but we won't have to wait long to find out if that's true or not.

9. Alberta (8) - Came out flat in the second half against the Dinos. A disappointing offensive performance from the Bears drops them one spot in my poll from last week.

10. Guelph (NR) - They're undefeated, so give them some credit, but let's not get silly yet. Just good enough to crack the top 10.

Jared Book's ballot: (last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. Laval (1)
2. Montreal (2)
3. Ottawa (3)
4. Calgary (4)
5. Regina (9)
6. Western (7)
7. Alberta (6)
8. Concordia (10)
9. Bishop's (NR)
10. Saskatchewan (5)

Reasoning: Laval and Montreal are undefeated and I don't see any team favoured to beat them. They have been dominating in most of their games this season. Ottawa keeps winning and tops the OUA. Calgary is the best out of Canada West despite injuries and a loss in their opening game. Regina beat Saskatchewan and I have them slightly ahead of the blog with Western and Alberta. Concordia came from behind to beat McGill with their backup quarterback and then Bishop's beat Acadia handedly. Saskatchewan is still ahead of McMaster and Guelph because I think if Guelph had these three games in weeks 4-6 instead of 1-3, we wouldn't even notice. They beat Queen's, fine. But Queen's wasn't far ahead of them to begin with and doesn't tell me they are a top 10 team.

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1 comment:

  1. I'd be the first to hysterically nay a chant of, Go Stangs Go, but I'd be surprised if the Guelph D doesn't hamstring Western's running game. Donny Marshall has yet shown that he can move the team consistantly with his arm, despite the fact that teams line up to stop the Mustang's running formations. Add to the equation the lovely natural turf they'll be playing on Saturday and there are some huge question marks about the legitimacy of Western's No. 5 ranking.

    That said, GO STANGS GO!!