Football: The CIS Blog shares its Top 10 picks — no wagering, please

It's time for our fourth 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.

Neate Sager's ballot:
  1. Laval (4-0 QUFL) (1st in last week's poll, 1st on my ballot) — No reason to change.

  2. Montréal (4-0 QUFL) (3,2) — Nice second-half rally over a McGill team which plays just well enough to lose.

  3. Ottawa (5-0 OUA) (2, 3) — The point of their 27-25 overtime win at Queen's was that the Gee-Gees won by having superior athletes who would not quit. That trait has not always been in evidence with the Gee-Gees. They also cleaned up their penalty problems (just 78 yards) and turnover woes (only one Bradley Sinopoli interception).

    Some are wondering if the Gee-Gees are taking pains to keep Sinopoli in the pocket — they even broke out a double tight-end set in the second half for extra protection — because he's playing hurt.

  4. Calgary (3-1 CW) (4, 4) — The Dinos' wins have been by three, nine and one points, but in what appears to a deep and strong Canada West.

  5. Regina (3-1 CW) (6, 6)No giveaways in a 35-point road win over UBC, that is what you do against a second-rung program, although the Thunderbirds did actually beat a team ranked on this ballot.

  6. Western (4-1 OUA) (5, 5) — The upshot of the Smokes-and-Mirrors Bowl is it proved there is an OUA team which deserves the 6 slot. Greg Marshall might actually be putting together a pretty good coaching job by not having the roof fall in despite an offence which is an one-note act..

  7. Bishop's (3-1 QUFL) (9, 8) — The best team from an English-language school located between Port Hawkesbury, N.S., and Hawkesbury, Ont.

  8. Saskatchewan (2-2 CW) (NR) — They're baaaaaack! (Apparently.) Now Brian Towriss' team just needs to win a game played outside the province of Alberta, where both of their victories have occurred.

  9. Alberta (2-2 CW) (7, 7) — Two-spot drop for a home-field shellacking, 33-9 to those above-mentioned Huskies. As previously noted, very little mental strain should go into picking the Nos. 9 and 10 spots in a pool this small.

  10. Concordia (2-2 QUFL) (NR, 9) — Still pretty even with Bishop's, plus having a fourth Quebec team in ahead of a third Ontario University Athletics team seems prudent at this juncture.
In the words of George Costanza, "I fear no reprisal."

Evan Daum:

1. Laval (#1 last week) – Self explanatory.

2. Ottawa (2) – They squeeked out another close win this weekend, but found a way to win against the defending Vanier Cup champs.

3. Calgary (3) – Call it being set in my ways, but the Dinos are still one of the three best teams in the nation regardless of only a one point win over the lowly Bisons. They're still finding ways to win without Erik Glavic.

4. Montreal (4) – 13-point win over McGill holds them steady, as they continue to knock on the Dinos' door in my top 10.

5. Western (5) – 15-8 win over Guelph thanks once again to a powerful rushing attack.

6. Regina (6) – They're for real. They went out and took care of business against a mediocre UBC team – something the Huskies didn't do two weeks ago.

7. Bishop's (7) – got a tight win over Concordia this weekend in the battle for #7 in my poll.

8. Saskatchewan (NR) – Didn't take long for the Dogs to reappear in the top 10. A thorough, dominating win over Alberta proved this team just needs to battle the opposition and not themselves.

9. Concordia (8) – Narrow loss to Bishop's drops them down one spot.

10. Alberta (9) – Just barely hang onto a top 10 spot after I threw out the challenge flag to review my decision to have Guelph in here instead of the Bears. Upon further review Alberta keeps a ranking.

Jared Book:

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

Reasoning: Essentially the same as last week. I thought about leapfrogging Montreal over Laval but will not do that yet. No team was worthy of changing 3-5 as both Ottawa and Calgary had trouble with inferior opponents. I think of the one-loss teams, Bishop's gets the edge over Western. I have Saskatchewan over Alberta and Concordia lost to a team ahead of them and should have won. No reason to move them out.

Andrew Bucholtz: (last week's rankings in parentheses)

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

Dropping out: Alberta (8)

Rationale: My top six stayed constant this week. Laval seems like the obvious #1 still. You could make an argment for Montreal over Ottawa given that it took the Gee-Gees overtime to beat Queen's, but that isn't an easy win on the road, especially in a Fauxcoming atmosphere. Ottawa still looks awfully good to me; they just keep finding ways to win. Montreal stays third after beating up on winless McGill, while narrow wins by Calgary and Western keep their spots intact. Regina's a very good sixth-place team, and they showed that with a 41-6 thumping of UBC this week, but I can't justify moving them further up just yet. Bishop's narrowly edged Concordia 18-17, so they take the Stingers' spot, but I think both are still solid teams. McMaster demolished Windsor, which isn't saying much, but it's enough to stay in my Top 10; Alberta's 33-9 loss to Saskatchewan isn't. There are several teams with claims on the #10 spot, but I went with the Huskies thanks to their dominant win over a good Alberta team; I think they still have a chance to make some noise in Canada West this year, so putting them back in the Top 10 this week made sense to me.

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  1. I don't know what you guys see of 2-2 Concordia. Their two wins were narrow and that's why they have allowed 14 more points than they scored. Note worthy of top 10 team. Watch them lose badly to Laval next week.

    Personally, I would (and I will in fans top 10 ballot) put 3-2 McMaster and 3-1 Guelph (Ok they only beat the bottom-dwellers of OUA but they offered a good resistance to Western) instead of Concordia.

  2. Call it being down on your own conference syndrome. You're not impressed by Concordia; the OUA this season outside of Ottawa and Western has taken a big step back.

    I did originally put 3-2 Mac in ... the Queen's-Ottawa result, from a strength-of-schedule perspective, helps the Marauders' cause (probably more than a home win over Windsor, regardless of the score).

    But like I say, not that's it's off-limits, but I really only focus on the first eight selections. The 9 and 10 slots are pretty fluid in a 25-team league which has seven programs you can't even think of voting for.

  3. Yeah, Concordia's wins are narrow, but they put up a pretty good fight against Bishop's this week. I like them more than Mac or Guelph; Mac's done enough to stick around my poll, though.

  4. Interesting that Naete notes the Gee-Gees cleaning up their penalty problems...I noticed that too. Only difference being I credit it entirely to an incompetent officiating crew. At my count at the end of that game, Queen's had 8 holding calls and Ottawa had 0. For a penalty that can be called on any play if the official wants to, that's an unacceptable spread.

  5. Gordon,

    Good points and the officials weren't great. According to the play-by-play data, Queen's offence had 6 holding calls and Ottawa had 3.

    Ottawa didn't have any penalties in the return game. They had, unofficially, 4-6 of those against McMaster.

    The upshot, as frustrated as the Golden Gaels were, they did better against a less mistake-prone Ottawa team than Mac (albeit on the road) did the week before when the Gee-Gees had 4 picks, 242 penalty yards and other blown scoring opps (a bad third-and-1 call and a dropped snapback on a field goal try).

  6. For what it's worth, the teams who are above-average in both RPI and SRS, sorted by the latter:

    Laval +26.8
    Saskatchewan +21.7
    Regina +21.4
    Calgary +18.6
    Montreal +11.7
    Sherbrooke +8.3
    Western +5.9
    Bishop's +1.4
    Concordia +1.1

    Keen students of counting will notice why that list means it's so hard to find 10 teams for your ballot.

    Also, you're all too tough on the Huskies. They were voted by the readers of this very blog to win the Vanier!

  7. The answer, by the way, to "for what it's worth" is "not much." I don't publish rankings for football because there are so few games and the preseason games we do have are of questionable significance.

  8. What do I see in Concordia? I'm an alumnus. I don't need a valid reason.

    No, seriously... Quebec is proving to be the best conference in the country despite it's size. Concordia will probably lose to Laval this weekend. That's why they are #10 and not #1. I think that Concordia is better than McMaster or Guelph without a doubt. The fact that they are competing against better teams with a backup quarterback also shows me something and they might even make up the game on Bishop's to finish ahead of them yet.

  9. Speaking of questionable officiating, anyone catch the two act ordeal at Guelph's Homecoming?

    There were few calls in the first half and a multitude of laundry in the second. It was literally like the crew received a call and were told to call everything. I appreciate that game crews talk during halftime but surely some type of outside influence impacted the calls in the latter half.

    When complimented by the weather, field, and inexperience at both QB positions, the officiating was shockingly poor.