The CIS Football season has begun under the most tumultuous conditions seen for some time: there are two fewer teams (one by choice, one...not so much), short weeks between games to start things off in Ontario, and to add to everything there are now upsets galore.
It should be noted that there is entirely too much to note at this point in time; however, the tall order of making sense of this CIS football, now being played across all four conferences in the land, is a task that will - nay, must - be accomplished.
So to recap the contests involving the Top 10 teams continue reading on below (NOTE: this comprises the Top 10 teams from last week, a disclaimer that must be made since there is really no guarantee of who will fall where after the next official vote takes place. The next poll will surely provide some interesting results to say the least...).
Of all the accomplishments that took place this past week one of the more impressive outings came from the Calgary Dinos (#5). After falling short in the season opener to their rivals Saskatchewan, and falling four spots in the official UFRC poll from first to fifth in the country, Calgary found themselves plagued with injury woes. The Dinos lost their quarterback and two-time Hec Creighton winner Erik Glavic for at least 3 weeks with a knee injury, and former conference all star Anthony Parker due to a severe concussion suffered in week 1. But on top of those high profile injuries, eight starters in total were sidelined for this game as a freshman rookie Eric Dzwilewski, hailing from Boise, Idaho, went under centre to take over the QB role in just the second week of the season.
The depleted Calgary outfit still came away with the win however, a 24-21 victory over the ninth-ranked Regina Rams (#9), evening their record at 1-1 on the season. In Dzwilewski’s first game he went 13-for-20 on the day, throwing for 259 yards and two touchdowns while adding 61 yards on the ground.
Really the only truly predictable result came from the one place you would expect, the nation’s top ranked program, the Laval Rouge et Or (#1). Laval had little difficulty defeating the Sherbrooke Vert et Or 36-6.
The same cannot, however, be said for the team who entered the week in the second spot. The Saskatchewan Huskies (#2), following an important victory over Calgary, fell at the hands of the UBC Thunderbirds in a major upset, 31-12. The Huskies committed five turnovers (3 lost fumbles, 2 interceptions) in the surprise defeat.
Thanks to the win the Alberta Golden Bears, not presently ranked anywhere in the National Top 10, find themselves perched at the top of the CanWest conference with a perfect 2-0 record, defeating UBC and Manitoba respectively.
The Ottawa Gee-Gees (#3) cemented their claim to the pole position of the OUA this past weekend with a 45-3 blowout win over the York Lions. Ottawa gained 536 total yards while limiting the Lions to just 140 total yards for the game.
After a dominant win over Laurier to start the season, followed by a heartbreaking loss to the Gee Gees in their short week, the Western Mustangs (#8) responded with another convincing win, this time over the McMaster Marauders (#6) by a tune of 50-19. Just as MAC broke their losing streak against the Golden Hawks the week prior, Greg Marshall lifted the hex placed upon him by his former team with the victory--the first over the Marauders since Marshall took control of the Mustangs program.
The other two nationally ranked teams in Quebec not named Laval, the Montreal Carabins (#7) and Concordia Stingers (#10), squared off in a Battle of Montreal this past weekend. In the end the blue and white claimed bragging rights as the Carabins triumphed with a 29-8 over the Stingers, and the game wasn't as close as the score if you can believe it! Montreal remains undefeated and with the win keeps pace with Laval in the conference.
The most interesting results as a whole, however, may have come from the East Coast. The AUS conference played a game of role reversal in their opening week contests. The defending conference champions Saint Mary’s Huskies (#4), fell at the hands of the Acadia Axeman, 17-7. And in the other game the Mount Allison Mounties, unable to win a game last season, defeated the St. Francis Xavier X-Men by a score of 19-6. That is, both 2009 Loney Bowl participants fell to start off 2010. Certainly unexpected.
It feels like every week in this young football season is ending with a cliffhanger right now - what’s going to happen next?? At this point in time, at least with the way this season has begun, any guess is likely a good one.