Neate Sager's ballot (numbers in parentheses represent a team's rank in the Oct. 19 CIS-FRC poll and where I slotted it last week):
- Laval (7-0 QUFL) (1, 1) — Scored 52 in first half vs. McGill, 16 in the second. Classy.
- Saskatchewan (5-2 CW) (4, 3) — Twenty-one-point win at UBC while Western dug itself a hole at home before beating Toronto by a dozen.
- Western (7-1 OUA) (2, 4) — Good final three quarters against Toronto once it realized it was in a game vs. the improving Varsity Blues, who half-fulfilled a preseason prediction. U of T finished 3-5, but did not nab a playoff berth.
If only Toronto had cashed in for a touchdown from the 1-yard line instead of fumbling a snap a settling for a field goal late in that 15-13 loss to Guelph on Aug. 31 ... they would have finished 4-4 and thanks to Peter Baxter, would be hosting the OUA quarter-final.
- Calgary (5-2 CW) (7, 7) — A dominant first half at higher-ranked Regina gets the Dinos back into the top five. In all honesty, the 3-4-5-6 slots are pretty fluid. There might not be much difference between No. 2 and No. 8.
Too bad this wasn't a season in which Canada West plays OUA in the national semifinal. Any combo of Calgary or Saskatchewan going to Western, Ottawa or McMaster would be most entertaining.
- Ottawa (7-1 OUA) (5, 8) — Losses by two higher-ranked teams should bump Ottawa, which blew out Guelph 54-11, back up the poll.
Greg Layson may vouch that I did say over IM that Ottawa would win "by something like 49-13."
- Regina (5-2 CW) (3, 2) — Games like this weekend's 35-27 loss to Calgary are ones the Rams must win to notch up their program's image. Instead, they dug a 21-point hole in the first half.
They had to be the highest-ranked Canada West team last week since it is an evaluation of performance. No one was shocked to see the Dinos restore the pecking order.
- Montréal (5-3 QUFL) (6, 5) — Results such as the 21-14 loss only reinforce the stereotype that if you stop Rotrand Sene (3.5 yards per carry in the defeat), you stop the Carabins.
- McMaster (6-2 OUA) (8, 9) — Idle. Up one spot due to Bishop's implosion (outscored 111-11 in back-to-back games). With the quarter-final matchup, they have a chance to beat Queen's twice in one season for the first time since 2002.
Granted, that was against a team with a Hec Crighton-winning Tom Denison, not a first-year starting QB.
- Sherbrooke (4-4 QUFL) (11, -) — The forever underappreciated J.P. Shoiry carved up the Gaiters, throwing 39 times for 372 yards and five TDs in a 49-11 of Bishop's.
Sherby has the split with Bishop's. If it beats winless McGill on Oct. 30 and the Gaiters lose to Montreal, wouldn't that vault the V&O in the 2 vs. 3 QUFL semifinal, avoiding Laval?
- Laurier (4-4* OUA) (13, 10) — Has scored 102 points the past two weeks and draw a flatlining Guelph team, which it already hammered by 34 points, in the OUA quarter-final.
Suffice to say, the run of blowout games on University Rush might continue next week. Is it nuts to think the 6 vs. 3 Queen'-s-Mac quarter-final might end up being closer?
Jared Book's ballot (last week in parentheses):
1. Laval (1)
2. Saskatchewan (3)
3. Calgary (4)
4. Regina (2)
5. Montreal (5)
6. Western (7)
7. Ottawa (8)
8. Sherbrooke (9)
9. Bishop's (6)
10. Concordia (NR)
Dropping out: McMaster (10)
Laval, again, obvious. I have the CW teams 2-4 again because I am not penalizing them for beating up on each other. I still think they are better than any of the teams below them. Montreal lost, yes, but to a Concordia team that had to win. Montreal only had one bad quarter in the loss and if Montreal had to face Western or Ottawa, I would put my money on Montreal. Western and Ottawa leapfrog Bishop's. Sherbrooke's late season push (which I predicted) moves them into 8th. Bishop's lost two games by a wide margin, yes, but to two Top 10 teams. Concordia cut the gap between the 11 and 10 spots with their win against Montreal. McMaster had a bye, but beating my No. 5 team (and them beating my No. 9 and taking my No. 8 to overtime) outweighs McMaster's resume.
Andrew Bucholtz's ballot (last week's rankings in parentheses):
1. Laval (1)
2. Saskatchewan (4)
3. Western (3)
4. Calgary (7)
5. Ottawa (6)
6. Regina (2)
7. Sherbrooke (10)
8. McMaster (9)
9. Montreal (5)
10. Saint Mary's (NR)
Dropping out: Bishop's (8)
Rationale: Laval's place at the top is clear, but after that, the 2-6 teams are pretty interchangeable. Bumped Regina down this week thanks to their loss to Calgary. Saskatchewan beat a less-impressive UBC team this week, but they've knocked off the Dinos twice this year (including just last week), so they stay ahead of them. Calgary does rise to fourth, though, and really, I could see any of the top three teams coming out of Canada West. Western holds third with a decent, but not totally impressive win over Toronto. Ottawa pasted Guelph and moves up, while Montreal fell to Concordia and moves down. McMaster rises despite the bye thanks to the carnage ahead of them; Bishop's was steamrolled 49-11 by Sherbrooke, so they're out of the ballot. Sherbrooke moves up thanks to that impressive win, and Saint Mary's returns to the top 10 thanks to their fourth-straight win. They're now 4-3 on the year, and it looks like it might be the same old story in the AUS with the Huskies on top; this year's shown us that there's more parity there than we might have thought, though, so it could be an interesting postseason.