Football: Pleading (for some sanity while making out) the fifth FRC-CIS Top 10 ballot

It's time for our fifth 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 (previous week's ranking included, along where team was on my ballot:
  1. Laval (5-0 QUFL) (1, 1) — The last unbeaten team.
  2. Regina (4-1 CW) (6, 5) — Better results than Calgary (plus-91 in point differential to Dinos' +9), but are they better than Calgary and Saskatchewan? Compare the Rams' final margins against common opponents; the Rams beat UBC and Manitoba by a combined 67 points, compared to 18 for the Dinos. The western Huskies lost to UBC but had that 64-3 win over Manitoba.
  3. Calgary (4-1 CW) (4, 4) — Keep on truckin' even without Scramble EG; go into Canada West's turkey break on a four-game win streak. Move up a spot after two Eastern teams stumbled.
  4. Western (5-1 OUA) (5, 6) — Might yet win a Yates Cup playing mistake-free football and riding a defence led by middle linebacker John Surla and halfback Craig Butler (each has a case for OUA MVP in a league whose best offensive player is a quarterback averaging two INTs per week). It's hard to believe an OUA team which averages about 20 passes per game can be pose a serious threat to a QUFL or Canada West team in November.

    Seriously, how about a defender getting the OUA's Hec Crighton nomination? (Arden Zwelling said it first. Or was it Chris Lund?)
  5. Bishop's (4-1 QUFL) (8, 7) — Perhaps it's a bit high and not destined to last, but the Gaiters have to be above the Carbs after an 18-point win on Sunday. Like Regina, BU has a tough remaining schedule with three of their last four on the road, including a return game with the U de M and a trip to Laval.
  6. Montréal (4-1 QUFL) (3, 2) — Four-spot drop for getting blown out; some clemency since the game was on the road.
  7. Saskatchewan (3-2 CW) (9, 8)— The best two-loss team and likely better than 2-3 or the five single-loss teams ahead of them this week, but we're going on results and context, not conjecture (while, some conjecture).
  8. Ottawa (5-1 OUA) (2, 3) — No one saw Toronto winning on Saturday, but don't forget that the Gee-Gees have an extreme home-road split. In 2008, it lost at Windsor and ended up in the Yates Cup. A five-spot drop seems fair, especially since most said Ottawa would lose at some point before Oct. 30.

    Ottawa has obvious problems (they've given up close to 1,200 yards the past two weeks). The upshot is winning out against Laurier and Guelph would mean home-field advantage throughout the Ontario University Athletics playoffs. Beyond that is anyone's guess; they could easily see their season end with a home-field playoff loss for the fourth time in five seasons.
  9. McMaster (4-2 OUA) (7, NR) — The Marauders were a tough omission last week.
  10. Laurier (3-2 OUA) (NR) — To borrow a line made famous during what should have been David Montoya's final season, 2006, Guelph is what they thought we were.

    This is what passes for sports journalism in certain circles in Guelph: The hometown Mercury failed to quote Gryphons coach Stu Lang after each of the Gryphons losses, including Satuday's 34-point drubbing at Laurier. There was a combined attendance of 16,000 for that game and the Gryphons' narrow loss to Western the previous week, so yeah, theee's some curiosity.

    Far be it to point out some schools take a very professional approach organize a post-game media availability with coaches and players from both teams. Let us hope that will be the standard in OUA football at some point soon.

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

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

This week’s ballot is quite a bit jumbled up from last week’s, but there’s a bit of method behind the madness. Last week’s #2 and #3 (Ottawa and Montreal) obviously had to drop thanks to their losses. Ottawa falls further because they lost to a not-otherwise impressive Toronto team, while Montreal lost to a good Bishop’s squad. The Canada West insanity was more muted this week; favoured Calgary, Regina and Saskatchewan all won. Calgary still gets top billing among those three; they’ve won four straight despite being without Erik Glavic. Eric Dzwilewski is filling in nicely, Anthony Parker and Matt Walter are looking good, and the Dinos seem to be rounding into the squad we expected of them.

Regina has been more of a surprise. As Neate points out above, what they’ve done so far is very impressive; they’re winning by a lot. Still, they lost the head-to-head game against Calgary, and that counts for something. Saskatchewan beat Calgary, but lost to UBC and Regina, so they’re trailing here, but they did enough this week againt Manitoba to move up four slots. Western’s dominant win over Queen’s in what looked like it might be a close game bumped them up a notch, and Bishop’s rises two for their win over Montreal. McMaster and Concordia round out my bottom two, with the Stingers falling two spots for an expected, but not particularly close, loss to Laval this week.

Evan Daum's ballot:

1. Laval - Another week, another win for the Rouge et Or.

2. Calgary - Erik Glavic who? The Dinos just keep rolling without the reigning Hec Crighton winner, and not many teams could be as successful as they've been with a true freshmen QB filling in for their MVP. Don't look now, but they're almost 100% healthy.

3. Regina - The Rams absolutely destroyed an Alberta team that has fallen back to Earth after a 2-0 start. Marc Mueller is a legitimate Hec Crighton candidate at this stage of the season and is blossoming into one of the premier quarterbacks in the nation.

4. Western - The highest-rated OUA club in my poll after Ottawa fell to Toronto. Greg Marshall has this team looking polished with two games left in the regular season.

5. Bishop's - An 18-point win over Montreal moves the Gaiters up my poll. Like Neate said, they may fall back over the coming weeks, but they've earned this spot after beating a good Montreal squad.

6. Saskatchewan - The best 3-2 football team in the nation by far. Manitoba didn't know what hit them after the Huskies put up a 64 spot on the Bisons in a 64-3 contest in Winnipeg over the weekend.

7. Montreal - They fall three spots in my poll after their loss to Bishop's, but that slip is as much a product of Saskatchewan and Regina earning a move up the poll, as the Carabins deserving a slide down.

8. Ottawa - Ouch! A loss to Toronto spells the end of the Gee-Gees' reign as the top OUA team in my poll. A big slide all the way from #2 to #8. That's harsh, but it's also a result of teams who were behind Ottawa in the poll stepping it up in a major way this week.

9. McMaster - Convincing win over York 64-6 moves the Marauders inside the top 10, and just behind Ottawa.

10. Wilfrid Laurier - Not a lot of love for the OUA near the top, but thanks to Laurier they hold down the bottom three spots (is that consolation?). Scored a convincing win over Guelph this weekend, holding the Gryphons to two measly points.

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

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

Laval and Calgary are the two teams remaining from my top 4, so that's a no-brainer. As for Bishop's, they finally seem to be playing the way I thought they would be (I had them #5 in the pre-season poll). Normally, I wouldn't leapfrog them over Regina, but I feel their win over Montreal was more impressive than the win by the Rams over Alberta (but not by too much). Western jumps ahead of Montreal and Ottawa, and I slot Montreal in just behind them. Saskatchewan and Sherbrooke had impressive wins this week, and I close with two OUA teams. I may be a little harsh on Ottawa, but they are 4-1 and haven't been too, too impressive in their wins. I slot Mac in at No. 10. I'll be the first to admit if the Concordia-Laval game had been close, I would have had 5 of the 6 QSSF teams in the Top 10. As it is, Concordia is probably my No. 11 or 12 at the moment.

And finally, how the poll turned out:

1. Laval (500 points, all first-place votes) (No. 1 last week)
2. Calgary (438) (4)
3. Western (387) (5)
4. Regina (334) (6)
5. Bishop's (261) (8)
6. Ottawa (210) (2)
7. Montreal (194) (3)
8. Saskatchewan (159) (9)
9. McMaster (157) (7)
10. Laurier (47) (NR)
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  1. For what little it's worth, my RPI agrees with you on Bishop's; they're fifth in that too.

    Either way, this is where John Edwards activates his I-told-you-so machine.

  2. The I-told-you-so machine? It's somewhere in my office. I'll dig it out once I get some sleep.... :-)

  3. I had Bishop's at #5 in my PRE-SEASON poll. Can I say I told you so, too?

  4. Concordia in the top 10 is really day dreaming IMHO... Laval handled them very easily Sunday as planned (39-7 at the half, removing several starters from the middle of the 3rd quarter) without their #1 QB AND RB. Morsink looked like a peewee against the Laval defense tossing 4 interceptions, including 3 in the first quarter alone... I believe the Stingers really don't belong to the top 10 and if a 2-3 QUFL team should be in, it's Sherbrooke.

    Bishop's at #3 is too high IMHO since they lost to that weak Concordia team, barely beat them a few weeks later and barely got past McGill in OT. The big win over Montréal should take them higher, just not over Regina and Western. I believe Sherbrooke will give them everything they can handle next week, if Shoiry is back.