We're starting a brand new feature here at The CIS Blog which will focus on a few key football games from the week. Several contributors will break down a match-up and then highlight expert picks, ESPN-style. Each week we'll compile the records and let the trash talking begin.
Contributors: Neate Sager, Jared Book, Perry King, Mike Grobe, and Mike Radoslav.
Regina @ Saskatchewan (Sept. 9; 7pm)
This one is going to be bitter. These provincial foes are going to throw their weight around in a delightfully juicy affair. Saskatchewan is coming off a big opening week win while Regina lost unexpectedly to UBC. Sitting at No. 5, Saskatchewan should have no trouble dispensing their rival from southern Saskatchewan but Regina will play them tough. Edge goes to the home team.
Mike's Pick: 29-14 - Saskatchewan
Western @ McMaster (Sept. 10; 1pm)
Could this be the Yates Cup preview? Likely too early to tell but the battle between No. 2 and No. 3 is going to be epic. Although the score didn't show it, McMaster looked rusty in their first half against Queen's, but QB Kyle Quinlan led the way with 300-yard+ passing to dump the Gaels. On the other end, Western trounced a team that didn't dress in 2010, so it's really hard to gauge just how good the Mustangs are ... until Saturday.
Mike's Pick: 38-22 - Western
Montreal @ Laval (Sept. 10; 1pm)
The battle of the two top-ranked teams in the conference is also the first meeting of friends Danny Maciocia and Glen Constantin. Laval will need to have a better game from their offence, which took three quarters to warm up against Concordia last week. Their defence will also be challenged more with Alexandre Nadeau-Piuze than they were with Terrance Morsink. On the other side of the ball, Montreal's defence will have to be better than they were when they allowed McGill to put up a lot of yardage. The first battle between these two teams will go to the home team.
Jared's Pick: 35-24 - Laval
Mount Allison @ Saint Mary’s (Sept. 9; 7 p.m.)
As AUS champs, the Huskies have a lot going for them. But, with a new quarterback, Jesse Mills, and a new defensive coordinator, change has been coming for this Halifax institution. Offensively, they were incredible last year. The Mounties? They allowed too many points. This home opener at the Dog Pound should be an easy win for the Huskies.
Perry's Pick: 33–17 - Saint Mary's
Queen's @ Ottawa (Sept. 10; 1pm)
The Gee-Gees eke out the matchup of maturing QBs, finding just enough offence from Aaron Colbon, tailback Brendan Gillanders and the whole gang. Queen's and Big Arm Billy McPhee make strides but show they're not quite ready to win close games in the fourth quarter. Matt Falvo's kicking game ends up being a determining factor.
Neate's Pick: 27-24 - Ottawa
[Ed. note: Neate will also be calling the play-by-play for this game for SSN. -RP]
Toronto @ York (Sept 10; 1pm)
With the departure of Greg DeLaval and a loss to Windsor this seems to be the Toronto of old rather then the Toronto of new. I'm not sure too many people expected the Lancers to top the Blues in the first week, but it is Week 1. York is riding a long losing streak but with the way the OUA stands right now - York is sure to get their first 'W' since 2007 sometime in 2011. The question is will it be this week against their foe in the Red & Blue Bowl?
Mike's Pick: 24-23 OT - York