We're continuing the old CIS Blog tradition, with some of our staff members who vote in the weekly Football Reporters of Canada-CIS Top 10 poll posting and defending their ballots. See the CIS site for the poll results. You can find our ballots from after Week One here. Here's how we voted following the second week of CIS football action, which included another bad loss for UBC and York beating Ottawa:
Neate Sager's ballot:
1. McMaster: Beat Waterloo 68-21; Waterloo's Twitter said the Warriors "held their own against the top team in the country."
2. Calgary: Backup QB Andrew Buckley threw for more yards in mop-up time vs. Alberta than either Ottawa or Laurier's starters did in the games I watched on Saturday.
3. Montreal: Their margins of victory have simply been more impressive than Laval's. Please keep in mind it has only been two games and this is an opinion poll.
4. Laval: Would anyone else be ranked No. 2 after winning their first two games by a combined 61-37 over teams which missed the playoffs last season?
5. Queen's: Will need more than 78 rushing yards and 3.1 per carry to beat that school in London in this week's Beemer Bowl. The Waterloo Record called QB Billy McPhee "erratic" in their advance coverage of a game where he went 22-of-28 for 333 yards and no picks... in a road game that began while it was raining.
6. Western: Like how they have tailored the offence to Donnie Marshall's unique skillset (strong arm. quick feet).
7. Manitoba: Have to be in this spot after Cam Clark's 317-yard day helped them beat Saskatchewan in the undercard for the Banjo Bowl.
8. Saskatchewan: The Green Dogs did not play poorly vs. the Bisons. Manitoba just executed better in the final minutes.
9. Acadia: Hold their spot after shading Saint Mary's, which stayed close thanks to a missed field goal return TD by Jahmeek Taylor. A question for the coaches who read this site: can you practice covering missed field goal tries without killing your kicker's confidence?
10. Guelph: Replace Windsor after keeping the Lancers out of the end zone in 28-9 win. Have a chance to be 4-1 going into their Thanksgiving weekend matchup vs. Western, although Laurier will improve.
Evan Daum's ballot:
1. McMaster: Hard to argue with the defending champions' start to the season. They've come out of the gate as expected.
2. Laval: Two weeks in and a pair of victories means Laval finds themselves in familiar territory near the top of the poll. No question this is another Vanier-Cup calibre squad.
3. Calgary: They were pushed early by a solid Regina team in Week 1, but had no trouble against an Alberta team that has been outscored 97-6 through two games this season.
4. Western: No surprise to see this team roll over Toronto this week, but a serious test comes next weekend against a good Queen's team.
5. Montreal: Another impressive performance this week keeps them inside the top-five and ready to move up if any of the front runners falter.
6. Queen's: Ho-hum 42-16 win over Laurier sets the scene for next weekend.
7. Manitoba: Apparently, this team is for real. Blake Nill told me before this weekend's games the Bisons were for real. He appears to be right and will get a firsthand look this weekend in Winnipeg.
8. Acadia: Stay inside the top 10 could come to an abrupt end after next weekend's tilt against Laval. They'll need to keep it close to stick around.
9. Regina: Played well against Calgary and even better this past weekend against UBC. Marc Mueller should have another big night Friday against Alberta.
10. Saskatchewan: Still a top 10 team, albeit several spots lower this week then I had them last week. A good team that still needs to work out some kinks and find some chemistry.
Kevin Garbuio's ballot:
Commentary: Until McMaster loses, they will be my number one. I like what Calgary has been doing on offence, and their depth makes them even more impressive. Their first test comes this weekend against Manitoba, and I think they will be able to answer in an powerful fashion. I bumped Montreal ahead of Laval because they have been dominating teams while Laval continues to sputter on offence. Bishop's hasn't been able to close this year so it would not be a stretch to think that the Rouge Et Or got away with one. Queen's and Western are extremely equal; I think either team could have been 5-6. I put it this way because of what Queen's did to York. I have had Manitoba at this spot all year; I think they looked impressive against Saskatchewan in an evenly-matched game. I am excited for their matchup against the Dinos. Acadia should have won big this weekend but were unable to close. They will have to close this week as they travel to PEPS, a place that has not been kind to the Axemen (or anyone else, for that matter). A slow start against Laval, and it could be over quick. Guelph surprised me this week. I have been low on them for a while now and have been hesitant in buying into the hype. I still do not think they are contenders yet, but beating Windsor is a nice start. Holding Austin Kennedy to 0 touchdowns? Stunning. At 10, it was a toss-up with Saskatchewan and Windsor. I gave it to the Huskies because of how close their game was with the Bisons.
Rob Pettapiece's ballot:
Commentary: Considered moving Montreal ahead of Laval; they've had an impressive start to the season and weren't so bad last year, either. Lower down on the ballot, Windsor and UBC drop off after not just losing but losing poorly, to teams that aren't upper-tier. Manitoba's solid but not one-sided win over Saskatchewan means they join the Huskies in the top 10. Sherbrooke's 10th just because I couldn't find a compelling argument for another team to get that spot.
Andrew Bucholtz's ballot:
Commentary: McMaster and Calgary stay at the top with impressive performances. Laval and Montreal are very close at the moment, as are Queen's and Western. I'm not entirely convinced the Bisons are going to be this good all year, but what they've done so far's enough to get them the #7 slot. Regina thumped UBC and moves up for it; Saskatchewan narrowly lost and sticks around, while Acadia makes their debut on my ballot and the Thunderbirds and Lancers drop off. Axemen came out with a win against Saint Mary's, but weren't overly impressive; they get the call over underwhelming UBC and Windsor, though. I'm interested to see if they can keep it close on the road against Laval this week.
Thoughts? Your own picks? Leave them in the comments.