Football: Our FRC-CIS ballots following Week Four

Continuing on with our ballot-posting, here's how some of our staffers voted in the FRC-CIS Top 10 poll following Week Four's action. It was a week that didn't see a lot of change in the results, as the top five  remain the same and there's only slight change further down the chart, but there were still some interesting games, most notably Regina's 35-26 upset of Saskatchewan, McMaster's 31-20 win over Queen's and Calgary's 62-7 thumping of UBC. Read on to see how those games affected our ballots. Our previous ballots following Weeks One, Two and Three can be found here, here and here.

Neate Sager's ballot:

1. McMaster: Handled Queen's rather easily, although a run of nine consecutive games of scoring at least 40 points ended; Kyle Quinlan is still INT-free while averaging more than 300 per game and nearly 11 yards per attempt.

2. Calgary: 62-7 over UBC. It's getting to be redonkulous.

3. Montreal: It seems prudent to keep the Carabins and Rouge et Or in these slots until their Armageddon-esque home-and-home series in two weeks.

4. Laval: Statement win against McGill (69-0), but their secondary was really never challenged by the Redmen on a rain-soaked night in Montreal.

5. Regina: Better point differential than CW's other 3-1 team, Manitoba, whom they conveniently are scheduled against this Saturday. Two big turnovers from their D (a third-and-short stop by Brett Jones and a long INT return by Kirby Kezama) help them bury Saskatchewan.

6. Queen's: It was hard focusing in practice after beating Western the week before and that showed with a first-half no-show at McMaster, which led by as much as 30 in the 33-20 win.

7. Western: Donnie Marshall completed more passes to his brother Brian Marshall (6 for 149 yards) than he did to his other receivers (5) against Windsor, not that it mattered with the Mustangs' rushing game.

8. Manitoba: Cam Clark passed 27 times for 442 yards vs. Alberta; some of us reset the video game when it's that easy.

9. Saskatchewan: Have lost close games to two teams I have ranked higher and still have to face Canada West's highest-ranked team. Pretender or contender?

10. Acadia: May we bring them to the OUA to play out Ottawa's schedule? The Axemen have only a sweep of Saint Mary's and 30 decent minutes at Laval to their credit, but they didn't nearly blow a two-TD fourth-quarter lead to a team that been outscored 117-11 in its previous two games like Guelph did against Toronto. Sherbrooke could move in here if it plays Laval close this weekend.

Kevin Garbuio's ballot: 

1. McMaster
2. Calgary
3. Montreal
4. Laval
5. Western
6. Regina
7. Queen's
8. Manitoba
9. Sherbrooke
10. Saskatchewan

Rationale: First off: how exciting will the Mitchell Bowl be this year if everything holds up? Also, of course Kyle Quinlan is the guy who ends Queen's streak of not giving up a rushing touchdown. This guy should be going for his second consecutive Hec Crighton; he's been that good over the last two years. I can't see anyone taking it away from him this year. Montreal and Laval will have a home and home series early next month to settle home field for the Dunsmore Cup; they are fairly equal, but right now I like Montreal's body of work over Laval's, but it seems like the Rouge et Or have gotten past their offensive woes. Western looked good again this week beating the not-yet-ready-for-primetime Windsor Lancers (Guelph and Windsor are the living proof of "potential only gets you fired"; they burn me way too often.) The Mustangs might not be the team to beat, but they are a formidable underdog. Regina looks like they are the number-two team in the West but they certainly lack Calgary's depth. Queen's defence was unable to get stops or score early, but Billy McPhee still had a strong showing. Unfortunately for them, they don't seem to show up early at Ron Joyce Stadium and teams cannot spot Mac a 33-3 lead. (If anyone has a 30-point spot, they should win, for that matter.) Manitoba is at eight because they won, Sherbrooke showed they can compete with the Carabins and scored a "moral" victory which is worth the number nine spot on my ballot, and in the 10 spot I put Saskatchewan despite their loss to Regina.

Rob Pettapiece's ballot:

1. McMaster
2. Calgary
3. Montreal
4. Laval
5. Queen's
6. Regina
7. Western
8. Sherbrooke
9. Guelph
10. Manitoba

Rationale: A dominating halftime lead over Queen's keeps Mac at the top (but until Mac shows a significant weakness, the Gaels won't drop too much for losing to them). I am very close to giving Calgary the top spot, especially if they finish September having tossed aside every CW team without much trouble (closest game so far: 16 points). Montreal swaps with Laval unless and until the Rouge et Or beat up on bad teams to the same extent, 69-0 vs. McGill notwithstanding. The rest of the ballot is a bit of a mess and I can be convinced to move teams around. Had Sherbrooke split with Montreal or kept the first one closer they could have made the top six but they'll have to sit at 8 for now. Manitoba drops because they should have kept a poor Alberta team below 38 points (and shouldn't have let them hang around within one touchdown through to the fourth quarter).

Andrew Bucholtz's ballot:

1. Calgary
2. McMaster
3. Laval
4. Montreal
5. Regina
6. Queen's
7. Western
8. Manitoba
9. Saskatchewan
10. Guelph

Rationale: I'm still the lone holdout on Calgary over McMaster. It's very close between the top two, but I'm sticking with the Dinos for now; they came up with one heck of a destruction of UBC this week, plus they boast a better point differential on the year and some nice wins. Still, you can make a great case for either of those teams at #1. Laval and Montreal also have arguments for consideration for a first-place vote, but they haven't been as consistently impressive as either of the top two. The #3/4 battle between them could go either way, but I'm a little higher on Laval's long-term prospects. Regina and Queen's swap places in my ballot thanks to the Rams' impressive win. I'm not going to penalize the Gaels too much for losing to Mac, though. Western and Manitoba both had good weeks and Saskatchewan still looks like a Top-10 team at times, so the only real debate at the bottom was who to make #10. I don't like any of the options; Acadia's been less than dominant and got destroyed by Laval in the Q crossover, none of the Q teams beyond Laval and Montreal have really stood out, and Alberta and UBC are nowhere near good enough to make it here. Not high on the Gryphons long-term, especially given how they almost lost to U of T this week, but they were the least offensive option at the moment in my books.
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  1. If you put any stock into our opinions above, there are clearly four tiers of teams:

    - McMaster and Calgary (1/2 on everyone's ballot)
    - Montreal and Laval (3/4)
    - Regina, Queen's, Western (5-7)
    - the rest

    As has been said many times, a top 7 is probably enough for CIS football, and the above groupings of teams seems to confirm that.

  2. Being an AUS fan is a tough existence right now.

  3. Based on the fact that there are a total of 26 teams a top 5 would make it more presitgious, for lack of a better word.