Following Week Five, three of our staff's ballots have the same four teams in order at the top, and the fourth is the only FRC ballot to put someone other than McMaster at No. 1. In the official poll results, Regina flipped with Western and are now in a season-high 5th place, and lower down, Guelph became the 7th different team to shuffle into the 9th or 10th spot this year in just six weeks of polling. For more on the results from this past weekend, check the CIS site, or our coverage of the current OUA picture and Friday night's Manitoba/Regina matchup.
Neate Sager's ballot:
1) McMaster — Are they going to get a push before Nov. 17?
2) Calgary — Like the cheese, they stand alone in Canada West.
3) Montreal — It's put up or shut up time for the Carabins these next two weeks. For more details, see below.
4) Laval — Their offence has been humming since the coordinator change and the force unit looks formidable, but it will be tested over the next two weeks.
5) Regina — Had another two receivers go down on Friday, but Marc Mueller still passed them to a win over Manitoba.
6) Queen's — Injuries to their centres/long snappers might have helped 0-5 Ottawa get back in the game on Saturday. Tough roadies the next two weeks at Windsor and Guelph.
7) Western — If Donnie Marshall is done for the season, let it be said he was one tough hombre. I can't help but feel partially responsible for all the snarky tweets I've written about Western's offence these past three seasons.
8) Manitoba — Somehow managed to lead late vs. Regina despite a 9-of-28, four-INT passing day by QB Cam Clark.
9) Acadia — Solid margins of victory in their past two games (24-point win over Mount Allison, 16-pointer vs. SMU).
10) Guelph — Cannot give Saskatchewan or Sherbrooke a pass on their one-sided losses to top-4 teams, so the Gryphons are welcomed in even though they lost by 41 to Mac early on.
Kevin Garbuio's ballot:
Rationale: The top 7 was extremely easy to fill out and I do agree with the suggestion that it should be permanently 7 instead of 10. Anyway, Mac and Calgary look to be the class of the CIS: they continue to dominate even on the road. I can't see either of these teams losing in the regular season. Montreal and Laval begin a pivotal home-and-home series this weekend which will likely be for home field advantage in the Dunsmore Cup. This match is huge for Montreal specifically as they traditionally struggle at PEPS (Stade Telus for those commercial types) but this year they seem to be on par with the Rouge et Or. If a team wants to unseat Laval they have to beat them outside of Quebec City. Queen's/Western/Regina all look to be in the second tier of their conferences, but all have the talent to potentially upset the top teams in their conference and so they are all definitely still in the mix. After No. 7, life gets difficult. Manitoba, Acadia and Windsor have all shown flashes of greatness this season; unfortunately, these battles with consistency have forced me to be skeptical of them. Acadia has no competition right now and what concerns me is that they don't put teams away early. And Windsor (or Guelph for that matter) consistently burn me the week after I give them praise.
Rob Pettapiece's ballot:
Rationale: Honestly, it's 1 and 1A right now at the top. Less than an hour before submitting this ballot I wasn't sure who would get top spot, and I went with McMaster because if we had to (hypothetically) choose a wildcard team for a bowl game tomorrow, they'd ultimately be the most deserving in my opinion. A better game from Regina would have given them the 5-spot, switching with Queen's. After Western it's a toss-up as always this year.
Andrew Bucholtz's ballot:
Rationale: Calgary still tops my ballot thanks to their impressive win over Saskatchewan. Mac's #2: they weren't dominant this week, but played a tough team in Western and have a solid record to date. Laval and Montreal still close: I give the Rouge et Or a slight edge based on long-term potential. Regina stays #5 for me thanks to a nice win over Manitoba. Queen's wasn't great against Ottawa, and Western was actually more impressive this week in their loss to Mac, but I'm not throwing out the Gaels' head-to-head win just yet. Manitoba deserves to still be in this Top 10; some decent results against tough teams. More skeptical on Guelph and Acadia: the best of a bad lower-tier lot right now, in my mind.