Football: First Top 10 of October

This week's ballots from our staff (in order after the official listing: Neate Sager, myself, Kevin Garbuio, Jared Book, Andrew Bucholtz):

  1. Western — 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd. It was their closest win of the season ... but they still beat a top-5 team by three scores.
  2. Laval — 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st. Second place overall for the first time all year. The last time Laval gave up as many as 38 points in a regular-season game was almost exactly ten years ago, though they did beat Concordia 59-7 a month after that. Also lost to McMaster 41-38 recently in a game you may remember.
  3. Calgary — 3rd, 4th, 4th, 4th, 3rd. Good position to be in this week, with a road game vs. the second-place team with 12 points to give, then a pair of home games vs. below-.500 teams.
  4. Guelph — 5th, 6th, 3rd, 5th, 5th. Two of the five of us put them ahead of Queen's. They miss Western this year, so that helps inflate the record somewhat.
  5. Queen's — 4th, 3rd, 5th, 3rd, 6th. By our standards, this is disagreement. Personally I didn't think that much less of Queen's after losing to Western.
  6. Saskatchewan — 7th, unranked, 8th, 8th, 4th. See earlier comment about how I never know where to put this team. Their only loss is on the road at Calgary, but three of their wins are by just a combined 14 points.
  7. Montreal — 6th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 7th. No points in the second half vs. Sherbrooke and just a TD, rouge, and safety in the first half? I'm not sure why I have them 5th.
  8. Bishop's — 8th, unranked, 7th, 9th, 8th. As noted, only the third team (if my research is complete) who have put 38 on Laval; the other two went on to win the Vanier and lose the Dunsmore. You'd have to think the Gaiters would take even the latter result at the beginning of this year. A note of concern: with Concordia and McGill comprising half their schedule this year, and squeaking out two Sherbrooke wins, they are basically 6-0 in those games alone, when most teams on this list would be no worse than 5-1.
  9. McMaster — I was the only one to rank them, at 10th. I had Windsor higher, though, which leads me to note that, just as there is no such thing as a bad call that goes against the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, there is no such thing as a bad call that goes against Laurier (he said, looking for some reason to justify spending five years at Waterloo).
  10. Manitoba — Only Andrew ranked them, and he put them 9th.
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  1. If Western kacks a furball in the playoffs at least on offense- they will be in danger of repeating their 1987 OUA season- where they beat most teams in the regular season by 40 plus points most games- but lost in the OUA playoffs before they even got to Yates Cup. That year in 1987, Yates Cup was between Laurier and Guelph- 2 teams that interrupted the Western Vanier Cup appearance run of 5 appearances in 7 years from 1984-90 inclusive(might have been 6 of seven if not for Blake Marshall fumble on the one yard line at JW Little Stadium in 1984).

    The best teams in the CIS this year that will likely advance to the Mitchell and Uteck bowls- winning their respective divisions- are ones that have stout defensive regimes and don't give up many points. Laval, Montreal and Guelph have to be commended for giving up few points at under 60 points at six games played. Two teams in the AUS have done likewise at 5 games- but hey- the AUS is nowhere near what it was 10 years ago when it actually competed in Bowl games and Vanier.

    Western and Queen's have still been giving up some big gaining plays that chalk up yardage and points. Western did hold Windsor to very few rushing yards this past week but gave up some yardage in passing. Calgary Dinos seem to be the best in the CanWest- although like Western- they have relied on massive offensive performances. At risk for a playoff game that the O misfires and defense unable to hold the other team.

    Don't be fooled by the present rankings. If I were a betting man right now- I would pick Laval, Montreal, Guelph as top teams to beat in a playoff game - based on present consistency in their defensive games. Calgary, Western, Queen's still have some work to do on their defensive schemes although all three seem capable of scoring at will presently

  2. Typo on last comment- and I did actually check- Laval, Montreal and Guelph have to be commended for giving up few points at " AROUND 90 POINTS" at six games.

    My bad!