To review this weekend's seven playoff games, we'll look at them in order of how much the outcome differed from our point spreads, from most expected to least expected.
UBC 28 at Calgary 42
Predicted spread: Calgary by 15.5
Off by: 1.5 points
I respect what friend of the blog Jim Mullin said near the end of this game, about how UBC represented their school today after rumours leaked out surrounding the football team and the school's athletic review (though, those are hardly rumours). And yes they did take a 17-0 lead after beating up on Alberta previously. But in the end they lost this one by 14. Though the T-Birds can take some solace in the fact that, while Mercer Timmis had another Mercer Timmis game (32 carries, 164 yards, two TDs), he wasn't the leading rusher in the game, either by total yards or yards-per-carry — that honour going to Brandon Deschamps (184 on 22, 1 TD).
Saskatchewan 36 at Manitoba 37
Predicted spread: Manitoba by 3.5
Off by: 2.5 points
It'll be an offseason of replaying this game in their minds for the Huskies, now losers of eight of their last ten playoff games after a crazy, fantastic night in Winnipeg — and another one-point playoff loss on a missed field goal at the end. Like the people who point to close elections and say, "See, each vote does matter!", I find it tempting to say that every point does, too, but that's fairly self-evident after a game like this.
Half the points came in the fourth quarter; Saskatchewan had a five-point lead after three and kept the Bisons off the board for nearly a 20-minute period.
Sherbrooke 11 at Laval 32
Predicted spread: Laval by 18
Off by: 3 points
The latest in a long line of Laval games where they dominate the second half. 11th Dunsmore in a row for the Rouge et Or and of course they've won all of the last 10 — by three touchdowns on average, no less.
Guelph 17 at Queen's 34
Predicted spread: Queen's by 13
Off by: 4 points
No surprises here (this time...). Guelph ends the year 2-2 against OUA playoff teams, but with a 2-point win and a 1-point win followed by last week's 14-point loss and this 13-point one, which they lost to Queen's and "mistake-free Billy McPhee".
McMaster 3 at Western 32
Predicted spread: Western by 22
Off by: 7 points
I'd have to check the numbers on this, but I think this was the first Western game this year where they didn't score 50 points in the fourth quarter.
Aside from that this game was a foregone conclusion; I think we all knew the Mustangs were going to win the 1 vs. 4 game by 20+ points before they were halfway towards clinching the No. 1 seed. Mac's hearts of champions or inspired chemistry or whatever helped them win more games in the second half of the year — the relatively weaker schedule? I think it was the relatively weaker schedule — can only go so far against the best non-Laval team in the country.
Acadia 10 at Mount Allison 19
Predicted spread: Acadia by 7
Off by: 16 points
This one didn't finish as we thought. The Mounties gave up almost 100 more points during the season than Acadia did, and they weren't the ones who played Laval, so you'd think the Axemen could overcome the home advantage, even one enjoyed by a team that plays on a field some high school programs wouldn't touch. But the turnovers went 4 to 1 in Mount A's favour, in fact scoring their only touchdown on a pick-six with three and a half minutes left in the game.
Montreal 51 at Bishop's 8
Predicted spread: Montreal by 7
Off by: 36 points
The same logic that made Montreal road favourites also made Acadia road favourites. Neither game actually ended up close to the 7-point spread, but for very different reasons. While this was more lopsided than most probably expected, I still do feel a little better now about never putting Bishop's on my ballot this year. In any event, it seems the Gaiters won't have a chance to beat Laval after all.