Well, that, and whether to be That Guy who ranks five OUA teams since no one out west or in Quebec is really showing they rate a No. 10 vote. Sorry, better say that in management-speak: taking ownership of the No. 10 slot. No wonder I'm not running Postmedia.
The plus side is that there have been some encouraging results across the country. Regina and Noah Picton outscoring Manitoba 41-38! McGill winning 19-18 at Sherbrooke, although it took V&O kicker Pierre-Antoine D'Astous missing twice from inside of 37 yards.
First up, McMaster, who were 47 types of prey in a 30-8 road loss against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Ottawa went up and down the field through a 441-yard passing effort from Derek Wendel, while a seemingly improved defence contained Asher Hastings and Danny Vandervoort on the other side of the ball. It was a trap game for the Marauders: short week after the off-campus home game on Monday, then lose a practice day whilst venturing to the nation's capital to face a fully torqued Ottawa in its home opener in front of a large Frosh Week crowd.
The Gee-Gees were so solid in all three phases that they won by three touchdowns while losing the turnover battle 5-3 (it was 5-1 at one point). Ottawa looks more physical and quick defensively than it has since 2010, and that's a good combination to put with Jamie Barresi's precision passing game, which gained 535 yards on Saturday.
McMaster probably should go down four spots -- three for the defeat, with a fourth tacked on since they went from 57 points against Ottawa last season to eight.
The Thunderbirds were thumped by 27 points on the road against Calgary, who had a 2:1 advantage in yardage (497-235) and indicated they are the class of Canada West. That also rates a four-spot drop, three for the defeat and one for not even gaining 250 yards.
Is this all capricious and arbitrary? Oh yeah.
Concordia was competitive during a three-score loss against Laval, but they get to be the first one out in order to make room for the Saskatchewan Huskies. It is not clear whether the U of S is even that good, but they are 2-0, and Huskies defensive coordinator Ed Carleton's guys limited Home Alberta (350 yards, 5.5 per play) much better than Pat Tracey's charges at UBC did against Road Alberta (509, 7.2 per in UBC's Sept. 3 win).
Here is what I sent in, complete with record, where I placed them on the Week 2 ballot, and upcoming opponent.
- Montréal Carabins (2-0 RSEQ, no change, host Concordia on Friday): The 61-0 scoreline against Bishop's is self-explanatory. Sean Thomas Erlington came out of that one early with a ankle injury. How about Carabins alum David Ménard getting a sack during the B.C. Lions' win against the Alouettes?
- Calgary Dinos (2-0 CW, no change, at Saskatchewan on Fri.): Okay, make your, "say, I wonder if Dinos wideout Austen Hartley any relation to former Dinos wideout Jake Harty ... uh, no, it's unlikely as they both spell and pronounce their names differently" joke and be done with it.
- Laval Rouge et Or (1-1 RSEQ, prev. 4, host Sherbrooke on Sunday): They are still Laval.
- Carleton Ravens (2-1 OUA, prev. 6, host Laurier): All-Canadian returner Tunde Adeleke had 238 yards against Toronto. The U of T offence had 190.
- Ottawa Gee-Gees (2-0 OUA, prev. unranked, host Guelph): Carleton won its home opener against a Top 5 team, so Ottawa won its home opener against a Top 5 team. Ottawa scored 65 points on the road against an also-ran, so Carleton scored 65 points on the road against an also-ran. Both schools should check their drinking water. Oh look, the walls are melting again.
Ottawa will have to clean up the turnovers. They had two third-and-ones fails, and could have had six turnovers if slotback Mitchell Baines hadn't pounced on a goal-line fumble for a third-quarter touchdown.
Only one of Wendel's three INTs was abject. The first was on a vertical shot on second-and-8 and essentially became a net-48 punt after Mac CB Aaron Clarke laid out for an interception. Another came when second-year WR/KR Kalem Beaver juggled a pass and the ball redirected to Mac's fifth-year S Keldyn Allstedt.
The third pickoff, also by Allstedt with 11:54 left and Ottawa ahead by 18 points, was ill-adviced. Wendel was flushed left and under-threw his target. Ottawa's defence, with Jamie Harry on Vandervoort watch, had a two-and-out and interception by Harry on the next two Mac possessions.
- Western Mustangs (2-1 OUA, prev. 7, at Queen's): Chris Merchant started and Western scored 35 points in the opening quarter against Waterloo.
- McMaster Marauders (2-1 OUA, prev. 3, at Waterloo): Asher Hastings' long day in Ottawa included being 2-of-8 for 19 yards and an interception in the fourth quarter. McMaster probably went about 1-for-8, or nine, on vertical shots. The Gee-Gees' outfielders, Harry, Jackson Bennett and Ty Cranston, just didn't fall for very much.
The upshot for Mac is that the next two weeks, Waterloo before the Sept. 24 bye, affords some time to get set for Guelph on Oct. 1.
- Saskatchewan Huskies (2-0 CW, prev. unranked, at Calgary on Friday): The jury should be out on Saskatchewan, but there were vestiges of vintage Brian Towriss-coached team against Alberta. In the rushing phase, Tyler Chow had 191 yards to account for more than half of the Huskies' offence, and they punted only three times.
- UBC Thunderbirds (1-1 CW, prev. 5, host Regina): The Thunderbirds will lean in sooner or later.
- Laurier Golden Hawks (2-0 OUA, unchanged, at Carleton): The Golden Hawks routed York 74-3 last Monday, and York has hit half-a-hundred during their wins against Waterloo and Windsor.
So what's going to happen when Laurier plays those teams?
Manitoba (0-2 CW) drops out. Guelph (2-1 OUA) rated consideration after bouncing back with a 38-29 win against Queen's (0-2).