Football: Thanksgiving weekend Top 10 (and OUA Clusterfudge '17) tracker

Cinderella has turned into a pumpkin in Ontario, right on time for Thanksgiving weekend. It was fun buying in on Waterloo while it lasted, but they are who we worried they were.

Waterloo has allowed an average of almost 59 points and 548 yards over the last four weeks. Their only head-to-head tiebreaker among the teams likely to end up in the anticipated logjam for the final OUA playoff berths is against Carleton (thanks to that 45-43 win on Sept. 23). But that could be potential be taken out of play, since Queen's now comes out ahead in a three-way tiebreaker scenario with Waterloo and Carleton.

What might be the real downside of Waterloo getting exposed is that their four-win streak effectively ran cover for what's been a very according-to-form OUA season; no upsets, no to-the-wire scorefests. Western is rolling, even though some people believe they're not on the level of some of the teams that were Vanier-conversation worthy.

This will be succinct (ha!), since only four ranked teams are even playing over the holiday weekend.

  1. Montréal (4-0 RSEQ, game cancelled) — So Montréal wanted to push back the game date against Concordia and Concordia demurred, at least according to Danny Maciocia. The only change is the point-differential tiebreaker that's effectively created a two-game, total-points affray between the Carabins and Laval every year is now out of play, since the playoffs will be seeded by winning percentage. That means it's either Montréal finishing 7-0 ahead of Laval at 6-2, or 7-1 Laval getting top spot ahead of 6-1 Montréal.
  2. Calgary (5-0 Canada West, bye week) — Note to self: get to some women's hockey games this season.
  3. Laval (5-1 RSEQ, 46-15 win at Sherbrooke) — L

    Last year Antony Auclair won a Vanier Cup and on Thursday he played against the team that won the Super Bowl last season.  
  4. Western (7-0 OUA, 51-14 home win against Carleton) — Another pro forma pummeling from the purple ponies, who hung half-a-hundred on Carleton in a reprise of the 2016 OUA semifinal.It was a slaughter on stat sheet with Western gaining almost 700 yards and combining Carleton for close to three bills in penalties (a combined 29 accepted flags for 295 yards).

    Once again, they had a multi-interception game in the passing phase that left blemishes on the stat line of Chris Merchant (300 passing on 7.4 adjusted net yards/attempt, plus another 42 rushing) and it didn't make a single difference.

    Now Western has a well-earned 29-day wait for a meaningful game, the OUA semifinal against the lowest remaining seed on Nov. 4. What does Greg Marshall have planned for all that down time?
  5. Laurier (5-1 OUA, 53-31 road win against York) — Scorefest was as close as 12 points late in the third quarter before the Golden Hawks pulled away. One has to wonder about Laurier's defence with the points and yards it has been allowing lately. The D was on the field for 75 snaps against York.

    That brings up a mental picture of well-rested Guelph with a well-rested Johnny Augustin churning out first downs and keeping Michael Knevel and the Attractions doing endless sound checks on the sideline.
  6. McMaster (5-1 OUA, 43-6 road win against Toronto) — The Marauders defence allowed its first touchdown all year against an opponent other than Western when Toronto's Will Corby caught a 17-yard scoring pass late in the second quarter, ending the streak at 17 quarters.

    \With a home game against Windsor next week, it's tempting to say Mac might not give up another one until the Oct. 21 game at Laurier, which is surely going to decide who gets the bye to the OUA semifinal.   
  7. UBC (3-2 Canada West, bye week) — This might be the greatest teaser text for a feature on a field hockey player, ever.
  8. Regina (3-2 Canada West, bye week) — Uh, go Roughriders? 
  9. Saint Mary's (4-1* AUS, bye week) — Have full control of their destiny in spite of the forfeit.
  10. Guelph (3-3 OUA, bye week) — I think I posted yesterday that a four-way tie for the last two playoff berths probably involves Guelph upsetting Laurier, then losing against Carleton. Guelph does seem capable of playing with anyone, but also capable of losing to almost anyone. 
Also receiving votes:
  • Ottawa (4-2 OUA, bye week) — A few good plays from being 5-1. A few more plays from being 1-5, since three wins were by a combined 13 points. With one more Carleton loss, one more Guelph loss and an Ottawa win next week, the Gee-Gees would get their first home playoff game since 2011.

    And if you noticed that the first two teams in that scenario whose playoff hopes are fraying are also the two non-combatants for York, congratulations. Carleton's other non-combatant is also winless Windsor, while Guelph missed Queen's.
  • Saskatchewan (2-3, bye week) — Only listed due to getting five points from voters, after three consecutive losses. I don't get the logic here, people.
  • Waterloo (4-3 OUA, 68-17 road loss against Queen's) — Remember Dave Chappelle's The Three Daves sketch? Here it is, applied to the author and involving Queen's and Waterloo:

    1997 Sags: Spent several weeks in a snit because Queen's best chance of winning a Vanier during his undergrad years was thwarted by Ottawa, while over in Ontario, Waterloo could, and did, win a conference championship running the goddamned wishbone offence.

    This would result in a lot of aimless wandering around downtown Kingston, uncompleted course readings, and playing Marcy Playground's Sex and Candy so many times that eventually his housemates had to take the CD.

    2007 Sags: Wrote apoplectic e-mails to any Top 10 voters he could find when Waterloo was nationally ranked after starting 3-0 with wins against Windsor, York and Toronto, while Queen's was left out after beating Western, McMaster and Guelph because damned if that didn't fit a narrative of being unjustly overlooked. Became really insufferable when Queen's beat Waterloo by 40-some points at Richardson Stadium in October.

    2017 Sags: Went along for the ride when Waterloo was nationally ranked after starting 4-0 with wins against Windsor, York, Toronto and Carleton. Just felt empathetic when Queen's beat Waterloo by 50-some points at Richardson Stadium in October.
  • Concordia (2-3 RSEQ, cancellation) — In a just world, the Stingers would get a chance to show how they stack up against Ontario's upper lower middle class.
  • Carleton (2-4 OUA, 51-14 road loss against at No. 4 Western) — All playoff hopes are not lost for the Ravens, who finish with back-to-back home games against Toronto and Guelph. Based on how three-team tiebreakers work, though, they need someone to knock off Queen's.
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