They were the top two teams in the first two national polls of the USports football season and they remain 1-2 this week. Only this time around, the Montreal Carabins move past archrival Laval in the rankings thanks to a 21-16 home win over the reigning Vanier Cup champions in the most anticipated matchup of the young campaign.
Montreal (2-0) received 17 of 18 first-place votes and 161 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel for a comfortable cushion over the Rouge et Or (2-1), who collected 139 points but failed to register a single No. 1 nod after being a unanimous choice for top spot in each of the first two polls of 2017.
The remaining first-place vote in the new rankings went to the Calgary Dinos (2-0), who remain in the third position for the second straight week thanks to a 122-point tally.
Rounding out the third top 10 of the fall are the No. 4 Western Mustangs (3-0 / 108 points / no change), No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (2-0 / 85 / up one position), No. 6 Regina Rams (1-1 / 66 / down one), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (2-0 / 49 / up one), No. 8 Ottawa Gee-Gees (3-0 / 29 / up one), No. 9 McMaster Marauders (1-1 / 20 / down two) and No. 10 UBC Thunderbirds (1-1 / 18 / no change).
The early-season meeting between Laval and Montreal last Saturday at sold-out CEPSUM Stadium definitely lived up to the hype. For the ninth straight head-to-head confrontation dating back to 2014 – including the last three Quebec conference finals – the margin of victory between the two national powerhouses was less than a touchdown. In the win, Carabins quarterback Samuel Caron once again proved that his RSEQ player-of-the-year title from 2016 was no fluke as he racked up 377 yards and one major on 27-of-40 passing against one of the best defences in the country.
In the other top-10 duels from the past weekend, defending Canada West champion Calgary humbled visiting Regina 46-26, while Western held the McMaster offence to 13 first downs in a convincing 29-14 at Hamilton.
Other Week 3 results from top-10 teams included Laurier 38, Carleton 35 (at Laurier); Saskatchewan 43, Alberta 17 (at Saskatchewan); Ottawa 26, York 17 (at York); UBC 32, Manitoba 18 (at UBC).
Top-ranked Montreal gets back on the field on Friday night, once again in the friendly confines of CEPSUM Stadium, where 0-3 Sherbrooke will be looking for its first win of the season.
Meanwhile, a pair of top-10 matchups are scheduled for Saturday, including No. 8 Ottawa (3-0) at No. 9 McMaster (1-1) at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (OUA.TV), and No. 7 Saskatchewan (2-0) at No. 10 UBC (1-1) at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV).
FRC – U SPORTS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#3)
|Other teams receiving votes: Saint Mary’s (5), Concordia (3), Guelph (2), Waterloo (2), Acadia (1).|