For the first time in 23 months, the University of Calgary Dinos are the top-ranked team in U SPORTS football.
After spending the last four weeks in second position behind the Montreal Carabins, Calgary (7-0) moves up to No. 1 in the new media poll after receiving nine of 17 first-place votes and 159 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel. The Dinos had last topped the national rankings in 2015, when they dominated the last eight polls of the campaign from mid-September to early November.
The second-ranked Laval Rouge et Or (6-1) and No. 3 Western Mustangs (8-0) also move up one spot this week thanks to 156 and 136-point tallies, respectively. Laval, with six, and Western, with two, also split the remaining first-place nods.
Montreal (5-1), which had topped six straight rankings dating back to Sept. 12, drops all the way to No. 4 this week following its first loss of the season, to archrival Laval. The Carabins merited 126 points from the FRC.
Rounding out the ninth top 10 of 2017 are the No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-2 / 95 points / up two positions), No. 6 UBC Thunderbirds (5-2 / 86 / no change), No. 7 McMaster Marauders (6-2 / 56 / down two), No. 8 Regina Rams (4-3 / 42 / no change), No. 9 Guelph Gryphons (5-3 / 40 / no change), as well as the No. 10 Acadia Axemen (6-2 / 21), who join the elite club for the first time this fall.
In one of three top-10 duels taking place around the country last Saturday, No. 1 Calgary secured first place in the Canada West standings thanks to a 42-36 road victory over Regina. The Dinos had finished first in the conference five straight times from 2011 to 2015 before settling for second behind the Rams a year ago.
In the most anticipated matchup of the past weekend, Laval avenged a 21-16 loss to Montreal earlier this season with a convincing 22-0 triumph in front of a raucous home crowd of 18,383, the fourth largest in the storied history of TELUS-UL Stadium. It marked the first time in the past 10 head-to-head confrontations that the winners prevailed by more than six points, and the first shutout loss for the Carabins since 2002, when they were blanked three times in eight league games in their return to university football.
In Ontario, Laurier downed McMaster 40-15 on home turf to clinch second place in the OUA and a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The other opening-round bye went to first-place Western, which wrapped up a perfect regular schedule with a 63-10 domination of visiting Ottawa.
Other Week 9 results from top-10 squads included UBC 17, Manitoba 16 (at Manitoba); Guelph 28, Carleton 23 (at Carleton); Acadia 33, Saint Mary’s 23 (at Acadia). With their win over the Huskies, the No. 10 Axemen secured first place in the AUS and a spot in the Loney Bowl championship game.
The Week 10 schedule is highlighted by the start of the OUA playoffs as well as the end of league play U SPORTS’ three other conferences.
The OUA post-season kicks off on Saturday afternoon with quarter-final action from Hamilton, where No. 7 McMaster hosts Queen’s (4-4), and the nation’s capital, where No. 9 Guelph visits Ottawa (5-3). Both matchups are set for 1 p.m. and can be seen live on OUA.TV.
In Quebec, the only conference where first place has yet to be decided, Laval would earn the honour with a win at Concordia (3-3) on Friday evening (7 p.m., StretchTV webcast). Montreal, which faces McGill (1-6) at 2 p.m. on Saturday (TVA Sports), can still finish atop the standings with a victory combined to a Rouge et Or loss against Concordia.
The only top-10 duel of the week sees No. 8 Regina travel to Vancouver to battle No. 6 UBC, Saturday at 1 p.m. Pacific Time (CanadaWest.TV webcast), with the winner meriting second place in Canada West.
Last but not least, top-ranked Calgary can complete its fourth perfect regular season in seven years with a home win over provincial rival Alberta (2-5), also on Saturday (1 p.m. Mountain Time, CanadaWest.TV webcast).
FRC – U SPORTS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#9)
|Other teams receiving votes: Ottawa (7), Concordia (7), Saint Mary’s (4).|
Week 9 results
- Acadia 33, Saint Mary’s 23 (at Acadia)
- Guelph 28, Carleton 23 (at Carleton)
- Laurier 40, McMaster 15 (at Laurier)
- Windsor 43, York 27 (at Windsor)
- Queen’s 59, Toronto 38 (at Toronto)
- Western 63, Ottawa 10 (at Western)
- Mount Allison 42, Bishop’s 19 (Bishop’s)
- Laval 22, Montreal 0 (at Laval)
- Sherbrooke 35, McGill 27 (at McGill)
- UBC 17, Manitoba 16 (at Manitoba)
- Alberta 49, Saskatchewan 23 (at Alberta)
- Calgary 42, Regina 30 (at Regina)
Week 10 schedule
October 27 (regular season)
- No. 2 Laval (6-1) at Concordia (3-3), 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (StretchTV)
October 28 (regular season)
- Mount Allison (3-4) at Saint Mary’s (5-2), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (AUStv.ca)
- Bishop’s (1-6) at StFX (3-4), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 &AUStv.ca)
- McGill (1-6) at No. 4 Montreal (5-1), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (TVA Sports)
- Alberta (2-5) at No. 1 Calgary (7-0), 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (CanadaWest.TV)
- No. 8 Regina (4-3) at No. 6 UBC (5-2), 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT (CanadaWest.TV)
- Manitoba (1-6) at Saskatchewan (2-5), 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
October 28 (OUA quarter-finals)
Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the U SPORTS football semifinals and final in 2017… The Uteck Bowl (OUA at AUS, 12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT) and Mitchell Bowl (RSEQ at Canada West, 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT) are set for Saturday, Nov. 18, while the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup follows on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton… For all the information on the 53rd Vanier Cup (including tickets) visit vaniercup.com.