The reigning Vanier Cup champions are back in a familiar position heading into the 2017 playoffs: atop the U SPORTS football national rankings.
The Laval Rouge et Or (7-1), who opened the campaign at No. 1 back in late August, return to the top this week after receiving 11 of 16 first-place votes and 154 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel.
The second-ranked Western Mustangs (8-0) and No. 3 Montreal Carabins (6-1) also move up one spot in the new media poll thanks to 145 and 124-point tallies, respectively. The only undefeated team in the country in league play, Western earned all remaining first-place nods.
Following a lopsided loss in their regular season finale, the Calgary Dinos (7-1) fall all the way from No. 1 to No. 4 with 120 points.
Rounding out the penultimate top 10 of 2017 are the No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-2 / 92 points / no change), No. 6 UBC Thunderbirds (6-2 / 83 / no change), No. 7 McMaster Marauders (7-2 / 55 / no change), No. 8 Guelph Gryphons (6-3 / 47 / up one position), No. 9 Regina Rams (4-4 / 27 / down one) and No. 10 Acadia Axemen (6-2 / 24 / no change).
The post-season kicked off last weekend in the OUA, with Western and Laurier enjoying first-round byes. In quarter-final action from Hamilton and the nation’s capital, McMaster built a 12-0 halftime lead and then hung on for a narrow 12-9 win over visiting Queen’s, while Guelph outscored Ottawa 20-0 in the opening quarter en route to a comfortable 30-8 victory.
Meanwhile, the regular schedule came to an end in the three other conferences.
In the RSEQ, Laval clinched first place for the 12th time in 13 years thanks to a convincing 46-14 win at Concordia, while Montreal beat McGill 27-17.
In Canada West, Calgary, which had already secured first place in the standings, rested a number of veterans and the visiting Alberta Golden Bears took full advantage, ending a decade-long losing streak against the Dinos with a stunning 53-3 domination. In Vancouver, where UBC and Regina were battling for second position, the Thunderbirds soundly defeated the Rams 44-15.
In the AUS, Acadia had already clinched top spot and enjoyed a bye on the final weekend of league play. Saint Mary’s finished second despite a 26-25 home loss to Mount Allison, while StFX merited the third and final playoff berth with a 27-14 defeat of Bishop’s.
The table is now set for the conference semifinals this Saturday, including:
- AUS (2 p.m. AT): StFX (4-4) at Saint Mary’s (5-3) (Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 &AUStv.ca)
- RSEQ (1 p.m. ET): Sherbrooke (2-6) at No. 1 Laval (7-1)
- RSEQ (2 p.m. ET): Concordia (3-4) at No. 3 Montreal (6-1) (TVA Sports)
- OUA (1 p.m. ET): No. 8 Guelph (6-3) at No. 2 Western (8-0) (Rogers TV & OUA.TV)
- OUA (1 p.m. ET): No. 7 McMaster (7-2) at No. 5 Laurier (6-2) (OUA.TV)
- CW (1 p.m. MT): Alberta (3-5) at No. 4 Calgary (7-1) (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
- CW (3 p.m. PT): No. 9 Regina (4-4) at No. 6 UBC (6-2) (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
FRC – U SPORTS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#10)
|Other teams receiving votes: Alberta (5), Saint Mary’s (2), Queen’s (1), Mount Allison (1)|
Week 10 results
October 27 (regular season)
- Laval 46, Concordia 14 (at Concordia)
October 28 (regular season)
- Mount Allison 26, Saint Mary’s 25 (at Saint Mary’s)
- StFX 27, Bishop’s 14 (at StFX)
- Montreal 27, McGill 17 (at Montreal)
- Alberta 53, Calgary 3 (at Calgary)
- UBC 44, Regina 15 (at UBC)
- Manitoba 36, Saskatchewan 32 (at Saskatchewan)
October 28 (OUA quarter-finals)
- McMaster 12, Queen’s 9 (at McMaster)
- Guelph 30, Ottawa 8 (at Ottawa)
Week 11 schedule
November 4 (conference semifinals)
- AUS: StFX (4-4) at Saint Mary’s (5-3), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca)
- OUA: No. 8 Guelph (6-3) at No. 2 Western (8-0), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Rogers TV & OUA.TV)
- OUA: No. 7 McMaster (7-2) at No. 5 Laurier (6-2), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (OUA.TV)
- RSEQ: Sherbrooke (2-6) at No. 1 Laval (7-1), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
- RSEQ: Concordia (3-4) at No. 3 Montreal (6-1), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (TVA Sports)
- CW: Alberta (3-5) at No. 4 Calgary (7-1), 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
- CW: No. 9 Regina (4-4) at No. 6 UBC (6-2), 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
VANIER CUP FACT: The winningest team in Vanier Cup history is the Université Laval Rouge et Or with nine victories and one defeat. The only undefeated team in Vanier Cup history is the University of Guelph Gryphons, who played and won in only the 1984 game. While the second most titles belong to the University of Western Ontario Mustangs with six, although they have also lost six championship games as well. Three universities (UBC, Calgary, and Queen’s) are tied with four Vanier Cups apiece.
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.