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Gaels still No. 5 in Canada, will host Guelph Saturday in national marquee match
Posted: October 15th, 2013 @ 10:22pm
Queen's Golden Gaels remain the fifth-ranked university football team in Canada heading into the final game of their regular schedule Saturday against the Guelph Gryphons.
None of the teams in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Top 10 changed positions after a weekend of play where teams in the Canada West and Quebec conferences had the week off.
Twenty members of the University Football Reporters of Canada panel are still ranking the Western Mustangs first, while the other 10 still favour defending Vanier Cup champion Laval. Both teams were idle over Thanksgiving.
Only two other teams remain undefeated: Calgary, at No. 3, and No. 4 Guelph, which will bring its 7-0 record to Kingston for the week's national marquee match with the Gaels, who have just one defeat in seven games and are spoiling for a rematch with the team that came from behind to eliminate them in overtime of the conference semifinals last year.
Only three of the top-ranked teams were active on the weekend and every one of them feasted on an overmatched opponent on the road. On Friday, Queen's hammered Waterloo 78-21 and Guelph thumped Carleton 48-12. On Saturday, No. 9 McMaster three times denied Wilfrid Laurier when the Hawks were inside the Marauders' five-yard line to preserve a 28-5 victory.
Windsor, the fifth Ontario team ranked among the national leaders, at No. 10, will be joining McMaster and Ottawa in jockeying for positions four through six in the final Ontario University Athletics standings. All three teams are 4-3, and the Lancers will play in Ottawa Saturday in a game whose outcome will have much to do with how those positions are settled.
The other relevant outcome in breaking any ties that may ensue is McMaster's season-opening victory over Ottawa. Windsor and McMaster were not scheduled to meet this year.
Western has sewn up first place in the OUA. Though both they and Guelph could finish 8-0, since they didn't meet in the regular season the tie breaker reverts to point differential, where the Mustangs go into their final game plus-270, compared to Guelph's plus-127.
Western will host York Saturday with a couple of league milestones in sight. With 408 points in their first seven games this year, the Mustangs are within 17 of the single-season record for points by a team, set in 2003 by McMaster when Kingston's Adam Archibald was the Marauders' quarterback.
Western kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, a fifth-year senior, needs nine points to break the CIS career scoring record of 410, established by Ottawa's Neil Lumsden in a four-year career, 1972-75.
This week's Top 10, with previous rank, record, points in the balloting, last week's result and next opponent:
1. Western (1), 7-0, 290 points, was idle; next: Saturday, vs. York.
2. Laval (2), 6-0, 280 points, was idle; next: Sunday, vs. Sherbrooke.
3. Calgary (3), 6-0, 234 points, was idle; next: Friday, vs. Regina.
4. Guelph (4), 7-0, 206 points, beat Carleton 48-12; next: Saturday, at No. 5 Queen's.
5. Queen's (5), 6-1, 186 points, beat Waterloo 78-21; next: Saturday, vs. No. 4 Guelph.
6. Montreal (6), 4-2, 146 points, was idle; next: Saturday, at McGill.
7. Saskatchewan (7), 4-2, 110 points, was idle; next: Friday, vs. Manitoba.
8. Bishop's (8), 4-2, 87 points, was idle; next: Saturday, at Concordia.
9. McMaster (9), 4-3, 67 points, beat Wilfrid Laurier 28-5; next: Saturday, at Carleton.
10. Windsor (10), 4-3, 11 points, was idle; next: Saturday, at Ottawa.
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