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Are there still 10 teams that deserve to be ranked?
Posted: October 22nd, 2014 @ 5:01pm
There's nothing new going on at the top of the weekly ranking of Canadian university football teams. The only interesting stuff is what's going on-and what's not going on-in the middle.
As long as nobody is able to touch Laval, the rouge et or will continue to be ranked No. 1-as it is this week, as it has all season. Who would dispute it, as long as the longest consecutive-game winning streak in Canadian intercollegiate history, now 24 games, remains intact? Laval's narrow 64-3 win over Bishop's Sunday was also the team's 69th consecutive victory at home.
Calgary and McMaster remain 2-3 but the Western Mustangs' stock in the eyes of the Football Reporters of Canada panel is dropping like a stone. The voting members have the Mustangs, No. 3 just three weeks ago, ranked sixth this week after they lost to a last-second field goal at Guelph.
After breezing through the creampuff part of their schedule 4-0, the Mustangs have lost two of their last three, and suddenly find themselves facing Windsor Saturday in a battle for third place.
The other element of the ranking that remains puzzling is the disdain the panel collectively continues to show for the Atlantic conference, from where Mount Allison continues to languish at No. 7, though it's one of just three-besides Laval and McMaster-teams in the country that remains undefeated.
Panelists struggled to identify the bottom teams in the ranking, after Manitoba defeated Saskatchewan. By virtue of its decisive (41-8) win, Manitoba deserves to be ranked ahead of Saskatchewan, 4-2, but the Bisons are only 3-3. Sherbrooke, an easy (45-0) winner over lowly McGill, has lost only to ranked teams this year, but is also just a 3-3 team. Windsor, though 5-2, lost to Carleton.
With no one else in the nation better than 4-3, and nothing among those teams to distinguish any of them, it was almost a week where only eight teams fully deserved to be ranked. Ultimately the panel put Manitoba at No. 9, dropped Saskatchewan two spots to No. 10, left Sherbrooke out of the group by a single point and largely dismissed Windsor, perhaps the Lancers haven't beaten a team this year with a record above .500.
In addition to the aforementioned Windsor-Western game in London, perhaps the most interesting game of the weekend will be played in Sherbrooke, where the vert et or will host No. 8-ranked Concordia.
This week's national Top 10, with record, previous rank, my rank, last week's result and next opponent.
Laval, 6-0 (1) (1) beat Bishop's 64-3; next: Friday, at McGill.
Calgary, 5-1 (2) (2) beat Alberta 52-37; next: Saturday, vs. British Columbia.
McMaster, 6-0 (3) (3) beat Wilfrid Laurier 27-10; next: Saturday, at Ottawa.
4 (tie). Montreal, 5-1 (5) (5) was idle; next: Saturday, at Bishop's.
4 (tie). Guelph, 6-1 (6) (6) beat No. 4 Western 49-46; next: Saturday, at Laurier.
Western, 5-2 (4) (6) lost 49-46 to No. 6 Guelph; next: Saturday, vs. Windsor.
Mount Allison, 7-0 (7) (4) beat Acadia 33-5; next: Saturday, vs. St. Francis Xavier.
Concordia, 4-2 (8) (9) was idle; next: Saturday, at Sherbrooke.
Manitoba, 3-3 (NR) (NR) beat No. 8 Saskatchewan 41-8; next: Saturday, at Regina.
Saskatchewan, 4-2 (8) (8) lost 41-8 to Manitoba; next: Saturday, vs. Alberta.
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