CIS Football Top 10 (#1) Reigning Vanier Cup champion UBC opens at No. 1

Thunderbirds had last topped weekly poll in 1999

489
TORONTO (CIS) – Coming off their first national championship in nearly two decades, theUniversity of British Columbia Thunderbirds top the inaugural weekly media poll of the 2016 CIS football season.

The T-Birds, who last November captured their first Vanier Cup title since 1997 and the fourth in program history, received 20 of 31 first-place votes and 266 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel to edge the second-ranked Montreal Carabins (261 points), the team they beat 26-23 in last year’s national final in Quebec City.

Rounding out the first Top 10 of the new campaign are the No. 3 Laval Rouge et Or (218 points), No. 4 Western Mustangs (188), No. 5 Manitoba Bisons (182), No. 6 Guelph Gryphons (177), No. 7 Calgary Dinos (147), No. 8 McMaster Marauders (146), No. 9 Carleton Ravens (37) and No. 10 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (37).

In addition to UBC, Montreal (5), Western (2), Manitoba (1), Calgary (2) and McMaster (1) also merited first-place consideration.

Before this week, the Thunderbirds had last dominated the national rankings back in 1999, when they topped the 10th and final poll of the season (Nov. 8). UBC’s best ranking last fall on its way to the Vanier Cup title was two weeks at No. 6 (Sept. 22 and Nov. 3 polls).

When casting their first ballots of 2016, FRC voters obviously gave more weight to the T-Birds’ magical run from 2015 than to their preseason result from last Friday night, a lopsided 50-7 loss to Manitoba in the first-ever CIS football game played on Vancouver Island, in Langford, B.C. In preseason action a year ago, UBC had set the tone for its Cinderella campaign with a shocking 41-16 road win over perennial powerhouse Laval.

The 2016 regular season kicked off on Sunday with five games in the OUA conference, including convincing victories by No. 4 Western (78-6 vs. Windsor), No. 6 Guelph (41-22 vs. Toronto), No. 8 McMaster (40-10 vs. No. 9 Carleton) and No. 10 Laurier (37-18 vs. Queen’s). In the only contest not involving a Top 10 team, York crushed visiting Waterloo 57-13.

In addition to Manitoba’s impressive win over UBC, preseason results from the past two weeks include Montreal 37, Laurier 33 (at Montreal); Laval 36, Carleton 29 in overtime (at Laval); Calgary 37, Regina 13 (at Medicine Hat, Alta.); Sherbrooke 44, York 3 (at Sherbrooke); McGill 22, Queen’s 17 (at McGill); Windsor 38, Waterloo 19 (at Windsor).

The RSEQ and Canada West conferences open league play this week, while official action in the AUS is set to get under way on Sept. 10.

This week’s schedule is highlighted by a trio of Top 10 confrontations, including Calgary at Manitoba on Thursday (7 p.m. CT, Shaw TV/Access & CanadaWest.TV), Montreal at Laval on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, TVA Sports) and Western at Carleton on Sunday (7:15 p.m. ET, OUA.TV).

NOTES: Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the CIS football semifinals and final in 2016… The ArcelorMittal Dofasco Mitchell Bowl (AUS at Canada West) and the Uteck Bowl (OUA at RSEQ) are set for Saturday, Nov. 19, while the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup follows on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. ET at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont…. For all the information on the 52nd Vanier Cup (including tickets) visit vaniercup.com.

FRC – CIS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#1)

                                  Pts (1st place)  Last week
1. UBC (0-0)                266 (20)           –
2. Montreal (0-0)         261 (5)              –
3. Laval (0-0)               218                  –
4. Western (1-0)           188 (2)             –
5. Manitoba (0-0)         182 (1)             –
6. Guelph (1-0)            177                  –
7. Calgary (0-0)           147 (2)             –
8. McMaster (1-0)        146 (1)             –
9. Carleton (0-1)          37 *                 –
10. Laurier (1-0)          37                    –

* Carleton edged Laurier for 10th place based on number of higher-place votes

Other teams receiving votes: Concordia (18), Saskatchewan (13), St. Francis Xavier (6), Mount Allison (5), Sherbrooke (2).

PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times local)

August 20
Sherbrooke 44, York 3 (at Sherbrooke)
Montreal 37, Laurier 33 (at Montreal)
Windsor 38, Waterloo 19 (at Windsor)
Laval 36, Carleton 29 OT (at Laval)

August 21
McGill 22, Queen’s 17 (at McGill)

August 25
Calgary 37, Regina 13 (at Medicine Hat, Alta.)

August 26
Manitoba 50, UBC 7 (at Langford, B.C.)

September 2
18:00   Mount Allison at StFX (AUStv.ca)
September 3
14:00   Acadia at Saint Mary’s (AUStv.ca)

REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE & RESULTS: WEEKS 1 & 2 (all times local)

NOTE: Click HERE for the complete 2016 regular season schedule & results
August 28
Laurier 37, Queen’s 18 (at Laurier)
York 57, Waterloo 13 (at York)
Guelph 41, Toronto 22 (at Guelph)
Western 78, Windsor 6 (at Western)
McMaster 40, Carleton 10 (at McMaster)
September 1
19:00   No. 7 Calgary (0-0) at No. 5 Manitoba (0-0) (Shaw TV/Access & CanadaWest.TV)
September 2
16:30   Concordia (0-0) at McGill (0-0) (StretchTV)
19:00   Regina (0-0) at Saskatchewan (0-0) (Shaw TV/Access & CanadaWest.TV)
September 3
19:00   Sherbrooke (0-0) at Bishop’s (0-0) (GaitersTV)
19:00   No. 2 Montreal (0-0) at No. 3 Laval (0-0) (TVA Sports)
20:00   Alberta (0-0) at No. 1 UBC (0-0) (CanadaWest.TV)
September 4
19:15   No. 4 Western (1-0) at No. 9 Carleton (0-1) (OUA.TV)
September 5
12:00   Toronto (0-1) at No. 8 McMaster (1-0) (Cable 14 & OUA.TV)
13:00   No. 6 Guelph (1-0) at Windsor (0-1) (TVCogeco & OUA.TV)
13:00   Ottawa (0-0) at Waterloo (1-0) (Rogers TV Waterloo & OUA.TV)
19:30   York (0-1) at Laurier (1-0) (Rogers TV Waterloo – tape delayed & OUA.TV)

Your sports. Your teams. The ISN Daily Digest.

Sign up to the ISN Daily Digest and sit back while we pick the previous day’s best headlines and speed them straight to your inbox every morning.
Email address
First Name*
We abide by all applicable emailing laws including 100% CAN-SPAM/CASL/US CAN-SPAM Act compliance. No spam!