Having clinched first place in the OUA standings over the weekend, the reigning Vanier Cup champion Western Mustangs top the U SPORTS football national rankings for the eighth week in a row.
The Mustangs (7-0), who will enter the OUA playoffs as the No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year, received 149 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel in this week’s voting and an additional 160 from the ELO Rating System for a combined total of 309.
The 2017 Vanier Cup finalist Laval Rouge et Or (7-0 / 292 points) follow in second place for the eighth straight Tuesday, while the No. 3 Calgary Dinos (6-0 / 260), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (5-2 / 227), No. 5 Ottawa Gee-Gees (5-2 / 151), No. 6 Saint Mary’s Huskies (7-0 / 142) and No. 7 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (4-3 / 122) also stay put this week.
Rounding out the eighth top 10 of the campaign are the Guelph Gryphons (4-3 / 65), who move up two spots to No. 8, as well as the No. 9 Carleton Ravens (5-3 / 54) and No. 10 UBC Thunderbirds (3-3 / 48), both unranked a week ago.
Western (9), Laval (5) and Calgary (2) were once again the only teams to merit first-place votes from the FRC panel.
First position in Ontario was on the line Saturday in the nation’s capital and top-ranked Western took care of business in impressive fashion, using a dominating ground game and a suffocating defence to blank No. 5 Ottawa 33-0. The Mustangs amassed 357 rushing yards and held the Gee-Gees to 181 yards of total offence en route to their 19th straight success overall dating back to the start of the 2017 schedule, six short of Laval’s U SPORTS-record streak from 2012 to 2014.
In Canada West, No. 3 Calgary also secured the top spot over the weekend with a 34-16 victory over visiting Manitoba. The Dinos, who held a comfortable 34-1 lead after three quarters of action, are regular-season champions out west for the second year in a row and for the seventh time in the past eight campaigns.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Laval and No. 6 Saint Mary’s, who had already clinched first place in their respective conferences in Week 7, also remained undefeated in league play.
In the RSEQ, the Rouge et Or rolled to a 57-13 win at McGill thanks in large part to five touchdown passes from two-time RSEQ MVP Hugo Richard, while No. 4 Montreal, which has allowed a U SPORTS-low 6.6 points per game so far this fall, secured second place with a 24-0 shutout against Concordia.
In the AUS, the Huskies built a 28-10 advantage against visiting Mount Allison heading into the fourth quarter en route to a 28-16 decision.
Other Week 8 results from top-10 squads included Laurier 39, Windsor 24 (at Laurier); Guelph 46, Toronto 8 (at Guelph); Carleton 35, York 20 (at York); UBC 20, Saskatchewan 10 (at UBC).
Highlighting the Week 9 schedule is a second straight top-10 confrontation for No. 1 Western, this time on home turf against Laurier, Saturday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Rogers TV & OUA.TV). The No. 7 Hawks are in a four-way tie for fourth position heading into the final weekend of league play in the OUA.
Second-ranked Laval also wraps-up conference play this weekend. The Rouge et Or, who host Sherbrooke (1-5) on Sunday afternoon, will then enjoy a bye in the final week of the RSEQ regular schedule.
Third-ranked Calgary hosts Regina (1-5) on Friday evening (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, SaskTel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV), while No. 5 Ottawa looks to rebound at Queen’s (3-4) on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, YourTV & OUA.TV).
Montreal and Saint Mary’s both enjoy a well-deserved break this week.
FRC – U SPORTS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#8)
New this season, U SPORTS is implementing the ELO Rating System for the calculation of its weekly national rankings, in conjunction with its regular Football Reporters of Canada panel. Powered by RankR, ELO’s unique algorithm blends a statistical calculation with customized variables that is adaptable across a range of sports. For football, it will be combined with the results of the media panel balloting (each weighted 50%) to produce the final top 10. For more information, click here.
|Honourable mention: Waterloo (41), Saskatchewan (28), Manitoba (9), Regina (6), McMaster (5), StFX (1)|