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Michel Belanger

cisAugust 27, 2013, OTTAWA (CIS) – For the seventh time in nine years, the Laval Rouge et Or top the first national ranking of the CIS football season.

The Rouge et Or, who last fall captured a record-setting seventh Vanier Cup title in only their 17th CIS campaign, received all 20 first-place votes and 200 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel in the inaugural weekly poll of 2013.

Following in order are the No. 2 Queen's Gaels (141 points), No. 3 Calgary Dinos (137), No. 4 Western Mustangs (129), No. 5 Montreal Carabins (123), No. 6 McMaster Marauders (122), No. 7 Guelph Gryphons (75), No. 8 Sherbrooke Vert & Or (59), No. 9 Saskatchewan Huskies (57) and No. 10 Manitoba Bisons (36).

Top-ranked Laval, which returns a whopping 11 starters on offence from the squad that dominated McMaster 37-14 in last year's national final, was impressive last Saturday in a pre-season test against Calgary, defeating the five-time defending Canada West champions 32-3 in front of over 11,000 fans in Quebec City. The Rouge et Or remain on home turf this Saturday to open their RSEQ schedule against McGill.

While teams from the three other conferences were still in preparation mode, league action kicked off on Sunday in Ontario with No. 2 Queen's (52-1 vs. York), No. 4 Western (50-14 vs. Toronto), No. 6 McMaster (51-24 vs. Ottawa) and No. 7 Guelph (21-7 vs. Laurier) all starting the new campaign on the right foot.

Five more OUA matchups are scheduled on Labour Day Monday, highlighted by a McMaster-Queen's duel in Kingston. Western and Guelph are at home versus newcomer Carleton (0-0) and Windsor (1-0), respectively.

In Quebec, in addition to the McGill-Laval tilt, No. 5 Montreal opens at Concordia on Saturday, while No. 8 Sherbrooke visits Bishop's on Sunday.

Out West, No. 9 Saskatchewan and No. 10 Manitoba both kick things off at home on Friday night, against Regina and Alberta, while No. 3 Calgary visits UBC on Saturday.

The AUS regular schedule starts on Sept. 6.

A grand total of 124 games will be played across the country over a three-month period, culminating with the TELUS Vanier Cup on November 23 at TELUS-Université Laval Stadium in Quebec City. This year's national semifinals – both set for Nov. 16 - will see the RSEQ and AUS champions battle in the Maritimes (Uteck Bowl), while the OUA champs visit the Canada West titlists (Mitchell Bowl).

NOTES: No. 1 Laval has won a CIS-record 10 straight conference titles (RSEQ)... No. 3 Calgary has claimed a record five consecutive Canada West banners... Friday night's Alberta-Manitoba game will be the Bisons' first at new Investors Group Field and the first-ever contest under the lights on the UofM campus... Team previews of all 27 CIS football programs as well as profiles of 27 star players are available on the CIS website at cis-sic.ca... All the information on the TELUS Vanier Cup (including ticket info) can be found at vaniercup.com... A media contact list for the 27 CIS football programs and the four conference offices is available HERE... The CIS football players of the week will be announced every Wednesday, starting on Aug. 28.


Pts (1st place) Last week

1. Laval (0-0) 200 (20) -

2. Queen's (1-0) 141 -

3. Calgary (0-0) 137 -

4. Western (1-0) 129 -

5. Montreal (0-0) 123 -

6. McMaster (1-0) 122 -

7. Guelph (1-0) 75 -

8. Sherbrooke (0-0) 59 -

9. Saskatchewan (0-0) 57 -

10. Manitoba (0-0) 36 -

Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (11), Regina (9), Saint Mary's (2), Bishop's (2), Windsor (1).

No. 1 Laval: Last season: 8-1 regular season (1st RSEQ) / 4-0 playoffs (Vanier Cup champions)... 2013 pre-season (Aug. 24): 32-3 home win vs. Calgary... 2013 regular season opener: Host McGill (0-0) Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (live webcast).

No. 2 Queen's: Last season: 6-2 regular season (3rd OUA) / 1-1 playoffs (OUA semi-finalists)... 2013 pre-season: No game... 2013 regular season opener (Aug. 25): 52-1 road win vs. York... Next up: Host McMaster (1-0) Monday at 1 p.m. ET (live webcast).

No. 3 Calgary: Last season: 7-1 regular season (1st CW) / 2-1 playoffs (Canada West champions)... 2013 pre-season (Aug. 24): 32-3 road loss vs. Laval... 2013 regular season opener: Visit UBC (0-0) Saturday at 2 p.m. PT (live webcast).

No. 4 Western: Last season: 5-3 regular season (4th OUA) / 1-1 playoffs (OUA semi-finalists)... 2013 pre-season: No game... 2013 regular season opener (Aug. 25): 50-14 road win vs. Toronto... Next up: Host Carleton (0-0) Monday at 1 p.m. ET (Rogers TV London & live webcast).

No. 5 Montreal: Last season: 8-1 regular season (2nd RSEQ) / 0-1 playoffs (RSEQ semi-finalists)... 2013 pre-season (Aug. 23): 40-12 home win vs. McGill... 2013 regular season opener: Visit Concordia (0-0) Saturday at 1 p.m. ET (Radio-Canada & live webcast).

No. 6 McMaster: Last season: 8-0 regular season (1st OUA) / 3-1 playoffs (OUA champions & Vanier Cup finalists)... 2013 pre-season: No game... 2013 regular season opener (Aug. 25): 51-24 home win vs. Ottawa... Next up: Visit Queen's (1-0) Monday at 1 p.m. ET (live webcast).

No. 7 Guelph: Last season: 7-1 regular season (2nd OUA) / 1-1 playoffs (OUA finalists)... 2013 pre-season: No game... 2013 regular season opener (Aug. 25): 21-7 home win vs. Laurier... Next up: Host Windsor (1-0) Monday at 1 p.m. ET (live webcast).

No. 8 Sherbrooke: Last season: 6-3 regular season (3rd RSEQ) / 1-1 playoffs (RSEQ finalists)... 2013 pre-season (Aug. 23): 35-3 home win vs. Carleton... 2013 regular season opener: Visit Bishop's (0-0) Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (live webcast).

No. 9 Saskatchewan: Last season: 5-3 regular season (3rd CW) / 0-1 playoffs (CW semi-finalists)... 2013 pre-season (Aug. 23): 28-5 home win vs. UBC... 2013 regular season opener: Host Regina (0-0) Friday at 7 p.m. CT (Shaw TV & live webcast).

No. 10 Manitoba: Last season: 4-4 regular season (4th CW) / 0-1 playoffs (CW semi-finalists)... 2013 pre-season (Aug. 23): 30-25 road loss vs. Regina... 2013 regular season opener: Host Alberta (0-0) Friday at 7 p.m. CT.

2013 PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times local)

August 18

Toronto 21, Concordia 21 (at Toronto)

August 23

Saskatchewan 28, UBC 5 (at Saskatchewan)

Regina 30, Manitoba 25 (at Regina)

Montreal 40, McGill 12 (at Montreal)

Sherbrooke 35, Carleton 3 (at Sherbrooke)

August 24

Laval 32, Calgary 3 (at Laval)

August 31

14:00 Mount Allison at Saint Mary's (live webcast)

14:00 Acadia at StFX (live webcast)

2013 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE & RESULTS: WEEKS 1 & 2 (all times local)


NOTE 1: Click HERE for the complete 2013 regular season schedule.

NOTE 2: Regular season in the AUS starts on September 6-7.

August 25

Queen's 52, York 1 (at York)

Guelph 21, Laurier 7 (at Guelph)

Windsor 78, Waterloo 11 (at Windsor)

Western 50, Toronto 14 (at Toronto)

McMaster 51, Ottawa 24 (at McMaster)

August 30

19:00 Alberta at Manitoba

19:00 Regina at Saskatchewan (Shaw TV & live webcast)

August 31

13:00 Montreal at Concordia (Radio-Canada & live webcast)

14:00 Calgary at UBC (live webcast)

19:00 McGill at Laval (live webcast)

September 1

14:00 Sherbrooke at Bishop's (live webcast)

September 2

13:00 Carleton at Western (Rogers TV London & live webcast)

13:00 Windsor at Guelph (live webcast)

13:00 Ottawa at Waterloo (live webcast)

13:00 McMaster at Queen's (live webcast)

19:30 Toronto at Laurier (live webcast)

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