1. Laval (LW: 1)
The Rouge et Or survived another scare by beating Bishop’s 46–38, nearly falling to the Gaiters and talented pivot Jordan Heather. Laval has been living dangerously all year, which some are calling a sign of weakness, but the fact they counted on their much-maligned offence to win them a game when their defence was struggling is a sign of strength and newfound balance.
2. Western (LW: 2)
The Mustangs have been the most impressive team in the country, beating previously undefeated Queen’s by 19. But they are banged up on the offensive side of the ball with three players at skill positions—Matt Uren, Garret Sanvido and Adam Sinclair—out with leg injuries. Their absence is the chief reason the Mustangs remain behind Laval in the rankings.
3. Calgary (LW: 5)
Calgary is the sleeping giant everybody should be afraid to play. The Dinos’ young offence is gaining its footing and rapidly becoming one of the most explosive units in the country. They have a couple land mines left on the schedule, including a rematch with the University of Saskatchewan this week, but if they stay the course they are poised for an unbeaten season.
4. Guelph (LW: 6)
While everyone was waxing poetic about the match-up taking place in London last week, the also-undefeated Gryphons were taking care of business in Waterloo. With York and Carleton on tap the next two weeks, Guelph has a legitimate shot at staying perfect until head coach Stu Lang returns to his alma mater to take on Queen’s in the final game of the regular season. The Gryphons will be battling both their opponent and the scoreboard, as plus-minus will come in to play if both Guelph and Western finish the campaign undefeated.
5. Queen’s (LW: 3)
Well, the Gaels finally found their offence. Billy McPhee hit an astounding 10 different receivers and Ryan Granberg was back to rushing above the century mark—but that production didn’t mean more points than the Mustangs. Up next, a date with a Laurier team that has struggled but also pushed Western and Windsor the past two weeks.
6. Montreal (LW: 4)
There goes that much-anticipated rematch with Laval to settle the Quebec conference. For the second year an inability to beat Sherbrooke could be the reason the Carabins fail to dethrone the Rouge et Or. Montreal’s defence continues to be scary, but what will scare head coach Danny Maciocia is the steady regression of his offensive production.
7. McMaster (LW: 7)
The Marauders were off with a much-needed bye—having to play arguably the toughest schedule in the league has left them a banged-up bunch. I still believe that when healthy they are one of Canada’s upper-echelon teams. I’m just not sure they have enough time to get back to full strength.
8. Saskatchewan (LW: 8)
I don’t think anyone on the Huskies is satisfied with last week’s effort, on the road against UBC. They were shut out for the first three quarters while their defence grew understandably tired thanks to long stretches on the field. However, their effort, toughness and belief can’t be questioned—two separate goal-line stands allowed them to leave B.C. with a narrow 17–12 victory. They’ll need that same desire mixed with better execution to beat Calgary this week.
9. Bishop’s (LW: 10)
When you roll up 630 yards of offence on Laval, you are serving notice that you are a team to be reckoned with. Jordan Heather’s arm accounted for 538 of those yards and with that performance he has thrust himself into the Hec Crighton race. Despite the Gaiters’ surprising start I, like many, thought they were going to be brought back to earth by the Rouge Et Or. Now they have me thinking they might be true contenders after all.
10. Windsor (LW: 9)
One moment this past weekend the Lancers were on the brink of having their playoff hopes exterminated; the next they were experiencing the jubilation of being in the driver’s seat for an OUA post-season birth. Such is life in the conference, when any Saturday at least one score line will surprise you. If it weren’t for a blocked field goal in overtime, it would have been a Laurier upset on Windsor’s turf. Now it’ll be the Lancers’ turn to try to play spoiler as they face Western.
Manitoba (LW: honourable mention), McGill (LW: honourable mention)