TORONTO (CIS) – The University of Montreal Carabins top the CIS football national rankings for the second straight week following a near-perfect performance in their home opener, last Friday.
After receiving 13-first-place votes and 276 points in last Tuesday's national media poll, the Carabins (2-0) were a near-unanimous choice for No. 1 this week, earning 27 of 30 first-place nods and 297 out of a possible 300 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel.
The other first-place votes went to the No. 2 Calgary Dinos (2-0), who merited 267 total points and moved up one spot in the poll following a convincing win over the reigning Vanier Cup champion UBC Thunderbirds.
Rounding out the third Top 10 rankings of the campaign are the No. 3 Laval Rouge et Or (1-1 / 221 points / up one position), No. 4 Carleton Ravens (2-1 / 169 / up two), No. 5 Western Mustangs (2-1 / 141 / up two), No. 6 UBC (1-1 / 139 / down four), No. 7 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (2-0 / 101 / up two), No. 8 Ottawa Gee-Gees (2-0 / 99 / previously unranked), No. 9 McMaster Marauders (2-1 / 94 / down four) and No. 10 Saskatchewan Huskies (2-0 / 64 / previously unranked).
Ottawa and Saskatchewan both join the elite group for the first time this fall. The Gee-Gees were last ranked nationally in the fourth poll of last season (Sept. 22), when they earned the No. 9 spot, while the Huskies' most recent national ranking came the following week, at No. 8.
A week after opening its RSEQ schedule with a comeback win at Laval, Montreal dominated visiting Bishop's from start to finish last Friday night, to the delight of a sellout crowd of 5,100 at CEPSUM Stadium. The reigning two-time Quebec conference champions racked up 32 first downs and 520 yards of offence while holding the Gaiters to a trio of first downs and 48 total yards.
Also last Friday, in the marquee matchup of the past week, the Dinos beat UBC 35-8 in front of 7,512 faithful, marking the program's largest home crowd in a generation. The game was a rematch of the 2015 Canada West final which saw the Thunderbirds spoil Calgary's bid for a perfect season with a 34-26 upset victory at McMahon Stadium.
Meanwhile in the nation's capital, McMaster was stunned 30-8 by Ottawa, a result that cost the Marauders four spots in the national rankings. With many surprising results marking the early part of the OUA schedule, the Gee-Gees and Laurier are now the only remaining undefeated teams in Ontario after three weeks of league action.
Other Week 3 results involving Top 10 teams included Laval 37, Concordia 18 (at Concordia); Carleton 65, Toronto 7 (at Toronto); Western 75, Waterloo 14 (at Western); Saskatchewan 29, Alberta 17 (at Alberta).
Manitoba and Guelph both dropped outside the Top 10 this week. The Bisons fell to 0-2 on the season following a 41-38 loss at Regina, while the Gryphons (2-1) weren't overly convincing in a 39-28 home decision over winless Queen's.
This weekend's schedule is highlighted by a pair of Top 10 confrontations, including No. 2 Calgary at No. 10 Saskatchewan on Friday evening (7 p.m. CST, Shaw TV/Access & CanadaWest.TV) and No. 7 Laurier at No. 4 Carleton on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m., OUA.TV).
Top-ranked Montreal hosts Concordia Friday at 7 p.m. looking to improve to 3-0 on the campaign.
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 (#3)
Pts (1st place) Last week
1. Montreal (2-0) 297 (27) 1
2. Calgary (2-0) 267 (3) 3
3. Laval (1-1) 221 4
4. Carleton (2-1) 169 6
5. Western (2-1) 141 7
6. UBC (1-1) 139 2
7. Laurier (2-0) 101 9
8. Ottawa (2-0) 99 NR
9. McMaster (2-1) 94 5
10. Saskatchewan (2-0) 64 NR
Other teams receiving votes: Guelph (32), Concordia (12), StFX (7), Acadia (6), Regina (1).