CIS Standings From the Atlantic to the Pacific-
We are finishing up semester 1 exams in schools across the country, and most teams have had somewhat limited work-out / practice schedules. For action prior to that break, we take a look at the league standings for the different conferences and divisions around the CIS. They show a variety of scheduling, and an occasionally complicated (Atlantic – 4 point games ?) way of determining standings.
As per usual in the AUS, we have a mix of results, with the expectation that home court and injury status may be as important as any other factors. One of the oddities in the Maritimes is that they do not have as many ‘traveling refs’, and therefore, there is the perception of particular difficulty in winning as a visitor in some gyms. (PEI and Memorial seem to be the least ‘welcoming’ venues for the away squads.) One team emerges in March … but who can pick a favourite at this stage?
The ‘Q’, our ’boutique league’ of the CIS, has a 12 game regular season, and a tidy little play-off round of a one game 2 vs 3 semi, with the winner playing #1 for the Cup. Stranger things have happened, but this season looks to have the McGill Redmen as the dominant team. No one else has beaten Ottawa ! So we pencil McGill into the 1 RSEQ slot in the CIS Final 8 in Vancouver.
OUA Rules – Until They Don’t
Ottawa and Carleton are favoured to play for the OUA title, and the CIS Championship in March. They may well do this, and it would surprise us if they weren’t ranked 1 and 2 entering the OUA playoffs. We’re not sure they’re as good as last year’s squads, however.
The surprise team in the OUA may be the Queen’s Golden Gaels, who look like a contender at this stage. But, Queen’s has yet to play some of the tougher teams, including Ryerson, who will be there in the playoffs, with both York and Toronto scrambling for the last spot.
Until they lost at Queen’s the Brock Badgers looked like one of the hot teams. It would appear to be them or their close rivals, the McMaster Marauders, who should be on top at season’s end in this group. Lakehead and Guelph can fight it out for the 3rd playoff spot.
The standings are a bit confusing in the West, with all 3 top teams having consistency issues. There is also the tougher schedule played by Western (losses to both the Ravens and the Gee-Gees). Look for Western and Windsor to be 1 and 2, with Laurier beating their cross-area rivals, Waterloo, for the 3rd playoff spot.
Canada West Playoffs a ‘Torture Test’ –
Just as a reminder, this is what’s ahead for the 17 school, 2 Division Canada West. It’s the longest and most involved playoff structure in the country. We are assuming that UBC, the CIS host in March, plus 2 other playoff ‘survivors’ will be in that Final 8 on March 17-20 in Vancouver.
7 Pioneer Division teams and 3 Explorer teams are in …
Week 1 Play in Series (Best 2 of 3) at higher seed, with Series 1: P6 (#9) @ E3 (#8)
Series 2 is P7 (#10) @ P5 (#7).
Week 2 are the 1/4 Finals (best 2 of 3, of course) … A) Winner of Series 1 @ P1 (#1)
B) Winner of Series 2 @ E1 (#2), C) P4 (#6) @ P2 (#3), D) E2 (#5) @ P3 (#4)
Week 3 we get the CW Final 4 at the home of the highest seed.
More on Canada West’s post- Christmas schedule and expectations later ….
- We have a pair of pre-Christmas games for Trinity Western, as they travel to Klamath Falls, Oregon to play a pair with the Oregon Tech Owls on Dec. 22 and 23. After the New Year , the Spartans host the NW Indian College (Bellingham, WA).
- Recruiting is in full swing, with high school / club / college players in action across the country. Of course, it’s also a pursuit of talented, dependable import players, who might vault a CIS school up into immediate contention. Since the move by the CIS to allow 3 imports in the line-up, Canada West, in particular, has seen an influx of foreign players. Quickly, who are the top 3 new import players in the League this season? More in a future post on the import quota and it’s effect on ‘local’ recruiting.