OUA Morning Warmup: Week 8

In most years, we’d be talking about playoff tiebreakers and likely Yates Cup matchups in Week 8. Obviously, 2010 is not most years in OUA football. This is the second to last week but that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to talk about. The Score’s OUA Game of the Week has what is likely the worst two teams in a nationally televised game in University Rush’s history. But the two combatants are among the five teams that are battling for the final playoff spot which is held by a 2-4 team. This week’s games will go a long way to clarifying the OUA playoff picture.

Queen’s Gaels (2-4) at Laurier Golden Hawks (2-4)

I’m not sure whether to set up this week’s nationally televised matchup as a battle between two teams tied and fighting for a playoff spot or as the Gaels on the outside looking in. Late last night, the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada officially turned down Laurier’s last appeal over Dave Montoya’s eligibility against Toronto. That dropped them from 3-3 and in the playoffs to  Regardless of the Montoya appeal outcome, both teams need a win to get in the post-season. Considering how badly Queen’s beat Toronto and how well they play top opposition (excluding Western), the Golden Hawks are going to be in tough today on home turf. After last week’s coming out performance, Ben Chapeldaine needs to cement himself as a #1 option under centre by decimating real competition and not just Toronto and Windsor.

Pregame Coverage:
Golden Hawks Arms Race Proves Two QBs Are Better Than None (Waterloo Region Record)
Laurier Golden Hawks Lose Football Appeal (Kingston Whig Standard)

Broadcasters:
TV: The Score
Online: Radio Laurier
Radio: CFRC 101.9 FM (Kingston)

Windsor Lancers (2-4) at Guelph Gryphons (3-3)

I don’t much care for Guelph but I have to give them some credit for last week’s game. They were getting demolished by Laurier for three quarters and managed to out-point the WarHawks by 17 points in the final frame. They still lost by a score but they showed some fighting spirit. Now for your fun fact of the week: Guelph beat the two Toronto teams by a combined 26 points (Toronto by 2 and York by 24). Windsor beat the Torontonians by 55 points in total (Toronto by 9 and York by 46). I’m not saying that Windsor is the better team. I’m saying that it seems as though Guelph has a tendency to play to their opponents level. Guelph should win by no less than 21 but the way they play the OUA’s underlings makes me think this will be closer than it should be. The only way Guelph wins by three scores is if they hold the Lancers to 7 points or less.

Pregame Coverage:
Happy Thanksgiving. Here Are Three OUA Turkeys (Big Man on Campus)

Broadcasters:
Radio: CJAM 99.1 FM (Windsor)

#9 McMaster Marauders (5-2) at Toronto Varsity Blues (3-3)

Toronto, what happened to you? We were all geared up for a feel good story from an OUA season dominated by Waterloo, steroids and all the associated fallout. No one could seriously expect you to win again but we could hope or at least expect you to keep it close. Then you lose by 65 with your only point coming on a rouge with two seconds left in the game. That’s beyond big victory hangover there. The whole country is embarrassed after that effort. This is Mac’s last game of the regular season (their week nine is a bye week) so we don’t know what the plan is for the first- and second-string players. I would assume the first string will see at least three quarters of play regardless of the score to keep them sharp given the bye week upcoming. If someone’s putting a line on this game, I’d start it at about Mac -50 and play with it +/- five points from there. I’ve lost faith in my adopted (since the Ottawa win and it’s not technically frontrunning because it’s U of T) Blues.

Broadcasters:
Online: SSN Canada
Radio: CHML 900 AM (Hamilton)

#3 Western Mustangs (5-1) at York Lions (0-6)

This game will be so close that I’ll be far too tense to cover it on @LowdownLive. After all, York may be winless for the season (as well as 2008 and 2009) but they’re do to break out and win a game soon. The Lions haven’t won a game since the Red and Blue Bowl of 2007 (and even then it was only by a point) and are on a 25-game losing streak. Western, on the other hand, is on a four-game winning streak. Well, streaks like those are meant to be broken. Maybe it’ll be this week. But maybe Western will keep pace with its average margin of victory over York from the last two seasons which is 64.5. The only question today will be if any of the Mustangs can get to five TDs. I like Noble to get to that number thanks to gratuitous amounts of second-string time.

Broadcasters:
Online: SSN Canada
Radio: CJBK 1290 AM (London)

CIS/OUA News and Notes

Laurier fell out of the CIS Top 10 after their loss to Ottawa last week. The Gee-Gees held station in the national rankings in the sixth spot. The Mustangs and Marauders also stayed put in the polls at 3rd and 9th, respectively.

OUA Standings
1. Ottawa Gee-Gees (6-1)
2. Western Mustangs (5-1)
3. McMaster Marauders (5-2)
4. Guelph Gryphons (3-3)
5. Toronto Varsity Blues (3-3)*
6. Laurier Golden Hawks (2-4)*
7. Queen’s Gaels (2-4)
8. Windsor Lancers (2-4)
9. York Lions (0-6)

* Laurier’s Dave Montoya was declared an ineligible player for the Golden Hawk’s win over the Toronto Varsity Blues. As such, Laurier forfeit the game, making Toronto the winner.

Note: Information on broadcasters has been pulled from athletic department websites, the OUA website, and various articles read during the week. We make no guarantees over the completeness or accuracy of the listings.

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