We’ve finally reached the end to the OUA’s regular season. Two teams could end the season atop the standings and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. At the other end of the standings, there are four teams with a chance to take home the two final playoffs spots as positions 5th through 8th could change this afternoon.
Guelph Gryphons (4-3) at #5 Ottawa Gee-Gees (6-1)
Neither team has all that much to play for. Guelph will finish fourth and have a home game in the first round of the playoffs whether they win or lose to Ottawa. Even if they fall to 4-4 and Toronto somehow upsets Western, they’ll hold the tiebreaker. A win won’t put them past McMaster so it’s just a tune-up for the playoffs and a likely semi-final matchup with the Gee-Gees. That’s assuming that Ottawa wins. They only need to match Western’s result to top the OUA for the regular season. If Ottawa loses and Western wins, unlikely but not entirely implausible, then the Mustangs will finish first in the OUA and have home field for the OUA playoffs. The winner of the Yates Cup still has to hit the road for the Uteck Bowl so the regular season really stops mattering after the opening kickoff of the Yates Cup game.
TV: The Score
Online: SSN Canada
York Lions (0-7) at Queen’s Gaels (2-5)
After laying an egg in the second quarter against Laurier, Queen’s has left themselves needing some favours to get it. They aren’t big favours, though. They need to win this gimme over York to have any chance. Then, they need Western to beat Toronto and Laurier to beat Windsor. That will leave them tied with Toronto at 3-5 in 6th. By virtue of decimating the Blues earlier in the season in Week 7, the Gaels have earned the tiebreaker and will make the playoffs. Who would have thought that the defending Vanier Cup champs would have to rely on a tiebreaker to make the playoffs? In their defence, they lost a lot of star players after winning the national title last year. As for York, they should aim for two scores on the day and not just field goals. Yeah, if Queen’s can put up two majors, it’ll be over then.
Radio: CFRC 101.9 FM (Kingston)
Toronto Varsity Blues (3-4) at #2 Western Mustangs (6-1)
It’s Senior Day at TD Waterhouse Stadium today. The ‘Stangs always seem to play big when sending their seniors off at home and it’ll be tough to envision them winning by anything but a big score against the Blues. Toronto is still in the playoff hunt and sit 5th heading into this week. They’re also more likely to fall out of the top six than Laurier. If Toronto wins, they’re in. It’s as simple as that. A Laurier loss this afternoon opens up a whole can of worms which doesn’t help Toronto very much. By the way, Western’s 76-0 win last week over York was the most points scored in school history and the biggest margin of victory in school history. The second stringers also got a fair whack of action and will be expect to get lots this afternoon too.
Mustangs’ Defence Builds Insurmountable Barrier (London Free Press)
Radio: CJBK 1290 AM (London)
Laurier Golden Hawks (3-4) at Windsor Lancers (2-5)
It’s pretty simple for the Golden Hawks. Win and you’re in. They’ll be 4-4 which Queen’s can’t beat to drop them out of the playoffs. Lose and all hell breaks loose. Let’s try to run through all the possible permutations of what happens if Windsor pulls off the extremely unlikely upset.
Windsor wins (3-5). Laurier loses (3-5). Queen’s loses (2-6). Toronto wins (4-4).
Pretty simple and straight forward so it goes first. It’s a straight tiebreaker for 6th place between the Lancers and Hawks. Because Windsor just beat Laurier in this scenario, they go to the playoffs and the Hawks are done.
Windsor wins (3-5). Laurier loses (3-5). Queen’s loses (2-6). Toronto loses (3-5).
Queen’s is out straight away. Then we have a three-way tie for fifth. Windsor would win that spot based on a 2-0 head-to-head-to-head record. Then Toronto and Laurier’s head-to-head record would be used to separate the two. Because of the forfeit, Toronto gets the tiebreaker and a playoff birth after so many years of futility.
Windsor wins (3-5). Laurier loses (3-5). Queen’s wins (3-5). Toronto wins (4-4).
Toronto slots in 5th. Windsor, Laurier and Queen’s are 1-1 in three-way head-to-head competition. The next tiebreaker is point difference in head-to-head games. Heading into Week 9, Laurier is 9 points ahead of Queen’s so they would have to lose by 8 or less to go to the post-season. Lose by 10 or more and Queen’s goes though. A nine point Laurier loss eliminates just Windsor. Then we restart the tiebreaker with the WarHawks and Gaels and Laurier goes on in head-to-head record.
Windsor wins (3-5). Laurier loses (3-5). Queen’s wins (3-5). Toronto loses (3-5).
While all these scenarios are unlikely, if Windsor does pull off the near unthinkable and beats Laurier, we could have a four-way-tie for the final two playoff spots. Queen’s and Windsor will both have 2-1 records in play between the four teams and would separate themselves for an individual tiebreaker. Queen’s beat Windsor so they would get 5th spot. If my interpretation of the OUA’s tiebreaker rules is right, then Windsor goes back in for another tiebreaker. As mentioned above, Windsor is 2-0 in the three-way head-to-head with Laurier and Toronto in this scenario. That means they sneak into the playoffs.
Having Some Fun with the OUA Playoff Picture (The CIS Blog)
Online: Radio Laurier
Radio: CJAM 99.1 FM (Windsor)
CIS/OUA News and Notes
If DJ Bennett is going to keep making a mockery of the CIS Top 10 ballots, I insist upon getting a ballot for next season. At the very least, I feel compelled to prove that not all Western grads/media types are morons. DJ does a competent job on the sidelines but put him in the ballot box and we’re hosed.
By the way, Laval is still on top of the standings. Western moved up from 3rd in the polls to 2nd while Ottawa moved up one spot to 5th after Calgary’s loss to Saskatchewan. McMaster also moved up one spot to 8th thanks to Bishop’s being blown out by Laval.
The CIS released the first men’s hockey Top 10 of the year. Alberta is on top which seems to be more or less the norm. Two Ontario teams made the list. In 8th is Ryerson which surprises me because I thought teams playing in Maple Leafs Gardens generally sucked (though I don’t think they’re playing at the Gardens quite yet). Western made the list in 10th. Sadly, DJ Bennett couldn’t drum up enough support to get Guelph into the Top 10.
1. Ottawa Gee-Gees (6-1)
2. Western Mustangs (6-1)
3. McMaster Marauders (6-2)
4. Guelph Gryphons (4-3)
5. Toronto Varsity Blues (3-4)
6. Laurier Golden Hawks (3-4)
7. Queen’s Gaels (2-5)
8. Windsor Lancers (2-5)
9. York Lions (0-7)
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.