Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CIS Season Kickoff Arrives and the rankings are:

The CIS kicks off the 2011 season on Thursday as the McGill Redmen take on the Universite du Montreal Carabines, the first of three months of football leading up to the Vanier Cup in Vancouver at the end of November, part of the Grey Cup weekend festivities.

Along the way, schools from coast to coast will take to the field each week, ancient rivalries that go back many decades stacking up with newer arrivals, eager to make their mark and stake their claim for University football superiority in Canada.

As the first game prepares for kickoff, the CIS Rankings have been released, listing the Top Ten teams that have offered up them most notice heading into week number one.

At the top of the list is Laval, the Quebec City university that has been so successful in the last few years that a good number of pro teams could probably learn a few lessons, once again there are high expectations in the Quebec capital that the Rouge et Or will be travelling off to claim the Vanier Cup. The road to Vancouver starts on September 3 when they take on Concordia.

Number Two is another perennial favourite the University of Western Ontario Mustangs, London's fall passion which brings a large volume of fans to the UWO campus, fans who will get their first look at this years Mustangs when they play Waterloo on Labour Day.

McMaster gets the nod as another improving squad, equal to UWO in the Ontario conference, ranked at number three heading into the opening weekend of action, they play Queens on Labour Day.

The Defending Vanier Cup champs the Calgary Dinos are pegged in at number four at the start of this years campaign. They Kick off the season in Winnipeg when they play the Bisons on September 3rd.

Football mad Saskatchewan holds down the next two spots, as the University of Saskatchewan Huskies grab number 5 in the rankings, the Saskatoon based University looking for more than provincial bragging rights this year opens up it season in Saskatoon on September 2nd against the University of Alberta.

Right behind them at number six are the University of Regina Rams, who are hoping that they can change the current atmosphere for football in Regina these days, they get to work on September 2nd against UBC.

We're back in Quebec for number seven, with the Universite de Montreal getting the nod from the experts, Montreal hosts a cross city clash with McGill on the schedule to kick of the season on Thursday night.

Sherbrooke adds the third Quebec university to the rankings, taking the eight spot and hoping to add to their record of 5-4 of last year, they open the season at home on September 2nd against Bishops.

The only representative  from the Atlantic Conference arrives at the number nine spot, a familiar name to CIS fans, St. Mary's is hoping that a renewed effort will lead to success and provide some entertaining football for Halifax and area residents.  Acadia comes to town on September 3rd.

The tenth and final spot in the Top Ten belongs to Laurier, who are striving to bounce back from last years heartbreaking 32-31 loss to Ottawa in the semi-finals, the Hawks open up their regular season making the break from Kitchener to Toronto to take on York.

CIS football can be seen from a variety of sources across the nation from University Rush on the Score, to regional broadcasts from Shaw and Eastlink to SRC in Quebec.

CanadaWest is providing Internet streaming of games in their conference, while other Conferences have games scheduled to be streamed through SSN 

The Twelve Men Blog offers up this review of CIS teams heading into the 2011 season, updates arrive as we discover them.

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