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October 6, 2009

CIS Top 10 (#7): Montreal moves up to No. 1

OTTAWA (CIS) - Two days after scoring a gigantic 28-7 win over reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval, the Montreal Carabins are rewarded with the No. 1 ranking in the UFRC - CIS football Top 10.

The Carabins (4-1) earned nine of the available 55 first-place votes and 1,589 points to move up four positions and reach the top of the national rankings for the sixth time since they joined CIS in 2002. Montreal had been No. 1 in the last five polls of the 2004 campaign.

The Rouge et Or (4-1), who had led the last 25 polls since the start of the 2007 schedule and 44 of the past 45 dating back to the start of the 2005 season, fall to No. 2 with 1,514 points. Calgary (4-1) and Queen's (5-0) remain at No. 3 and No. 4 with 1,493 and 1,415 points, respectively.

Laval (17), Calgary (18) and Queen's (11) all received more first-place nods than Montreal but the Carabins skyrocketed to No. 1 after placing second on 37 ballots.

The 2008 Vanier Cup finalist Western Ontario Mustangs (4-1), second behind Laval in the first six polls of 2009, also suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend and drop to No. 5 following a 42-35 setback against the McMaster Marauders (3-2).

The StFX X-Men (4-0) and Saskatchewan Huskies (3-1) remain at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, while the No. 8-Saint Mary's Huskies (3-1) and No. 9-Guelph Gryphons (3-2) both gain one position this week.

McMaster rounds out the new Top 10, cracking the national rankings for the first time this year following its upset of Western.

No. 1-Montreal defeated arch-rival Laval for the third time in 16 overall tries on Sunday - all in the regular season - putting an end to a number of Rouge et Or winning streaks.

The defending national champions had won their last 16 games overall - tying the second longest sequence in CIS history - since a 24-2 setback against Saint Mary's in the 2007 Uteck Bowl, and had come out on top of 20 straight contests in conference play since a 7-2 loss to the Carabins in the 2006 regular-season finale. Sunday's 21-point affair marked their most lopsided conference loss in exactly 12 years, dating back to a 32-7 defeat at the hands of Queen's on Oct. 4, 1997, in the defunct OQIFC.

While Montreal now has the lead in the CIS rankings, Laval holds the tie-breaker in the Quebec conference standings should both teams finish with identical records thanks to a 22-point win (30-8) in the first head-to-head duel on Sept. 19.

The Carabins and Rouge et Or will be back on the field on Oct. 17 following a one-week break in the QUFL schedule. Montreal will then visit Sherbrooke (2-3) while Laval hosts Mount Allison (0-4) in interlock action.

Out West, No. 3-Calgary extended its winning streak to four games with a decisive 50-26 victory over UBC, last Saturday. The Dinos host Manitoba (2-2) Saturday afternoon.

Calgary leads Saskatchewan by two points in the Canada West standings but their Saskatoon rivals have a game in hand and hold the head-to-head tie-breaker thanks to a 34-33 overtime win in the season opener.

The No. 7-Huskies, who edged Simon Fraser 24-18 in OT last week, return home against UBC (1-4) on Friday night.

In Ontario, No. 4-Queen's stands alone atop the OUA standings following a 42-13 defeat of Windsor, which marked their team-record 15 straight regular-season success. The Gaels, who visit Waterloo (1-4) Saturday, hold a one-game lead over No. 5-Western, which hosts York (0-5) Thursday evening.

No. 9-Guelph, which beat Waterloo 34-24 last weekend, and No. 10-McMaster are in a four-way tie for third position in OUA. The Gryphons are at Ottawa (3-2) Friday night, while the Marauders host Toronto (1-4) Thursday.

In the Atlantic conference, No. 6-StFX moved to 4-0 for the first time since 1979 thanks to a 60-7 domination of Acadia. The X-Men, holding a two-point lead over Saint Mary's in the AUS standings, battle the Axemen (1-3) again Friday evening, this time in Wolfville, N.S.

The No. 8-Huskies dropped Mount Allison 47-18 last Friday and meet the Mounties (0-4) once more on Saturday.

UFRC - CIS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#7)

Pts (1st place) - Last week

1. Montreal (4-1) - 1589 (9) - 5
2. Laval (4-1) - 1514 (17) - 1
3. Calgary (4-1) - 1493 (18) - 3
4. Queen's (5-0) - 1415 (11) - 4
5. Western Ontario (4-1) - 995 - 2
6. StFX (4-0) - 973 - 6
7. Saskatchewan (3-1) - 753 - 7
8. Saint Mary's (3-1) - 516 - 9
9. Guelph (3-2) - 294 - 10
10. McMaster (3-2) - 162 - NR

Other teams receiving votes: Ottawa (88), Wilfrid Laurier (40), Manitoba (30), McGill (12), Regina (3), Alberta (1), Simon Fraser (1).

CIS FOOTBAL WEEK 7 SCHEDULE (all times LOCAL)

Thursday, Oct. 8
19:00 York (0-5) at No. 5-Western Ontario (4-1)
19:00 Toronto (1-4) at No. 10-McMaster (3-2)

Friday, Oct. 9
19:00 No. 9-Guelph (3-2) at Ottawa (3-2)
19:00 UBC (1-4) at No. 7-Saskatchewan (3-1), Shaw TV
19:00 Simon Fraser (2-3) at Regina (2-2)
19:00 No. 6-StFX (4-0) at Acadia (1-3)

Saturday, Oct. 9
13:00 Windsor (2-3) at Laurier (3-2)
13:00 No. 4-Queen's (5-0) at Waterloo (1-4)
13:00 Manitoba (2-2) at No. 3-Calgary (4-1)
19:00 No. 8-Saint Mary's (3-1) at Mount Allison (0-4)

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The University Football Reporters of Canada represents journalists and broadcasters in every region of the country covering CIS Football. The UFRC's primary objective is to work with CIS, its institutions and football programs to build resources and exposure for Canadian University Football from coast to coast through the contribution of the media.

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