Top Ten U Sports Football Teams – Week 2

With the Canada WEST season starting this weekend, we have now officially seen every U Sports team play a game this season, and we’ve already seen lots of great college football being played! As such, we have many high-quality teams all fighting for seeding and future playoff glory! As such, here are the top ten teams according to us at 13thmansports, and where we think each team ranks.

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10. Mount Allison Mounties

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 1-0

Last Game: Win Vs. Bishop’s Gaiters (18-15)

Next Game: Vs. Saint Mary’s Huskies

Mount Allison versus Bishop’s was always going to be a close thought and must-watch game after what happened last year. The Mounties wanted revenge for their shock playoff loss to the Gaiters last year, and they won a hard-fought match between the two 18-15. Despite underwhelming numbers on offence, with quarterback duo Justin Vogels and CJ Valenti putting up 4/14 for 61 yards and 11/19 for 94 yards respectively, the Mounties won off the strength of their special teams and defence. Mount Allison blocked two Bishop’s punts, leading to two touchdowns. Meanwhile, linebacker Reid MacKay had a team-leading ten tackles, including one sack, and star safety Lucas Cormier would ice the game late on with an interception! It was a good win physiologically for Mount Allison, who will now look to move on and eye up the rest of the AUS in their quest to dethrone STFX

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9. Toronto Varsity Blues

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 1-1

Last Game: Win Vs. Carleton Ravens (28-13)

Next Game: Vs. Laurier Golden Hawks

After the promise of finishing 3-3 last season and making the playoffs for the first time this millennia, fans were eager to see if the Blues had indeed turned a corner, or benefited from playing in the supposedly weak OUA East last year. So far, it’s clear to see that this team has come to play. Against the 2021 OUA East winners – Queen’s Gaels, Toronto kept the game close for three quarters before the Gaels eventually pulled away to win. Then, against a 1-0 Carleton Ravens team that beat Toronto last year, the Blues gave their 4,000 home fans at Varsity Stadium a performance to remember. Toronto rushed for a team total of 353 yards, including 66 yards from QB Kinsale Phillip. Phillip backed up his sixty-six rushing yards and rushing TD with 213 passing yards and a TD through the air. This offensive production didn’t amount to points, to begin with (just one point scored between the two at the half) but in their last six drives, Toronto scored on five of them amassing 27 points to win the game 27-13. Who knows what the ceiling is for this team, but after years in the doldrums, it’s great to see good football being played by the Toronto Varsity Blues!

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8. British Columbia Thunderbirds

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last Game: Win Vs. Alberta Golden Bears (30-21)

Next Game: @ Saskatchewan Huskies

It was tough to choose between BC and Regina, and the tiebreaker here is that the Rams beat a higher-ranked side. But take nothing away from the T-Birds, this was a hard-thought win against Alberta in which second-year quarterback Garrett Rooker rallied his team to sixteen unanswered points in the fourth quarter, overcoming a 21-14 deficit to win 30-21. Rooker went 14/23 for 251 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown, and helping him out was receiver Shemar Mcbean going off for 136 yards on five catches, including an electric ninety-eight-yard reception. UBC should be a fun team to watch all year, and in a competitive Canada WEST, it’ll be fun to see where this team goes!

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7. Regina Rams

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 1-0

Last Game: Win @ Manitoba Bisons (33-23)

Next Game: Vs. Calgary Dinos

Talk about a statement! Taking on the Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg, many believed that nationally number six ranked hosts would be getting off to a winning start this season, but it was the visitors from Regina walking away with the spoils after a 33-23 win. Regina dominated the line of scrimmage, amassing 125 rushing yards whilst on defence, they only surrendered 51 yards and produced five sacks with Anthony Bennett leading the charge with three QB takedowns. The Rams took full advantage of a dominant third quarter, holding Manitoba scoreless and scoring seventeen unanswered points to turn a 17-13 deficit into an eventual 33-23 win. Three of Regina’s five defeats last year were within a one-score margin, the potential was there, and wins as this showed it. Although they will be hoping to be better with their field goals as they went 2/5 on the day. Next week they play a depleted-looking Calgary, and the Rams will like their chances to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2002!

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6. St. Francis Xavier X-Men

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 1-0

Last Game: Win Vs. Saint Mary’s Huskies (33-23)

Next Game: Vs. Acadia Axemen

It’s always hard to gauge just how good AUS teams are compared to their peers in the OUA, RSEQ and Canada WEST, but there’s no doubt that at this point, the X-Men are the team to beat. Coming off the back of a great rookie season, second-season quarterback Silas Fagnan only completed 9/21 passes against the Saint Mary’s Huskies, but was still able to put up 186 yards, averaging twenty yards a completion. The real story on offence for STFX was running back Malcolm Bussey, who ran 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns, showing Atlantic teams that the X-Men will hurt you on the road when they can’t hurt you in the air! Meanwhile, their defence forced five fumbles, two sacks and an interception. The leader on defence on the day was defensive back Nathan Cayouette, who registered ten tackles and two for a loss, while defensive lineman Alex Fedchun was also a game wrecker with seven and a half tackles, three tackles for a loss and one sack. The Atlantic is there for STFX’s taking, and they’ll be for sure aiming to retain their Loney Bowl title.

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5. Laval Rouge et Or

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last Game: Win @ McGill Redbirds (37-20)

Next Game: @ Montreal Carabins

I can already hear the good people of Quebec City complaining about this placement. Laval has been good, they’re currently 2-0 but a combination of the quality of teams above them and some of their on-field play leaves them as fifth best in Canada for now. In their opening game, a 27-3 win against low-ranked Sherbrooke (played in front of a fantastic 9,000 white-out crowd), the Rouge et Or gave up 120 penalty yards and gave the Vert et Or seven first downs through penalties, something they’ll want to iron out in bigger games down done line. Then against McGill, another low-ranked team – the defence got torched for thirty-six first downs, 588 total yards including 381 passing yards from Redbirds rookie quarterback, Eloa Latendresse-Ragimbald and the Redbirds managed to score twenty points on the day. Fortunately, Laval also had a hot quarterback in Arnaud Desjardins who threw for five touchdowns on the day, including four caught by receiver Kevin Mital. Penalties were once again a problem for Laval, who again gave up well over a hundred yards in penalties. If they are to usurp Montreal, they’ll have to be much more disciplined.

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4. Queen’s Gaels

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last Game: Win @ Ottawa Gee Gees (26-16)

Next Game: @ Western Mustangs

Last year’s Yates Cup finalists have picked up where they left off from last year. Having gone unbeaten in the OUA East division last season, the Gael’s have started the season with two wins out of two! First at home to the Toronto Varsity Blues, and then a tricky game away to the Ottawa Gee-Gees at TD Place Stadium. The key to their success has been versatility. Against Toronto, running back Jaden Blackman led the charge with 254 all-purpose yards including a blistering 115 punt return. Queens in total rushed for 348 yards against Toronto on the day and against Ottawa, the team was still able to rush for 202 yards in Blackman’s absence, and combined with twelve points from kicker Tyler Mullan Queen’s we’re able to win against Ottawa 26-16. Quarterback James Keenan struggled statistically against Ottawa, putting up just 176 yards in a game that was heavily affected by the weather. If they’re to have any chance against their rivals Western, he’ll have to put in a performance more akin to his 20/24 246 and one TD against Toronto. A lot of people have questions about Queen’s still, and next week’s trip to London will be a key litmus test.

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3. Montreal Carabins

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 1-0

Last Game: Win @ Concordia Stingers (26-18)

Next Game: @ Western Mustangs

For the longest time, it’s been a two-horse race in the RSEQ. But going away to Concordia, the defending RSEQ champions knew they would be in for a tough match against a Stingers side with raised expectations. Against the challenge of Concordia and their high-flying offence, it was actually Montreal that was bringing the offensive firepower! Carabins signal called Jonathan Sénécal out-dulled Oliver Roy with three touchdowns 276 yards through the air as Montreal put up 26 points. Meanwhile, the Carabins defence held the reigning RSEQ MVP to just a 50% pass completing, whilst producing four sacks and an interception. Besides playing Laval, this game was considered Montreals toughest on the calendar, and the conference champions proved why they’re number one with a convincing 26-18 win over Concordia! Although they will want to address the 165 penalty yards that they gave going forward.

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2. Saskatchewan Huskies

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 1-0

Last Game: Win @ Calgary Dinos (44-5)

Next Game: Vs. UBC Thunderbirds

Saskatchewan started the season as the number one ranked team out west and man…they sure backed that up on Friday night! Heading into Calgary without key players from last season; Adam Machart, Noah Zerr and Nathan Cherry, the Huskies wasted no time getting back to business as usual of the strength of Mason Nyhus’ arm. The fifth-year quarterback was on fire against the Calgary Dinos with five touchdowns and 408 yards in a 44-5 demolition win over Calgary. They’ll be tougher challenges down the road, but for now, it’s safe to say that the Huskies are yet to miss a beat at this early stage in the season.

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1. Western Mustangs

Previous Ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last Game: Win @ Laurier Golden Hawks (34-19)

Next Game: Vs. Queen’s Gaels

It’s been business as usual for the reigning Vainer Cup champions two games into the season. In their opening game, Western won comfortably at home against a Guelph side that is expected to be competitive in the OUA by a score of 34-11. They followed it up with an equally impressive win in Waterloo as they defeated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 34-19. Western is very dominant on both sides of the ball. Their defence has racked up an incredible nine sacks, and five interceptions. Not to be outdone, on offence quarterback, Evan Hillock has put up six touchdowns to no picks and 404 passing yards! But perhaps the strength of this team is in the ground game, the two-headed monster of Edouard Wanadi and Keon Edwards has rushed between them for an astonishing 455 yards and has been a huge reason for this team’s success! They’re only two games in, but already Western look like the team to beat!

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