The OUA has released the league’s 2013 football schedule. The most noticeable differences are that it is a 9-week schedule and begins prior to the usual Labour Day opener. Those are changes made to accomodate the addition of the Carleton University Ravens, making the OUA an 11-team football loop. I’ve distilled out the Guelph schedule below but you can view the complete 44-game schedule at oua.ca.
Week 1 Sunday, Aug 25 Laurier @ Guelph
Week 2 Monday, Sept 2 Windsor @ Guelph
Week 3 Saturday, Sept 7 Bye week
Week 4 Saturday, Sept 14 Guelph @ Toronto
Week 5 Saturday, Sept 21 McMaster @ Guelph – Homecoming Game
Week 6 Saturday, Sept 28 Guelph @ Waterloo
Week 7 Saturday, Oct 5 York @ Guelph
Week 8 Friday, Oct 11 Guelph @ Carleton
Week 9 Saturday, Oct 19 Guelph @ Queen’s
I have to admit that I’m not too happy with what I see. Or really, with what I don’t see – no Mustangs and no GeeGees. After a 7-1 season my perspective has changed. I look at this sched and wonder if anyone other than McMaster (week 5) and Queen’s (week 9) can challenge the Gryphons. It would seem that Western Ontario is projected by most to be the #1 team heading into the 2013 OUA campaign. Avoiding playing them is not a good thing from my perspective. How many other teams will truly be able to challenge the Gryphons in 2013? Windsor maybe. But Laurier is rebuilding regardless of who they hire to replace Gary Jeffries. Toronto and York would seem a stretch. Carleton? No chance.
In seasons past avoiding Western (and Ottawa) may have been a blessing as the Gryphons hoped to find the four wins necessary to make the playoffs. Now I consider it a negative as I think there is no question about Guelph qualifying for the playoffs. The regular season now is more about preparation for the playoffs. I would prefer to see the toughest schedule possible. Unfortunately, the early start to the season may even hinder the Gryphons from finding an out-of-conference opponent to provide a challenging preseason game.
By the way, lining up McMaster for the Homecoming Game is wonderful. Regardless of your team affiliation it has to be considered one of the top two OUA contests of 2013. [Western at Mac in Week 3 being the other.] Absolutely no doubt that Mac @ Guelph on Sept 21 is the one game that TheScore would choose to broadcast if they could broadcast no other game of the entire 2013 schedule. It is a Yates Cup rematch. On our turf this time. In front of 10,000 Gryphon fans. Mark that date on your calendar and buy your tickets early!!