I’m not yet done writing about the Carleton game. And usually you have to wait until late in the week for me to start talking about the upcoming game or post a game preview. But this isn’t an ordinary week. I would think that Saturday’s game in Kingston is one to the biggest regular season games in recent Gryphon history. I mean it has been 16 seasons since Guelph has started a season 7-0 . By the way, Queen’s did the 7-0 thing in both 2008 and 2009.
I’m not the only one getting an early jump this week. Sportsnet 360 has already announced that they will broadcast this game. [When they announced their season schedule they held back on the final week, keeping their options open with a TBA designation.] They already have ads up promoting it in a number of different media. See one sample here:
And, for all his talk about not looking ahead, Queen’s HC Pat Sheahan couldn’t help but talking about this week’s game in his pre-game press conference last week prior to his team’s Waterloo game.
“The goal for us is to go down there and come back at 6-1 and then prepare for our biggest week of the year.”
That, of course, would be the final game of the schedule, at home Oct. 19 against undefeated Guelph. Not only is it an emotional encounter against a team that ousted Queen’s from the playoffs last year, it’s vital in the context of this season in that, all things being equal this week, it will give the winner a first-round playoff bye and home field for the semifinals.
“We’ve known that Week 8 has been circled on everybody’s calendar (for a long time) but we have not spoken of it,” Sheahan said, emphatically. “We have not mentioned it. We are preparing for (Waterloo). We’ll deal with the following week when this one’s over.”
[Source: sportkingston blog, “Gaels anxious as they prepare to face Waterloo”]
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Without a doubt a lot is on the line. Guelph has a chance to finish first in the OUA for the first time since … ever? IF Guelph were to go 8-0 they would likely end up tied with Western Ontario should the Mustangs, as is expected, defeat York. No University of Guelph football team has ever gone through a season undefeated. But their predecessors the OAC-VC Redmen were 8-0 in 1958.
Anyways, that is a lot of speculation. But with 1st place, a playoff bye and home-field advantage in a playoff rematch on the line it’s pretty hard to downplay the significance of this game.
Over the next five days look for a game preview post by mid-week, a Q & A with a leading expert on Queen’s football and several other posts on the upcoming game with more than the usual number of media links. This will be an exciting week. Keep in mind, regardless of the outcome at Richardson Stadium on Saturday, this game is just one battle in a larger war. The playoffs don’t even start until Oct 26.
For the viewing pleasure of Gryphons fans here are the extended highlights of last year’s Yates Cup semi-final match with the Golden Gaels: