The OUA season kicks off with five games on Labour Day Monday. The CIS’s other three conferences – AUS, RSEQ & CanWest – don’t start their seasons until the following weekend.
♦ Hands down, the best and most thorough preview of the 2014 OUA football season I’ve seen comes from Claude Scilley on his sportkingston blog- Knocking Western off the top of the mountain won’t be easy. I recommend you read it. Scilley seems to be a little more realistic about Queen’s prospects for the 2014 than most Gaels fans. Scilley projects them at 5-3, the same as I do. In my opinion, if they miss that mark it is more likely with a 4-4 record than 6-2.
♦ For a national perspective you should watch Krown Countdown U‘s 2014 preview show. This year, Krown Countdown U‘s weekly CIS football news & highlight show will be available on cable outlets in Ontario, including Guelph, Hamilton, Brantford, KW, London and Kingston. Krown rates Queen’s on par with Guelph and ahead of McMaster. I don’t see that happening. Update: broadcast time on Rogers Cable in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge is 9 p.m. Thursday.
♦ If you haven’t already seen it check out this 2014 OUA Football Promo Video #questforthecup. At oua.ca you will also find the links for video previews for each OUA team. Here is the Guelph one:
♦ I’ll share more of my own thoughts on the OUA race in the next day or two, but if the polls in the OUA’s pre-season magazine are correct, then I think the fans are smarter than the league’s coaches. One thing I do agree with the coaches on is putting Windsor at #5, ahead of Ottawa and Laurier. Link for the electronic magazine 2014 OUA Uncovered. There is a lot of great information in magazine including some feature articles and previews of every team.
♦ Gryphons.ca season preview came out this morning …
In the last three years the Gryphon football program has gone from two wins to the OUA Finals, changing their culture and energizing a fan base. The next challenge: sustaining success and of course, winning a Yates and Vanier Cup title.
Guelph will aim to improve on their 2013 after finishing 7-1 and falling in the OUA semi’s.
“In the last two years we have won more league games than any other OUA team but we have not yet achieved our goal of winning the Yates Cup,” commented head coach Stu Lang. “Our dedicated coaching staff which began four years ago has a team filled with our recruits, so we are excited about finally breaking through. Our players, led by a dedicated group of seniors, want to ‘finish’ the journey.”
Full story here.
♦ Guelph Gryphons 2014 preview aCIS.ca.
The 2013 season was another year of continued progress for the Gryphons. Overall the squad was full of veteran leadership that helped propel the team to another great 7-1 regular season. There were flashes of brilliance seen, but still mixed in were some challenges and inconsistency. In 2014, the Gryphons will be looking to turn the corner and take the next step. Two years in a row they have performed well in the regular season which has set the expectations high.
♦ The Toronto Sun’s pre-season look at OUA Football – Western Mustangs set to dominate OUA once again. Jazz Lindsey is named as one of five “Players to Watch”. From the Sun’s Guelph “capsule”:
The skinny: You’ve heard of “only in the CFL.” This is only in the CIS — Lang, a proud Queen’s grad, is the lead donor for the Gaels’ stadium drive … Lang told QB Jazz Lindsey when he arrived at Guelph he’d have a chance to be the Gryphons’ first Hec Crighton Trophy winner. Entering his fourth year, Lindsey has a shot to make it happen this season … Team has gone 7-1 in each of the past two seasons, but does not have Yates Cup to show for it … Top defence in league last year gets back middle linebacker John Rush, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2013.