The OUA released the 2017 football schedule yesterday.
2017 GRYPHONS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE * Home games in bold *
Week 1: Sunday, August 27 – Ottawa @ Guelph – 1pm
Week 2: Monday, September 4 – Guelph @ Western – 7pm
Week 3: Saturday, September 9 – Windsor @ Guelph – 1pm
Week 4: Saturday, September 16 – Guelph @ Toronto – 1pm
Week 5: Saturday, September 23 – McMaster @ Guelph – 1pm *Homecoming*
Week 6: Saturday, September 30 – Guelph @ Waterloo – 1pm
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Saturday, October 14 – Laurier @ Guelph – 1pm
Week 9: Saturday, October 21 – Guelph @ Carleton – 1pm
No schedule is ever perfect. That’s especially true when you have 11 teams but only an 8-game season. In a conference that has parity issues and way too many blowouts, this year’s OUA sched does a better job overall of balancing the competitive differences between teams.
The leauge’s weaker teams all play each other and miss two of last year’s six playoff teams. The top six all play each other and miss two of the non-playoff teams with only the exception of Ottawa and Laurier who will not meet in 2017.
A few more quick thoughts …
The good news
♦ Guelph plays all 5 of 2016’s other playoff teams and don’t have to play York
♦ Our bye week falls on Thanksgiving weekend
♦ We face McMaster at home for Homecoming in a rivalry series where the road team is 0-6 in the last six meetings. Guelph has had to play 4 of those 6 games at Mac’s Ron Joyce Stadium.
♦ The Gryphons have a bye week before we host the 2016 Yates Cup champion Laurier Golden Hawks
♦ There is only one long road trip on the schedule – Week 9 @ Carleton. The other road games are in London, Waterloo and Toronto.
♦ Fans attending Gryphon home games will see some meaningful games. Three of 4 teams visiting Guelph will be 2016 playoff teams. The only home game against a non-playoff is Windsor who upset the Gryphons last year.
The bad news
♦ Guelph has to host an August home game again. That will be fourth time in the 6 years since 2010 that the OUA has had to schedule with an uneven number of teams.
♦ There isn’t an Orientation Week game for the second year in a row. That’s a shame and will have an impact on attendance.
♦ The Gryphons don’t get to play Queen’s or visit that new stadium of theirs. If I had my choice I’d rather play the Golden Gaels than Windsor or Waterloo.