I didn't do a write up for the thanksgiving weekend due to the overall bye week in CW and the lack of general change in anything but here we are again. Thoughts gathered after this week's results;

-The middle tier of the OUA now encompasses Laurier, Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo, Carleton, Queens.
-The top tier for now is Western and Mac, and the Mac/Laurier game will determine if Mac belongs up there or lumped in the middle.
-Overall I would argue the OUA has been more competitive this year than in year's past as we will have only 3 teams without a shot at the playoffs in the last week. Those 3 teams are an abomination but still, only 3 legitimately bad teams in the OUA is a step up for such a large conference.
-Calgary hangs on tightly to beat Manitoba who showed some spunk in that tight loss to one of the tops teams in the conference.
-Ditto for Regina and Alberta.
-Sask is firmly entrenched in the 4th spot in the conference but, as the Huskies fans in their write up said, it's nice to see the program fighting in those tight losses and not getting there by way of mistakes and poor coaching.
-I haven't always bought into the whole "competitive top to bottom" idea of the CW but this week showed they are that way. Unless the CW champs shows poorly in the national semi's, they have a strong claim to strongest conference top to bottom.

-McGill and Sherby are, to me, non-competitive teams in the league. I don't think anyone will argue with that.
-Con U had a nice showing without Trenton Miller, hopefully he will be back for the playoffs at least.

-SMU makes a strong case to be included in the top ten with a nice blowout of Bishops. When Bishops was in the Q they would get blown out so if SMU is doing it we can at least make a reasonable comparison with a 3rd/4th place Q team and not sound totally out there.
-Acadia has made themselves the #2 team in the conference and X and Mount A are neck and neck for 3rd.

Top Ten
1. Montreal: I'll talk about why Calgary fell in their write up but Montreal is undefeated with the best win of the season (over Laval). The big one is this week and this will determine the all important home field advantage in the Dunsmore.
2. Calgary: They fall all the way to 2nd because of their closer-than-expected win over Manitoba. They can re-take that spot with a strong win over Regina this week, unless one of the Q giants blows the other one out (yeah right).
3. Laval: As with Montreal, the big one is this week. They also have a finish against Concordia who should come out swinging heavily after that loss at PEPS.
4. Western: They are firmly in the #1 spot in the OUA but I ALWAYS have my reservations about these guys come playoff time, especially with an improving Mac squad probably on the horizon. I was thinking over the weekend that they are in the ideal spot as the Vanier is in Hamilton and they play the AUS this year but the same thing happened in 2008 and that Vanier didn't go very well for them.
5. Mac: I have them as the primary dark-horse Vanier contender in the CIS as they have the defense and that is the main factor. Their offense is slowly improving as well and I think they will handily defeat Laurier this week. Also, if they manage to win the OUA and defeat the AUS rep they will be playing a literal home game in the Vanier and that's worth a lot.
6. SMU: They got a blowout win over Bishops which is to see in terms of ranking them nationally. I'm not sure they could beat the teams immediately below them but they are undefeated (I don't count forfeit losses) and rolling right now.
7. UBC: They get in by a hair over Regina despite their head to head loss. Like Mac, they are a dark horse contender but you expect more from them in O'Connor's 3rd season as a starter. Blake Nill is a master of conference playoff coaching but there is just something not right with them.
8. Regina: I toyed with dropping them farther due to their close victory over Alberta but nobody has a strong enough case to jump them for me. They finish the season very tough as they play Calgary and then UBC so this is a chance for them to go into the playoffs with a ton of momentum or reeling.
9. Laurier: I also toyed with dropping them farther but I just didn't have anyone who could jump them either. That Guelph loss was a reality check I think and they could get an even worse one this week with Mac. Another loss will drop them to the 10 spot or out completely, depending on the margin.
10. Ottawa: Prior to Laurier's drop to the middle of the pack I would have had them firmly at the top of the OUA middle but that could now be Guelph or Laurier. They needed a win to punch a ticket to the playoffs and they got it with some defensive heorics from Jackson Bennett. Overall a very good season for a team that is saturated with rookies on offense, though I would have liked their defense to show better against Waterloo.

Why They Didn't Make it
-Guelph: They are the first team out and just had an impressive win over a team previously thought to be in the top tier. They get another chance to prove themselves this weekend against Carleton and I have them as a solid favorite. With a win they will jump back in and, more importantly, they will have a home playoff game if my understanding of tie breakers is correct. Just for you PG, because I know you will question this, they are below Ottawa because they have the head to head loss and worse margins of victory/defeat against Mac and Waterloo. If they beat Carleton, and handily, then you can make a real case for ranking them above.
-Saskatchewan: They are firmly in the 4th spot in the CW and don't have any more show-me wins possible left on the regular season unless they blow Manitoba or Alberta out.
-Waterloo: For obvious reasons, but I just wanted to give a shout out to these boys as they had a hell of a season for a rebuilding program. Well done Warriors, looking forward to a bright future for these guys!
-Concordia: Without Trenton Miller I fear they will be cannon fodder for Laval or U de M. If they can play Laval tough or win in the last game of the season they will really muddy things up.