SCOTT TAYLOR, MyToba.ca

The University of Manitoba Bisons, led by quarterback Jordan Yantz and All-Canadian star slotback/kick returner Nic Demski, are the sixth ranked team in the country in the 2014 CIS preseason poll. Manitoba will open the 2014 CIS campaign this Friday night in Saskatoon against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

Meanwhile, for the second consecutive season and the eighth time in 10 years, the Laval Rouge et Or from Quebec top the first national ranking of the CIS football season.

The Rouge et Or, who last November repeated as Vanier Cup champions and have now won a record eight CIS titles, were a unanimous choice at No. 1 in the first poll of 2014, receiving all 30 first-place votes and 300 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel.

Following in order in the inaugural Top 10 are the second-ranked Calgary Dinos (260 points), No. 3 Western Mustangs (250), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (164), No. 5 McMaster Marauders (144), No. 6 Manitoba Bisons (140), No. 7 UBC Thunderbirds (80), No. 8 Guelph Gryphons (60), No. 9 Queen’s Gaels (56) and No. 10 Saskatchewan Huskies (56).

In a rematch of last year’s Vanier Cup final, Laval played host to Calgary in pre-season action last Saturday in Quebec City and once again came out on top, this time by a 35-23 score in front of 10,210 fans at TELUS-UL Stadium. The Rouge et Or face a serious test on Saturday night when they open their RSEQ schedule at home against arch rival Montreal, a team they edged 14-11 in last fall’s Dunsmore Cup final.

The Dinos also open conference play at home, on Friday, against Alberta.

The regular season got under way on Labour Day in the OUA with McMaster coming back to edge Guelph 34-27 in overtime, Queen’s defeating Windsor 39-30, Ottawa whipping York 51-7, Laurier cruising to a 53-17 victory over Toronto, and Carleton outscoring Waterloo 33-14 for its first win since returning to CIS football a year ago. Carleton linebacker Leon Cenerini from Winnipeg had three tackles, an assisted tackle (3.5 total tackles) and a sack.

Reigning OUA champion Western enjoyed a bye week and kicks off its Yates Cup title defence Saturday at York.

Defending AUS titleist Mount Allison opens at home against Acadia, also on Saturday.

Week 1 Rankings

Rank

School Record FRC Points 1st Place Last week

1

Laval (0-0) 300 30 -

2

Calgary (0-0) 260  - -

3

Western (0-0) 250  - -

4

Montreal (0-0)  164  - -

5

McMaster (1-0)  144  - -

6

Manitoba (0-0)  140  - -

7

UBC (0-0) 80  - -

8

Guelph (0-1) 60  - -

9

Queen's (1-0) 56  - -

10

Saskatchewan (0-0) 56 - -

Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (36), Sherbrooke (26), Mount Allison (20), Laurier (16), Bishop’s (14), Ottawa(12), Regina (6), Windsor (2), Carlton (1).

– With files from CIS and FRC