Monday, 14 January 2008

CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 for 14 Jan 08

Another challenging week in the world of ranking CIS teams with several of last week's CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 teams losing once and some cases twice. The only solid cases are for the top 2 positions where Carleton is an easy choice for #1 and Calgary in my view currently is #2. Fortunately, I have the flexibility to move teams in and out as I see fit (coaches are confined by being able to move teams only 3 positions either way among other things). After this weekend's action, here are my choices for the Top 10 this week:

#1 Carleton (18-0, 12-0) - not much to say beyond "they're pretty good"; RPI = #1; at York and Laurentian this weekend.
#2 Calgary (16-4, 12-2) - up from #3 last week after a sweep at home against lowly Lethbridge; must play at Brandon this coming weekend in a game which will affect the rankings; RPI = #2; at Regina and at Brandon this weekend.
#3 Acadia (15-4, 9-1) - up from NR in my poll last week; Manitoba's two victories this weekend including a defeat of Alberta makes the Axemen loss to Manitoba less impactful on the negative side. With only 4 losses all season and just a single conference loss, Acadia has one of Canada's top records but must win more games going forward against top teams to remain up here. RPI = #14 reflects a comparatively easy schedule thus far. Acadia hosts UPEI on Saturday and then Cape Breton on Sunday in Wolfville.
#4 Cape Breton (15-5, 9-2) - would have been higher if not for their loss against an improving Dal team after an emotionally-draining, comeback with at X. RPI = #9; host Dalhousie in Sydney on Saturday night before travelling to Wolfville to meet Acadia on Sunday afternoon.
#5 Brandon (17-6, 12-2) Had a big road win at UBC on Friday night in which the Bobcats recovered from a late second quarter 14 point deficit but then lost a lead at UVic on Saturday night. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt at Vic having to travel however this Saturday's game at home against Calgary is big. RPI = #6.
#6 UBC (14-3, 12-3) Home loss to Brandon, albeit without a healthy Chris Dyck, drops the T-Birds; tonight's game at home against Simon Fraser followed by Friday's game at UVic will be telling. RPI = #7
#7 Toronto (18-6, 9-3) Moved back into the race for second place and a first-round OUA East playoff bye with a solid win over Ottawa. RPI = #3; return matchup with Queen's at home this Saturday is important; Blues defeated Gaels earlier this month in Kingston.
#8 Ottawa (16-5, 10-2) This team could go either way although with games at Laurentian and York this weekend, the real tests await the following week with 3 games in 5 days including Capital Hoops Classic vs. Carleton and then a game at Queen's. RPI = #5
#9 St. Mary's (17-6, 6-3) Tonight's game at home against X will help determine whether the Huskies deserve a Top 10 spot but they have won 7 of their last 9 with only a 1 point loss to Ottawa and 4 point loss to Acadia and have defeated X in that streak. RPI = #11
#10 Windsor (11-5, 7-4) Resounding win at Mac, which is much improved, without Kevin Kloostra shows the Lancers are playing well. Also got help from their bench. Defending champs are still the current favorites for winning the OUA West. RPI = #12. Two big road games this week will go a long way to determining if they will still be the favorites: at Western tomorrow night; at Brock on Saturday.

Others considered:
Guelph (12-6, 7-4) RPI = #13; two home losses this week.
St. FX (15-7, 7-3) RPI = #8; home loss this week & 7 losses overall.
Brock (12-10, 7-4) RPI = #15; on the verge but still have 10 losses; need to keep winning (8 of final 11 games at home)
Alberta (14-6, 9-5) RPI = #4; lost at Manitoba this weekend and 5 league losses already including 2 at home.
Laval (11-8, 5-2) RPI = #20; have won 5 in a row but have 8 losses; need to keep winning.
Victoria (13-9, 12-4) RPI = # 10; big home game against UBC this Friday; win gives them 1st place with the tie-breaker.

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