As I stood there Saturday afternoon on Nov. 6 and watched the Huskies take it to their provincial rivals for the second time in two weeks, I couldn’t help but think that our city has it pretty good when it comes to university football in the Canada West.
Year after year it seems the Huskies are the team to beat in the Canada West, but recently the rest of the teams in the conference have been closing the gap.
That brings me to this coming weekend, as the Huskies and Calgary Dinos square off with hopes of being Canada West champions. Despite the fact the Huskies did place first with a 7-1 record, the same record as the Dinos, they placed first by virtue of their opening night overtime win. Sure, any time you have home field advantage in the playoffs it’s a big deal, but even more so this year considering that PotashCorp has turned into a place opposing teams do not want to play.
Credit to people like David Dube and the entire Huskies Athletics crew, who continue to make the university football games at PotashCorp Park an unbelievable experience.
I’m not quite sure, however, how I feel about the way this season went. With crazy things taking place in Simon Fraser and Manitoba and both teams having to forfeit games because of ineligible players, it makes me wonder about the credibility the Canada West conference has in the eyes of the rest of the CIS.
Some of the best players in the country come from this conference and that seems to be the general consensus of the Canada West throughout CIS. However, in light of the many issues that have arisen this season in regards to placing and forfeited games, Canada West’s creditability has to be questioned.
While some may think that university football doesn’t play an integral role in the development of the sport in this country, I beg to differ. University football is a huge part of this country’s football culture alongside the CFL. Now is the time to make some hard, legitimate rules surrounding not only eligibility but scholarship money, recruiting, and the like. For far too long the rules have been made up as they go and that just doesn’t work anymore.
Now that I have that out of the way, it’s time to play some football to the tune of the Hardy Cup Championship.
Huskies fans: It’s not enough to just show up at the Park now. Yes, the U of S has the best attendance in the country for football games next to Laval, but complacency has set in. I know everyone is used to winning, but trust me, your noise and presence this weekend against a very good Dinos team has to be felt by the opposition.
Show up in full force, and get loud — hell, get rowdy. We have to continue to build a culture on our campus, for not just football, but all sports that encourages students to show-up at the event and get right wild. This Nov. 14 afternoon, whether it’s your first game, or you have been to them all, come and let the big-city slickers from Cowtown know what’s up.
In the meantime Canada West conference, let’s not let this year ever happen again.