author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
Season is done, onwards to fun part of the year
Despite the recent loss by the University of Regina Rams to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in week 8, finishing the game with a score of 44-15, the Regina Rams are still a contender for the various championships coming in the month of November. With a record of four wins and four losses over the season so far, the University of Regina Rams will be heading to UBC once more to play the Thunderbirds in Vancouver in the Canada West Hardy Cup semi-finals on November fourth, a game which will decide each team’s eligibility to play in the Hardy Cup final.
The most recent game the Rams played against the Thunderbirds decided the Canada West semi-finals would be played on the home field of the winner, the Thunderbirds. The Rams cannot sulk before the rematch that decides whether or not the Rams will be finishing their season early, or prolonging their season into the Hardy Cup game on Nov. 11. The University of Alberta Golden Bears and the University of Calgary Dinos are set to play their own Hardy Cup semi-final game in order to see which of the two Albertan teams will make it to the Hardy Cup game to play against the winner of the game between the Rams and the Thunderbirds.
The Rams have previously beaten the Thunderbirds during this season, having defeated the Thunderbirds in their first game of the season where the Rams scored 36 points against the Thunderbirds, who were only able to score 20. UBC finished the season with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses, one of which was to the Rams.
If the Regina Rams are able to pull through and beat the UBC Thunderbirds for a second time this season, they will be able to make it to the Hardy Cup and play against either the Calgary Dinos or the Alberta Golden Bears.
The Dinos and the Golden Bears have each taken a win from the other in the current 2017 season, playing each other on September first, where the Dinos won with a score of 55-26, and then again on Oct. 28, where the Golden bears won with a game ending score of 53-3 in contrast to both teams’ performances in the previous game two months before.
If the Rams are able to make it to the Hardy Cup game, calculating the odds of winning or losing the game becomes more challenging. The Rams have been unable to beat the Calgary Dinos this season and have lost both of their games against the Albertan team on Sept. 8 (26-46), and Oct. 21 (30-42). The Rams were able to beat the Alberta Golden Bears in their previous game together on Oct. 14 (58-55), but the most recent performance by the Golden Bears against the Dinos may show that the Golden Bears have changed their strategy since then.
Taking into consideration the wildcard aspect present in football, the upcoming games can’t possibly be predicted by these statistics alone. For example, let’s look at the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In their two previous games played against the Calgary Stampeders, the Roughriders have lost quite dramatically, being able to score on 10 points in the first game that they played against the Stampeders (10-27) on July 22, and only 9 points in their second game against the Stampeders on September 24 (9-15). But to upset the dynamic between the two teams, the Roughriders were able to beat the Stampeders in their game on Oct. 20, winning with a high margin, ending the game with a score of 30-7 for the Riders.
Once everything is decided, the winner of the Hardy Cup will be the team who goes on to play in the Mitchell Bowl, taking place on the November 18. After this, the victorious team who has made it to this stage will play against the Uteck Bowl champion in the Vanier Cup at the end of November. The closest the Regina Rams have come to winning the Vanier Cup was in 2000 where they were the runner up, losing the Vanier Cup game against Ottawa. As the regular season winds down to a close, the Rams gear up for their shot at the honour of winning the prestigious Vanier Cup at the U SPORTS season final.