Canadian University conference finals set to kick off

After 11 grueling weeks of university football, we’ve finally reached the part of the season where teams, names and players are etched in the history books forever: Conference finals.

The four top-ranked teams in the nation are still alive — three are set to host their conference finals — while a few outsiders are looking to engineer an upset.

Let’s take a look at this week’s four matchups.

Loney Bowl | St. FX @ Saint Mary’s (1 p.m. ET)

Fresh off a 33-10 semi-final dismantling of Acadia, the X-Men (6-2) make the trek to Halifax this weekend for the Atlantic final against a strong Saint Mary’s (7-1)  squad. The X factor — pardon the pun — in this one could be X running back Jordan Socholotiuk, who ran for a whopping 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Acadia. Both meetings between the two squads ended in single-score Huskies wins (20-13 and 27-24), leaving the door open for a potential upset.

Yates Cup | Guelph @ Western (1 p.m. ET)

The undefeated Western Mustangs (8-0) host the Guelph Gryphons (5-3) in the Ontario final in a game that, put frankly, should not be close. Western has outscored some pretty decent opponents 118-26 over the course of its last three outings, and Greg Marshall’s team is simply better at virtually every position than any of their OUA counterparts. Guelph’s path to the Yates is remarkable, with a 45-34 shootout victory over Waterloo followed by a 27-22 comeback win at uOttawa in last week’s semi-final.

Dunsmore Cup | Montreal @ Laval (2 p.m. ET)

Buckle up, folks: This is the conference final we’ve all been waiting for, the one all Quebec football fans were salivating over while the Laval Rouge et Or (8-0) and Montreal Carabins (6-2) were hammering the rest of the conference during the regular season. As evidenced by last week’s semi-final scores (Laval 40, Sherbrooke 0; Montreal 48, McGill 2), these are the two best teams in the province by a mile. Laval scored victories in the two regular-season meetings — both defensive battles (18-15, 12-7). This one has all the makings of a classic.

Hardy Cup | Saskatchewan at Calgary (3 p.m. ET)

Full credit to Scott Flory’s Saskatchewan Huskies (5-3): Last week’s 31-28 road win at UBC was playoff guts at its finest, and Sask. has earned its spot in Canada West’s big game. But the undefeated Calgary Dinos (8-0), led by record-setting QB Adam Sinagra, are hard to bet against: Sinagra threw for 569 yards and three touchdowns against the Huskies back in Week 4. From what several people in other conferences have told me, this might be the best Dinos team in recent memory — and it will take a minor miracle for the Huskies to pull off an upset.

Read the original story by Carlos Verde.

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