|2008 CIS football season|
|Duration||August 23, 2008 - October 25, 2008|
|Start date||October 24, 2008|
|Hardy Cup||Calgary Dinos|
|Yates Cup||Western Ontario Mustangs|
|Dunsmore Cup||Laval Rouge et Or|
|Loney Bowl||Saint Mary's Huskies|
|Mitchell Bowl||Western Ontario Mustangs|
|Uteck Bowl||Laval Rouge et Or|
|Date||November 22, 2008|
|Site||Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton|
|Champions||Laval Rouge et Or|
The 2008 CIS football season began on August 23, 2008, and concluded with the 44th Vanier Cup national championship on November 22 at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario, with the Laval Rouge et Or winning their fifth championship. Twenty-seven universities across Canada compete in CIS football, the highest level of amateur play in Canadian football, under the auspices of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
The regular-season schedule began early with a single Canada West Universities Athletic Association game in week one on Saturday, August 23, between the UBC Thunderbirds and the Simon Fraser Clan at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. The Ontario University Athletics and remaining CWUAA teams got underway the following week during the Labour Day weekend and the Quebec and Atlantic conferences beginning their matches the week following that.
The regular-season concluded in Week 10 on the weekend of October 24/25 for all but the Ontario conference, who had concluded the previous week and held their conference quarter-finals. All conferences held their semi-finals the weekend of November 1/2, and conference championships the weekend of November 8/9. This year, the National Semi-Finals took place on November 16. The Calgary Dinos, the Hardy Trophy-winning Canada West team travelled to Quebec City to take on the Dunsmore Cup winning Laval Rouge-et-Or of the Quebec conference for the Uteck Bowl and the Atlantic conference's Saint Mary's Huskies Jewett Trophy winners visited the Western Ontario Mustangs, Ontario's Yates Cup winners, in London for the Mitchell Bowl. Finally the Bowl winners, Laval and Western, met for the Vanier Cup national championship on Saturday, November 22, in Hamilton, the day before the Canadian Football League's 96th Grey Cup in Montreal. Laval won the game 44-21 and became the just the twelfth CIS team to finish a season undefeated.
2007 marked the first year that the Vanier Cup and Grey Cup were played on the same weekend but they both took place in Toronto's Rogers Centre as part of the 95th Grey Cup celebrations. Dating back to 1973, previous Vanier Cups had always been played the week following the Grey Cup.
27 new top-ten achievements were added to the all-time career record books in 2008 including five new records as running back Daryl Stephenson completed his record career at Windsor and several passing/receiving records were set at McGill.
The passing completions record book was completely re-written in 2008 as three players beat Greg Vavra's 25-year-old record of 611.
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points
Teams in bold have earned playoff berths.
|Alberta Golden Bears||12||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR|
|Laurier Golden Hawks||6||10||NR||NR||14||10||10||8||7|
|Laval Rouge et Or||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Mount Allison Mounties||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR|
|Queen's Golden Gaels||7||5||4||4||2||2||2||2||2|
|Saint Mary's Huskies||3||3||3||3||3||3||7||6||5|
|Sherbrooke Vert et Or||NR||15||12||8||11||9||9||11||NR|
|Simon Fraser Clan||NR||NR||8||7||10||8||8||7||8|
|St. Francis Xavier X-Men||15||NR||NR||11||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR|
|Toronto Varsity Blues||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR|
Ranks in italics are teams not ranked in the top 10 poll but received votes. NR = Not Ranked, received no votes.
The Vanier Cup is played between the champions of the Mitchell Bowl and the Uteck Bowl, the national semi-final games. In 2008, according to the rotating schedule, the winners of the Atlantic conference Loney Bowl meet the Ontario conference's Yates Cup champion for the Mitchell Bowl. The winners of the Canada West conference Hardy Trophy travel to the Dunsmore Cup Quebec championship team for the Uteck Bowl.
The Canada West play-offs start with the top four placed teams from the regular season, with the top placed team hosting the fourth place and the second place team hosting the third placed. The winners of those semi-finals then compete for the Hardy Cup championship who then travels to the Quebec champion for a national semi-final game.
The Quebec play-offs similarly play-off the top four placed teams with the Dunsmore Cup champions moving on to host the Uteck Bowl against the Canada West champions.
The Ontario conference started out with the top six placed teams from the regular season. The third placed team hosted the sixth place team and the fourth placed team hosted the team in fifth place. The winners then took on the top two placed teams in the conference semi-finals and the semi-final champions compete for the Yates Cup. According to the rotating CIS Bowl schedule, the Ontario champions, in 2008, host the Atlantic conference champions for the Mitchell Bowl national semi-final game.
In the Atlantic conference play-offs, the second place St. Francis Xavier X-Men defeated the third placed Mount Allison Mounties to move on to face the first place Saint Mary's Huskies at the Loney Bowl for the Jewett Trophy. Saint Mary's victory means that they then travel to the Ontario champion Western Ontario Mustangs to meet in the Mitchell Bowl.
The 2008 Uteck Bowl saw the number one ranked Laval Rouge-et-Or dominate the sixth-ranked Calgary Dinos with a 59 to 10 win. With the win, Laval continues their streak of winning all four Bowl games played at PEPS Stadium and hope to continue their record of being undefeated in all four previous appearances at the Vanier Cup.
At home at TD Waterhouse Stadium, the number three ranked Western Ontario Mustangs defeated the number five ranked Saint Mary's Huskies to win the Mitchell Bowl with a score of 28 to 12. Western lost in the 2007 Mitchell Bowl to Manitoba Bisons and last won a Vanier Cup in 1994.
The 44th Vanier Cup marked Western's 12th appearance at the Vanier, the most by any team. They also hold the record for the number of Vanier Cup wins with 6. It was Laval's fifth appearance at the Vanier during their ten-year history, having won each of their previous appearances. 2008 also marked the first Vanier Cup game to feature both a Quebec university and an Ontario university. Laval won the game 44-21 and gained their fifth championship since 1999 to become the just the twelfth CIS team to finish a season undefeated.
Laval's victory completed their season without a single loss, the twelfth perfect season in Canadian university history, and puts them tied for second among Canadian universities with five Vanier Cups. Only Western has more with six national championships. It also marked Glen Constantin's fourth Vanier Cup victory as head coach, tying the record set by Calgary's Peter Connellan.
The attendance at Ivor Wynne was 13,873 with light snow and a temperature of -4 °C (25 °F). The attendance at the 2007 Vanier was 26,787 at the Roger's Centre during the 95th Grey Cup weekend. The 2006 Vanier Cup was sold-out with 12,567 in Saskatoon's Griffiths Stadium and the 2005 cup at Ivor Wynne had 16,827 spectators.
Though there were no bids by the deadline to host the 2009 Vanier Cup, Constantin said Laval does intend to do so. Canadian Interuniversity Sport intended to discuss the issue during its December 1-2 board meetings.
|Conference Quarter-finals||Conference Semi-finals||Conference Championships||National Semi-finals||44th Vanier Cup|
|Simon Fraser Clan||40|
|Simon Fraser Clan||21|
|Western Ontario Mustangs||21|
|Mount Allison Mounties||12|
|St. Francis Xavier X-Men||52|
|St. Francis Xavier X-Men||27|
|Saint Mary's Huskies||29|
|Saint Mary's Huskies||12|
|Ottawa Gee-Gees||42||Western Ontario Mustangs||28|
|Guelph Gryphons||37||Ottawa Gee-Gees||23|
|Queen's Golden Gaels||13|
|McMaster Marauders||0||Western Ontario Mustangs||31|
|Laurier Golden Hawks||29||Laurier Golden Hawks||28|
|Western Ontario Mustangs||36|