University of Saskatchewan Huskies celebrate with Hardy Cup after beating U of C in 2018 championship game. Picture: U of S
The high-powered Calgary Dinos are the unanimous choice to top Canada West football this season, as the annual preseason coaches poll was unveiled Wednesday.
Calgary, who went 8-0 during the 2018 regular season before eventually losing in the 82nd Hardy Cup to the Saskatchewan Huskies, earned all five first-place votes from the coaches to finish with 25 points in the poll.
The Dinos were dominant in 2018, outscoring their opponents in the regular season by an average of more than 26 points per game. They return many key components from their eye-popping offence, including reigning Hec Crighton winner Adam Sinagra. The star quarterback leads an offence that should once again post big numbers.
Slotting in behind the Dinos in the poll were the Huskies (21), who earned Calgary's first-place nod and second-place votes from the rest of the conference.
Despite being picked sixth in last year's preseason poll, Saskatchewan posted a stellar season as they finished 5-3 before going on to capture the program's first Hardy Cup since 2006 thanks to a pair of road playoff wins. The Huskies enter 2019 looking to secure the program's first home playoff date since 2014.
Rounding out the poll were the Manitoba Bisons (15) and UBC Thunderbirds (14), who came in third and fourth respectively, while the Alberta Golden Bears (8) and Regina Rams (7) finished fifth and sixth.
Team - Points (First-place votes)
Calgary Dinos - 25 (5)
Saskatchewan Huskies - 21 (1)
Manitoba Bisons - 15
UBC Thunderbirds - 14
Alberta Golden Bears - 8
Regina Rams - 7