UBC Thunderbirds coach Blake Nill has been party to a watershed moment in Canadian university football; now he's trying to create another one.
The university games goes in cycles in terms of which conference monopolizes the Vanier. This is the era of Quebec, as the Montreal Carabins of Danny Maciocia aim to make it back-to-back national titles when they try to stymie phenom quarterback Michael O'Connor and the rather prolific T-Birds passing game on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT, Sportsnet/Sportsnet 360).
It's convenient to flash back to Nill's first Vanier as a head coach, which was also the Rouge et Or's first and was the last one of the last century. People who were around that week in 1999 before Laval shaded Saint Mary's 14-10 for the first of its now eight championships couldn't help but notice the contrast in resources between the well-bankrolled arriviste from Quebec City and the traditionally powerful Huskies, and in how they practised and prepared.
The cycles tend toRead More »from Vanier Cup preview: Montreal favoured against UBC, but Thunderbirds' time is coming