Forget about East vs. West–although the West went 3-0 again this week–it’s starting to look like you’ve got Calgary, Edmonton…and then everyone else. The two Alberta teams are heading into the Labour Day Classic each at 7-1, both boasting perfect 4-0 road records and the two stingiest defences in the league. Beyond them, you kinda get the feeling that anybody can beat anybody else–at least within their own division. And with the CFL Least starting to come together in a couple rivalry games next week, the picture might get a bit clearer at the bottom. Cuz there’s no denying who’s on top, once again, after Week Nine.
Last Week’s Rankings
1. Calgary Stampeders (7-1) Last Week: 1. The Stamps D pitched a shutout in Ottawa, as the REDBLACKS!!!!! only points came on an early interception return. Truth be told, this game was closer than the final score indicates, but a 21-point, fourth-quarter outburst gave Calgary the most lopsided win of Week Nine–by a long shot! Not a bad contest at which to be in attendance…if you’re a Stamps fan. ;) (More on that tomorrow!)
2. Edmonton Eskimos (7-1) Last Week: 2. Despite an early injury to Mike Reilly, who only threw one pass all game, the Esks still put 41 points on the board, largely due to defence and the run game. Speaking of the D, they not only prevented Ricky Ray from hitting 50K against his former team, but they also picked him off twice, with two of those thefts leading directly to TDs. Might be a little tougher for them to do so against Bo Levi Mitchell, mind you–the Stamps pivot has only thrown four picks all season.
3. Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-2) Last Week: 4. Make that five straight wins for the Riders, who held off B.C. in a rather uneventful contest last night. (I
passed out fell asleep shortly after halftime.) Although they’re the lowest-scoring team in the West Division (24.1 ppg), Saskatchewan seems to be solidly in third place, but it’ll take a win over Calgary or Edmonton for them to move up any higher in these rankings.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-3) Last Week: 6. Well, it wasn’t a very pretty win, but after back-to-back losses against Toronto and Saskatchewan, the Bombers really needed to put one in the win column, and they did so against Montreal. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Winnipeg will represent the East in the Grey Cup this season…the year after they left the division. ;)
5. B.C.Lions (5-4) Last Week: 3. Well, it seems Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky’s mouth wrote a cheque that his team couldn’t cash. After B.C. came up four points short on “guaranteed win night,” Skulsky now owes some 33-thousand fans a free ticket to a future home game. The good news is that I’m pretty sure a decent chunk of them were Riders fans, who won’t be coming back to Vancouver this season–the two teams have split their season series at one game apiece.
6. Toronto Argonauts (3-6) Last Week: 5. Not a whole lotta positives last week for the Argos, who trailed 31-10 at the half before a 13-point third quarter got them within striking distance. Chad Owens returned to action, catching an early TD…but limped off again late in the game. (That’s what happens when your best player’s, like, 5’2″, 130 pounds.) Ricky Ray threw for 277 and two TDs, but his three picks proved costly, with a couple returned for scores the other way. And things don’t get much easier for the Argos, either. After the Labour Day Classic in Hamilton, they get the Stamps and the Lions sandwiched between a couple byes. This team could very well win the Least with a sub-.500 record.
7. Montreal Alouettes (1-7) Last Week: 8. OK, so Montreal’s lost six in a row, but last week’s game in Winnipeg was the closest they’ve come to winning anything in a couple months. And they just might have found their starting QB of the future in Jonathan “Polamalu Levels of Scalp and Hairness” Crompton, who completed 62 per cent of his passes for 266 yards–and three picks–in the loss. Of course, I’m pretty sure I said the same thing about Troy Smith in the preseason, so take that for what it’s worth!
8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-6) Last Week: 7. Good news in Hamilton: Ownership insists Tim Hortons Field will be ready in time for Labour Day. Then again, the last time a CFL team’s CEO made that kinda guarantee, it ended with the B.C. Lions owing 33-thousand people free tickets. But you can’t fit nearly that many into Timmies–rumour has it that only 18 out of 22.5 thousand seats are good to go. And hey, with any luck, the home side might actually show up to play; they’ve certainly got a fighting chance against the Argos, anyways.
9. Ottawa REDBLACKS!!!!!! (1-7) Last Week: 9. I actually just got back from Ottawa, where I can tell you that both the new stadium and its fans are quite nice. Too bad they’re stuck with a subpar product on the field. Henry Burris just barely moved into third place in all-time passing yards with a craptastic 12-23, 113 yard effort yesterday, and there wasn’t much of a ground game to speak of, either. Let’s just say that when I jeered Henry’s name, a couple fans of the home team joined in. It just might be time to give Thomas DeMarco a closer look. I mean, he couldn’t possibly do any worse, could he? As a matter of fact, he already outsmiles Smilin’ Hank:
I mean, wouldn’t you want this guy to
date your daughter quarterback your expansion team?