Week Five was all about the Battle of Alberta. The Thursday-nighter between Calgary and Edmonton lived up to its billing, going right down to the wire as the Stamps squeaked out a 26-22 win–making them the only undefeated team left in the league. Meanwhile, with Saskatchewan’s decisive victory over the Argos, every single team in the West now has more wins than anybody out East. Hey, we can’t have two crossover teams this year, can we?
Last Week’s Rankings
1. Calgary Stampeders (4-0) Last Week: 2. It wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done. Bo Levi Mitchell went 14-for-29 for just 124 yards passing, while Jock Sanders added 86 yards on the ground, with the team down to its third RB. But they came through on defence–and more importantly, special teams, blocking a punt for a TD and scoring another one right after stopping the Esks short on a fake punt. The D might have given up twice as many touchdowns to Edmonton as they had all year, but they’ve still allowed 32 fewer than anyone else in the league. And hey, defence wins championships, right? ;)
2. Edmonton Eskimos (4-1) Last Week: 1. Alas, I can’t drop Edmonton too far after a narrow loss in the first BoA. It wasn’t a pretty effort for either team, as turnovers proved costly–especially that turnover on downs deep in their own end. But the Esks still have the league’s second-highest-scoring offence and second-stingiest defence…and they did beat Winnipeg pretty badly the week before.
3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4-1) Last Week: 4. The Bombers had lost 16 of their last 17 road games against the West Division heading into Vancouver on Friday. But they came away with a pretty impressive win, holding the Lions to just two field goals on Geroy Simon Night. OK, so Winnipeg didn’t find the end zone themselves until midway through the third quarter, but that Lirim Hajrullahu kid? He can really kick the pigskin!
4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-2) Last Week: 6. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Riders claim a running back off waivers, stick him in the lineup, and he runs for 113 yards and 3 TDs in his debut. OK, so I don’t think that’s ever happened until last night, but ex-Bomber Will Ford sure gave the Saskies offence a big boost over the Boatmen. In fact, Ford had as many carries as Darian Durant had pass attempts, cuz hey, who needs to pass when they can’t stop the run? Not sure if it’s too late, but can Ford still run for mayor…of Regina? :P
5. B.C. Lions (2-3) Last Week: 3. Granted, B.C. did not have a very good game this week. But neither did the entire East Division, with the exception of formerly-winless Hamilton. And y’know what, gimme the Lions over the Tigers any day!
6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-3) Last Week: 9. Though they played their home opener to a capacity crowd of just 6,500 at McMaster University, the Ti-Cats made sure each one of those 6,500 souls went home happy by notching their first win of the season. OK, so they beat an expansion team with a 40-year-old
virgin QB so inconsistent that Hamilton actually cut him…but hey, their 33-point output nearly doubled their season total (41 going into the game), so there’s that.
7. Montreal Alouettes (1-3) Last Week: 8. That’s right, idle Montreal moves up a spot this week. Does anybody actually wanna win the East Division?
8. Ottawa REDBLACKS!!!!! (1-3) Last Week: 5. Now, losing 33-23 on the road wouldn’t necessarily drop a team three spots in my power rankings. But when you lose that game to a winless team, on a college field, that’s scored just 41 points in three prior games, well, there are no moral victories here. Shame on you, REDBLACKS!!!!!, shame on you.
9. Toronto Argonauts (1-4) Last Week: 7. Aaaaaand with their lopsided loss to the Riders last night, Toronto is officially the worst team in the league. Ricky Ray completed 23 passes to 11 different receivers, but if you can name more than two of them, you must be one of the 11 Argos’ season-ticket holders. With no Chad Owens, no Dontrelle Inman and no running back to speak of, Ricky Ray’s got about as many explosive weapons as the late Saddam Hussein. And I’d put the over-under in attendance for the team’s next home game, a Tuesday-nighter against Winnipeg, at 12,000–roughly two Ron Joyce Stadiums. Of course, at the Rogers Centre, there’s plenty of great sections still available…
“Hey, who tricked us into going to a football game!?”