Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 CFL Power Rankings Week 17

1. Calgary Stampeders
Calgary just keeps winning and Bo Levi Mitchell is back. No doubt after clinching the top seed in the West and the bye, the Stamps will let up some. They will still be the best team though.
2. Edmonton Eskimos
It was close versus the Riders and they were down at the half, but ultimately the Eskimos prevailed. 
3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Sure it was against the REDBLACKS and they only won by ten, but it was a really windy game and the Cats mostly outplayed the REDBLACKS. Injuries are becoming a little concerning for the Ticats especially at running back, although surprisingly Sinkfield and Carter had well over 100 yards rushing between them.
4. Montreal Alouettes
This was a really important game for the Alouettes and they came in to Dead Ted's Dome (may he burn in the fires of expensive mobile bills) and beat the Argos, mostly with good defence, although Crompton's completion percentage was an excellent 70% (although his yards per pass attempt honked at 7.4 yards, indoors).
5. Toronto Argonauts
Ricky Ray didn't look very good in this game and it was at home. The Argos defence was OK, but ultimately failed to stop Crompton when they had to. The Argos pretty much have to win this week against Hamilton, or they are screwed out of a playoff spot.
6. BC Lions
Didn't play so there's not a lot to evaluate them with. Apart from blasting Ottawa, haven't looked good of late. 7. Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders were ultimately better with Kerry Joseph as quarterback as opposed to Sunseri or Doege. However they're not good enough at this point in the season, despite probably having the best team besides the quarterback position.
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
At least the Bomber didn't get blown out at home. Is former high school wunderkind Brohm out for the season after playing an OK game? Looks like the Bombers will not be in the playoffs again.
Only allowed the Cats to score 16 points at home, albeit on a windy night. On the other hand the REDBLACKS only scored six themselves and didn't look at all dangerous on offense. Maybe it is time for the REDBLACKS to look at some other quarterbacks. Henry Burris is a known quantity. Maybe some kid has some talent.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Toronto Star Article on John Tory and the CFL

The Toronto Star has a good article about Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory and his time as CFL commissioner.

I have to think with Tory likely to win an election (for once) that has to be good news for the Argos trying to make a deal to move into BMO field.

Friday, October 17, 2014

2014 CFL Predictions Week 17

Ottawa at Hamilton
Could Hamilton shit the bed here? Sure. I would expect though that after losing a heart breaker against the Argos in Dead Ted's Dome the Ticats will be itching to lay a beating. One issue, no Madu this week or Gable so there will be a new running back. Of late, the Ticats have really relied on the running back catching passes, especially if Collaros is in trouble. Madu had good hands, but wasn't a particularly great runner, so expect maybe a bit more running from Hamilton.
Tiger-Cats 33 REDBLACKS 22

Montreal at Toronto
Interesting game not just because the game means a lot in the standings, but also that the teams are somewhat close. Montreal has somewhat inexplicably won five of six. Crompton has emerged as a reasonable starter and far better than his predecessors (including the now departed Troy Smith). However Ricky Ray is still a far better quarterback at this stage and has Chad Owens. Montreal has a good defence, but the Argos have home field advantage.
Argonauts 29 Alouettes 24

Calgary at Winnipeg
Winnipeg is in free fall, sucking and releasing running backs. Bo Levi Mitchell is back and the Stamps can clinch first in the West. This does not go well for Winnipeg. Expect Mike O'Shea to do a slow burn on the sidelines.
Stampeders 41 Blue  Bombers 29

Edmonton at Saskatchewan
So rumours are that Kerry Joseph starts for the Riders. A desperate move but somewhat understandable. Still Edmonton looked good last week and if the Riders try and run a ton (which is pretty likely) the Eskimo defensive line is going to have a good day.
Eskimos 33 Roughriders 19

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Montreal Alouettes Release Troy Smith

Well that took forever. The Alouettes have finally released former NFL and Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith after basically sucking all year and being supplanted by Crompton as the Als quarterback.

Smith had a 52.6% completion percentage in 2013 and then an even lower Michael Bishop like number of 47.7% this year. I'm a little surprised that Smith was kept around for so long, considering he was probably getting a reasonable salary.

Smith seemed like one of those dubious CFL experiments where someone washed up in the NFL gets heralded upon arriving in the CFL. Like Chad Johnson. Who I also wonder about.

CFL Week 16 Television Ratings

Chris Zelkowich has the Canadian weekend sports television ratings out for last weekend here.

The CFL had a decent weekend, placing fifth, sixth, seventh and thirteenth with considerable hockey and NFL competition. Both the NFL and NHL benefits from being broadcast over the air versus CFL viewers only able to view if they have cable and TSN.

5. CFL, Bombers at Eskimos, Monday, TSN: 843,000
6. CFL, Roughriders at Alouettes, Monday, TSN: 782,000
7. CFL, Ticats at Argonauts, Friday, TSN: 636,000
13. CFL, RedBlacks at Lions, Saturday, TSN: 424,000

It is a little disappointing that the Ticats and Argos didn't draw better considering the ending, but I noticed while attending the game that some Argos fans left early so maybe some viewers did too, as it looked dire for the Argos for a while.

The BC Ottawa game was a little disappointing, although with Ottawa way out of the playoffs and the game a blowout, not particularly surprising. Zelkovich does point out that the Senators didn't draw a lot of fans:

"But Ottawa-Tampa Bay on Sportsnet One attracted only 112,000 and the Washington-Boston game on FX was watched by a paltry 15,000. Even Toronto FC outdid that (55,000 on TSN.)"

TFC has continued their week ratings. How MLSE expects to make a profit on the team with massive transfer signing bills and no television revenues is a mystery.

The Bombers and Eskimos managed the highest CFL ratings on Thanksgiving even though it was blowout.

2014 CFL Power Rankings Week 16

1. Calgary Stampeders
Didn't play last week so they couldn't embarrass themselves out of the top rank. Also a week off probably helps them out a lot with Cornish and Mitchell. Besides the Stamps have pretty much locked up the top seed in the West so I'm not sure about them doing their best best in the regular season from now on.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Absolutely hammered Winnipeg. Which isn't saying much. Still they've got Reilly healthy and a good defence.

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Ticats lost a heart breaker to the Argos in Dead Ted's Dome by a single point after being way up. Still only losing by a point away is pretty much a victory on neutral ground in my book. Collaros is looking good and the defence now seems capable of sacking the opposing quarterback. Apart from shitting the bed in the last five minutes of the last game.

4. Toronto Argonauts
Ricky Ray is a good quarterback, you can't deny that. After playing mostly mediocre football last game, Ray and the Argos were able to turn it on late. Not much of a run game, but the team is certainly better when Chad Owens is playing.

5. BC Lions
Absolutely hammered the REDBLACKS at home. That's something I guess. Not having Andrew Harris didn't seem to hurt, although Antolin rushing for 157 yards on 17 carries is an adequate replacement. A little hard to judge the Lions against such a crappy team.

6. Montreal Alouettes
The Alouettes also hammered a team, namely the Riders. However the Riders were afraid to pass and were on the road, which generally isn't a good combo. Crompton has emerged as an OK CFL quarterback and the Alouettes decent is serviceable. Meh.

7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Yes the Bombers sucked against Edmonton on the road. However the Eskimos are a good team and Willy is better at quarterback than whatever the Riders have. Still it is interesting to see the Bombers collapse after such a good start and will pretty much miss the playoffs. There's always next year, which is pretty much the Bomber fan mantra considering how long it has been since they've won the cup.

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders
I would say that Sunseri sucks at quarterback, but in the last game against the Alouettes he only had 13 attempts with eight completions so it is a little hard to judge. But overall from his oeuvre of play this year Sunseri sucks. So much so that the Riders have went out and signed crotchety quarterback Kerry Joseph. Who will probably be an improvement over Sunseri and Doege, but the team will still be crap. And will still make the playoffs with a 9 and 6 record.

Oh Ottawa. Hopefully next year goes better.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Upper West Stands Won't Be Ready for the October 17th Game Against Ottawa

Forgot to mention that the Ticats have told season ticket holders that the Upper West stands won't be ready for the next game against the REDBLACKS. The last game of the season is November 8th against Montreal, so there has to be a good chance they will ready for that game. Although considering the history, one might bet against it.

If the Cats hold a playoff game, there's one more chance as well. If the Cats don't host a playoff game, there's a chance the stadium won't be finished for a home game at all in 2014.