Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Hamilton at Toronto Week 1, Depth Chart

Ticats as they have for a number of years go with two American offensive tackles, Simmons and Lewis. I fully expect other Americans to play those two positions as the year progresses. Dyakowski and Bomben are again the guards and Filer is at centre, all Canadians.

Tolliver and Watt are the starting wideouts, with Watt being a non-import. Tasker, Owens and non-import Fantuz are listed as slotbacks. Gable is the running back, with Prime as the non-import fullback. So in the usual Ticat passing formation of one running back, plus five receivers, that's three starting Canadians on the offensive line plus two starting Canadian receivers, for a total of five Canadian starters on offense.

Masoli starts at quarterback, with Matthews backing up. Maher kicks and punts.

On the defensive line, Chick and Tracy are the starting ends. Nevis takes over Bryan Hall's import spot at defensive tackle with Atkinson playing in Ted Laurent's non-import spot. Gaydosh backs him up.

The starting linebackers all imports are the returning Lawrence and Murray, with Dean in the middle.

Corners are Tisdale and Pointer. Halfbacks are Sears Jr. and Davis. We'll see how long Sears goes uninjured. Non-import Stephen moves to the safety spot from cornerback with Daly backing him up.

2016 CFL Predictions Week 1

Hamilton at Toronto
If Zach Collaros was starting, then it would be a no-brainer that Hamilton would be favoured. Instead the Cats are going to be starting Masoli as quarterback against a healthy Ricky Ray. This is in Toronto and in the CFL, home teams have a marked advantage. Hamilton lost some players through free agency and Toronto picked up some decent players in free agency including Hickman and Henry on the defensive line from Hamilton. However Hamilton did pick up receiver Chad Owens from Toronto, who should be motivated to put on a good performance against his former teammates in the double blue.

Still I think the Argos are slightly favoured due to being at home. The Argos should actually have fans at this game for once, although there probably will be plenty of Ticat fans.
Argonauts 35 Tiger-Cats 33

Montreal at Winnipeg
Battle of two crappy teams. The Alouettes have Duron Carter back and the Bombers have Drew Willy not injured yet. Andrew Harris was supposedly injured, but now is not. Again I'll go with home field advantage. Not much is known, although I don't think Kevin Glenn has much left in the tank. That's still more than a lot of quarterback who will start this year in the CFL.
Blue Bombers 27 Alouettes 22

Ottawa at Edmonton
Henry Burris is still old, but didn't get injured last year which is more than can be said for most quarterbacks last year. Mike Reilly isn't injured yet. I think Ottawa should be a decent team, but yet again probably not good enough to beat Edmonton at home.
Eskimos 37 REDBLACKS 30

Calgary at BC
The Stampeders are still a good team and Bo Levi Mitchell is still a good young quarterback. The Stamps don't have Jon Cornish to run the ball and break the ratio, however they've replaced him with Jerome Messam. The Lions lost Andrew Harris in the off-season. I don't think BC is a very good team, even though they are at home.
Stampeders 29 Lions 19

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ticat Tallboy Beer Prices Remain at $9.50 at Tim Horton's Field in 2016

One thing we learned at Friday's pre-season game (besides that Ottawa's backups aren't very good) is that tallboy prices (Canadian and Coor's Light) will remain at $9.50, the same as last year. Prices in 2014 were only $9 per tallboy. Putting up prices to $9.75 would likely be bad for tips for the servers. When the price inevitably reaches $10 things definitely will be bad for server tips.

Tigercatatonia protip: go to the Prince Edward Tavern on Barton before the game and get liquored and then ghost in just at kickoff.

Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Post Pre-Season

The regular season is almost upon us with all pre-season games completed. With the somewhat limited knowledge the pre-season games brings (mainly which players blowout their Achilles tendons and are gone for the year), here are the official Tigercatatonia Post Pre-Season Power Rankings:

1. Calgary Stampeders
The Stamps are generally in it in this CFL era. Having Bo Levi Mitchell as your starting quarterback and a serviceable backup certainly helps. They were good last year and should be good this year.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
The Eskimos lost their head coach so obviously that has to hurt (especially to the Riders). Whether Jason Maas can get it done as head coach is a question. They still have Mike Reilly as quarterback and provided he stays healthy (which admittedly is a little unlikely) then the Eskimos should be decent.

3. Ottawa REDBLACKS
They made it (barely) to the Grey Cup last year in their second year of existence. Ottawa has an even older Henry Burris as quarterback, however he managed not to get injured last year something almost all the other younger quarterbacks could not do. Plus they have former Argo quarterback Trevor Harris as the heir apparent, so Burris isn't as crucial as last year. Ottawa should have a winning record, but probably not as many wins as last year (hello regression to the mean).

4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Cats are going to have to get it done without Zach Collaros at the start of the season. That means Masoli will have to find a way to win. Unless Jeff Matthews does. The Cats have former Argo Chad Owens who looks like he means business (unless he gets injured) plus a bunch of other targets. The Cats got a little stripmined in the off-season, but they still have solid Canadian talent (unless they get injured) plus C.J. Gable is one of the better running backs in the league (unless he gets injured). The Cats will go however far whatever American import tackles they trot out there on the offensive line go, which given their fungible nature is reasonably far. Placekicking probably goes down without Justin Medlock, but the punting probably won't be worse.

5. Toronto Argonauts
Ricky Ray is back and uninjured! The Argos also picked up Ticat defensive line stalwarts Bryan Hall and Justin Hickman so that has to help with the loss of Cleyon Laing to the Miami Dolphins. The new stadium can't hurt either.

6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Drew Willy is healthy for now and the Bombers have stolen Weston Dressler from their prairie rivals. Picking up non-import running back Andrew Harris has to help the ratio.

7. BC Lions
I can't see the Lions being very good, especially with the loss of Andrew Harris.

8. Montreal Alouettes
They have Kevin Glenn and Duron Carter back to go with S.J. Green. That's something. Jim Popp is still the head coach which is not ideal.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
New head coach. Maybe not as crap as last year, but likely still crap.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

What's Up With The Ticats 50% March Season Ticket Sale?

The Ticats have released a season ticket sale for March: "you can sit between the 50 yard lines for 50% off with half-price season seats." As a season ticket holder that seems a little strange and makes me wonder how season ticket sales are doing this year. Looking at the ticket master site, this appears to be seats on the second level of the less desirable East side, with the lowest cost being $489 compared $715 for "new season", which doesn't really seem to me to be a 50% discount.

I suppose it applies to a pretty limited area of the stadium with what seems to be me to be a pretty steep list price, so I guess as someone who bought somewhere else it isn't that big a deal. Still the optics to existing season tickets holders seems a little off-putting.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Defensive Tackle Bryan Hall Signs With Argos, What Will Ticats Do?

Stalwart import defensive tackle Bryan Hall has signed with the Argos. Last year Hall had 38 tackles and 3 sacks in 15 games for the Cats and was a powerful presence for the recently resigned non-import Ted Laurent in the middle of the Ticats defensive line. The Cats will miss Hall, as the combo with Laurent really limited runs up the middle last year.

Besides Laurent, the Cats also resigned non-import Linden Gaydosh, who spent all of 2015 on the injury list. Potentially the Cats could play both Laurent and Gaydosh in the middle and have two Canadian starters on the defensive line. The Cats look like they will continue to play a Canadian at safety and Courtney Stephen at corner, for a total of four Canadian defensive starters, only requiring three more to play on offense. Alternatively the Cats could find an American defensive tackle to play beside Laurent and have Gaydosh back him up and have the opportunity to have Gaydosh start in case of an injury to another Canadian starter.

On offense the Cats look like they will start three Canadians at both guard positions plus center and then Andy Fantuz whenever he is healthy at slotback. The Cats are looking fairly good again in terms of Canadian talent for 2016, although injuries could quickly change that. 

 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

RIP TSN's Remaining World Junior Television Ratings With Canada Out

With Rogers having most of the NHL hockey television broadcasts, TSN depends heavily on the World Junior tournament after Xmas to generate big ratings. Canada on average has a good performance, but in some years like 2015-2016 Canada goes out early. With Canada not in either of the semis or the finals, TSN's ratings will end up tanking from what they could have been.