Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 CFL Predictions Week 10

Ottawa at Montreal
Now that there's nine teams in the CFL, the Labour Day weekend games get slightly changed up a bit with BC being the odd man out and the REDBLACKS and the Alouettes restarting a tradition (did Montreal and Ottawa used to play on the Labour Day weekend? Probably.). I would have thought to help out the expansion team, Ottawa would get to host but apparently not. Maybe they will alternate as the home team from year to year. But I digress.

Back to the predictions. Battle of the 1 and 7 teams! Go big or go home. Supposedly Montreal is going to start some quarterback who was on Edmonton for a while, but I'm too lazy to look him up rather than Alex Brink. Huh. Outside the quarterback position I think Montreal is better, but I think in this game Burris will have the edge. A very slight edge.
REDBLACKS 21 Alouettes 20

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
This should be exciting as the Bombers aren't crap anymore. The Riders have Dressler back although how effective he would be with just a couple of days of practice is a question. I'm going to go against the grain and say the Bombers take it. Just a feeling.
Bombers 29 Riders 25

Toronto at Hamilton
Is Collaros going to start? I haven't heard much, just that he is sort of practicing and taking that as a no. I don't think that Masoli is that bad a player, but let's face it, against Ray there's not a lot of hope. Maybe there will be some weird unfinished stadium/Labour Day stand, but that's not the way to bet unfortunately.
Argos 33 Ticats 26

Edmonton at Calgary
Battle of the 7 and 1 teams. That's a little more exciting. Both are good teams, but I think this will come down to home field advantage which is surprisingly huge in the CFL.
Stamps 43 Esks 40

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CFL Television Rankings Week 7

As usual, Chris Zelkovich has the complete weekend television ratings for sports on his Yahoo blog. I'm a bit late at taking a look at the CFL numbers, but they were fourth, fifth and sixth behind the Jays games against the Tigers when the Jays were sort of in contention:

4. CFL, Ticats at Lions, Friday, TSN: 576,000
5. CFL, RedBlacks at Stampeders, Saturday, TSN: 484,000
6. CFL, Eskimos at Alouettes, Friday, TSN: 454,000

So of the three weekend games the Ticats Lions tilt had the highest ratings. The Cats game was also close until the end so that no doubt helped the average numbers. Not bad for a team with a bad record and a late start. 

2014 CFL Power Rankings Week 9

1. Calgary Stampeders
Cornish is coming back and they're 7 and 1 after demolishing the REDBLACKS on the road. One can make an argument that Mitchell is the best pivot in the league and their defence rocks too. 
2. Edmonton Eskimos
While not quite as good as Calgary you can't argue the fact they are a 7 and 1 team. Beat Toronto, who are not a terrible team. The next two games will prove if they're for real.
3. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Beat BC on the road and did it on guaranteed Lion win night (I'm assuming a lot of the fans at the game were Roughrider supporters who won't be particularly enthused by a free ticket to a non-Rider Lions game). If they were to get Dressler back, they would be better, but I'm not sure they have the salary cap for it.
4. BC Lions
Lost at home on guaranteed win night. Still a good CFL team and if Lulay ever comes back they will have a nice problem to have in having two decent quarterbacks.
5. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
 Managed to win at home against an Eastern opponent. That's not much. We'll see how they do in their back to back games against the Riders.
6. Toronto Argonauts
Somebody has to be the best in the East. Acquitted themselves decently on the road against the Eskimos.
7. Montreal Alouettes
On the road and within a TD of the Bombers. At least they aren't starting Troy Smith anymore.
8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
They didn't play, but that didn't change the fact they are down to Jeremiah Masoli as quarterback and someone named McGee as the backup. One wouldn't have thought the Cats would have one win at this point in the season, but there you go.
Stomped by the Stamps. At home. I honestly thought the REDBLACKS would be a little better at this point in the year especially with Henry Burris, but apparently not. Ponying up a dump truck to Weston Dressler might not be a bad move. Assuming the REDBLACKS are near the salary cap, evidently some of those players need to be released.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ticats New Stadium Only Part Open for Labour Day Classic?

Looks like the stadium will only be partly open for the Labour Day classic against the Argos. Maybe.

The upper part of the West stands won't be open. I predicted that maybe the team would just try to get one side of the stadium declared safe, so I wasn't too far off. I'm expecting the stadium to be a shitshow, but whatever, maybe the Cats will beat the Argos with Masoli.

2014 CFL Predictions Week 9

Montreal at Winnipeg
While the Alouettes seem to have dropped the Troy Smith experiment for now, Alex Brink is basically Winnipeg's sloppy seconds. Plus the Bombers are at home and have Drew Willy.
Bombers 24 Alouettes 19

Toronto at Edmonton
Call me crazy, but I'm picking Toronto. They're not at home, but sometimes wacky things happen. Plus Edmonton is good, but they have to revert a little closer to last season's results.
Argonauts 31 Eskimos 28

Calgary at Ottawa
The REDBLACKs are still an expansion team and the Stamps seem to be good enough that they don't lose to the crap teams.
Stampeders 41 REDBLACKS 27

Saskatchewan at BC
BC just seems hot to me and the Riders just kind of meh this year. Plus BC is at home. Not really sure about that whole guaranteed win thing, but the Lions have a giant stadium so extra tickets aren't a lot of pressure.
Lions 22 Roughriders 19

2014 CFL Power Rankings Week 8

1. Calgary Stampeders
Admittedly they beat a team with one win this week, but it was on the road and Hamilton is as good as it gets for a one win team this time of the year. Which isn't that great but still. Bo Levi Mitchell has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks and the Stamps have gotten it done without Jon Cornish. Impressive.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Sure they barely beat Ottawa on the road, but the Eskimos have had a consistently good record so far this year. Can't really argue with ranking them high.

3. BC Lions
Sure they beat a tired Toronto team this week, but the Lions seem to be coming together with Kevin Glenn at the helm after a slow start. Certainly we're setting up for the inevitable Kevin Glenn doesn't get any respect story line that seems to happen every year, but that doesn't stop the team from having a good record.

4. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Beat the Alouettes at home by five points. Although Montreal wasn't hamstrung by Troy Smith at quarterback so that's not a super embarrassing win. Still not sure about the Riders this season, but if they get Weston Dressler back they'll be a tougher team to play.

5. Toronto Argonauts
Not five Western teams on top. Tabernac! The double blue rolled over the Bombers easily in Dead Ted's Dome (TM) this past week so there's that. Ray without Durie and Owens at receiver hasn't been too bad actually. The Argos could be decent when they come back.

6 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Losing to an Eastern team? That hurts. Drew Willy is decent but not omnipotent this year. We'll see how the Bombers do against non-Eastern teams.

7. Ottawa REDBLACKs
Almost beat Edmonton at home. That's something. Actually being seventh is something for an expansion team. Lack of depth hurts but isn't really surprising.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Not a bad showing and not starting Troy Smith helps. Still a pretty smelly team. I'm not really sure this team is that talented.

9. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
On paper outside of quarterback they seem like they have some talent, especially Canadians and receiver. Playing three Americans on the offensive line is unconventional and doesn't seem to be working that great (in terms of the team winning). Of course LeFevour seems to be out for the season with a torn ACL and with a concussed Collaros the Cats are down to the biblically names Jeremiah Masoli at quarterback. After that it's someone named McGee. Also I'm not sure what the injury status of C.J Gable is. From the Grey Cup to doghouse in a season. Hard out here for a Ticat fan. And no doubt for whatever pimps are responsible for the girls working Barton street near the stadium. Have you seen those girls? None of them are a pimp's dream, that's for sure.

Monday, August 18, 2014

LeFevour Out For 2014 Season?

The Spec is reporting that Ticats quarterback Dan LeFevour may be out for this season with a possible torn ACL. That's obviously not good with former starter Zach Collaros still out with a concussion.

Obviously LeFevour being out is unfortunate. LeFevour was putting up good rushing and passing yards although the Cats weren't winning many games along the way. Now the Cats have to go with third stringer Jeremiah Masoli as their starter, provided Collaros doesn't come back early. Masoli hasn't looked terrible when he's been in, although his interception late in the last game pretty much ended any chance of a Ticat comeback.

To be honest, at the start of the season, Masoli was probably one of the better third stringers in the league, but it is still tough for the Ticats. Hopefully running back C.J. Gable can come back and take some of the pressure off Masoli from needing to pass every down, although Gable's rushing numbers have been nothing special this year.

Certainly for a 1 and 6 team like the Ticats this isn't good news.