Huge thanks to Reever for taking care of the reviews and previews, and sorry to be so late with the standings. I'm in Italy, and the time difference means that last Tuesday's game doesn't start here until tonight.
Three players nail the Calgary spread. One is JPR, who moves into a tie for second, and another is jags, who extends his lead to seven points.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:19 PM on October 09
Tuesday games? WTF?
Hamilton by 14
Calgary by 6
Winnipeg by 12
Toronto by 8
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:49 AM on October 07
Ottawa by 10
Hamilton by 1
Edmonton by 8
B.C. by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:24 AM on September 30
Winnipeg makes it close, but Calgary hangs on for the win - and a good thing too for them, since Edmonton won too. Toronto gets it done in Ottawa, while Montreal stumbles in Saskatchewan, as the Riders nab their second win of the season.
The contenders at the top remain in lockstep, but a four-point week for owlhouse means we have a new Costanza leader. Costanza follower? We need to clarify the verbiage on this.
This week features battles of the best and battles of the basements, all with alliterative implications for pre-playoff pushes.
Montreal @ Ottawa (Thursday, October 1)
Who wants it more? Ottawa needs a win to move back into home-playoff-game territory, while Montreal needs a win to hang onto a crossover spot. Not exactly a battle of dynasties, but still decent drama for the bottom of the East.
Calgary @ Hamilton (Friday, October 2)
Speaking of dynasties, here's your marquee match of the week: the two division leaders duke it out. Calgary's got the better record, but statisically Hamilton's got better numbers on both sides of the ball - and has been solid at home. Total coin toss for me here.
Edmonton @ Winnipeg (Saturday, October 3)
Poor Edmonton: they've reeled off three wins in a row but still can't seem to catch Calgary. They'll just have to keep winning. To thicken the plot, they'll be facing off against their ex-QB, Matt Nichols, who I'm sure would love to gain some ground at the expense of his old team.
Saskatchewan @ B.C. (Saturday, October 3)
All you daredevils who picked Saskatchewan to win last week, well done! Who wants to make it two in a row?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:13 AM on September 30
(who are these Winnioeg guys anyhow?)
Pretty sure that's my first typo in eleven years. Feel free to confirm.
Ottawa by 4 <-- Canadian cold lead pipe lock
Turns out, Canadian lead pipes don't freeze until October 1st.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:30 PM on September 28
Yes, please keep quiet about the clinching. It's a very low-key thing. Nobody wants to jinx anything. Particularly the players.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:21 PM on September 28
Edmonton by 21
Ottawa by 7
Montreal by 10
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:05 PM on September 26
In Calgary, the Stamps ride to a comfortable victory over the visiting Lions, while Edmonton shocks the Ti-Cat faithful in Hamilton. Ottawa hits a last-second field goal to beat the Riders in Regina, while Montreal digs deep and beats the new-look Bombers.
Another week, another extra point for argoal as he moves to within five points of jags. But as YYM pointed out, the real race here is for the Costanza.
Calgary and Edmonton are duking it out in the West, while the entire Eastern division is still in play for the first-round bye.
Calgary @ Winnioeg (Friday, September 25)
Winnipeg looked like they might be on a roll there, but got shocked in Montreal last week. Will they be the appetizer to Calgary's playoff buffet? (Note to self: delete this metaphor before posting.)
B.C. @ Edmonton (Saturday, September 26)
Both of these teams have their eye on the prize: Edmonton is trying to catch Calgary for the division lead, while B.C. is just trying to grab sole possession of the third playoff spot. But fortune favours the streaky, and the Esks have won two straight, while the Lions have lost two.
Toronto @ Ottawa (Saturday, September 26)
Ummmm hey guys does your standings page say that Ottawa's in second place? Yeah, mine too. Must be a bug. I'll report it to the webmaster. (Also, Toronto's lost three in a row? Yikes. Any recent Ricky Ray sightings?)
Montreal @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, September 27)
Two last place teams duke it out. But hey, if the season ended today, we'd see a rare crossover from East to West. Montreal's still got a heck of a lot for which to play.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:46 AM on September 23
B.C. by 7
Hamilton by 21
Ottawa by 7
Winnipeg by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:30 AM on September 16
Home-and-home results: Hamilton takes advantage of Toronto's miscues to sweep, Winnipeg stages the comeback to split, and Edmonton rides Mike Reilly's arm to a split. And hey! Ottawa makes a healthy statement in Vancouver.
Folks, do we have ourselves a race here? argoal nails the Hamilton win for a five-point week, shaving jags' lead down to six.
Eight weeks to go and the playoff jostling begins in earnest. Only candidates with a postsecondary degree in jostling will be accepted.
B.C. @ Calgary (Friday, September 18)
Here are two teams looking in their rear-view mirror: Calgary's stumbled and their division lead is down to two points, while B.C.'s tied with surging Edmonton for the final playoff spot in the division. Who's more desperate?
Edmonton @ Hamilton (Saturday, September 19)
Mike Reilly's back and Edmonton's got their eye on the prize. But a strong offense will only get you halfway there against Hamilton.
Ottawa @ Saskatchewan (Saturday, September 19)
The Who'd-a-Thunk-It Bowl: Ottawa on a two-win streak to jump into second place, Saskatchewan with one win on the season. What's your pick: momentum or legacy?
Winnipeg @ Montreal (Sunday, September 20)
And here are the two teams trying to get back in the race. Winnipeg's riding a new QB while Montreal's still trying to figure it out. Tough to pick against the hot hand in this one.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:11 AM on September 15
Hamilton by 21
Winnipeg by 3
Calgary by 18
BC by 12
posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:32 PM on September 11
Montreal stumbles and falls at home as the Lions come away with the win. Toronto falls down early and can't muster a comeback in Hamilton. In a tight defensive battle, Calgary holds Edmonton to just seven points. And in their tenth game of the season, Saskatchewan finally WINS.
argoal continues to chip away at jags' lead, now down to a mere eight points and there are nine weeks left in the season. I'm biting my nails, folks!
It's the traditional week-after-Labour-Day-home-and-home-grudge-rematch, in which most parts of Canada experience a severe hyphen shortage.
Hamilton @ Toronto (Friday, September 11)
Toronto got flat-out spanked last week, and has dropped two in a row to fall out of first place. They're in tough again this week, but with Ricky Ray rumours swirling around the practice field, who knows what will happen?
Saskatchewan @ Winnipeg (Saturday, September 12)
Look who's streaking now: Saskatchewan, frehs off their first win, is only four points behind the Bombers. Winnipeg's lost four in a row will Matt Nichols be the answer?
Calgary @ Edmonton (Saturday, September 12)
Speaking of four-point gaps, Calgary has won five in a row to grab a strong first-place lead. That can get upgraded to "commanding" with another win over the Eskimoes. But is that Mike Reilly I see, shaking off the injury rust?
Ottawa @ B.C. (Sunday, September 13)
Hold up. It's after Labour Day, and Ottawa has a winning record? Who's writing this script?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:34 PM on September 09
Canoe teams, owlhouse.
Montreal by 7
Saskatchewan by 10
Hamilton by 21
Calgary by 30
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:33 PM on September 02
Montreal hangs on to stun the Hamilton faithful as the Ti-Cats' winning streak comes to a close. Toronto can't quite get it going in Edmonton, while Winnipeg just can't get anything going at home. And in Ottawa, the Roughriders' hard-luck season continues, and it wasn't even close.
A rare goose egg for jags as argoal closes to 9 points out does that count as drama?
The Labour Day Classics line up nicely this year between division contenders. Also, Saskatchewan plays this week, much to the chagrin of Saskatchewanians.
BC @ Montreal (Thursday, September 3)
The Fair-to-Middling Bowl: Montreal is in last place, but that's only four points away from first in the East. Meanwhile, B.C. is just trying to hang on to a playoff spot.
Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, September 6)
Times are tough in Winnipeg: they've lost three in a row and are a long way down in the division standings. But they've added to their QB depth by picking up Matt Nichols, and hey! They play Saskatchewan this week.
Toronto @ Hamilton (Monday, September 7)
This Labour Day Classic has some teeth to it: the winner gets first place in the division. Hamilton's been the better team by point differential, but Toronto's got... well... um, Ricky Ray might be close to returning? That's something!
Edmonton @ Calgary (Monday, September 7)
The other rivalry game is nearly as close: an Edmonton win will move them into a first-place tie with Calgary. But who the heck will they start at quarterback?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:36 PM on September 02
Hamilton by 21
Toronto by 8
Calgary by 11
Saskatchewan by 3
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:22 PM on August 27
A big fourth quarter help the Alouettes stun the home side as the Lions lose in Vancouver. Hamilton continues their torrid play with a third straight blowout win. Calgary holds off a late Rider rally to send Saskatchewan to their eighth straight loss, while Toronto does much the same, pushing back a fourth-quarter Redblack surge.
With jags in cruise control twelve points ahead, the drama is now in the second-place race. argoal holds a two-point lead, but five players are within five points.
Who's going to be brave enough to pick Saskatchewan this week? Or any week, for that matter?
Montreal @ Hamilton (Thursday, August 27)
Montreal's been better then their record indicates so far. But Hamilton has just been crazy good these past few games, so I'm not betting big on an upset here.
Toronto @ Edmonton (Friday, August 28)
Battle of the backup quarterbacks! I have no idea how Edmonton has strung together five wins this year. Then again, I have no idea how Toronto has notched six, and I'm a season ticket holder. Give Edmonton a very slight home edge.
Calgary @ Winnipeg (Saturday, August 29)
It's a Week 4 rematch: way back when, Winnipeg lost a one-point heartbreaker to Calgary. If Winnipeg wants to contend for the division, they need to be on the right side of that coin flip this time.
Saskatchewan @ Ottawa (Sunday, August 30)
The 2015 Saskatchewan Roughrider calendar had August 30 marked as "Guaranteed Win Night". But with Ottawa 3-5 and the Riders winless, an erratum may need to be issued.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:01 AM on August 26
Reever did an excellent job with the sum-ups and previews, so let's move right on to the results for last week.
Not that I should have botheredit's the same ol' story. jags nails the Edmonton win and hits the Hamilton margin to score seven points and extend his lead to ELEVEN. Holy cow!
Good luck! With the picks you already made, that is.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:37 PM on August 20
Just getting a white-background comment out of the way so I can have green for my tables. This is a good life hack, kids.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:35 PM on August 20
Thanks to Reever for getting the post up while I was on vacation! I'll try to get the updated standings posted tonight.
B.C. by 10
Hamilton by 8
Saskatchewan by 7
Toronto by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:25 PM on August 20
Edmonton by 7
Winnipeg by 10
Hamilton by 8
Calgary by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:18 AM on August 11
The Lions stumble out of the gate, but find their footing in the second half, beating Edmonton and drowning the world in "Lions Roar Back" headlines. And speaking of comebacks, how about them Redblacks? Henry Burris gives them the edge as they take down visiting Montreal. In Toronto, a sloppy first half nearly does in the Argos, but a late surge gives them back the win. No such drama in Hamilton, where Winnipeg just plain sucked and they lose Drew Willy to injury.
jags scores a meagre four points this week, but argoal makes a last-minute change in his Ottawa game and the gamble doesn't pay off. It's a NINE-point lead for jags.
Down the board, tight games lead to lots of spreads nailed. A solid well-done to Reever for nailing both the Ottawa and Toronto wins.
At least Saskatchewan can't lose this week! Ha ha! Scheduling jokes are always hilarious.
Edmonton @ Montreal (Thursday, August 13)
The Esks took it on the chin last week, but they've still got the best defence in the league by far. That's going to make life tough for the young offensive side in Montreal.
Toronto @ Winnipeg (Friday, August 14)
Toronto hits the road again, but may be visiting Winnipeg at just the right time. The mosquitos are dying out, the snow won't arrive for a week or so, and Drew Willy may be hurt. Watch the ticker for updates.
B.C. @ Hamilton (Saturday, August 15)
Speaking of timing, the Lions may not have it. They've won only close games: all three of their wins were by three points. Hamilton, on the other hand, seems to have found their groove and has started piling up the points.
Ottawa @ Calgary (Sunday, August 15)
Who would've guess? Both these teams are 4-2 and with very similar points scored/against. But how much magic can be left in Henry Burris's fingers? (Don't answer that.)
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:52 AM on August 11
Toronto by 12
Hamilton by 8
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:46 PM on August 07
Winnipeg gets off to a slow start, but gears up in the second half to put the Lions away. The Great Saskatchewan Third-String Experiment registers a dismal failure as Edmonton runs roughshod over the Riders. Calgary falls behind early, but pulls off the comeback against Montreal, while Toronto's comeback bid falls juuuust a bit short in the Hammer.
jags fails to register a point in the B.C.-Winnipeg game, bringing his consecutive-games point streak to a close — but he nails the Calgary game to grab five points and extend his already-big lead. Hoo boy!
Also! Four players nailed the Calgary win, which may very well be some sort of record, in case anyone case to go back 11 years to confirm. (What this Pick 'Em needs is an intern.)
Simcoe Day is once again upon us, meaning it's time for the traditional holiday weekend activities, such as playing football on Mondays, sitting in cottage country traffic, and hoping your A/C holds out.
Edmonton @ B.C. (Thursday, August 6)
The Lions have lost a coupla tough games in a row, and this week doesn't get any easier for them: the 4-1 Eskimoes come to town, bringing their league-best defence and four-game winning streak with them. But B.C. Place has historically been unkind to visitors: maybe the Lions cover the spread.
Montreal @ Ottawa (Friday, August 7)
Pythagoras suggests that Montreal isn't fully deserving of their 2-3 fourth-place position, nor is Ottawa solidly situated in second place. The Redlacks have shown some spunk this year, but they've still given up too many points, and I think that may start to haunt them soon.
Saskatchewan @ Toronto (Saturday, August 8)
The Argos finally return home, with a not-at-all-bad-we'll-take-it 3-2 record on their long, strange voyage through western Canada. And what better way to celebrate the homecoming than hosting the hapless, flailing Roughriders?
Winnipeg @ Hamilton (Sunday, August 9)
Remember back when Winnipeg was in the East Division, and this was a bitter rivalry? Those were the days. Also, if you're flying to Winnipeg from the GTA, you get better prices if you fly from Hamilton. As for this game, I got nothing.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:13 PM on August 04
Don't worry rcade, this week is just a scheduled bye and not a team contraction — this time.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:23 AM on July 30
I'm following jags' picks until proven otherwise.
B.C. by 9
Edmonton by 8
Calgary by 11
Hamilton by 7 (Collaros heartbreaker go-ahead TD)
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:37 AM on July 29
It's "win now" (being this year or next)
I think the "or next" part of that is key. The Jays had a limited window for their excellent offense, and not enough pitching. Regular folks like you and me figured that they needed to add pitching before their offensive window ran out. But AA looked at the high-end pitching market and decided that it was easier to extend the window for the offense.
So now they still need pitching, but the increase in offense means they can be more reasonable in acquiring pitching. And they've made themselves more competitive in 2016-17, while punting their aging-shortstop problem down the road.
So basically they don't have to sell the farm and go for broke in 2015. I think it's a smart deal.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:54 PM on July 28
Thanks rcade! The sacrifice is appreciated.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:49 AM on July 28
Jays acquire Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins, in exchange for Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco.
Dave Cameron approves.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:20 AM on July 28
Not to be a stickler but my point total should be 23 now (not 17). I may need those points in a couple of weeks/lol.
Another copy/paste error! Sorry about that. Your total is correct in my spreadsheet, it just didn't make it into the table. Although it did make it into the weekly summary so hopefully that's worth something.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:15 AM on July 28
A sophomore stunner in Ottawa as the Redblacks top the visiting Stampeders in overtime. Toronto spots B.C. a 21-point lead before coming all the way back to win in the last minute. In Edmonton, Winnipeg gets a first-quarter field goal, and then apparently they just got on the bus and went home. Saskatchewan puts up a fight at home, but comes apart in the fourth quarter to open the season 0-5.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: it's another six-point week for jags, which gives him a very comfortable lead indeed. In fact, since going pointless in the first game of the season, he's earned a point in every single game since. That could very well be a CFL Pick 'Em record! Feel free to take several dozen hours to go back ten years and verify that.
B.C. @ Winnipeg (Thursday, July 30)
Here's a coupla teams in some disarray. B.C. had a win in the bag before letting it all slip away, while Winnipeg got flat-out embarrassed, so they've both slid down the standings. The winner this week gets a head start on the climb back up.
Saskatchewan @ Edmonton (Friday, July 31)
Both these teams lost their starting QBs to injury in Week One. Now Edmonton's in first place, and Saskatchewan's still looking for their first win. It's all about depth. Take the streak until proven otherwise.
Montreal @ Calgary (Saturday, August 1)
Speaking of depth, do you believe in Rakeem Cato? He's been piling up the yards, while the much-vaunted Bo Levi Mitchell threw but one touchdown in last week's Calgary loss. The Stamps are still the better team, but this one may be closer than Vegas wants it to be.
Toronto @ Hamilton (Monday, August 3)
It's a Pan Am reunion tour: Hamilton finally relinquishes control of its spruced-up home, while Toronto is forced to be vagabonds for one more week. But at 3-1 and with one of the best offences in the league, the Argos will take it.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:51 PM on July 27
Just going to leave this here.
.@JoeyBats19 on Dominican kids choosing btwn bball & school is way more informative than anything Cowherd has to say http://t.co/PpWg7geaa6 Kavitha A. Davidson (@kavithadavidson) July 24, 2015
.@JoeyBats19 on Dominican kids choosing btwn bball & school is way more informative than anything Cowherd has to say http://t.co/PpWg7geaa6
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:40 AM on July 27
Calgary by 21
B.C. by 7
Winnipeg by 4
Hamilton by 2
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:00 PM on July 23
Sorry about that, rumple! That was a copy/paste error. You scored 6 points - the total of 13 is correct.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:00 PM on July 22
Hamilton comes up short in a defensive battle in Montreal, while Edmonton puts together a big fourth quarter to take down Ottawa at home. Things are a little closer out west: B.C. holds off a late 'Rider comeback, while Calgary completes the comeback with a one-point victory against Winnipeg.
jags' streak of picking winners come to a close, but he still gets points in every game to rack up a healthy six enough to pull away from the pack and pad a three-point lead.
With one-fifth of the season behind us, we finally have enough data to start constructing accurate narratives. Of course, I'll probably still make up most of this.
Calgary @ Ottawa (Friday, July 24)
Two teams headed in opposite directions: Calgary's won two in a row and looks comfortable atop the West, while Ottawa's lost two straight and is having a tough time looking cohesive. Big money is on Calgary, but those in search of excitement may want to take the underdog.
Toronto @ BC (Friday, July 24)
This one's a bit more even: two 2-1 teams who have maybe given up a few more points than they'd like, but have good results to show for it. Vancouver is a tough place for visiting teams, but if Toronto has good luck out west, it won't be the first time.
Winnipeg @ Edmonton (Saturday, July 25)
After a rough start, Edmonton has started to find its footing, while Winnipeg is probably lucky to be 2-2 that's not a great setup for anyone heading into Commonwealth Stadium. Edmonton gets the edge here until proven otherwise.
Hamilton @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, July 26)
Remember a couple years back, when Saskatchewan started the season 5-0? They're one good Zach Collaros start away from starting this year 0-5. Ouch.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:08 PM on July 21
We'll miss you, Howard_T, but sounds like a great cause. Have an excellent time!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:47 PM on July 21
Hamilton by 8
Edmonton by 12
Saskatchewan by 4
Calgary by 10
posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:20 PM on July 15
Life is tougher for the East this week. Ottawa's dream of an undefeated season comes to an abrupt halt in Edmonton.
Winnipeg hangs on to scratch out a win against Montreal. B.C. needs a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Riders,
and Calgary holds off an Argo comeback to win at home.
jags and tahoe grab four points each to stay in first - but they have company! argoal nails his second spread in as many weeks to join the first-place tie.
Nothing like a couple of early-season home-and-homes to really get the grudges rolling.
Hamilton @ Montreal (Thursday, July 16)
The Ti-Cats, fresh off a bye, roll into Montreal, fresh off hoping that Rakeem Cato can do the job. After a sparkling 3-TD debut, Cato was held off the board last week, but kept his team in the game with 317 yards thrown. Montreal hopes he can keep that up, because there's noone else to play.
Edmonton @ Ottawa (Friday, July 17)
There's no sugar-coating it: Ottawa was flat-out embarrassed in Edmonton last week. But most of the damage was done early in the game - the second half was almost respectable. Ottawa hopes to build off that heading into the second half of the home-and-home.
B.C. @ Saskatchewan (Friday, July 17)
Here's the definition of tough luck: Saskatchewan is 0-3, but only -9 in season points differential. With the home winds on their side this week, they're looking for some lucky breaks to start going their way.
Winnipeg @ Calgary (Saturday, July 18)
Here's an early battle of division leaders, and nearly the only two teams who still have their preferred starting quarterbacks. Calgary's been the legacy favourite for a while now, but this could be a statement game for Winnipeg as they try to finish off their rebuild.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:20 AM on July 15
Enjoyed this. Thanks!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:49 PM on July 10
Edmonton by 9
Winnipeg by 5
B.C. by 10
Calgary by 9
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:51 AM on July 09
How about that East Division? Hamilton spanks Winnipeg, Montreal easily handles Calgary, Ottawa makes it look easy against B.C., and Toronto bends-but-doesn't-break its way to a double OT win in Saskatchewan.
jags and tahoe both get points in every game, jumping into a tie for first.
Some short but sweet streaks will get stress-tested in Week 3. Say that three times fast!
Ottawa @ Edmonton (Thursday, July 9)
Everyone who thought Ottawa would be 2-0 to start the season, raise your hands. Now everybody who thinks Edmonton can contend without a healthy Mike Reilly at QB, raise your hands. Something's gotta give here.
Montreal @ Winnipeg (Friday, July 10)
The story with these 1-1 teams is their two young quarterbacks with rising star power: Drew Willy for Winnipeg and Jonathan Crompton Dan LeFevour Rakeem Cato? Who the heck is Rakeem Cato? And he threw three touchdowns against Calgary last week? I got nothing.
Saskatchewan @ B.C. (Friday, July 10)
Who thought this would be an early battle of the basement? It's early, but both teams need their D to step up in order to notch the first W.
Toronto @ Calgary (Monday, July 13)
Toronto continues their Magical Mystery Pam Am Games Road Trip with a stop in Calgary, who just got flat-out embarrassed last week. But the big question is: do you believe in Trevor Harris?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:40 PM on July 07
Winnipeg by 5
Calgary by 9
B.C. by 21
Toronto by 8
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:52 PM on July 01
Holy upsets, Batman! Montreal suffers two QB injuries in-game, and Ottawa takes advantage with the comeback win. Calgary needs a time-expiring field goal to come from behind to send Hamilton packing. Edmonton can't get it done in their backyard, losing both the game and QB Mike Reilly as Toronto prevails. And Winnipeg walzes into Regina and wins! (Oh, and Saskatchewan loses star QB Darian Durant for the year. That's bad, right?)
Three upsets make points tough to come by, but bender's lucky coin leads the way with four points.
Week Two: everyone moves one spot to their left, except for Edmonton which heads home to lick its wounds.
Hamilton @ Winnipeg (Thursday, July 2)
After three years with no playoff appearances, Winnipeg may just be on the verge of contending again, but they'll have to string together a couple in a row before we believe it. Coming off a tough last-minute loss, Hamilton is hoping that the rebuild in the 'Peg isn't quite finished yet.
Calgary @ Montreal (Friday, July 3)
Here are two 0-1 teams which everyone expected to be 1-0. Calgary's the stronger team, but Montreal's no slouch, and they should have QB Jonathan Crompton back after suffering a shoulder bruise last week, which should at least make things interesting.
B.C. @ Ottawa (Saturday, July 4)
The last time Travis Lulay visited Ottawa, he shredded his shoulder and ended his season. I'm no expert, but he's probably hoping for a slightly better outcome now. On the other sideline, do you believe in the Redblacks' sophomore streak?
Toronto @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, July 5)
Toronto hopes that the Trevor Harris Magic continues for another week. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan looks to rebound after a nasty loss last week - with 834-year-old Kevin Glenn taking the snaps.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:53 PM on June 29
Montreal by 14
Calgary by 21
Edmonton by 12
Saskatchewan by 3
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:56 PM on June 23
THE PICK 'EM - What we do
Kings and queens, prime ministers, Arctic ice; all these things come and go with the ages. But Canadian football is forever. Well, except in Ottawa, where it's a bit intermittent. And in the States... well, let's not dwell too much on that. In any case, we honour this eternal tradition in two ways: one, making sure we put back the "u" in "honour" when autocorrect takes it away, and two, picking the outcome of every game on the CFL schedule.
THE SEASON - When we do it
The season kicks off this Thursday night and runs for 20 weeks through the summer. There are generally four games per week, mostly running from Thursday to Sunday.
If you're in Canada, you'll find the games on TSN. If you're in the States, the occasional game is available on the NFL Network, and in the past all games appeared on ESPN3, but they don't seem to have released a confirmed broadcast sked yet. And if you're somewhere else, you'll have to resort to SiriusXM on the satellite radio dial (which is a two-way switch with one of the options crossed out).
THE RULES - How we do it
Here's how she works. You pick who you think will win, and by how much. You then get points based on the result:
What's the Margin of Error?
It's a window around the spread that's defined as
spread - round(0.3 * spread) <= Margin of Error <= spread + round(0.3 * spread)
spread - round(0.3 * spread) <= Margin of Error <= spread + round(0.3 * spread)
So you can get rewarded for being close to the spread even if you're not spot-on. The bigger the spread, the bigger the margin of error, so you don't have to be as accurate when predicting a blowout as you would when predicting a close game. Here are some examples:
So if you picked Toronto by 15, here's how you'd fare given certain outcomes:
THE GAMES, WEEK ONE - Where we start
In lieu of attempting to sum up each team's status in a single sentence, for this opening week I'm just linking to season preview pages for each of 'em.
All times are EDT.
Ottawa Redblacks (Preview) @ Montreal Alouettes (Preview) - Thursday, June 25, 7:30pm
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Preview) @ Calgary Stampeders (Preview) - Friday, June 26, 9:00pm
Edmonton Eskimos (Preview) "@" Toronto Argonauts (Preview) - Saturday, June 27, 5:00pm - NOTE: GAME NOT ACTUALLY IN TORONTO BUT IN NORTHERN ALBERTA I KNOW WTF
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Preview) @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (Preview) - Saturday, June 27, 8:00pm
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:41 PM on June 22
The CFL made a similar rule change earlier this year, pushing back points-after by 20 yards. But what's interesting (and to grum's point) is that they've pushed UP two-point conversions by two yards. The goal was to reduce the single-point success rate and encourage more two-point conversions.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:54 PM on May 19
Fun! Thanks for the link.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:32 PM on March 22
This is great.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:08 AM on March 04
Dave Cameron did a pretty good job of summarizing the entire Internet's reaction to this: shifts aren't to blame for the drop in offence.
The primary culprit is the strike zone's out-of-control growth.
It's incredibly frustrating that new rules are being spitballed, when all the solutions to the game's problems already exist in the rulebook. Call the zone correctly, enforce the 12-second pitch rule without any stupid clocks, and you're golden.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:42 PM on January 27
Calgary jumps out to a big early lead, but Hamilton throws up a late first-half TD to make things interesting. Calgary then busts out the Rich Stubler bend-but-don't-break defence, stifling Hamilton in the red zone as they kick 3 field goals to make it close. With the fourth-quarter clock at 1:12 and ticking down, Calgary punts to Brandon Banks, who runs a spectacular 90 yards for the go-ahead touchdown—which is heartbreakingly called back on an illegal block. Calgary makes the most of it and hangs on for the Grey Cup win.
Points were tough to come by, but ic23b capitalizes on his early lead, and only needs two points to take the crown, no tiebreaker needed. Congratulations!
And in the other corner, with back-to-back Costanzas to his name, it's bender! Well (?) done.
Thanks again to each and every one of you for playing along. See y'all in June!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:27 PM on December 03
Calgary by 18
posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:36 PM on November 28
Also! Want to watch the game? Here's how.
In short: TSN in Canada, ESPN2 in the States, streaming on TSN GO.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:43 PM on November 27
Big second quarters from the home teams put both games out of reach early. Hamilton rides its special teams to a convincing win over Montreal, and Calgary rides the arm of Bo Levi Mitchell, who throws for 4 TDs to send the Esks packing.
In bonus action, the aforementioned Bo Levi edges Jonathan Crompton for the yardage crown, while Edmonton's three sacks carry the day (if not the win).
The on-field games may have been blowouts, but here in the Pick 'Em we're all about keeping it close. A tie for first, and a three-way tie for third. Nothing's been settled yet!
And here we go!
THE 102nd GREY CUP
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-9) @ Calgary Stampeders (15-3) (Sunday, November 30)
I could talk about a lot of things in previewing this game. I could talk about Calgary's deep offence or Hamilton's tough defence. I could talk about Calgary's sterling record in a tough division despite suffering through serious injuries, or Hamilton battling back from a tough start to just barely make the playoffs. But for me, this game comes down to one thing: two great young quarterbacks, Bo Levi Mitchell and Zach Collaros, getting a chance to ply their trade indoors, in the biggest game of the year.
CFL.ca Grey Cup Preview »
Pick the MVP of the Grey Cup.
The points-scored O/U for the Grey Cup is currently set at 52.5. Will the total points scored be over or under that total?
Pick the total yardage thrown by all quarterbacks in the Grey Cup. This is worth no points and will be used only in case of a tie.
Example pick: Hamilton by 21, Cornish, Under, 500.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:41 PM on November 27
Hamilton by 10 and hoping I'm wrong
Calgary by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:31 AM on November 23
So much for Western dominance: Montreal piles on the points to send B.C. packing. Things are a bit tighter in Edmonton, but despite not scoring an offensive touchdown, the Esks find an early lead and never look back.
Special teams wins the day in Edmonton, as 12 of the Eskimos' 18 points come off the boot of Hugh O'Neill. And despite Saskatchewan's attempts to keep scoring low, Montreal's blowout ensure that we hit the over - although only by 5 points!
Some familiar faces in familiar positions here: argoal, cixelsyd... bender.
It's all going according to form as we move on to the:
Montreal Alouettes (9-9) @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-9) (Sunday, November 23)
Here's an even match-up if ever there was one. With the season series tied, and Hamilton breaking the tie on point differential, these two teams have been neck and neck for the past three months. It'll come down to Hamilton's energetic young QB Zach Collaros against Montreal's strong defence. But Hamilton's defence is not so shoddy either, allowing only one point more than Montreal's this season. And on the other hand, Montreal just dropped seven touchdowns in their semi. So this would be a good opportunity to borrow bender's flipping coin.
CFL.ca Eastern Final Preview »
Edmonton Eskimos (12-6) @ Calgary Stampeders (15-3) (Sunday, November 23)
Just like they drew it up: the best offence in the league against the stingiest defence in the league. Calgary will bring QB Bo Levi Mitchell and RB Jon Cornish against the Eskimos' strong and healthy d-line. When healthy, Calgary's been the class of the West for the entire year, but we are in November now, and weather can have a huge impact on offense. Keep an eye on that forecast.
CFL.ca Western Final Preview »
Offence Wins Championships Bonus
Pick the quarterback who will throw for the highest yardage on Sunday.
2014 Passing Stats »
Defence Wins Championships Bonus
Pick the team whose defence will register the most sacks on Sunday.
Example pick: Montreal by 21, Edmonton by 14, Crompton, Calgary.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:11 PM on November 19
Montreal by 7
Edmonton by 7
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:01 AM on November 13
B.C. Lions (9-9) @ Montreal Alouettes (9-9) (Sunday, November 16)
All season long it's been a story of two divisions, so what better way to kick things off than a crossover? In what was supposed to be a lost year for the Lions, Kevin Glenn has done just enough in what could very well be his last kick at the can. Some key early wins in the West, combined with a bunch of points against the East have given them just enough to make the playoffs. But they're not exactly underdogs against this strange Montreal team, which was 1-7 at midseason, and has put together an incredibly unlikely string of victories at the hands of rookie CFLer Jonathan Crompton. So I have a feeling this one will come down to defence.
CFL.ca Eastern Semi-Final Preview »
Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-8) @ Edmonton Eskimos (12-6) (Sunday, November 16)
Two ambitious teams held back by injuries: Saskatchewan, your defending Grey Cup champions, were off to a hot start and looking to repeat, until they lost star QB Damien Durant at midseason and were forced to bring Kerry Joseph out of retirement. It's been a tough slog for them since, and they come into the playoffs having lost five of their last six games. Edmonton's rising star QB Mike Reilly has kept them in the picture all season long; with a few more breaks, they easily could've taken the division lead. But speaking of breaks, that same Reilly suffered a broken foot bone two weeks ago, and is highly questionable for this game.
CFL.ca Western Semi-Final Preview »
Swayze Waters River Salmon Bonus
Pick the kicker who will score the most points this weekend. That includes place-kick field goals, drop-kick field goals, PATs, singles, and fake field goals thrown for touchdowns.
2014 Kicking Stats »
Las Vegas Posse Memorial Bonus
The combined over/under on total points scored for both games is 90.5. Will the actual number of points scored this weekend be OVER or UNDER that total?
Example pick: Montreal by 21, Saskatchewan by 14, Whyte, Over.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:44 AM on November 13
Toronto digs deep and gets the win, but it's all for naught as Hamilton cruises to victory over Montreal, securing the division title for the Ti-Cats and eliminating the Argos. Out west, B.C. comes up short in a must-win against Calgary, relegating them to crossover status. And in one final bid to generate typos in the 2014 regular season, Saskatchewan wins.
Well, how 'bout this: argoal hangs onto first, but cixelsyd notches a solid five points to join him, and becomes the Pick 'Em's first repeat winner to boot! How appropriate that in this, the weirdest season of seasons, we conclude with a tie. Congratulations argoal and cixelsyd!
In Constanza land, bender opened the season with a perfect 0-for-12 and never looked back, spending a solid 13 weeks in last place. A well-earned Costanza for the hardest-working nickel in the land. Congratulations, bender!
Thanks to everyone for playing along, and for being a part of one of SportsFilter's most hallowed summer traditions. We here at CFL Pick 'Em Headquarters just couldn't do it without ya.
And of course, stay tuned for the playoff pick 'em!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:21 AM on November 11
Toronto by 8
B.C. by 12
Hamilton by 10
Saskatchewan by 18
posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:22 PM on November 06
Hamilton overcomes a slow start to beat Ottawa and keep their playoff hopes alive. Winnipeg digs deep for a big win against visiting Calgary. Edmonton accepts the challenge and hands B.C. a beatdown to clinch a home playoff date, while Toronto comes up short in Montreal, and find themselves on the outside looking in.
Heading into the final week, argoal maintains his lead. But! JPR is within one, and cixelsyd is within three. Can argoal hang on?
Final week! Everything is up for grabs. Except of course for the first two spots in the West.
Ottawa @ Toronto (Friday, November 7)
So here's the deal: Toronto needs to win. That, combined with a Hamilton loss, will get them into the playoffs. BUT Ricky Ray is out with a concussion, and the Argos have been anything but consistent. Can they pull it off?
Calgary @ B.C. (Saturday, November 7)
Calgary's got the division title wrapped up and could use some rest. B.C., meanwhile, needs a win to avoid crossing over to the East. Although perhaps that route would be preferable. What would Kevin Glenn do?
Montreal @ Hamilton (Saturday, November 8)
The equation is simple: win and you're in. Lose, and you're not in, unless it's Montreal who loses, in which case both of these teams make the playoffs anyway. BUT if Hamilton wins by more than seven, they claim the division title and a first-round bye. Okay, maybe it's not so simple.
Edmonton @ Saskatchewan (Saturday, November 8)
Saskatchewan's in the same boat as the Lions. Win and stay in the West, lose and cross over to the East. Edmonton, on the other hand, has locked up a home playoff date, and you can be sure they'll be resting their regulars.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:52 PM on November 05
Hamilton by 10
Calgary by 10
Edmonton by 5
Montreal... by .... 8
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:46 AM on October 30
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