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
Also, I wonder what happened in the parallel universe where Ned Yost doesn't bunt the runner over. Bumgarner was struggling with location against those first few batters, and giving up an out there seemed to make it easier for him to get out of the inning.
On edit, what rcade said.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:19 AM on October 30
dfleming is correct. The "most effective" rule only applies if the lead is gained during the starter's short outing as per 10.17(b), or if the technical relief pitcher or record is deemed ineffective:
10.17(c) The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.
Regardless - what a performance by Bumgarner. Something for the ages.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:16 AM on October 30
Ottawa makes some noise on an emotional night, but Montreal hangs on for the win. Kerry Joseph and Bo Levi Mitchell suit up for an old-fashioned shootout in which Calgary prevails. Toronto gives up an early lead, but comes back in the end to send Hamilton's fans home in tears. Winnipeg hangs tough, but a strong fourth quarter from the Lions catapaults B.C. into the playoffs.
JPR has a strong week but misses on the Toronto win, which could be costly: argoal hits the Toronto margin to pull ahead by two points.
Here's a count of teams that have clinched a playoff berth, by division. West: four, East: zero. Should be an interesting couple of weeks.
Hamilton @ Ottawa (Friday, October 31)
After a tough loss in Toronto, Hamilton needs to win both of their last two games in order to secure a playoff berth. Fortunately for them, playing Ottawa is a good way to start a winning streak.
Winnipeg @ Calgary (Saturday, November 1)
Winnipeg's lost eight in a row and is looking for answers for 2015. Calgary's cruising with the division wrapped up and a four-game win streak to boot. Maybe TiVo this one and fast-forward through it later.
B.C. @ Edmonton (Saturday, November 1)
This is interesting: if my math is right, B.C. is still in the mix for a home playoff game. But they need to win this game by at least seven points to keep that dream alive. It's young upstart Mike Reilly against wiley veteran Kevin Glenn. Should be fun!
Toronto @ Montreal (Sunday, November 2)
More jostling for position: a Toronto win would move them into a tie with Montreal for first place. But the vivid memories of an uninspired Argos loss at the hands of the Alouettes two weeks ago haven't faded, and a Montreal win this week would seal the division race in their favour.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:21 AM on October 29
Montreal by 10
Calgary by 8
Hamilton by 7
B.C. by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:15 AM on October 23
It was messy, but Hamilton wins ugly against Ottawa to stay in a tie for first. Also ugly: Toronto's offence, which can't find the end zone all night as they drop the game, and first place, to Montreal. Calgary survives a late scare to clinch the division with a win over Winnipeg, while Edmonton's sittin' pretty in second with a win over Saskatchewan.
It's tooth and nail for the top two: JPR nails the Hamilton game to threaten, but argoal hits three margins to keep pace and stay on top.
Some interesting playoff scenarios shaping up. If you're in the East, replace "interesting" with "horrifying" as a crossover looms.
Montreal @ Ottawa (Friday, October 24)
Nobody is more surprised than Montreal to find themselves tied for first, and with a short trip down the 417, they could take another step towards securing that first round bye. Ottawa's toast, of course, but beware the youth? Maybe?
Saskatchewan @ Calgary (Friday, October 24)
How the mighty have fallen. With Winnipeg's loss, Saskatchewan has clinched a playoff berth, but will an out-of-retirement Kerry Joseph carry them far in November? For that matter, can he even win a single game against a resting Calgary squad? I guess we'll find out this week.
Hamilton @ Toronto (Saturday, October 25)
Ouch: Toronto's fallen off the pace for the East division lead, and find themselves potential crossover victims. But Hamilton's the team they're chasing, and they shocked the Ti-Cats a couple weeks back. That said, Toronto's been lucky if not good, and if they want to stay alive they'll need to switch that up a bit.
B.C. @ Winnipeg (Saturday, October 25)
Winnipeg extends their losing streak to seven in a row. If they make it eight, B.C.'s got themselves a playoff berth.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:56 AM on October 22
Hamilton by 21
Toronto by 12
Calgary by 10
Edmonton by 9
posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:14 PM on October 16
In Toronto, the Argos barely show up for most of the game, heading into the 3-minute warning down 13 points. But Ricky Ray and Chad Owens connect for a massive comeback to shock the Ti-Cats and preserve Toronto's share of first place.
Elsewhere in Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton, the Redblacks, Roughriders, and Bombers had the exact same plan, but forgot about the comeback.
Mostly a push this week, but argoal and JPR differed on the Hamilton-Toronto game, leaving argoal alone in first place - but just barely.
Into the home stretch with something to play for: with four games remaining, nobody has been mathmatically eliminated yet, and it's all divisional play from this point on.
Ottawa @ Hamilton (Friday, October 17)
Wait, even Ottawa's not eliminated yet? It's true! Although they will be with a loss, or a Toronto win. But they're going up against a decent Hamilton team that's coming off a crushing loss and looking to get back in the saddle, so maybe this ain't the Redblacks' year.
Montreal @ Toronto (Saturday, October 18)
Battle for first! Montreal, Toronto, and Hamilton are in a three-way tie for first. But Toronto has an actual quarterback, while Montreal has... a lovely stadium and a decent ground game. Montreal's had a nice comeback run, but I don't think they have the fuel to sustain it.
Calgary @ Winnipeg (Saturday, October 18)
Oh, Winnipeg. Remember July? Yeah, me too. But you've lost six in a row now, and Calgary's coming to town. The Stamps can clinch the division with a win, while likely eliminating the Bombers from contention.
Edmonton @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, October 19)
Here's the money game of the week. It's pretty much down to these two to host the division semi-final, and guess what? They play each other twice before the season's out. The Riders have fallen on tough times in the post-Durant era, while Edmonton's clawed its way into second place. Edmonton's got the edge until Saskatchewan can find its offence again, but should be a fun one regardless.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:38 AM on October 16
Hamilton by 8
B.C. by 10
Saskatchewan by 7
Edmonton by 16
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:16 AM on October 09
More shocking East division dominance! Ottawa spanks Winnipeg, Toronto edges Edmonton, and Hamilton comes back against the Lions. Meanwhile out West, Calgary rides away with a win to clinch a playoff spot and extend their division lead to three games.
We're all over the place this week. But JPR and argoal are at least headed in the right direction: twin five-point weeks jump them into a tie for first.
Heading into Thanksgiving weekend, every single East Division team has a winning streak. Just like we all predicted back in August, right?
Hamilton @ Toronto (Friday, October 10)
It's the revenge of Zach Collaros: cut loose by the Argos, he's found a niche with Hamilton and is making things interesting. With Hamilton leading the division by a game, this is a key game for Toronto heading into the home stretch.
Ottawa @ B.C. (Saturday, October 11)
All of a sudden, Ottawa has a win, and B.C. has lost three in a row. What universe is this? Still: Vancouver is Vancouver and that turf is tough on visitors.
Saskatchewan @ Montreal (Monday, October 13)
I don't even know what to think anymore. Saskatchewan had a chance to grab the division but lost it when Durant went down. Meanwhile Montreal has strung together a couple of wins and is very much in the mix for a home playoff game. What do you think: is Jonathan Crompton the man to bring glory back to Montreal?
Winnipeg @ Edmonton (Monday, October 13)
Edmonton pretty much has to win out if they have any hope of unseating Calgary for the division. But if that's your plan, hosting a struggling Winnipeg team isn't a bad way to start.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:39 PM on October 08
Edmonton by 8
B.C. by 12
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:48 PM on October 04
Defence rules the day! Montreal hangs tough in Ottawa, while Edmonton bags an impressive shutout against Saskatchewan. Hamilton hangs on tight to beat Winnipeg, and Calgary's defence help 'em get their mojo back against the Lions.
The tie is broken! owlhouse notches four points to jump into sole posession of first place. And is that a four-way tie for second place I see?
Insert snappy week description here.
Winnipeg @ Ottawa (Friday, October 3)
Finally, we get a true battle of the basement! Expansion Ottawa has lost nine straight, but has looked better lately. Winnipeg started strong but have fallen flat, losing four straight. Who's worse?
Calgary @ Saskatchewan (Friday, October 3)
The two Western thoroughbreds, both without their startign QBs. Calgary's up by two wins with five weeks to play, but between now and season's end, they play Saskatchewan twice. They can all but clinch by winning this week, but that's no easy task in Regina.
Edmonton @ Toronto (Saturday, October 4)
Is there life in Toronto? A win in B.C., followed by a much-needed bye to rest the wounded, followed by an Edmonton team that's been inconsistent. But part of that inconsistency involved shutting out Saskatchewan last week, so Ricky Ray's gotta be on his guard.
B.C. @ Hamilton (Saturday, October 4)
Verrry interesting. You'd think that B.C. should get the edge, but the Lions are coming off a couple of tough losses, and a resurgent Hamilton's undefeated in their new digs. Hmmm.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:45 PM on October 01
Montreal by 7
Saskatchewan by 3
Winnipeg by 9
B.C. by 8
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:01 PM on September 26
Toronto surprises everyone with a rare win in Vancouver, while Hamilton comes from behind to beat the Esks. Montreal shocks the bookies with a big win over Calgary, and even Ottawa makes it close against Saskatchewan.
Tough week for points given the surprises on the scoreboard, but argoal puts together a nice four-point week to move into a tie for third.
Back to divisional play this week, so maybe the world will make a little more sense.
Montreal @ Ottawa (Friday, September 26)
Who would've thought this game could be intriguing? A resurgent Montreal could move into first with a win, and even Ottawa is looking competitive these days.
Saskatchewan @ Edmonton (Friday, September 26)
The West just got close again. Steady Edmonton can tie the Riders for second with a win, but Saskatchewan can tie for first if they can steal two points at Commonwealth.
Hamilton @ Winnipeg (Saturday, September 27)
Two teams going in opposite directions: Winnipeg has lost their early-season shine and three in a row to boot, while Hamilton's won two in a row to get to the top of the East. Is there enough time in the season for another change in fortune?
B.C. @ Calgary (Saturday, September 27)
Calgary looked like world beaters with Mitchell at the helm, but so far Drew Tate hasn't been able to keep that momentum in place. Are they vulnerable? The visiting Lions will be a good test.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:56 PM on September 25
Edmonton by 9
Calgary by 11
Saskatchewan by 21
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:24 PM on September 20
Montreal hangs in there, but Edmonton pulls away with a strong fourth quarter to seal the deal. Calgary goes down early but breaks all sorts of records in a huge comeback against the Argos. B.C. stifles the Bomber offence at home, while Saskatchewan just can't get anything done in Hamilton.
The tie at the top persists! Some movement in the ranks makes things interesting. We have eight players within six points of first.
All interdivisional games this week. Who dares to pick the underdog?
Toronto @ B.C. (Friday, September 19)
Life just doesn't get easier for the Argos. After a Calgary collapse, they move on to a battle in B.C. Place. The Lions have won two straight and have their eye on second place.
Edmonton @ Hamilton (Saturday, September 20)
This one could be interesting. Edmonton is the obvious favourite, but have revealed flaws in their game. Hamilton's the underdog, but are undefeated in their new stadium.
Calgary @ Montreal (Sunday, September 21)
Calgary's on a nice little roll but lost QB Bo Levi Mitchell to an ankle injury last week. Can Drew Tate carry on the momentum in Montreal?
Ottawa @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, September 21)
Just got humiliated in Hamilton? What salve could be better than hosting Ottawa?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:56 PM on September 16
Edmonton by 17
Calgary by 21
B.C. by 8
Saskatchewan by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 06:22 PM on September 12
In Ottawa, B.C. prevails in a sopping wet defensive battle. Edmonton makes a game of it but can't quite keep pace with Calgary's firepower. Montreal digs deep and pulls off the massive comeback against Hamilton, while Saskatchewan keeps on rolling in Winnipeg.
owlhouse notches five points to move back into a tie for first, while goddam's impressive eight-point week leapfrogs her into contention.
No guaranteed points this week as Ottawa takes the bye. But still a few East-West games for funsies!
Montreal @ Edmonton (Friday, September 12)
Opposite streaks: Edmonton finds themselves stuck in the middle after losing two straight to Calgary, while Montreal's won two in a row to tie for first. But the Esks still have a lot more pedigree this season than the upstart Alouettes.
Toronto @ Calgary (Saturday, September 13)
Two more streaks: Toronto's lost three and Calgary's won five. If you're ranking good places to break out of a streak, McMahon Stadium won't be high on that list. Especially in the snow.
Winnipeg @ B.C. (Saturday, September 13)
Poor Winnipeg: a thoroughly respectable season has landed them in the basement. But B.C. lives on the first floor, so if the Bombers want to move up, now's their chance.
Saskatchewan @ Hamilton (Sunday, September 14)
Well, Saskatchewan has won seven straight and shows few signs of slowing down. But hey, Hamilton has a shiny new stadium!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:25 PM on September 11
B.C. by 14
Edmonton by 3
Montreal by 7
Saskatchewan by 10
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:22 PM on September 04
Home teams prevail! Montreal gets it done against the Redblacks, and Saskatchewan does the same, edging the Bombers with a big fourth quarter. Hamilton hangs on for a win against the Argos, while Calgary makes it look easy against the Esks.
Howard_T breaks the tie and adds some padding with a solid four-point week.
A nine-team league means only two Labour Day home-and-homes this week, but they're both doozies.
B.C. @ Ottawa (Friday, September 5)
A well-rested B.C. team against a struggling Ottawa team that's lost six straight. I know who I'm picking.
Calgary @ Edmonton (Saturday, September 6)
Edmonton seriously fumbled their chance to take the division lead last week. It's early for must-win games, but another loss against Calgary would put the red-hot Stamps up four points in the division race.
Hamilton @ Montreal (Sunday, September 7)
Both these teams finally bagged their second win of the season last week. The team that's the first to three will pull into a tie for first. Yes, the East has been that bad this year.
Saskatchewan @ Winnipeg (Sunday, September 7)
Welcome to the horse race that is the West division. A seventh straight win for Saskatchewan could put them in a tie for first. A redemption win for Winnipeg could move them from a crossover spot to second place. Saskatchewan's been riding their defence all season, but this will be their first trip to the new turf in the 'Peg.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:30 AM on September 04
owlhouse, the only connection I managed to make was the Toronto-Hamilton one. Is the Sydney Harbour Bridge standing in for the Burlington Skyway?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:36 PM on September 01
Ottawa by 7
Saskatchewan by 2
Toronto by 12
Calgary by 5
posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:52 PM on August 26
Montreal puts up a good fight, but suffers a fourth-quarter fade in Winnipeg, and Toronto suffers much the same fate in Edmonton. Calgary rides roughshod over the former Rough Riders. And in the most competitive (and only intra-divisional) game, Saskatchewan just edges B.C. in Vancouver to get the upper hand in their division race.
Out to prove that word count matters, Howard_T and owlhouse both have big weeks to jump into a tie for first. Howard_T nails two spreads for a monster eight points, while owlhouse hits three margins for six. Reever also nails the Winnipeg spread to climb into contention.
Yessir, it's the formal halfway point of the season: the Labour Day Classic! Black tie only please.
Ottawa @ Montreal (Friday, August 29)
Yikeswhich team is in worse shape? Ottawa's lost five in a row, Montreal six. Good thing they're getting this game over with first.
Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, August 31)
Speaking of five in a row, that's how many Saskatchewan's won. And yet they're still tied for third with Winnipeg. The loser of this game will find themselves four points, and three teams, back of first.
Toronto @ Hamilton (Monday, September 1)
Hamilton finally gets their new stadium, AND a game against a divisional opponent! Unfortunately for them, it's Toronto coming to town.
Edmonton @ Calgary (Monday, September 1)
The marquee game of the week. Both teams are 7-1, tied for first, and on a three-game winning streak. Winner takes all! ...until they play again next week, of course.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:23 PM on August 25
Winnipeg by 10
Edmonton by 3
Calgary by 17
Saskatchewan by 7
posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:50 PM on August 22
Do you like fumbles? Then you would've loved the 10-8 turnover fest in Ottawa. Do you like big receptions and touchdowns? Then Calgary's 30-20 win over Hamilton might be more your speed. Take the average of the two and you get Saskatchewan's 16-11 win over Montreal. Double it and you see Toronto going 1-1 on the week, winning against Winnipeg but coming up short against the Lions.
More movement in the ranks this week, as JPR hangs onto the top spot but just barely. More is almost certain to come, with nine other players within 6 points of first.
Back to a normal four games this week, so you'll need to find something else to do with your Tuesday night.
Montreal @ Winnipeg (Friday, August 22)
If Montreal is going to win their second game, a suddenly struggling Winnipeg team is a good place to start. But that's a big ifmaybe Montreal is the Bombers' stepping stone back into contention.
Toronto @ Edmonton (Saturday, August 23)
Edmonton has been hot, and it's tough to bet against a West team right now. But there have been signs of Edmonton overperforming, and Toronto had flashes of excellence in its games last week.
Calgary @ Ottawa (Sunday, August 24)
A third game in a row against the likes of Hamilton and Ottawa means that Calgary is probably going to pad its division lead. Although maybe a second look against the same team so soon will yield unexpected results? But probably not.
Saskatchewan @ B.C. (Sunday, August 24)
Here's an intriguing early battle for playoff positioning. Both these teams are tied for last place AND just one win out of first. B.C. has won three straight and the 'Riders four, so it's a collision of momentum this Sunday.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:23 AM on August 20
> No pun in ten did.
I enjoyed that.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:23 AM on August 17
Adam "Twenty-Five True Outcomes" Dunn. Love it.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:54 AM on August 14
Toronto by 9
Edmonton by 12
Calgary by 5
Saskatchewan by 21
B.C. by 8... although I might change this pick on Wednesday.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:40 PM on August 10
Saskatchewan rides a big fourth quarter to a big win in Winnipeg. Edmonton grabs a big first-half lead in Montreal and doesn't look back. Hamilton makes a game of it, but B.C. hangs on for the win at home, while Calgary pours cold water all over Henry Burris's return.
Finally! Points points points! No fewer than FIVE games nailed this week, with each of us averaging over five points. So this was definitely the wrong week to forget to make your picks... oops.
Anyway, it's getting crowded at the top now. Big weeks from JPR and owlhouse leapfrog them over Howard_T into first place, and eight other players are within five points of first.
Ah yes, the quirk of a nine-team league: we have a FIVE-GAME WEEK this week. That's right, the Argos play twice.
Winnipeg @ Toronto (Tuesday, August 12)
Some of the shine might be coming off Winnipeg after their hot start. Pythagorus suggests that they've overperformed, and Toronto has underperformed. But until that translates into wins and losses on the field, Winnipeg is still the stronger team.
Edmonton @ Ottawa (Friday, August 15)
Ottawa continues to muddle through the toughest part of their schedule this year, facing yet another first-place West division foe. Ouch.
Calgary @ Hamilton (Saturday, August 16)
Speaking of ouch, more stadium renovation delays mean that Hamilton is relegated to Guelph until September. First-place Calgary probably doesn't mind, though.
Montreal @ Saskatchewan (Saturday, August 16)
Tough times in Montreal, as transitioning out of the Anthony Calvillo era has been harder than anyone expected. And things don't get easier when you're visiting Saskatchewan. Flatter, maybe. But not easier.
B.C. @ Toronto (Sunday, August 17)
Despite the differences in won-loss records, these two teams appear to match up pretty evenly. B.C.'s got the travel fatigue but Toronto has the doubleheader fatigue. Coin flip, or does B.C. grab an easy victory from a tired Toronto team?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:40 AM on August 10
Calgary by 14
posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:36 PM on August 09
Feast and famine this week: Winnipeg and B.C. both notch single-point victories, with more late-game Willy heroics for Winnipeg and Kevin Glenn gettin' 'er done for the Lions. Meanwhile over in the Ottawa River Watershed, blowout losses for the home faithful as Saskatchewan runs up the score in Ottawa, and Toronto keeps the Als down in Montreal.
Actually all the road teams won this week. Crazy!
Another tough week for points. This year, as a group, we're averaging a full five points fewer than last year. And that doesn't adjust for the two-game bye week last year!
Some heavy cross-division play this week, which, given the divisional imbalance so far, can only end in tears.
Saskatchewan @ Winnipeg (Thursday, August 7)
Schedulers, rejoice! The two hottest teams in the league meet up this week. Saskatchewan is aiming to jump ahead in the standings, while Winnipeg looks to protect its division lead and prove that the early season success was no fluke.
Edmonton @ Montreal (Friday, August 8)
Things don't get much easier for Montreal. After putting up a measly five points last week, they now have the host the second-stingiest team in the league. Edmonton's D has given up an average of only 14 points per game, and they'll be well rested coming off their bye.
Hamilton @ B.C. (Friday, August 8)
Hamilton's not nearly as bad as their 1-4 records makes them look, and B.C.'s been anything but consistent. But have I mentioned how tough a stadium B.C. Place is for visitors?
Ottawa @ Calgary (Saturday, August 9)
Henry Burris returns to the scene of the crime: he spent 60% of the SpoFi Pick 'Em as the star QB for the Stamps. But his fledgling Redblacks will need all of that mojo, and more, to make it happen in Calgary.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:04 AM on August 04
Winnipeg by 10
Montreal by 8
Calgary by 2
Saskatchewan by 21
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:46 AM on July 31
Calgary rides into Edmonton, grabs an early lead, and ends up on top in a wild one. Winnipeg shocks the Lions faithful with an impressive defensive performance. Ottawa finds that it's tough to win in Guelph as the Ti-Cats take care of business, while Toronto reaffirms that it's near impossible to win in Regina.
Tough week for points with upsets in Edmonton and B.C., but JPR scrapes out four points to move into a tie for first.
Strange season so far. One undefeated team remains in the west, while every team in the east has just a single win. Who knew that Winnipeg was propping up the east for so long?
Winnipeg @ Hamilton (Thursday, July 31)
Hamilton finally notches their first win, only to have powerhouse Winnipeg arrive on their doorstep. Hamilton is the underdog at home, but the east has to win sometime against the west, doesn't it?
Toronto @ Montreal (Friday, August 1)
This legendary matchup of old is a bit creaky this year, with both teams off to tough starts. The good news here is that at least one team will notch their second win. Unless, of course, they tie.
B.C. @ Calgary (Friday, August 1)
The Lions have shown more spark this year than their 2-3 record indicates, but Calgary's earned every bit of their 4-0 record. Going to be tough for B.C. to beat the streak on the road.
Saskatchewan @ Ottawa (Saturday, August 2)
After two disappointing losses, the 'Riders roared out of their bye with a statement win last week. But they have yet to put two good games together, so a visit to Ottawa (where the Redblacks are historically undefeated) will be a good test.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:44 AM on July 30
No worries ic23b, I just take the last valid one posted!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:01 AM on July 30
Edmonton by 8
B.C. by 7
Hamilton by 3
Saskatchewan by 12
posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:30 PM on July 23
In the battle of undefeateds, Edmonton comes away with a convincing victory. Plenty of sacks and drama in Ottawa's thrilling come-from-behind victory in their home opener. Defence also rules the day in Calgary, as the Stamps squeak by Hamilton, but defence was a bit more one-sided in B.C. as the Lions run the Als out of town.
Howard_T picks the Ottawa win to claim sole possession of first place, and hey! bender scored some points.
It's early, but some key matchups this week could determine momentum as we hit the quarter-pole of the season.
Calgary @ Edmonton (Thursday, July 24)
Edmonton faces another undefeated team for the second week in a row. A Calgary win would topple Edmonton from first place. It's early, but these are the two best teams so far.
Winnipeg @ B.C. (Friday, July 25)
Battle for third place! B.C.'s on a roll while Winnipeg stumbled last weekwas it an aberration for the Bombers, or a trend?
Ottawa @ Hamilton (Saturday, July 26)
Ottawa's first win is in the books and they're looking to make it two. Hamilton's fresh off a bye, but still looking for their first win, and still stuck in Guelph to boot.
Toronto @ Saskatchewan (Saturday, July 26)
After a tough loss in Ottawa last week, Toronto's looking to rediscover some of the magic they found last time they played Saskatchewan. But the Argos' injuries are mounting, and Regina is not kind to visitors.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:44 PM on July 20
There's a lot of noise around what's appropriate given the score and situation and unwritten rules and stuff like that (much of which is legit — a two-run lead? come on!)
But I think it comes down to this: a defensive shift is an extra effort to get you out, so you're absolutely within your rights to make an extra effort to get on base.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:02 AM on July 20
Winnipeg by 5
Toronto by 9
Calgary by 12
B.C. by 3
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:55 AM on July 16
The fun continues! Winnipeg notches a third-down last-minute TD to shock Montreal. Edmonton finds their offence just in time to beat Ottawa. Toronto doesn't find any offence at all as they're soundly beaten by the Stamps, and B.C. holds the Riders scoreless for three quarters to let down the Regina faithful.
All jammed up. A tie at the top, and seven other players within 3 points of first. Sounds like the east division.
And in exciting numismatics news, bender's coin's streak is now at 0-for-12!
Hamilton's bye week couldn't come at a better time. They'll rest Zach Collaros while the rest of the league vies for early position.
Edmonton @ Winnipeg (Thursday, July 17)
Who would've picked these teams to both open the season 3-0? Unlike bender's coin streak, one of those records will be blemished this week. Unless anyone's got the guts to pick the tie.
Toronto @ Ottawa (Friday, July 18)
Toronto's been cold-hot-cold so far, so a trip to the expansion Redblacks might be just what they need. But does that underestimate the intangibles of a franchise's first home opener?
Hamilton @ Calgary (Saturday, July 18)
Things are not happy in Tigertown. Stadium delays, an injured starting QB, and now a trip to face the undefeated Stampeders.
Montreal @ B.C. (Saturday, July 19)
B.C. looked rough when visiting Montreal two weeks ago, but maybe that was just due to too much Schwartz's. Both these teams are better than their records, but B.C. Place is notiriously tough on visitors.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:51 AM on July 14
Winnipeg by 3
Edmonton by 14
Calgary by 8
Saskatchewan by 2
posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:37 AM on July 11
The expansion Redblacks make a go of it in their first game, but a big fourth quarter puts Winnipeg back in the driver's seat. Montreal gets their act together at home, beating the visiting Lions. In a wild and sloppy back-and-forth game, Hamilton loses both the game and their starting QB, and holy cow! Toronto lays a big ol' beating on the visiting Riders.
rcade nets a tidy five-point week to move into first, while Howard_T nails the Winnipeg game to jump into contention.
Also worthy of note is bender: his flipping coin has gone a solid 0-for-8 so far this year. How long can the streak continue?
Winnipeg @ Montreal (Friday, July 11)
Winnipeg takes their surprising 2-0 record on the road, visiting a Montreal team that isn't quite sure what to make of itself yet.
Ottawa @ Edmonton (Friday, July 11)
Out west, Edmonton's 2-0 record has been a little harder earned as they regress positively in 2014. The expansion Redblacks are in for a tough one.
Calgary @ Toronto (Saturday, July 12)
Bo Levi takes his game to the big city! Last year's division winners, both eliminated in the division finals, look to restablish themselves early in 2014. Call this a coin flip.
B.C. @ Saskatchewan (Saturday, July 12)
An intriguing divisional matchup: Saskatchewan tries to figure out what went wrong last week, while B.C. tries to figure out if Kevin Glenn has an expiry date. Give the Riders the edge at home.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:21 AM on July 09
And yes, YYM, there are nine teams again. That means that one team gets a bye each week, so no more mid-season half-weeks.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:59 AM on July 03
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