NOT THE CFL NISSAN TITAN POWER RANKINGS: 2017 WEEK 14

I’ve always said that no CFL East Division semi-pro team should be ranked higher than any team from the West Division unless that team actually beats a West Division team.  Who knew it would be the Toronto Argonauts beating, of all teams, the Edmonton Eskimos.  Granted, they needed to concuss Eskimo quarterback Mike Reilly to pull it off, but a win is a win is a win.

Any time Eskimo Head Coach Jason Maas pops a bolt and goes nuts on the sidelines, he reminds me of one of those hillbillies from Deliverance.  Relax man.  Your team is probably going to make the playoffs.  Praw-bably.

Mr. Maas should take a page from the immortal Wally Buono.  No matter what is going on in any game, good or bad, he just stares off into space like he’s trying to remember what he did with his car keys.  Maybe he’ll clap his hands to snap himself out of his daydream, but then it’s back to sleepy-time.  And I’ve seen that his pre-game speeches are real barn burners.  That’s how you get into the Hall of Fame.

Okay… so the “Staff” over at cfl.ca tell us that the Argos are sailing up the Nissan Titan Power Rankings.  Good one.    Last week the Tiger-Cats were clawing up the Power Rankings. These CFL puns practically write themselves. Awesome.  This week Hamilton is clogging up the Power Rankings and, at some point this season, the Argos will be taking on water or sinking.

  1. CALGARY STAMPEDERS

The only interesting question is how will the Stampeders miss winning the Grey Cup this year, ‘cause they ain’t gonna win it.  Things are going too smoothly.

I would have said the Roughriders might have had a chance to beat the Stampeders this week, but with half of the Roughriders’ starting lineup either dead or in a medically induced coma, I’m not sure.

Having said this, I believe there is something wrong with Stampeder quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.  He is playing like a mortal human being.

This will be the most interesting game of the week. I read that Glenn, Carter, Labatte, Foster and Thigpen are all practicing this week, joining a phalanx of outstanding new players all arriving by the hour like some kind of Berlin airlift.  Very intereting indeed.

  1. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

The lazy and indolent Winnipeg Blue Bombers took last week off. I have nothing to say.

  1. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

The Roughriders came within one terrible play call of possibly losing to the Hamilton Pussy-Cats (see what I did there?), and they rise one spot in the Power Rankings?

I’m good with that.

The CFL Simulation over at cfl.ca has already figured out that there is a relatively good chance that the Grey Cup will be between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders.  What this simulation falls to recognize in its algorithms, or whatever, is that the Saskatchewan Roughriders always do things the hard way.

This season, the Roughriders are perfectly placed to get a cross-over, which is what the CFL Simulation has figured out.  However, if the Roughriders don’t snap out of this current mid-season success, they are going to find themselves solidly in third place in the West Division.  Once in the playoffs, instead of being able to cut through the Argonauts and RedBlacks like a hot knife through butter, they’ll find themselves facing two brick walls named the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Calgary Stampeders.  I don’t mind the Roughriders chances if either of these West Division playoff games were held at Mosaic, but this team ain’t gonna beat both Winnipeg and Calgary in their own stadiums.

However (there is always a however), “this team” as it is currently comprised may not exist by the end of this season.  I love the way Roughrider General Manager and Johnny Cash impersonator Chris Jones never stops looking for players. The latest is this Marc Olivier (Crème) Brouillette guy, apparently coming out of retirement to resume playing football.  Is that normal?  To retire for half a season?  I heard he’s a lawyer.  Lawyers think they can just do whatever they want. Just ask Jock Climie.  Dumb lawyers.

Anyway, the Riders have a spectacular opportunity to cross over into the semi-pro division of the Canadian Football League this year.  The same thing could have happened in 2014 when the Roughriders, after losing Darian Durant to some damned freak injury, could have tanked their last few games and crossed over into the blessed weakness that is the CFL East Division.  Instead, they managed to win enough games to hang on to third place in the west and get smothered by the Eskimos in the western semi-final.  I had fantastic seats for that game, but the way.

Stupid Roughriders.

Now, Mister Chris Jones strikes me as the kind of guy who just might tank one or two of the last games of the regular season if he saw a way to safely cross over.  So maybe not so stupid.

A Calgary-Saskatchewan Grey Cup would be one of the nastiest championship games in CFL history, and I’m just talking about what would be going on in the stands.  Put those two fans bases into TD Place Stadium, and you could see a conflagration that would make the English soccer hooligans of yesteryear blush. I’m not sure who would actually watch the game outside of Calgary and Saskatchewan, but we’d all have a pile of fun.

  1. TORONTO ARGONAUTS

All the Toronto Argonauts had to do to spike their Power Ranking was beat a West Division team.  The bar is so low for the East Division, just showing up to your game gets you at least one position higher in the Power Rankings.  Well done Argos!

  1. EDMONTON ESKIMOS

The Edmonton Eskimos lost to an East Division team last week.  Which one?  Doesn’t matter.

I just read that the Spirit of Edmonton Grey Cup Hospitality Room lost about $160,000 over the last two years.  This year, Spirit has had to locate itself in a bar because Ottawa is too much of a bush-league city to have an available hotel ballroom to house the best hospitality room at Grey Cup.  Geez Ottawa.

  1. BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS

The Lions go from playing the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon last week to playing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Vancouver this week. That’s like fighting Saskatchewan residence Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship one week, and then moving over to Smackdown to fight Calgary native Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship the next week. If Sunil and Samir Singh are not available, the Tiger-Cats are gonna get crushed.

  1. OTTAWA REDBLACKS

I struggled to find something to write about this dumb team.  By the perfunctory and pedestrian comments in this week’s Nissan Titan Power Rankings, I suspect that the “Staff” over at cfl.ca have the same problem.  Perhaps we are all in the mid-season doldrums.

  1. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

I also struggled to find something to write about this dumb team. I don’t know what is wrong with this team and it doesn’t help that I don’t really know much about football.

I like their cheerleaders’ uniforms. Hi-five!

  1. MONTREAL ALOUETTES

So Alouette General Manager and man who possesses an inexplicable ability to fall upwards, Kavis Reed, decided that head coach Jacques Chapdelaine and defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe had to go.  I guess Mr. Reed thought there were TOO MANY MEN on the coaching staff.  You know, too many men.

…too many men…

Here’s my theory.  Mr. Reed is sabotaging the Montreal Alouettes as part of an elaborate and well planned revenge plot following the 2009 Grey Cup debacle.  And yes, it appears Darian Durant is part of the plan. He’s the Luke Hobbs to Reed’s Dominic Toretto.  I’m not sure if the Fast/Furious comparison works because I don’t really follow that franchise, but let’s just go with it.

I wasn’t sure which team would fold up first and head to Moncton:  the Alouettes or the RedBlacks.  Well, I think we have a winner!  Montreal fans are not going to put up with this bullshit, so au revoir, Monsieur Durant! Hello Lobsterville, or whatever Moncton’s nickname is.

If Mr. Reed does manage to drive the last nail into the Alouette coffin, look for him to be appointed CFL Commissioner six months later.

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