NOT THE CFL NISSAN TITAN POWER RANKINGS: 2017 WEEK 17

The Seven Horsemen of the Apocalypse over at the cfl.ca have all bestowed the kiss of death on the Saskatchewan Roughriders this week by unanimously predicting a victory over the visiting Ottawa Redblacks.  Last week, these seven fine gentlemen were unanimous in their picks of British Columbia Lions and Toronto Argonauts, and, of course, both teams lost. Of course.

In the interests of journalistic fairness–a long time hallmark of discombobulated–I must admit that last week I predicted the Redblacks would never in a million years beat the British Columbia Lions.  Turns out a million years is a lot shorter than I realized.

You know what Canada needs?  A few female sports writers. Or at least, let them try to make a few picks, for chrissakes. Let’s see what happens.  I vote to add Kate Beirness to this list of CFL predictors.  I have never met her and I know nothing about her, but she seems like the type who might know a thing or two about the CFL, and could deliver a real kick to the nuts (metaphorically speaking, of course) to this fat and sassy group of smartypant male writers.

In general, trying to predict the CFL is a chump’s game. At the beginning of the season, the teams that, on paper, look good, will often suck.  By mid-season, some trends appear to emerge that make everyone figure they’ve got the league cased.  And then a few key injuries here or there, a coaching change, and some inexplicable reversals of fortune, and we’re all back to square one trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  By the last third of the season, the crappy teams are making their last gasps before going under and an unexpected powerhouse usually starts to emerge, but it is impossible to figure out which team is the late-season powerhouse and which is the late-season pretender. My only three rules:

  • You will never go broke betting against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, except 2013.
  • The Calgary Stampeders will beat whoever they are playing but they will usually find a way to lose the Grey Cup if they are having a really good year.
  • If you can’t beat the worst team in the league, then you are the worst team in the league.

The top three teams in this week’s Nissan Titan Power Rankings over at cfl.ca are the top three teams in the CFL. The worst team in the Canadian Football League is the soon-to-be Moncton-based Atlantic Schooners, with the incompetent British Columbia Lions barely hanging on at second worst.

The mushy middle of the pack falls into the category of who-gives-a-shit.

  1. CALGARY STAMPEDERS

Mr. Nye over at cfl.ca has predicted an upset Hamilton Tiger-Cat victory this week over the Calgary Stampeders.

Yes, that’s what going to happen.  And President Donald Trump will eventually be carved into Mount Rushmore.

Here’s what I predict:  it’s the end of the line for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  By the end of week 17 in the CFL, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be out of the playoff picture.

  1. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

Well look.  If the Saskatchewan Roughriders are just going to keep winning, they might as well try hurdling the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.  To do that, the Bombers have to begin the collapse that I have been predicting all season.  With Bomber quarterback and Mighty Mighty Bosstones lead singer (when he has his soul patch/goatee going) Matt Nichols possibly injured, or sorta injured, or something, this could be the moment.

When Matt Nichols has a full beard, he can easily be mistaken for Mike Rielly, and vice versa.  In general, facial hair just makes all white guys look like each other. I think beards are just mullets for the face, and five/ten years from now, we will all be rolling our eyes or laughing at these faux lumberjacks.

You know who was really really ahead of this whole CFL beard thing?  Hec Pothier circa 1980s.

  1. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

With last week’s incredible British Columbia Lions’ collapse, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are probably only two weeks away, at most, from being able to clinch a playoff spot.  Then they can tank the rest of the season and hope for that blessed crossover playoff spot.

Mr. Cullen over at tsn.ca has, in his power rankings, placed the Ottawa Redblacks ahead of both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Argonauts.  I know what you’re thinking:  the Ottawa Redblacks?  The 6-9-1 Ottawa Redblacks.  The team that blew a 17 point lead two weeks ago?  The team that will only be making the playoffs because of the extreme incompetence of the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats?  That Ottawa Redblacks football team?

Yes, that Ottawa Redblacks team.

Well, just coincidentally, that Ottawa Redblacks football team gets a chance to demonstrate it deserves to be ranked higher than the Saskatchewan Roughriders when it plays the aforementioned Roughriders at Mosaic on Friday.

I don’t like their chances, and neither does seven of the best sports writers in Canada, dammit. So the Roughriders will lose.  Of course.

Rob Vanstone has a piece up at the Leader-Post where he discusses Coach of the Year possibilities for Roughrider Head Coach Chris Jones.  Now, I completely agree with the observations (or Robservations; hah!) found throughout the article, but the conclusion is so very typical of Roughrider fans.  The team has not even made the playoffs this year, and is clearly inferior to the two teams ahead of them in the West Division standings, and we’re already talking about Coach of the Year.

That’s like Toronto seriously talking about the Stanley Cup for the Maple Leafs just because they made the playoffs last year.  Jump to many conclusions, people?

  1. TORONTO ARGONAUTS

These poor bastards can’t get no respect.  While our friends at cfl.ca rank the Argos at number four, Mr. Cullen over at tsn.ca places them at sixth, behind the Ottawa Redblacks (yes, the Ottawa Redblacks) and the Edmonton Eskimos. Didn’t the Argos just beat the Eskimos a few weeks ago?  What the hell is going on? Well, I guess they get a chance to beat the Eskimos again this week, and then we’ll see just how smart Mr. Cullen really is.

  1. OTTAWA REDBLACKS

Well shit.  It looks like those damned Redblacks are a pretty good team with Trevor Harris around.  I think Mr. Cullen at tsn.ca got a little carried away, ranking them fourth, but still, this appears to be a semi-dangerous team.

The only concern I have here is that I want the Saskatchewan Roughriders to cross over to the East Division playoffs, but if the Ottawa Redblacks start playing like a real professional football team, that takes all the fun out of playing them in the playoffs.

I suppose we can’t forget that the Redblacks won the Grey Cup last year.

  1. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

It’s the same thing every year.  Around the start of the final one-third of the season, the pretenders start making noise, but ultimately, their atrocious early-season record sinks them and they slink away.  It’s next-year territory for this team.

One thing I don’t get.  What the hell does Hamilton quarterback Jeremiah Masoli have to do to be considered a bona fide starter?  He doesn’t do anything but win.  Watch for Hamilton to trade for Darian Durant next year. Oh brother.

  1. EDMONTON ESKIMOS

How’s this for a kick in the head?

Do you want to know how bad the Montreal Alouettes are?  They are so bad, the Edmonton Eskimos beat them last week and then dropped two places in the Nissan Titan Power Rankings.  That’s bad.

  1. BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS

British Columbia Lions General Manager and Head Coach Wally Buono would be spinning in his grave if he knew how bad the Lions were playing.  And also if he was dead.  But he is not dead. Alas, his team’s hopes of a post season are.  Dead.

Lowell Ullrich over at 3 Down Nation, who has too many “L”s in his name, has an article up that claims no one knows what’s wrong with the British Columbia Lions.  I do.  They suck.

BC Sucks.  I thought everyone in the CFL knows that.  BC sucks.  Argos suck.  What’s the mystery here? Stop wasting my time. Kate Beirness would know that.

  1. MONTREAL ALOUETTES

I think the Nissan Titan Power rankings need a 10th position just for the Montreal Alouettes.  We can slot the Las Vegas Posse into number 9 at this point in the season.

Thank goodness team owner Robert Wetenhall has deep pockets, because this team is going to be bleeding money for at least the next three years. Montreal fans will not be showing up for games unless this team turns it around fast.

Speaking of Mr. Wetenhall, according to Wikipedia, he used to be a part owner of the New England Patriots.  I don’t understand why he bought the Montreal Alouettes.  I just seems strange that a New York investment banker would buy a CFL team.

Anyway, the Montreal Gazette reports that Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed will likely be sticking around next year.  Just another bizarre example of Mr. Reed failing and yet succeeding at the same time.  He’s like the anti-Jeremiah Masoli.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.