3Down Power Rankings: Let’s (expletive) do this

With the 2018 CFL season finally upon us, it’s time for the latest edition of the power rankings. The off-season is a distant memory, the pre-season games played and the final cuts made, we have all the information we’re going to get without some standings-relevant competition to sort things out.

We do our power rankings by having seven 3Down contributors (Edwards, Dunk, Hodge, Filoso, Ballantine, Gasson, Smith) rank the teams from No. 1 to No. 9. The team with the fewest “points” gets the top ranking, the second fewest is No. 2 and so on.

The last ranking was done in mid-May, just before the opening of training camp and a lot has changed since then – except the No. 1 team.

1. Edmonton Eskimos (Previous ranking: 1)

The Eskimos received five of a possible seven first-place votes and were second on the other two ballots. They made it through camp relatively unscathed, their first units looked great in limited action in the pre-season and Mike Reilly was the No. 1 player in the TSN Top 50.

2. Calgary Stampeders (Previous ranking: 3)

Calgary suffered some losses in the off-season, including back up quarterback Andrew Buckley, several offensive linemen and the status of return man Roy Finch is uncertain as he deals with legal issues. But it’s the Stamps and voters seem willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise: they received the remaining two first-place votes, four seconds and a third.

3. Toronto Argonauts (Previous ranking: 2)

The Argos went 1-1 in the pre-season and quarterback Ricky Ray didn’t play a single snap but they play in the East so… Toronto received one second place vote and six third-place votes, an indicator that they are the team to beat in the division.

4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Previous ranking: 5)

The Riders nipped the Bombers for the fourth spot in the last edition of the rankings but drop a spot after a draft that included taking offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley, who has a contract with the New York Jets, in the first round despite some questions surrounding their Canadian depth.

5. Ottawa Redblacks (Previous ranking: 6)

The Redblacks suffered a scare in the pre-season when Trevor Harris went down with what looked like a knee injury but he’ll be ready to start the season. That alone was enough to give them a bump because…

6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Previous ranking: 4)

The Bombers are down two spots after quarterback Matt Nichols was injured in practice and will miss at least four-to-six weeks with a knee injury. Rookie Chris Streveler gets the start and it will be very interesting to see if he can keep the Bombers from tumbling further down the ladder.

7. B.C. Lions (Previous ranking: 8)

B.C. went 2-0 in the pre-season, for whatever that’s worth – a slight jump in the rankings, apparently.

8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Previous ranking: 7)

Hamilton’s first-team offence and defence did not look particularly good against a line up of Argo backups in the first pre-season game. Can Jeremiah Masoli play well enough to prevent Johnny Manziel from becoming an even bigger story?

9. Montreal Alouettes (Previous ranking: 9)

Montreal was ranked dead last by every voter and have been all off-season. With Drew Willy at quarterback, a 0-2 pre-season and a bungled cut announcement, the Als will have to prove they are worthy of anything except the basement.

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73 Comments on 3Down Power Rankings: Let’s (expletive) do this

  1. Alberta on top, and then the rest. As is tradition.

  2. I’m not sure that BC may be ranked too low, especially in light of Winnipeg’s challenges. And I’m not convinced that Saskatchewan and Ottawa are any more certain of excellent than BC is…especially in light of a potential qb controversy in SK and uncertainty with the #1 qb in Ottawa… and Hamilton starts the season in the west and could quickly be 0-2…

  3. I try to keep out of these things – because the crazies are normally out in full force and there’s not a lick of logic in the arguments. However, I’d only question how Winnipeg doesn’t end up in 8th seeing as they are starting the year with no back up, and a rookie QB. Ya I get it, Ticats have a hard schedule and there’s so much in the air, but Masoli is no rookie, and the lack of respect he’s getting has to be a major motivator. His stats last year were number one over the last 10 games. Across all teams.

    • Paul Bomber // June 12, 2018 at 2:55 pm //

      You may be right… but I think Wpg is getting (some) credit for improving (on paper) what was a very bad D, upgrades at receiver, and I’d suggest a break-even to possible improvement at QB back-up (we got nothing out of back-up QBs last year).
      We’ll figure out how much trouble Wpg is in on Thursday. I suspect some, but not as much as many are assuming, as long as Nichols gets back and stays healthy.

    • Paul Bomber // June 12, 2018 at 2:58 pm //

      oh, yeah, and agree with you on Mazoli. I don’t think he get the respect he deserves.

  4. There is a first, a last, and 7 in between

  5. Feeling Blue // June 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm //

    ARGOS…..Grey Cup Champions

    • Looking forward to Friday Blue

    • You can dream all you want 2018 grey cup champion is HAMILTON TIGERS CATS Oskee Wee weee

      • Nooooooooooooooooo…Lions 2-0 in the pre-season; therefore 18-0 in the Regular Season and on to a Grey Cup win!!!!

        • In all honesty my 2018 CFL West predictions: Eskimos’ and Stamps, fighting for first and second in the division.
          Riders, Bomber, and Lions fighting for third, fourth, and fifth place; all dependent on who gets injured.
          If the Lions make the playoffs finishing in third place in the West that would be considered REAL progress by most Lions fans.

  6. Based on what I was in the pre-season I would have to agree with the rankings.
    Ottawa could go higher, they are solid at offense and their D looks greatly improved.
    The Riders could slide if Collaros doesn’t get protection from that O line

  7. MR. Green // June 12, 2018 at 3:22 pm //

    Getting excited to start. Ha!ilton has a tough schedule right away as visitors in 2 home openers in Alberta. Just realized the Riders open up with 4 games in 21 days. Good thing is, 3 at home and this part is over early. Sask an Calgary play thier first Wester opponent week 7 against each other. A strong start is big. I’m not sold anyone will get more than 12 wins this season. Should be a tight power rankings from 1 to 6 or 7 all season. Who will surprise and who will disappointed? I think the top 3 in the current rankings are interchangeable and they could switch them all. I hope to be a happy Rider fan this year. I deserve it!

    • BlueBomberChris // June 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm //

      Get in line Mr. Green lol, I’m sure you do deserve it but I’ve been waiting (almost) my whole life to see a Bombers GC victory lol. I think we will both have reasons to be happy this year, but I just hope we (Bombers) have the last piece of happiness for the year 😉

      • BBC – if your Bombers make it to the Chris, I hope they represent the West a little better than the last 2 years 🙂

        • BlueBomberChris // June 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm //

          Shouldn’t be too hard eh Yup lol 😉

        • AwaitingModeration // June 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm //

          Make it to the Chris?
          WTF?

          • Don’t lose sleep there slick. The guy it was intended for got the jist. Get back to your scrabble game.

        • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 12, 2018 at 5:19 pm //

          Well Yup, had the riders represented the west in 2016/2017, they would have needed to win AT LEAST 13 more games than they did. So why even make silly comments that make you look foolish? Why criticize Calgary when you your self fall so so short of being on the same level?

          • C’mon man….who the hell are you to talk about foolish comments. Poke a little fun at you cramps and you go squirrely.(More squirrely) Yet you feel it’s necessary to yap consistently on EVERY Rider thread.

          • How ironic that you are the biggest fool on here but you’re calling other people out? Hahaha. You’re a white trash loser.

      • BlueBomberChris – If you are a young man you may get to see a Bombers GC victory sometime in your lifetime – cross your fingers.

      • MR. Green // June 12, 2018 at 5:17 pm //

        You deserve it too Bomber fan. More than most. Just joking around.

        • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm //

          Of course rider fans forget the oldest franchise still has the fewest tiles and had to wait 56 years for their first at 79 for their 2nd!!!
          The Bombers have a few eras of greatness while the riders really have none.
          Leave a mark as a franchise before you point out others faults

        • Oh…..he’s getting wound up Green. Don’t mention Bo or his head will explode !

  8. Sun always shines at McMahon // June 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm //

    The official power ranking is the one on the CFL.ca site
    Calgary is number 1…….as it is, as it was, as it ever will be.

    • How is CFL.ca “official” it’s all about “opinions” from football writers.
      Are their opinions more official than 3D nations?

      • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 12, 2018 at 5:26 pm //

        That’s how she goes

        • choke choke and 2018 will be choke number 3. rank that big boy.

          • Gifted one grey cup, then choke, then choke again, and have a regressing roster in 2018. Yeah you’re all set SunShine! BO Levi doesn’t have a shoulder and you think he’s better this year? Okay buddy! Let’s see how it plays out.

    • lol not this year, but calgary is the cfls biggest chokers 😀

  9. Will be interesting to see how accurate it was, after three weeks.

  10. Roy Holland // June 12, 2018 at 4:12 pm //

    Ok why Toronto? Were they not just a 500 team last year? Ray is a year older and injury prone. Franklin showed nothing in the Pre Season. Saskatchewan needs Zack to perform and he hasn’t in two years. So that is a best guess. What is the uncertainty in Ottawa around Quarterback? I think he was top 4 or better in all categories. I keep hearing he hasn’t won in the playoffs yet. So he is the same as the guy in BC, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, and Montreal. Edmonton is the real deal, Calgary and Sask are guess work at this point. The east is still week but I would put my money on Ottawa because they have a better offence then the rest of the east. Just an opinion but it’s mine.

    • AwaitingModeration // June 12, 2018 at 5:06 pm //

      Ok, why Ottawa?
      They finished behind the Argonauts, and lost their one playoff game at home.
      The Argonauts finished above Ottawa, and won both of their playoff games – one of those in Ottawa!
      Harris is as injury-prone as Ray.
      Backup QBs for both teams are still a guess as to how they will perform in meaningful games.

      Not seeing a case for Ottawa to be ranked above Toronto.

    • TrueBlue // June 13, 2018 at 11:45 am //

      Thanks for sharing, but Boatmen were a force in the last third and no reason not to carry forward. Ray really isn’t as injury-prone as some think; and, yes, Ottawa could be very good.

  11. This is a fair ranking – I agree with the first 4 places and don’t really care beyond that. A lot will depend on injuries this year with the Riders being more vulnerable to injuries than any other team (other than Wpg with their glass QB). Riders could finnish higher than 3rd in west if healthy but could plummet quickly if they get many injuries on the O Line (which is an almost certainty)

  12. Sixbeamers // June 12, 2018 at 4:33 pm //

    I think the Lions have been underestimated continually since their 7-11 campaign in 2017.
    Wally Buono’s teams have made a habit of bounce-back years after downer seasons. And B.C.’s subpar offensive line of a year ago has been upgraded significantly. QB Jonathon Jennings, who had minor injury issues and whose play was affected by the lack of protection in front of him, is looking like the 5,000-yard passer of two years ago. What’s more, rookie Ricky Lloyd is a keeper as a development QB and Travis Lulay (knee surgery) is striving toward 100 per cent health. I do see the Leos’ depth at quarterback significantly enhanced compared to other teams in the division.
    A reversal to 11-7 from 7-11 doesn’t require a huge leap of faith. And with this season being Buono’s swan song for his coaching career (he’ll remain with the team in some other capacity after 2018) there is room-service motivation for the coaching staff and players.
    Wins over Calgary and Winnipeg (minus numerous probable starters) in preseason only adds to the feeling that this year will be different. Mark it down: Lions are the CFL’s sleeper team for 2018.

    • Totally agree six beamers but be careful. You might be asked to justify your thoughts on Jennings. Remember, it took him over a half to put together a touchdown drive lol.

      REALLY looking forward to the future of Ricky Lloyd. I think we badly under-achieved last year and I agree with your thought on a vastly improved O-line but also, I am looking forward to see what other JJ can do at O-Coordinator.

      Unlike some people, I do mot worry about other people’s predictions before anyone even plays a real game. I don’t care if they rank us #10 lol, all year long as long as we are still playing Nov 25. Much rather that than being #1 in some people’s mind/rankings all year long and then choking when it matters most.

    • Great analysis Sixbeamers; a nice change from that certain BC Fan who tends to view all things Lions through “Rose Coloured Glasses” rather then objectively.

  13. I’d put the Lions ahead of Calgary and Toronto as well for that matter. Stamps are in for a rude awakening this year.

    • Tough to argue about stamps Kyle. If Billy Bob Mitchell goes down (been pretty lucky so far) I don’t think Calgary has a capable back up.

      And yes, lol, I know I am pulling an Arse51 here but I do not do that with every single player out there. Maybe no better for even doing it with one but that is one QB I can’t stand and I would cringe if he ever ended up in BC.

  14. Macavity // June 12, 2018 at 5:13 pm //

    Interesting to see some pundits agree with me that Hamilton is not looking great. A turn around from horrid to decent let a man earn the head coach role, but I’m not sure if everyone remembers who those 6 wins were against and when. Other than Sask being too high, this is the best online ranking I’ve seen so far (best being closest to mine, which is clearly perfect!) 🙂

  15. 3rd & 1 // June 12, 2018 at 5:14 pm //

    Anyone that uses the Preseason to gauge anything. Other than one on one battles and individuals performances is fooling them self.
    Do you want a perfect example why preseason victories mean nothing.
    Alright here you go……
    In 2017 the Cleveland Browns won all 3 of their preseason games. They beat the Saints 20-14 then beat the Giants 10-6 then the Buccaneers 13-9. Yet we all know they went on to lose the whole season 0-16.
    So the ones that feel they know what’s going to happen to a team after the preseason is only fooling them self.
    Now if you told me that such and such is going to be the starter or back up. That would make more sense. But team play when half the team is now gone?

    • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 12, 2018 at 5:51 pm //

      and yet in the NFL they play 4 preseason games. 3-0 seems a little odd

    • 3rd & 1 // June 12, 2018 at 7:48 pm //

      Was just waiting for someone to point out the mistake and explain the Browns even beat the Bears 25-0 in preseason. Which is the most ridiculous of all. So all preseason games won.

  16. This looks good as it’s based on PS games. Don’t mean a thing till Labor Day and after.

  17. MR. Green // June 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm //

    It’s only week 1. They should have put Montreal #1 for fun.

    • Garcia98 // June 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm //

      Or for kicks, predicted a Calgary Grey Cup win. We would have seen that one chronic Stampeder commenter and a boatload of Rider fans go absolutely bat-shit crazy.

      • Garcia98 // June 12, 2018 at 6:49 pm //

        to prevent mayhem, madness, and a couple of meltdowns, I’m only joking about the Calgary Grey Cup win…

  18. I think pre-season rankings are garbage. Let the first stringers on the field and action begin before even power ranking 1-9. Go Riders!!!

  19. For the comment above talkingni about “Ottawa’s uncertain for #1 at QB”, the Redblacks have had their #1 guy for a long time, and it’s Trevor Harris. Davis and Collins we’re only brought in as backups and we’re dressed to play like it in pre-season. With the Redblacks, there is no uncertainty for anything at the moment. We had our offense set. If there is any cause for panic, it’s at RT with Lauzon-Segain’s spot, but that will most likely be taken by an american or possibly Korte, but only practice will tell. Trevor will be ready for the regular season, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that when he is healthy the #1 spot is his, and he has run into problem with injuries in the past and has bounced back from them just like the final couple games of the season. Worst comes to worst just put Davis in if he doesn’t perform well or isn’t ready.

  20. As usual these rankings are a joke

  21. I see it differently due to QB situations in Riderville and Bomberville – the former is unknown QBing given Zach hasn’t won in 12 games and Matt is injured.

    The Riders did little preseason to give Collaros time to get his game together versus playing everyone but the Physio and Equipment staff.

    1 Esks
    2. Stamps
    3. Tor
    4. Ham
    6 BC
    7 OTT – could change positions with WPG if Nicholls comes back early.
    8. WPG
    9. MTL – 2 wins

  22. Charlie // June 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm //

    Jones and staff took a huge gamble on Zack C. He has lost his magic. Rough times ahead in Saskatchewan.

  23. Cats #8 ain’t that great. They are going to climb fast.

  24. BC and Montreal have already been eliminated from the 2018 playoffs.

    That leaves SEVEN (7) teams battling for SIX (6) post season spots.

    Good possibility that a FIVE (5) win team will host a playoff game this year in the cartoonishly bad East Division.

  25. BigBlue // June 13, 2018 at 2:36 am //

    Sask and Bc are going to fight it out for last in the West. The Bombers are better than Edmonton and will fight it out with Calgary for top spot. Watch Thursday as Winnipeg pounds Edmonton.

  26. TrueBlue // June 13, 2018 at 11:48 am //

    Says here that Tabbies are going to have a real challenge keeping things on an even keel. Manziel’s presence hasn’t (apparently) set things awry yet, but I suspect division within the ranks will soon enough emerge. Ticats last in the East.

  27. Ticats Fan // June 13, 2018 at 4:17 pm //

    Hamilton at 8 is wrong. I think there defence will keep games close. June Jones has them running a new offense which in preseason is a learning curve. I would put Hamilton fourth behind Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto. Masoli is one of the most underrated players. So excited about new season !

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