Power Rankings: Chaos reigns in the mushy middle

OK, here’s what we know for sure: the Calgary Stampeders, at 4-0, are good. The Montreal Alouettes are bad.

And we’re done.

The rest of the CFL’s mushy middle features seven teams seemingly incapable of consistency thereby turning this (and every other Power Ranking) into an exercise rife with guesswork and inherent contradiction. To wit:

• the Eskimos have lost to the No. 3 ranked team and the No. 6 ranked team and yet are ranked No. 2

• the Ticats lost their most recent game to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and yet are ranked five spots ahead of them.

• the Riders, at 2-2, are also ranked below the 1-3 Toronto Argonauts, who they beat in Week 1. Saskatchewan also dropped a spot in the rankings despite being on a bye and winning their last game.

• the Redblacks are ranked below the Bombers despite identical 2-2 records and the fact that Ottawa’s two losses came at the hands of Calgary and Winnipeg lost to B.C.

• B.C., at No. 7, is still ranked three spots behind the Bombers, who they beat on Saturday night.

You see what we mean? Contradictions and ridiculousness everywhere.

Anyway, here’s what the rankings look like.

Calgary Stampeders Lemar Durant (1) celebrates his touchdown with Kamar Jorden (88) as Ottawa Redblacks Loucheiz Purifoy (5) walks off, during second half CFL action in Ottawa on Thursday, July 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

1. Calgary Stampeders (Previous ranking: 1)

The Stampeders are the unanimous top team in the CFL but there are questions about Bo Levi’s health. They do, however, face Montreal at home on Saturday so…

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly (13) hands off to C.J. Gable (2) against the Toronto Argonauts during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday July 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

2. Edmonton Eskimos (Previous ranking: 6)

The Esks hardly looked dominant in their squeaker over Toronto and yet jump four spots in the rankings. Shrug emoji.

Ticat coach June Jones with Brandon Banks at mini camp Tuesday.
John Rennison The Hamilton Spectator

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Previous ranking: 4)

Didn’t play, lost last game, move up a spot. Welcome to the 2018 CFL everybody!

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris (33) runs the ball past B.C. Lions’ Junior Luke, second left, and Bo Lokombo (20) during the first half of a CFL football game in Vancouver on Saturday July 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Previous ranking: 2)

The Bombers choked away what looked to be a sure-fire victory against the Lions and join the ranks of the mystifying pretenders as a result.

Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris (7) tries to avoid Calgary Stampeders Ja’Gared Davis (95) during first half CFL action in Ottawa on Thursday, July 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

5. Ottawa Redblacks (Previous ranking: 3)

Walloped by Calgary with Trevor Harris getting yanked again. They’ve got B.C. coming to town on Friday in a game that’s suddenly very interesting.

Toronto Argonauts quarterback James Franklin (2) prepares to pass the football against the Edmonton Eskimos during second quarter CFL action in Toronto on Saturday, July 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

6. Toronto Argonauts (Previous ranking: 5)

Another solid game from James Franklin gives the Argonauts hope… but they’re still 1-3.

B.C. Lions quarterback Travis Lulay (14) waits to be introduced before a CFL football game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Vancouver on Saturday July 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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

The return of Travis Lulay and a comeback win for the Lions bumps them up one spot but they’ll have to prove they’re for real to keep moving up.

Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver Duron Carter signs autographs before first half CFL action at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Saturday, June 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Previous ranking: 7)

The Riders drop a spot without doing anything wrong. #Conspiracy.

9. Montreal Alouettes (Previous ranking: 9)

A bye week changes nothing unless they found a quarterback.


101 Comments on Power Rankings: Chaos reigns in the mushy middle

  1. Riders4Last // July 16, 2018 at 11:57 am //

    The riders are still ranked to high

  2. And we present – the dartboard power rankings.

    • Puck Hog // July 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm //

      Their comments after, “To wit” pretty much sums up their own ridiculousness, yet they printed them anyway.
      I realize their having some fun with this list, but the pecking order will be considerably different in October.

    • Yup I’m much more accurate at darts than this

  3. Maybe they should spin the wheel again and re-write the rankings although I don’t have too much objection to them – I think Edmonton is probably too high.

  4. Stampeding // July 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm //

    The Calgary Stampeders;
    As it is
    As it was
    As it ever will be
    As the universe intends it to be

  5. Riders lost at home to Montreal, enough said.

  6. Mr.Green // July 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm //

    Well, that’s BS! How can the Riders go down without even playing? How are we lower than Toronto, who we beat and have a better record than? Come on 3Down, don’t be bias to the east.

    • Stampeding // July 16, 2018 at 12:28 pm //

      The riders have had 3 home games to 1 road game.
      The Argos beat the Eskimos 2 weeks ago and damn near beat them in Edmonton.
      How can you be ranked higher than Montreal when you lost to them??

      • How can Hamilton be higher than Saskatchewan when they lost to them?

        • Because that game was played in Sask, it was a narrow 5 point win…….in theory, the home team is expected to win, so doing so does really mean much especially when it’s it’s done by the skin of their teeth.
          Your turn to answer

          • But we still won… It doesn’t matter. A win is a win. Whether it was by 1 or 30. They could not score a Touchdown. It reminded me of a game against the stumps last year, where Bo couldn’t score a touchdown either.

          • This is for RobE below:
            You are refering to teh Sept 24 2017 game
            Calgary 15
            riders 9
            You lost!!!!!!!!
            So why should you be higher than Montreal??

          • We could refer to that one as well, he didn’t score a TD. But the one I really an refering too is Oct 20th/2017:
            Sask 30
            Stumps 7
            You lost!!!! lolololololololol(See I pulled a you, I normally don’t do stupid crap like that)

            Well we beat the best team in the East. *shoulder shrug* We shouldn’t be moving down at all, and they shouldn’t be moving up. Plain and simple

          • Puck Hog // July 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm //

            Oh, shut up before you wreck another article. Too late……

          • Puck Hog // July 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm //

            ^^^^ meant for Red, of course.

        • Cats crushed Edmonton in Edmonton and they are ranked behind them.

    • MR. Green // July 16, 2018 at 2:41 pm //

      Other Mr Green, doesn’t matter. Rankings to me could be 20 different ways after Calgary at this point. That Montreal loss still stings almost 3 weeks later. If you rank by QB play then we are where we should be along with a 2-2 record. If BC lost we would be a whopping 7th. This early on it does not matter. What !matters is finishing in the top 6. But this team would be great with a star QB or even average play from the QB. The O line has improved. I am not a Bridge guy right now, but I do think he will be better this week and going forward.

    • Riders4Last // July 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm //

      How are the sliders ahead of Montreal when Montreal beat the sliders at home?

  7. As an added bonus, the explanations accompanying each ranking describe how irrelevant this entire process is

  8. This is absolutely the dumbest power rankings Ive read in quite some time. Ticats go up in the ranking after a bye week and the Riders go down after the bye week, nevermind the Riders just beat the Ticats.

    Epitome of dumb

  9. 3down’s Bias to the Ticats and the east… Riders beat them, and are on a Bye-week at the same time. And the Riders drop and Ticats move up. That’s just stupid… Then Toronto has a worse record and Ottawa looks like crap and are ranked higher… This makes absolutely zero sense.

    • RobE – if I recall correctly, the Argo nots were at 0-2 going into their bye….and moved up 1.

      • I know! We beat Hamilton and they move up. WHAT!? lol
        That’s okay most sites and power rankings are running us 5 or 6, where we truly should be. This is just plain dumb.

  10. My question is this:
    If rider fans are upset with this ranking and think their is a bias, why don’t you give your suggestion

    • My question is, why don’t you ever talk about other teams like you do of Saskatchewan?

      • That’s very valid question Stamps. One that he probably won’t respond to.

        • Because the riders seem to grab the headlines all the time. Just speaking to the story of the day

          • All I see there is, ” I really am a Rider fan, and truly do care about that organization and fans.” Because otherwise his response makes no sense, whatsoever. There are other teams stories he doesn’t even make an appearance on, but he damn well doesn’t miss a Rider one. Actually he’s the first to comment 95% of the time.

          • Yet you bring the Riders up in threads that don’t even involve them.

      • True Green // July 17, 2018 at 12:17 am //

        Everyone of you is a better person and more sensible than Red the Stampeding Jerry. There is no rhyme or reason to what he says. He contradicts himself in many threads and ends up carrying on a conversation with himself, often under the same handle. He doesn’t need a reason to talk about the Riders, he is probably just killing time before his next ice cream delivery route starts.

  11. Top spot and bottom spot are correct, and the rest? Interchangeable at best. Until Montreal can prove they can beat any team on an even semi consistent basis they will be in the bottom and until someone beats Calgary (and needs to be a convincing win) they’ll be at the top.

    Power rankings are supposed to show who would beat whom on a neutral playing ground. Would Edmonton beat BC or Winnipeg or Hamilton right now? I’m not so convinced they would until they start getting players back of the 6 game and they start to gel a bit better, so I think they are ranked too high, IMO. It’s all a crapshoot anyway for 2-8; just glad I’m not an odds-maker.

  12. Rider fans whining is always the best part of the CFL season.

    • Well considering our leading attendance and merch sales, we are what makes the CFL go round 😉
      Besides Edmonton, the rest of the teams/fans need to start pulling some weight.

      • lololol
        The usual fallback for riderfans.
        Winning the merchandise battle!!!!
        That would only matter if you were Walmart and we were Target!!!!!!!
        This is football, no retail

        • Lets not forget the Attendance. You guys are barely putting up 20k fans in the stands. That’s pathetic! Can you explain that to me?

          • You still haven’t explained why Montreal should be ranked lower than the riders when the beat you at home???

            Attendance: Has to do with the cities, the more worldly they are the more the CFL gets buried, just reality.
            If Regina hit the million plus mark, same thing would happen. I fact your numbers are down too 🙂

          • “You still haven’t explained why Montreal should be ranked lower than the riders when the beat you at home???”

            We’re ranked lower because we gave away or blacklisted all our young quarterbacks: Cato, Bridge, going all the way back to McPherson…and we’ll see how the Adams retread goes.

            Sask is above us because they TOOK one of our young, potential stars of the future. As they clearly note in the rankings: you don’t get to climb out of the (de)basement until you ACTUALLY have a pivot.

      • BlueBomberChris // July 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm //

        RobE I’d throw Winnipeg in that mix as a pulling their weight fanbase too. Isn’t it strange how the 3 publicly owned teams tend to drive the biggest profits.

        • That’s true BlueBomberChris, you guys were just shy of the 30k point. My bad 🙂

  13. Calgary fans shouldn’t get too excited. Two of your teams 4 wins have come against Ottawa. The Redblacks were thought to be a competitive team but really are just as bad if not worse than Montreal . Let’s see how Calgary does against good football teams as opposed to league doormats.

    • We’ve played 4 games and won the all. We can only beat who the schedulers give us!
      Who do you think can beat us right now?

      • Any team, on any given day. Your D won the last game with 5/6 takeaways. Without that, you’re average at best this year.

        On that note – in going to leave you to ruin this thread.

      • Green Apples // July 16, 2018 at 11:46 pm //

        So here’s the deal with the Stampeder organization…they have a very strong tendency to choke.

        • And of course Bo Levi CupChoke is putting together a worse GC record than Calvillo, which makes a LOT of folks chuckle quietly to themselves.

      • The Stamps seem to have a hard time winning in Montreal. That’s got to be a thorn in one’s arrogant side.

  14. @Superfan Mike… nice clear, concise summary… better than 3DN efforts… even so here’s my take on it…
    1. Calgary
    2-4. Hamilton, Winnipeg or Edmonton… these teams look good (sometimes) and are interchangeable… so call it a draw
    5-8. Saskatchewan, BC, Ottawa or Toronto… these teams lack consistency at QB and are therefore in same group and also interchangeable
    9. Montreal… still a dumpster fire

    • I would agree with this snake. The middle is kind of a soup sandwich.

    • I agree with your assessment, though I still say that you could make a case for Toronto to be above Edmonton, as they beat them by 3 points at BMO while losing by only 1 point at Commonwealth. Given a neutral field, would the odds-makers give Toronto or Edmonton the status of Favourite for that game? I’m not sure….

    • True Green // July 17, 2018 at 12:36 am //

      Snake, you should write for 3down. Good summary.

      I tend to think Hamilton is not as strong as they are getting credit for but I personally like them and hope they shoot the lights out this year. I’m just not convinced. But they are right on the same level as Edmonton and Winnipeg who are playing inconsistent and haven’t done anything to separate themselves from the pack.

      As for 5-8, I hate to admit my Riders belong here. The loss to Montreal was embarrassing but I know we are a better team than that. But are they better than the others? Remains to be seen. I think they are if they get the QB sorted out but then that’s an obvious statement!

  15. @Stampeding… answer to your question… Ticats can beat you… and almost did in last two meetings… yeah I know Stamps still won (barely) but my guess is the Ticats are the one team that concerns Dave Dickerson…

  16. Best CFL FAN // July 16, 2018 at 1:20 pm //

    I agree completely with your opening premise. Calgary good, Mtl godawful. And the rest is pure speculation..So how about applying your mental energies to something more useful, instead of wasting your time on this, Captain Obvious.

  17. True Blue // July 16, 2018 at 1:23 pm //

    They said at the start of the article the rankings were based on guesswork and ridiculousness. No need for anyone to get huffy. Wait until Labour Day to get upset about the rankings. Rankings should be more established by then too.

  18. Evil Empire // July 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm //

    Cgy 1
    Edm 2
    The rest Tied for 9th

    • Edmonton lost handily to the Tiger-Cats at home. Do you think it’s likely that Hamilton would be favoured in the rematch at the Donut box?

      Edmonton could easily slip in the rankings next week even though they are on their Bye week. And only when Edmonton beats Calgary at McMahon, they’ll jump to #1 but not before then. Will that be this year? I guess we’ll see in 6-7 weeks.

  19. MR. Green // July 16, 2018 at 2:51 pm //

    Poor Mike Sherman. Seems that photo will be his lasting mark on the CFL.

  20. dangnabbit // July 16, 2018 at 2:52 pm //

    These ratings seem pretty reasonable actually. They match up with the order you would get by subtracting points conceded from points scored, with two exceptions: Edmonton and Winnipeg mutually exchange positions, as Toronto does with Saskatchewan. Certainly one could argue for the writers extending the Eskimos the benefit of the doubt as the only team apart from Calgary with a winning record, and I’d guess their confidence in Saskatchewan is shaken by the confusion at quarterback. So all in all not much to complain about.

  21. Can’t u derstand why so many people are unable/unwilling to recognize that Calgary is the class of the league this year. By far.

    I’m the furthest thing from being a Stamps fan, but I just call it as I see it.

    The only thing that will stop Calgary this year is if they spend the entire Grey Cup week hitting the clubs and bars as they’ve done the past two years.

    Edmonton is the clear #2 team as they’ve got the best player in the league. In a winner-take-all playoff game, would you rather have Mike Reilly or a no-talent hack like Jer Masoli? Or a scrub like Matt Nichols?

    After the Alberta teams it’s a collection of mediocre outfits and bottom feeders.

    • It’s called denial.
      They all know it, it’s just hard to admit it for rider fans

    • BlueBomberChris // July 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm //

      I think it’s time you put up or shut up. If Matt Nichols is a scrub, then step in there and show him how it’s done. Oh I forgot, it’s easier to just go online and anonymously slag the guy.

      Matt Nichols is NOT the best QB currently in the CFL or in the history of the CFL but guess what? He is better than you or me and even YOU can’t argue with that fact. If you were any good you’d be playing in the league, and you’re not. Does that make you a scrub commenter or a scrub fan?

      Maybe try adding something new to the conversation rather than just your same tired comment over and over again

      • If Winnipeg had used a scarecrow at QB last week instead of Matt Nichols, they would have beat the Lions. Because the scarecrow wouldn’t cough up THREE (3) brutal INTs.

        And I guarantee the scarecrow would have thrown just as many TDs as Scrub Nichols did.

        Facts are facts, my friend. And sometimes they can be painful to acknowledge. And the cold, hard facts are that Nichols is a 31yr old hobo who’s never won a playoff game in his life.

        Bombers already have their QB of the future – – and if the present – – with Chris Streveler. The sooner the Bombers braintrust realizes this and replaces Nichols as the starter, the sooner they can put an end to that abysmal 27yr run of failure.

        • BlueBomberChris // July 17, 2018 at 12:08 am //

          Does that mean you’re offering there 51? I said right in my comment he is not the best QB currently or historically in the CFL. What he does have though is more yards, TD’s, Int’s, and importantly wins than you, I, or combined have; facts are facts as you say…as painful as they are to acknowledge.

          I absolutely know Nichols had three horrible Int’s last game as I watched them all happen. But contrary to the high standards you hold people to QB’s are allowed to have a bad game now and then. His record as Bombers QB does speak for himself since taking over (how the offense is run is irrelevant; remember it’s not how but how many). Yes there’s no playoff win yet but I’m sure it is coming and I know you don’t share my belief.

    • Calgary…LOL.
      The four stages of a Calgary Stampeder season:
      1. Have a good camp and find good recruits and field a decent team that shows good potential and is able to win games even in a less than dominant fashion.
      2. Calgary sports broadcasters and a few national broadcasters start making extrapolations based on a few wins and anoint the Stampeders as the unstoppable guardians of the galaxy.
      3. Dave Dickenson reads the positive press reports and starts to believe that they are that much better than other teams. Dave relays his beliefs to the team daily during practice.
      4. Calgary has a disastrous finish to the season when they find out at the absolute worst time that they really aren’t as good as they think they are.

      rinse and repeat.

    • The Area51 man-love for Mike Reilly is strong. Mike has a good rep and has a few glory stats that really don’t mean that much. At the end of the day for a team with a LOT of talent on it the W’s and L’s that Mike Reilly seems to accumulate seem a little anemic compared to his “reputation”.

    • That’s fine, as far as it goes. I just resent the fact that we have to have tarsands induced global warming just so Alberta can have a couple powerhouse CFL franchises, and the rest of us choke.

  22. Paul Bomber // July 16, 2018 at 3:51 pm //

    Only ranking that makes me go “huh?” is Toronto’s. I’d put them ahead of Ottawa for sure, and maybe even Wpg after last week’s abysmal performances by both those teams. Can a defending Grey Cup champ can be a dark horse?

  23. Its time to stop reading the 3Down power rankings. EE winning a 1 point game at home over a bottom ranked team in less than impressive fashion nets them a 4 place jump from 6th to 2nd?. Yeah….waste time reading this article.
    The people compiling these rankings need to stabilize their sugar input. Enough of this “winging it” business and come up with a systematic method of doing rankings or stop doing it.

  24. Argos still ranked 4 spots higher than they should be.

    • But still the 2017 Grey Cup Champions!!! Do you know the movie Any Given Sunday was released in 1999? Perhaps the Cats motto should be Any Given Century!!!

      • Century? The depressed little village of Hamilton hasn’t won a Grey Cup in this millennium.

        Will be interesting to see what happens first – – will the TiCats win a Grey Cup or will the foul stench of sulphur that shrouds the village dissipate?

        • Rather be breathing in the sulphur fumes of the “depressed little village” as opposed to risking my life shopping downtown TO in fear of being mowed down by some extremest zealot…but then again, that’s just me.

    • My humble apologies…make that 5 spots.

  25. George Fogarty // July 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm //

    I think the Pussy Cats shouldn’t play for the rest of the season and they will be number 1.

    What a joke pussy cats #3.

  26. True Green // July 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm //

    So basically a group of “professional journalists” have decided their power ranking based on personally belief and emotion as opposed to and kind of formula or statistic.

    Well done.

  27. TouchDownBC // July 16, 2018 at 9:37 pm //

    Lions should be ranked #2

  28. TouchDownBC // July 16, 2018 at 9:38 pm //

    Leos unbeaten in BC Place this season…whos next??

    • Now that they’ve finally benched the hopeless Johnny Jennings, BC might actually be able to have a respectable season.

      Unfortunately the Lions and Montreal were both mathematically eliminated from the playoffs before the season started, but if they could win a half dozen games with Lulay they’d be the best of the bottom feeders.

  29. ” The Montreal Alouettes are bad.”

    Yup. That’s about the extent of your coverage of the Alouettes. You’ve got Podskee Whiners hanging out all over the place. But if an Alouettes fan wants ONE SENTENCE of inside information about his/her team: fuhgettaboutit!

    Maybe you should change the name of this site to: 3Down(except Montreal Alouettes)Nation

  30. Guys this is an absolute joke. The cats lose have dont play and move up. Then the team that beat them doesnt play and moves down. What a joke and glad im on vacation and wish i didnt WASTE my time

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