A team by team breakdown of the CFL playoff race

So the CFL will have a West team crossover into the East Division playoffs for the third season in a row and for the 14th time in league history. The West’s recent dominance over the East is well documented, including a 27-12 record in inter-division games this season.

One solution that’s often floated for dealing with this perpetual imbalance is to scrap the divisions altogether. For fun, here’s what the current playoff race would look like under a one division format.

1. Calgary 12-2
2. Saskatchewan 10-5
3. Ottawa 8-6
4. Winnipeg 8-7
5. Hamilton 7-7
6. B.C. 7-7

7. Edmonton 7-8
8. Toronto 3-11
9. Montreal 3-12

In this scenario, Ottawa and Hamilton have yet to clinch playoff berths, never mind home playoff games. Meanwhile, Calgary and Saskatchewan are on track to receive first-round byes instead of an East Division team with a lesser record. The Riders, should they finish second in the West, will have to play an extra game as well as travel to Calgary to make it to the Grey Cup under the current set up – hardly a just reward for an excellent regular season.

There are lots of factors to consider: the history of the league, the schedule, the need for regional rivalries. But there is little question that the one division set up would be more equitable as well as potentially making the playoff race more interesting.

Oh, and that nightmare scenario we outlined last week in which four West Division teams finish at 10-8? It’s still in play…

Let’s take a look at what each team is facing.

East Division

Ottawa (8-6)
Games remaining: 4
Schedule: at EDM, vs HAM, at HAM, vs TOR
Home games: 2
Opponent winning percentage: .421 (24-33)
Division series status: 2-0 vs MTL (win), 1-0 vs HAM (two games remaining) 0-1 vs TOR (-1 point)
Key matchups: vs HAM on Oct. 19, at HAM on Oct. 27
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 100 per cent
What just happened: Lost to Winnipeg but clinched a playoff spot and home playoff date due to Toronto’s loss in B.C. Now just one game ahead of Hamilton for first in the East.
Playoff scenario: Still trying to lock up the division title, can’t do it this week.
What’s next: A trip to Edmonton to face a desperate Eskimos club.
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Toronto to beat Hamilton.

Hamilton (7-7)
Games remaining: 4
Schedule: at TOR, at OTT, vs OTT, vs MTL
Home games: 2
Opponent winning percentage: .386 (22-35)
Division series status: 2-0 vs TOR (win), 1-0 vs MTL (+39 points, one game remaining), 0-1 vs OTT (two games remaining)
Key matchups: at OTT on Oct. 19, vs OTT on Oct. 27
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 100 per cent
What just happened: Clinched a playoff spot and a home playoff game with Toronto’s loss in B.C. and Montreal’s loss to Calgary. Now just a game back of Ottawa for first in the East.
Playoff scenario: Still trying to lock up the division title, can’t do it this week.
What’s next: At Toronto, who are out of the playoffs and expected to start James Franklin at quarterback.
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Edmonton to beat Ottawa.

Toronto (3-11)
Games remaining: 4
Schedule: vs HAM, vs MTL, at MTL, vs OTT
Home games: 3
Opponent winning percentage: .362 (21-37)
Division series status: 1-0 vs OTT (+1 point, one game remaining), 0-2 vs HAM (loss), 0-1 vs MTL (two games remaining)
Key matchups: None
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 0 per cent
What just happened: A loss in B.C. officially eliminated the Argos from playoff contention.
Playoff scenario: With a game left against both Hamilton and Ottawa, the Argos have the ability to influence the East playoff race.
What’s next: At home against the Ticats.

Montreal (3-12)
Games remaining: 3
Schedule: bye, at TOR, vs TOR, at HAM
Home games: 1
Opponent winning percentage: .310
Division series status: 1-0 vs TOR (two games remaining), 0-1 vs HAM (-39 points, one game remaining), 0-2 vs OTT (loss)
Key matchups: None
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 0 per cent
What just happened: Home loss to Calgary officially eliminated the Alouettes from playoff contention.
Playoff scenario: Game against Hamilton in Week 21 could have an impact on the East title race.
What’s next: Bye week.

West Division

Calgary (12-2)
Games remaining: 4
Schedule: vs B.C., vs SSK, at WIN, at B.C.
Home games: 2
Opponent winning percentage: .552 (32-26)
Division series status: 1-1 vs SSK (one game remaining), 1-1 vs EDM (lose series on point differential), 1-0 vs B.C. (two games remaining), 1-0 vs WIN (+13, one game remaining)
Key matchups: vs SSK on Oct. 20
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 100 per cent
What just happened: Clinched a home playoff date with a win over Montreal.
Playoff scenario: Would clinch the West Division title with a win and a loss or tie by Saskatchewan.
What’s next: Home against B.C.
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Winnipeg to beat Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan (10-5)
Games remaining: 3
Schedule: at WIN, at CAL, vs B.C., bye
Home games: 1
Opponent winning percentage: .628 (27-16)
Division series status: 2-0 vs WIN (win), 1-1 vs CAL (one game remaining), 1-0 vs B.C. (+3, one game remaining), 1-1 vs EDM (tied on point differential, tiebreaker is record within the division. Saskatchewan is 5-2 with three games remaining, Edmonton is 4-4 with two games remaining.)
Key matchups: at CAL on Oct. 20
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 100 per cent
What just happened: Beat Edmonton and have clinched a playoff berth.
Playoff scenario: Clinch a home playoff date with a win and a B.C. loss or tie. Can still win the division if they catch Calgary and win on Oct. 20.
What’s next: At Winnipeg.
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Ottawa to beat Edmonton, B.C. to beat Calgary.

Winnipeg (8-7)
Games remaining: 3
Schedule: vs SSK, bye, vs CAL, at EDM
Home games: 2
Opponent winning percentage: .659 (29-15)
Division series status: 1-1 vs B.C. (win on point differential), 0-2 vs SSK (loss), 1-1 vs EDM (one game remaining), 0-1 vs CAL (-13, one game remaining)
Key matchups: Everything.
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 91.7 per cent
What just happened: Beat Ottawa.
Playoff scenario: Can take a big step towards a playoff spot with a win over Saskatchewan (but can’t clinch.) Could still host a playoff game or miss the post-season altogether.
What’s next: Host Saskatchewan with plenty on the line (including revenge for the Banjo Bowl).
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Ottawa to beat Edmonton, Calgary to beat B.C.

B.C. (7-7)
Games remaining: 4
Schedule: at CAL, vs EDM, at SSK, vs CAL
Home games: 2
Opponent winning percentage: .707 (41-17)
Division series status: 0-1 vs SSK (-3, one game remaining), 1-1 vs EDM (one game remaining), 0-1 vs CAL (two games remaining), 1-1 vs WIN (loss on point differential).
Key matchups: Every. One.
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 52.3
What just happened: Beat Toronto by the skin of their teeth.
Playoff scenario: B.C. could host a playoff game or miss the playoffs and nothing will be decided this week.
What’s next: Their first of two remaining games will the Stamps.
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Saskatchewan to beat Winnipeg, Ottawa to beat Edmonton.

Edmonton (7-8)
Games remaining: 3
Schedule: vs OTT, at B.C., bye, vs WIN
Home games: 2
Opponent winning percentage: .535 (27-16)
Division series status: 1-1 vs CAL (win on point differential), 1-1 vs WIN (one game remaining), 1-0 vs SSK (+7, one game remaining), 1-1 vs B.C. (one game remaining).
Key matchups: Oct. 8 vs. SSK, Oct. 19 vs. B.C., Nov. 3 vs WIN
Sports Club Stats Playoff Chances: 56 per cent
What just happened: Lost in agonizing fashion to the Riders.
Playoff scenario: The Eskimos can still finish second in the West but a loss this week and they’ll be in serious trouble (if they aren’t already.)
What’s next: Home against Ottawa.
Who they should be cheering for in other games: Saskatchewan to beat Winnipeg, Calgary to beat B.C.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Facebooktwitterredditmail
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1524 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.