“You want to be playing your best football this time of year,” is a well-worn CFL cliche but one that also happens to be true.
The Toronto Argonauts, champions last season, finished up a so-so 9-9 campaign by winning five of their last seven while the 2015 Edmonton Eskimos won their last eight regular season games on their way to the title. In 2014, the Stamps went 7-2 from Labour Day on. Only the 2016 Ottawa Redblacks, who went 3-5 in their last eight, buck this trend.
The power rankings also reflect this trend with the teams who are stringing together wins – Winnipeg (four straight), Hamilton (two straight), B.C. (five of their last six) – moving up at the expense of the struggling squads.
1. Calgary Stampeders (Previous ranking: 1)
Lost to B.C. but maintain their spot at the top of the table. But would losses to Saskatchewan and Winnipeg down the stretch knock them off their perch?
2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Previous ranking: 3)
The Bombers throttled Saskatchewan and are the CFL’s hottest team, having gone from No. 7 on Sept. 24 to the No. 2 ranking in three short weeks. On a bye this week.
3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Previous ranking: 5)
The Ticats took care of business against the hapless Argos and now face the Redblacks for a home-and-home that will decide the division.
4. B.C. Lions (Previous ranking: 7)
The Lions knocked off Calgary at home and get a big boost for doing what many considerred impossible.
5. Edmonton Eskimos (Previous ranking: 6)
The Eskimos saved their season with a win over Ottawa and can’t afford a slip up against the Lions this week, either.
6. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Previous ranking: 3)
A 31-0 beatdown sees the Riders drop three places and raises all kinds of questions in Riderville.
7. Ottawa Redblacks (Previous ranking: 4)
The Redblacks were the No. 2 ranked team on Oct. 1. Not anymore.
8. Montreal Alouettes (Previous ranking: 8)
The Alouettes face Toronto the next two weeks with the No. 8 ranking at stake.
9. Toronto Argonauts (Previous ranking: 9)
We’re lucky Marc Trestman is mic’d up, who knows what he’d say about this awful Toronto team.