We’ve only played two of their four games on the CFL schedule this week and already the playoff picture has shifted.
Ottawa’s win over Hamilton gives them the season series over the Ticats and puts them in driver’s seat in the East title. A Redblacks’ victory next Friday in Hamilton and they take the division (and render the Week 21 games moot.) If Hamilton wins, they’ll need a win over Montreal and a loss by Ottawa to Toronto on the final weekend to win the East.
Meanwhile, B.C. clinched a playoff spot with a win over Edmonton and they are still in the running for a division title though they could also finish as low as fourth (and play in the East crossover.) B.C. has lost the season series to Winnipeg on point differential while the season series with Saskatchewan is still to be determined (they play next week.)
The Lions’ victory also gave the Bombers’ post-season hopes a massive boost: Winnipeg can now secure a post-season berth with at home against Calgary next week. They also hold the tie-breaker with B.C. on point differential and will finish ahead of them in the standings if they finish with the same record.
Winnipeg can also finish second in the West if Saskatchewan loses their two remaining games and the Bombers win out.
Edmonton, meanwhile, no longer controls their playoff destiny. On a bye this week, they’ll need a Stampeder victory over Winnipeg next Friday and a home win over the Bombers to secure a playoff spot.
The big game on Saturday is the Calgary-Saskatchewan tilt. A win by the Stampeders and they win the West while a Saskatchewan victory keeps them in the hunt for the division title (while also ending Winnipeg’s hopes of hosting a playoff game.
While B.C. can still finish second even with a Rider win, a Calgary victory helps their cause as well. Essentially, both Winnipeg and B.C. fans should be cheering for Calgary (if they weren’t already.)
Here’s an updated look at the standings and the remaining schedule.
Calgary 12-3 (vs SSK, at WIN, at B.C.)
Saskatchewan 10-6 (at CAL, vs B.C., bye)
Winnipeg 9-7 (bye, vs CAL, at EDM)
B.C. 9-7 (at SSK, vs CAL)
Edmonton 8-9 (bye, vs WIN)
As for tie-breakers, while the nightmare 10-8 scenario is off the table, there are still multiple possibilities left. In head to head matchups, Saskatchewan holds the tie-breaker over Winnipeg (2-1) and has a three-point advantage with one game remaining with B.C. The Bombers win over the Lions on point differential.
Also possible: a three-way tie at 9-9 (WIN, B.C., EDM which sees the Bombers eliminated) and three-way ties between Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and B.C. at both 10-8 and 11-7, pending the outcome of B.C.’s game against the Riders on Oct. 27.
Right now, the records between those three teams stack up like this:
SSK 3-1 (.750)
WIN 2-3 (.400)
B.C. 1-2 (.333)
That means the Riders game against the Lions could the determining factor in who plays in the West Semi-Final against Saskatchewan and who plays in the East crossover. A win by B.C. and they finish third, a loss and it’s the Bombers.
Anyway, we’ll know a lot more after Saskatchewan’s game with Calgary this afternoon.