How the Riders-Lions game could impact the West playoff picture

We’ve been tracking the various playoff implications for the past few weeks and while the Bombers win over Calgary last night cleared a few things up – Winnipeg is in, the Eskimos are out – there’s still plenty to be decided, starting with the Riders game against B.C. tonight.

Here’s what’s at stake:

For the Riders

• a win and they clinch a home playoff game.
• a win and they remain in the hunt for first overall in the West. They would need B.C. to beat Calgary next week to make it happen.
• a loss, a tie or a loss by one or two points and the Riders clinch second in the West and host the semi-final.
• a loss by four points or more and B.C. has an opportunity to pass them for a second.

For B.C.:

• a win by four or more points and they can still finish as high as second in the West with a win over Calgary next week and a Winnipeg loss or tie to Edmonton.
• a loss and the Lions are locked into the crossover spot.

For Winnipeg:

• a loss by B.C. and Winnipeg finishes third in the West.
• the only way Winnipeg can be the crossover team is if the Bombers, Lions and Riders finish at 11-7. (Lions win today and next week, Bombers win over Edmonton next week.)

For Calgary:

• a Saskatchewan loss and Calgary finishes first in the West.

If Saskatchewan and B.C. finish with identical 11-7 records AND the Lions beat the Riders on Saturday by EXACTLY three points, that would give both teams identical head-to-head records (1-1) and point differential (Saskatchewan won by 24-21 on Aug. 25.) The next tie-breaker is winning percentage against clubs in the division but they would both finish with identical 6-4 records against the West.

The next tie-breaker is “higher net aggregate of points in games played against all member clubs of the division” – in other words, points for and against vs the entire West. And we won’t know that number until after both the Riders-B.C. game and B.C.’s game against Calgary in Week 21.

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