The Ian Busby Memorial Grey Cup Matchup Rankings

Back during our first Grey Cup here at 3DownNation, the esteemed Ian Busby penned his Grey Cup matchup rankings; he did it again in 2016 and 2017 much to everyone’s delight.

Unfortunately, Ian is no longer with us (he didn’t die, he just no longer contributes to 3Down, I want to make that clear), so someone needed to take the mantle and try to fill his shoes by ranking all nine potential Grey Cup matchups.

So with that out of the way, here are the first annual Ian Busby Memorial Grey Cup Matchup Rankings. I hope I have done my predecessor proud.

9. Calgary vs. Ottawa
Last Meeting: 2016, Ottawa won 39-33 (OT)
Other previous meetings: 1968, 1948
Overall record: Ottawa 2-1

While these two teams provided a game for the ages in 2016, they are the two top seeds and seeing the playoffs play out as they are supposed to is no fun for anyone. We want chaos, surprises and one of the favourites getting knocked out early to create a genuinely surprising Grey Cup matchup. Ottawa and Calgary is decidedly not that.

8. Saskatchewan vs. Ottawa
Last meeting: 1976, Ottawa won 23-20
Other previous meetings: 1969, 1966, 1951
Overall record: Ottawa 3-1

There just isn’t a ton of sizzle here. What’s the storyline you can really sink your teeth into? Two insufferable fan bases that no one likes? That’s no fun. There is no real animosity between these two teams or these two fan bases — unless you count the Redblacks being told they couldn’t be the Rough Riders — so there is not much here to get you really excited for a potential clash.

7. Calgary vs. Hamilton
Last meeting: 2014, Calgary won 20-14
Other previous meetings: 1999, 1998
Overall record: Calgary, 2-1

If both these teams were at full strength you would have the makings of a classic. But both receiving corps are shells of their former selves and with Calgary recent dominance over the Ticats — Calgary hasn’t lost to Hamilton since 2011 — it doesn’t make for a very scintillating possible matchup.

6. Winnipeg vs. Ottawa
Last meeting: 1941, Winnipeg won 18-16
Other previous meetings: 1939
Overall record: Winnipeg 2-0

Sorry, Ottawa, but games featuring you just don’t move the needle. This one is the most interesting because it would be a matchup not seen since 1941! These two teams matchup well, as seen in their Week 17 40-32 overtime thriller. But it’s the cache of 99 per cent of people witnessing this game to see one they have never seen before that puts this at No. 6.

5. Saskatchewan vs. B.C.
Last meeting: Never
Other previous meetings: Never
Overall record: N/A

The first of two matchups between teams that have never met in a Grey Cup before. It would feature Wally Buono’s final game against a team whose fans might give him the most guff of anyone in the league. It features a good offence (Lions) going against a great defence (Riders) and a terrible offence (Riders) against a good defence (Lions). It would be a fun matchup and the never-before-seen aspect makes it more intriguing.

4. Saskatchewan vs. Hamilton
Last meeting: 2013, Saskatchewan won 45-23
Other previous meetings: 1989, 1972, 1967
Overall record: Tied 2-2

The Jones vs. Jones matchup has produced much in the way of stellar games so far, and the Riders have dominated recently winning the last five contests between these two teams. But when it comes to the Grey Cup, these two usually put on a show, with the 1989 game being considered one of the best ever and both teams have also won on home soil. Two passionate fan bases, the history of excellent Grey Cups makes this one to want to see.

3. Winnipeg vs. B.C.
Last meeting: 2011, B.C. won 34-23
Other previous meetings: 1988
Overall record: Tied 1-1

With Winnipeg’s flip-flopping between divisions, we haven’t seen this matchup very often, but the reason this one has intrigue is because it would feature both No. 3 seeds, meaning both teams will have gone on the road twice and emerged victorious. It would give us the storyline of Wally walking away with one final championship or the Bombers ending their interminable nearly three decade Grey Cup drought. Separating the top three matchups was tough, so this could be No. 1

2. Calgary vs. B.C.
Last meeting: Never
Other previous meetings: Never
Overall record: N/A

The second of two first-time-ever matchups is one that is oozing with storylines. We have Wally coaching his final game against his former team. We have the Stamps trying to do their best to alter the perception that they are Grey Cup chokers. We have a true West vs. West matchup for the first time. Lulay vs. Mitchell; those defences trying to destroy the opposition; receivers, running backs, special teams. It’s a dream matchup in every sense of the word and would be No. 1 if not for…

1. Winnipeg vs. Hamilton
Last meeting: 1984, Winnipeg won 47-12
Other previous meetings: 1965, 1962, 1961, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1953
Overall record: Winnipeg 5-3

One of the most storied Grey Cup rivalries would be renewed. These two teams faced off in five Grey Cups in six years between 1957-62 and haven’t met in the big game since the Bombers shellacked the Ticats 47-17 in 1984. It’s long overdue for these two teams to meet again on the game’s biggest stage and it comes with the added bonus of knowing we would see a team that hasn’t won a title in a long time (Hamilton, 1999; Winnipeg, 1990) finally win an ever elusive championship. This game has everything you want in a Grey Cup matchup and because of that finds itself atop the first annual Ian Busby Memorial Grey Cup Matchup Rankings.

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