3DownNation power rankings: new quarterback, same spot for struggling Elks

The 3DownNation power rankings have been tallied following Week 11 of the 2021 CFL season.

Usually the games are the main story, but the Edmonton Elks decision to first bench, then trade franchise quarterback Trevor Harris will be all anyone remembers about this chapter in the CFL season. It was bold, it was brash, and it was controversial from the Elks organization, but it did nothing to change their place in our standings.

Our power rankings are created by having our contributors rank each team from No. 1 to No. 9 independently, then averaging out the scores. Last week’s rankings are listed in brackets.

Enjoy the rankings and feel free to roast us on Twitter for anything you feel we’ve got wrong.

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1)

Winnipeg very nearly slipped up against the Elks and their fiery backup-turned-starter, but they flipped the switch in the fourth quarter just as they have all season. Two straight wins over Edmonton with less than perfect effort in each won’t worry Bombers’ fans too much, but the potential loss of Andrew Harris will.

Photo courtesy: Ryan McCullough/Hamilton Tiger-Cats

2. Toronto Argonauts (2)

Tough to penalize the East Division leaders while they’re on a bye and Boris Bede’s heroics against Hamilton keeps the Boatmen in the number two spot this week. Look for McLeod Bethel-Thompson to steer the ship the rest of the way, as Nick Arbuckle is reportedly on the trade block.

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions/Paul Yates

3. Calgary Stampeders (3)

The once-forgotten Stampeders are proving their dynasty is not over and their demolition of the B.C. Lions has them in sole possession of second in the West. If they can get it done with Nick Holley, Richie Sindani, Luther Hakunavanhu and Colton Hunchak in the receiving corps, the Stamps deserve to host a playoff game.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (5)

A big Calgary win has the Riders two straight losses to Bo Levi and company looking slightly more respectable after the bye week, but there are still problems to address. Namely their league-leading number of penalties, which drew some scathing criticism from a well-respected former player recently.

Photo courtesy: Ryan McCullough/Hamilton Tiger-Cats

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4)

The Ticats’ heartbreaking loss to their Ontario rivals a week ago will still be stinging, but the middle of the pack squad at least got the right to host the 2023 Grey Cup as a present during their bye week. Hopefully their Grey Cup drought doesn’t last until then.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

6. Montreal Alouettes (7)

The Alouettes are alone in second place in the East, but you’ll forgive our voters if they aren’t buying in after two straight wins over Ottawa. Matthew Shiltz looked comfortable replacing the injured Vernon Adams Jr., but the addition of Trevor Harris should add some spice to the stretch run in La Belle Province.

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions/Paul Yates

7. B.C. Lions (6)

The Lions got blown out by the Bombers, then came out of a bye week healthy to get blown out by the Stamps, casting serious doubts on their candidacy in the West. Three straight home losses to division rivals will do that and the cracks are only getting bigger in the Michael Reilly-led offence.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

8. Ottawa Redblacks (8)

People were actually picking the Redblacks to win this week, a moral victory in and of itself, but it appears that a talent deprived Ottawa team is back to square one. Promising QB Caleb Evans was pulled in Week 11, while backup Taryn Christion suffered a likely season-ending injury, meaning it might soon be Duck season in the nation’s capital.

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

9. Edmonton Elks (9)

Head coach Jaime Elizondo’s bold choice to anoint his former XFL quarterback Taylor Cornelius as the starter for the Elks’ rematch with the Bombers seemed to provide a bit of a spark, but not enough to win. With Trevor Harris unceremoniously shipped out of town, the future of the franchise now rides on the youngster.

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