3DownNation CFL power rankings: Nathan Rourke, Lions leapfrog Stampeders

Photo courtesy: Tiffany Luke/B.C. Lions

Week 9 of the CFL season is officially in the books, bringing with it a number of changes to our power rankings. Only one team stood pat from last week with changes taking place throughout the rest of the list, including a top three that has remained the same for quite some time.

3DownNation’s power rankings are created by having eleven of our contributors rank each team from No. 1 to No. 9 independently, then averaging out the scores. The previous week’s rankings are in brackets.

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

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1)

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Winnipeg played well and won a football game. Crazy, isn’t it? The Blue Bombers overcame a mediocre start to post 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, using all three phases of the game to generate big plays. This team only has one more game ahead of their bye week and it’s tough to imagine them not being 10-0 when it arrives.

Photo courtesy: Jimmy Jeong/CFL

2. B.C. Lions (3)

That sound you’re hearing across the country is Nathan Rourke fans cheering, “M.O.P.! M.O.P.! M.O.P.!” Whatever you want to call the Canadian sensation — Air Canada, West Jet, the Lion King or Queen Elizabeth — he’s now thrown for 2,418 yards, 21 touchdowns, and six interceptions in just seven games. The CFL is a tough league for quarterbacks to thrive in but Rourke is making it look like Madden on rookie mode.

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

3. Calgary Stampeders (2)

Do you remember Calgary’s win over Ottawa? If you don’t, we won’t blame you — it was easily the most forgettable game of the CFL season so far. The defence completely stifled the Redblacks, though the offence was largely stagnant with Bo Levi Mitchell completing under 50 percent of his passes. On the plus side, Dedrick Mills ran for 100 yards in place of an injured Ka’Deem Carey.

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

4. Toronto Argonauts (8)

Could the real Toronto Argonauts please stand up? No, seriously — could the real Toronto Argonauts please stand up? We need to know where to rank you. The Boatmen have become the least predictable outfit in the CFL, equally capable of sailing over their opponents or getting blown out of the water. This team is becoming a must-watch unit if for no other reason than you never know how they’re going to play.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)

The Riders fell back one spot during their bye week, which is probably where they should have remained all along anyway given that they’re on a three-game losing streak. The good news? Saskatchewan plays Edmonton this week. The bad news? Seven of the club’s final nine games are against B.C., Calgary, and Winnipeg.

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5)

The Ticats squandered a 17-6 lead this week as the defence softened and the offence generated only one meaningful drive in the second half. It was a big blow to a team that was on the rise in our power rankings, especially given that the loss came at the hands of the first-place Argonauts. Hamilton can still catch Toronto in the standings — they have three meetings over the next four weeks — but will need to improve fast.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

7. Montreal Alouettes (9)

The Alouettes moved up two spots in our rankings, though that was largely due to the ineptitude of the teams below them. They played Winnipeg tight for three quarters before finally collapsing in the final frame as they allowed a punt return touchdown and Trevor Harris threw two interceptions. And the discipline problems Danny Maciocia complained about under Khari Jones? Yeah, those still haven’t gotten better.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

8. Ottawa Redblacks (7)

Have you ever heard the phrase “one step forward, two steps back?” There’s no better way to describe the Redblacks right now as they followed their first win of the season with an atrocious performance against Calgary. Caleb Evans drew praise from head coach Paul LaPolice this past week but was replaced by Nick Arbuckle against the Stamps after throwing for 66 yards and an interception. Yikes.

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

9. Edmonton Elks (7)

Nathan Rourke cut through Chris Jones’ defence like a hot knife through butter, completing 91.9 percent of his passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns. The offence wasn’t much better — Derel Walker was the only weapon who consistently made plays — and the return game was impotent. Edmonton has a chance to end their infamous home losing streak this week and it looks like they’ll need plenty of luck to get it done.