Labour Day has come and gone, which means we have finally entered the last third of the CFL regular season. Our power rankings feature a new (old) team at the bottom of the rankings as well as a number of risers and fallers including the Ottawa Redblacks, who are officially on their first winning streak since the start of the 2019 season.
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.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1)
Winnipeg is 3-14 in Labour Day Classics dating back to 2005 but two of those wins have now come in back-to-back years. It wasn’t the team’s most complete effort this season but they played well enough to eke out a 20-18 win in hostile territory. The Blue Bombers are officially the first team to punch their ticket to the postseason this year, though they’ll have to keep stringing wins together to clinch first place in the West Division.
2. Calgary Stampeders (2)
Jake Maier shook off an ugly first half to lead his team to a win in the Battle of Alberta, improving to 2-3 on his career as a starter. Reggie Begelton had a much-anticipated breakout game with two touchdown receptions, while rookie defensive lineman Romeo McKnight blocked a Jon Ryan punt. Calgary’s defence managed an impressive six sacks, including two from Folarin Orimolade.
3. Toronto Argonauts (3)
The Argos are sitting pretty atop the East Division after holding Hamilton to just 267 yards of offence on Labour Day. Former first-round NFL draft pick Shane Ray has quietly put together six sacks on the year, while weak-side linebacker Wynton McManis is an emerging candidate for Most Outstanding Defensive Player. This team keeps collecting wins and is on pace to clinch the East Division for a second straight year.
4. B.C. Lions (5)
There’s a new quarterback under centre in Vancouver as Vernon Adams Jr. was acquired via trade from the Montreal Alouettes. The veteran passer said it’ll be up to the team’s coaching staff to determine how soon he can play, though it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which Adams won’t soon be the starter. It was a big move but one the Lions needed to make after Nathan Rourke underwent foot surgery.
5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)
Saskatchewan failed to capitalize on an excellent start to the Labour Day Classic as foolish penalties and questionable play-calling allowed Winnipeg to complete the comeback on a late field goal from Marc Liegghio. Now 6-6, the Riders will have to find a way to win the upcoming Banjo Bowl if they hope to remain within striking distance of the third-place Calgary Stampeders.
6. Ottawa Redblacks (8)
If you wrote the Redblacks off weeks ago, don’t worry — there’s plenty of room if you want to hop back on the bandwagon. Nick Arbuckle has thrown for 532 yards and a touchdown in two games as the team’s starter and avoided committing any turnovers. If Ottawa can continue extending its first winning streak since the start of the 2019 season, there’s no reason this team can’t still make the playoffs.
7. Montreal Alouettes (6)
Montreal’s defence failed to provide much resistance against Ottawa this past week, allowing 38 points and 437 yards while generating zero sacks or takeaways. It was a disappointing performance from a team that had won back-to-back games and was looking to challenge Toronto for first place in the East Division. Is it possible that Vernon Adams Jr. will start for B.C. when the Alouettes host the Lions on Friday?
8. Edmonton Elks (9)
Taylor Cornelius had arguably his best game of the season in the Labour Day Classic with 257 yards and two touchdowns, though it still wasn’t enough to put his team over the top. Rookie running back Kevin Brown made a strong impact in his first career game with five carries for 45 yards and six catches for 61 yards, though it seems odd that he didn’t get more touches.
9. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7)
The Ticats appear to have hit rock bottom after managing just one offensive point on Labour Day, ending a seven-year winning streak in the rivalry game. Dane Evans did not play despite dressing for the game, while rookie quarterback Jamie Newman threw for 171 yards and an interception. Hamilton has a bye this upcoming week, which is perfect timing as they look to save their season after falling to 3-9.