West is best in battle of CFL divisions
The CFL has put forth a proposal to rename the two divisions so they will better reflect the talent gap between the East and West Divisions.
The West Division will be known as the Harlem Globetrotter Division while the East will be called the Washington General Division in honour of the famous doormat Globetrotter opponent.
This season has had more inequality than my attempts to master algebra formulas in high school and I think I enjoyed math more than most of the East-West games thus far in 2014. I believe the East will win more in the back nine of the season because they will play each other more in the fall.
First up this week is Friday night’s match up between Winnipeg and Montreal. The Blue Bombers have more rest and a home game on their side, so I have placed them in the pilot’s chair for this game. Montreal looked better against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their last game, but they are clearly a team in transition. Montreal head coach Tom Higgins called his new starting quarterback Alex Brink a journeyman and was criticized for his candor. Higgins was right; and maybe a little flattering with his assessment.
The Bombers have begun to lose altitude this season, but this game against the Als should provide a little lift for them. The Montreal defence will put pressure on Bomber quarterback Drew Willy, but his strength is his quick release, confidence and accuracy. My guess is he will exploit the pressure with a short game and hand another loss to an East team.
Saturday afternoon features a game between Toronto and Edmonton. My dilemma: Do I award another free spot on the bingo card to the Eskimos or do I entertain the idea of an Argo victory? I watched Edmonton eke out a victory against the lowly RedBlacks last weekend and the concept of an Argo win in Edmonton does not seem as crazy to me.
Argo quarterback Ricky Ray rarely puts together two bad games in a row and I doubt he will be unmotivated in a game where he can win against a team that inexplicably traded him away in his prime. The Argo defence has greatly improved since the start of the season and the Eskimo O-line still has protection issues for their quarterback Mike Reilly.
Look for an Argo victory in this game because Ricky may have an ultra-calm demeanor, but he is a fierce competitor with a will to win football games. He will factor heavily in this win.
Calgary plays a Sunday afternoon game in Ottawa against the RedBlacks and I believe the expansion team will be generous hosts in this game. The RedBlacks played tough against the Eskimos, but they were plagued by one of the trademarks of this new team: paper thin talent at receiver.
Untimely miscues cost them the game and things will not get easier against the Stamps.
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has dialed up his game and he will play a role in the Calgary victory, along with a pressure Calgary defence.
I really had to think about the final game of the weekend with B.C. playing host to the Saskatchewan Roughriders late Sunday afternoon.
B.C. thumped Saskatchewan 26-13 in a Week 2 matchup and the Riders have serious issues with offence this year, if you discount the run game.
The ’Riders also have the toughest front four in the league and lead the CFL in quarterback annihilation. The Saskatchewan defence has balanced the lack of offence thus far, but more is expected from inconsistent ’Rider quarterback Darian Durant after last year’s playoff run.
Durant may be in way over his head in this game if the Lions turn it into a shootout and I expect they will in front of the home crowd with the mysterious “loud crowd” noise at B.C. home games, where people appear to be largely sitting on their hands. Lions win at home.