The long, long wait is over! Football is back!
Last year in this space I was prophetic and correctly predicted Calgary sending Hamilton home in tears and that’s EXACTLY how it went down.
What does your not-so-humble and illustrious oracle foresee this campaign? Let me tell you!
The West keeps beating the snot out of the East.
1st Calgary (12-6)
Still the team to beat but are much more beatable this year after several high profile departures which, as they say, is good for the league. BLM is probably the best QB in the country but he’s always been well protected and Cornish is unstoppable only when healthy. We’ll see how well their O-line takes care of them both this year.
2nd Edmonton (11-7)
Last year’s most improved team are legitimate contenders this year. Mike Reilly is a magician who turns broken plays into first downs with his feet. You know who else could do that? Doug Flutie, and he won a ton. The best games this year will be the three Stamps v Eskimos contests and as the season series goes so does first place in the West! I expect the Eskies to only take one of the three (but not getting swept again) landing them second place.
3rd Saskatchewan (9-9)
All their fortunes depend on Darian Durrant and I don’t foresee him playing the entire season. Clearly neither does Taman who hired my favourite QB in the whole wide world, Kevin Glenn, to lead them to the intercepted land. Having Kevin Glenn on your roster is the #1 surefire way to NOT win the Grey Cup. The man is cursed. Also, he throws a ton of INTs in case you didn’t catch it the first time.
4th Winnipeg (9-9)
Buckle up Bomber fans ’cause it’s going to be another rough ride over the pot holes in Winnipeg. While a new O-line is exactly what Drew Willy’s neurologist prescribed, the #1 QB still doesn’t have anyone to throw or hand the ball off to. What about the defense? They looked terrible in the pre-season. Still, I expect Winnipeg will outplay BC, Toronto and Ottawa. The 3-year playoff drought ends this season when they cross over back to the East from whence they should have never left.
5th BC (7-11)
BC is a bit of mess this year with a new american coach (Jeff Tedford) many years removed from the CFL (See Dan Hawkins and Montreal 2013) and a quarterback (Lulay) who may or may not be able to throw a football with his frankenshoulder. I wouldn’t count them out but they’re not as fearsome as they were when Wally coached.
Still mostly push overs.
1st Hamilton (11-7)
I’d give Hamilton more wins if it weren’t for their current bout of injury plague. This team is playing better with time and has a great QB and the league’s best head coach. They should dominate the East and give the West fits.
2nd Montreal (10-8)
So QB Crompton wasn’t good enough last year to cement his ownership of the starting gig? He got them into the playoffs… The Bombers missed the playoffs and gave Drew Willy a huge raise and extension… I don’t understand either decision. Montreal always makes the playoffs, other teams could learn a thing or two from them. However, this season, same as last, I don’t envision them getting through Hamilton.
3rd Toronto (7-11)
The Boatmen start the year on the road for the their first five games and do it without Ricky Ray. I fully expect them to lose all of them. The schedule alone probably keeps them out of the playoffs again this year. If they go .500 the rest of way they get 6.5 wins. I rounded up but that may be a stretch…
4th Ottawa (5-13)
Smilin’ Hank might actually have receivers to throw to this year and that finally makes them a football team. Is that enough to make them better than the 4th place team in the West (see Winnipeg above) or Toronto? No, maybe next year.
Montreal edges Winnipeg because the cross-over team never wins the semi.
Edmonton barely beats Saskatchewan in the rain.
Hamilton easily dispatches Montreal on a cool sunny day.
Calgary runs all over Edmonton in the snow.
The safe and odds favourite pick is to take Calgary but I’m not playing it safe this year. Kent Austin is a bonefide CFL genius and it’s difficult to repeat even though it’s only a nine team league. I’m taking Hamilton to serve up some very, very cold revenge to the Stamps in Winnipeg on November 29th.
There you have it you scurvy dogs! Remember, you read it here first!
Week 1 picks are also up, check them out here!