The first power rankings of 2010, based on not a lot, but most of the free agent signings are done so there are definitely some indications on how the teams will do.
Picking Calgary as the top team each year is similar to picking the Red Wings. They usually do well in the regular season and win a championship every few years. Having one of the best quarterbacks still pretty much at the top of his game coming into training camp never hurts. If Ken-Yon Rambo can come back from a knee injury successfully, the Stamps have excellent receivers plus running back Joffrey Reynolds. Not too shabby. No doubt the Stamps wouldn't mind crashing Edmonton's Grey Cup party like the angry drunk spilling stuff all over your carpet. That's some extra incentive.
One could certainly argue that Montreal coming off a Grey Cup victory should be number one in the power rankings. But and it is a big but, Calvillo is just getting too damn old. Sure he was able to put it together last year, but as a Cat fan I've seen the Danny Mac story play out and it wasn't pretty. Similar to Hamilton in the Danny Mac years, Montreal has never really developed a credible backup quarterback. Montreal still has a great team, loaded with Canadian talent, but they will have more trouble this year during the regular season than the asswhippings they handed out early last season. Plus they start out on the road due to stadium construction.
I'm not really convinced that Darian Durrant is the real deal as a starting CFL quarterback, but he proved me wrong last season. The Riders have always been strong on defence, but losing John Chick and Stevie Baggs to NFL is going to hurt. Picking up an aging Barrin Simpson doesn't seem like the defence will improve this year. What the Riders do have is a fabulous complement of Canadian receivers that can play (and probably have some decent Wonderlic scores to boot). This allows a range of wacky possibilities with the ratio. If Dressler can come back healthy, that's a lethal offense.
4. Hamilton Tigercats
Hamilton went 9 and 9 after back to back 3 and 15 seasons, which was preceded by seasons of varying level of suck. Sabremetrician Bill James has as one of his tenets that a MLB team that makes a massive improvement will invariably fall back the following season. Hopefully that won't happen to Hamilton this year, but having the jump on Toronto and Winnipeg should be enough to prevent that from happening. The Cats picked up receiver Maurice Mann from the Eskimos this past season, who combined with Arland Bruce III should make for a better than average receiving corps, provided Dave Stala can stay healthy. The defence is relatively intact, avoiding any southward migration during the offseason. The Cats are also relatively set at quarterback with Kevin Glenn backed up by Quinton Porter, plus DeAndra Cobb is back at running back.