Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bellefeuille Fired

Wow I can't believe it. I really thought he would stick around. I wonder if his deal would have required soon. The Ticats might not have wanted to pony up for a long term deal for someone they would end up firing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Grey Cup Prediction, Bombers at Lions

Well the game's about to start and I haven't got my prediction out so here it is. The Lions are favoured by seven at home (and with a real home field advantage). Certainly the Lions have been hot since they started 0 and 5 and have a very good offense and a good defence. The Bombers are obviously excellent on defence, an okay offense with excellent running.

Normally I would go with the Lions, but I've got a feeling that the Bombers will do better than people give them credit for. As long as Bomber quarterback Buck Pierce doesn't explode in the first quarter, I'll pick the Bombers in a close one.

Bombers 29, Lions 27

Monday, November 21, 2011


Disappointing to say the least. With the cold, the inability to run of Kevin Glenn compared to the ability to run for Buck Pierce made the difference to me in the game. To say Kevin Glenn is slow isn't really accurate. He's incredibly slow and even when a hole opens with some open field, he rarely makes the first down. Ironically on the run where he was injured, he was still two yards short. Do the Cats keep Glenn next year? Hard to say at this point. Porter didn't do a lot in during his time in to have a lot of confidence in him.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hamilton at Winnipeg, Grey Cup Qualifier

Buck Pierce is apparently in as the starting quarterback. Probably the most important factor is if he makes it the whole game. Pierce has played well against the Cats this season and he's better than Brink.

Non-import cornerback Ryan Hinds appears to be back in the lineup, setting off a ratio shuffle that gets Baggs back in starting at defensive end. Will Baggs step things up and have something to prove after being a healthy scratch last week?

The line has come down to only three points for the Bombers, indicating the odds makers think the two teams are evenly matched on a neutral field. I have to think the cold helps the Bombers as passing will suffer. Glenn is a better pure passer than Pierce and Pierce is a way, way better runner than Glenn. If the Bombers are going to win, Pierce is going to have to have some solid runs up the middle. If the Cats are going to win, they have to prevent Pierce from running for first downs.

I'm going to go with the Cats this week. They have the momentum compared to Winnipeg and their offense is looking lethal. I expect the Bombers defence to keep the score down, but not generate enough of their own offense. Of course the Bombers beat the Tiger-Cats every game this season, so what do I know.

Bonus Prediction:
Buck Pierce injured in the third quarter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bombers Favoured, Unsurprisingly

I just glanced at the line on the Score's iPhone app and Winnipeg is favoured by only 3.5 points. That's not really that much, considering home field is usually around 3 points by itself. However with the Buck Pierce situation I can see the low spread. If Pierce can't go, I can't see Hamilton losing to an entire Alex Brink game with a healthy Kevin Glenn and Quinton Porter. Sure Winnipeg's defence is tough, but Hamilton's offence can score if they get enough shots and field position. Even if the Cats don't make a lot of progress into Winnipeg territory on a drive, Justin Medlock's long range should also factor in.

Incidently, I wonder how long it has been since the East home team has been favoured by so few points. If Pierce were to get ruled out, would Vegas make the Cats the favourite?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CFL Power Rankings, 2011 Post Semi-Finals Edition

Who says you can't do power rankings after the end of the regular season?

1. BC Lions
Didn't play, but didn't have any injuries either. Beating Montreal 43-1 now looks doubly impressive after the Alouettes last game.
2. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Big battle with Montreal on the road, but rolled with punches and made the big plays when needed. Two headed quarterback monster is scary. Bakari Grant is emerging as a force at receiver. Will they have Stevie Baggs back in the lineup? Have momentum.
3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Also did not play, Buck Pierce situation still up in the air. Had a weak end of the regular season.
4. Edmonton Eskimos
Injured Jerome Messam? Esks are toast in BC.
5. Montreal Alouettes
Anthony Calvillo put up big numbers, but ultimately the defence couldn't get it done and gave up too many TDs to the Cats.
6. Calgary Stampeders
Not a bad team, but not great either. Burris is probably gone next year.
7. Toronto Argonauts
Locker rooms cleaned out, but they are still better than the Riders.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
See above.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ticats Finally Win! 52 to 44 in OT

Good day to take the over. I was a little shaken after the Cats had the time count violation at the end and then the missed field goal. However the Cats came back in overtime to finally win a playoff game and do it on the road and stop the two time defending Grey Cup champs.

Glenn was only 23 for 32 for 275 yards with a TD and a pick, but he certainly played well and the Cats had a good running game. Cobourne had 97 yards and Thigpen had 56 yards rushing. Grant had six catches for 99 yards and a TD with some good blocks as well. Williams had 6 catches for 65 yards.

On to Winnipeg with some momentum. Picking Johnson over Baggs this week worked out, hopefully cornerback Ryan Hinds comes back and we get Baggs playing with something to prove.

Ticats Up 24 to 16 at Half-Time

Putting in Johnson at linebacker instead of Stevie Baggs is looking like a good decision by Bellefeuille, with Johnson having a long interception return leading to a TD by Stala complete with F-bomb.

Nice passing by Glenn, nice catches by Stala and Bakari Grant and a nice run by Marcus Thigpen.

Defence looking good, with excellent pressure on Calvillo, and consequently multiple sacks and multiple turnovers.

No Stevie Baggs?

Wow so ratio issues mean no Stevie Baggs today. Personally I think the decision all year to go with two import offensive tackles is part of why this situation happened. Tough, especially with Montreal having some injuries. Makes you wonder if Baggs will be back next year with the Cats.

East Semi-Final Ticats at Alouettes Preview

Both teams are coming in honking, with the Alouettes losing three straight and the Cats two straight to the lowly Riders and Argos. The Cats didn't really have anything to play for, while the Alouettes certainly had reasons to win, namely first in the East.

Looking at the Cats starters, the team appears to be doing OK injury wise. Imports Belton and Simmons start at the offensive tackle spots, so no Jason Jimenez (who I'm guessing won't be back with the Ticats next year). Grant and Thigpen start as the wide receivers, with Stala (who a decent number of receptions the last couple of games which is a good sign) and East rookie of the year Chris Williams as the slots. Cobourne starts as the running back and Darcy Brown is the fullback when the team isn't in five or six receiver sets.

Kevin Glenn starts. I'm not sure of the scenarios where he would get pulled. I doubt Bellefeuille will do any sort crazy switching mid-game with Porter besides short yardage situations. Should be interesting to see if the Cats can avoid going down early.

On defence, some weirdness compared to the offense. Sack leader Hickman and Baggs are the ends, with non-import Steele in the middle with import Robert Rose, who only signed with the Ticats on October 18th. Probably worth watching if Montreal attacks up the middle.

Linebackers are as usual Knowlton, Williams and Johnson. Knowlton has been looking better as of late.

In the defensive secondary, uh, it's confusing. Loyce Means (who only signed with the Cats on September 2nd) and Marcell Young are the corners. Former Argo Webb and Smith are the defensive halfbacks, with Carlos Thomas as the safety.

For the Alouettes, the injury to non-import left tackle Josh Bourke causes some changes, with Perrett moving to left tackle and import Jeraill McCuller coming in as the right tackle. If the Cats are going to win, Hickman and Baggs will need to get to Calvillo and McCuller could be exploited.

Montreal is favoured by 6 points at Olympic Stadium. Personally, I think if the Alouettes are going to win, they're going to win big. However, I'm going to go out on a bit of a homer limb and pick the Cats 29 to 23. The Cats are a Jekyll and Hyde team and I think they show up for once today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CFL Power Rankings, End of Regular Season Edition, 2011

1. BC Lions
Bitch slapped Montreal 43 to 1 on the way to home field advantage in the West. Didn't look good in the beginning of the season, but were on fire down the stretch. Still not sure just how good Travis Lulay is. Probably better than Burris right now.
2. Calgary Stampeders
Sure they didn't get a home playoff spot like the Esks, but I'm more impressed by beating Winnipeg which had a home playoff game on the line, than squeezing past the Riders, who had long since changed their focus to Eugene Makowsky's bid for election as a Saskatchewan MPP. Better one two quarterback combination, although I must confess I can't remember who the Eskimos' backup quarterback is. Oh wait it's Kerry Joseph, who is worse than Burris.
3. Edmonton Eskimos
Won their last game when they needed it even if it was the Riders. Not bad down the stretch although there was a sucky part in the middle. Still like Messam, still think Ray is a tad overrated. Have to give props to head coach Kavis Read. Didn't expect the Eskimos here at the end of the regular season.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Sort of close to winning their last game of the regular season but ended up assing their way into home field advantage in the East. Kind of smelly down the stretch after a great start. Not surprisingly Buck Pierce has some sort of injury and is questionable for the next game. However the fact that he hasn't been ruled out is something, and I'm basing this ranking on my guess that a week off will get him healthy. Don't really like Brink in the East final.
5. Montreal Alouettes
Tabernac! What's happened to the Alouettes? Injuries, especially on the offensive line and suddenly Anthony Calvillo is starting to look crotchety? Totally came up flaccid in the final game of the season with home field advantage on the line and managed merely a single point. If the Alouettes can get their shit together against Hamilton they may be a problem for Winnipeg the next week. Not sure if that's going to happen.
6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Well they lost against the Argos who didn't have their starting quarterback. That's not good. At least they rested some players and may be healthier next week in Montreal. Kevin Glenn is just too inconsistent at this juncture to give the Cats a higher ranking. There's almost a 50-50 chance that Glenn coughs up a furball whenever he takes the field. Having Porter sort of helps, but the game's usually too far gone by the time he comes in to help.
7. Toronto Argonauts
They're hot! Debated putting them above Hamilton as a bit of a contrarian pick. Still a crappy team that could be 500 if everything breaks their way next season.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
A well deserved last place in the power rankings. The Riders totally fell apart this year and need some significant rebuilding. If Andy Fantuz stays they should improve. If he leaves for Ontario that's bad news for next year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

CFL Predictions, Week 19, 2011: End of Season Edition

Hamilton at Toronto
I don't fucking know. Hamilton sucked against Saskatchewan last week in the elements, but things should be comfy in the dome. Three quarterbacks will play, but Glenn gets the first half. Toronto does have Steven Jyles this week, so I'm inclined to pick Hamilton in a meaningless game and they are favoured by a safety. Glenn should have something to prove so the Cats will probably do well in the first half. Otherwise look for a Doug Flutie Rob Johnson situation in the hammer.
Hamilton 29, Suck People 17

More tomorrow

CFL Power Rankings, Week 19, 2011

1. BC Lions
Still feeling good about the Lions. Can't discount how good they've been soon losing to start the season.
2. Montreal Alouettes
Always there at the end. May not take the division, but probably won't suck in the playoffs either.
3. Edmonton Eskimos
In the driver's seat for the division, which is something.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Alex Brink doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.
5. Calgary Stampeders
It's the Drew Tate show. Which could be good, or could be revealed as not ready for prime time.
6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
There's five teams at 10 and 7, two craps teams and Hamilton. At least you're guaranteed a playoff spot and if your starting quarterback gets hit by a truck you're not totally screwed.
7. Toronto Argonauts
Seem just a little less sucky.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Could still get out of last place for the power rankings. No Durant makes it harder.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Whither Kevin Glenn in 2012?

With all the kerfuffle about the Cats utilizing two quarterbacks the last few games and what it means for the chances for the team to win now, let's be honest about what it might really be about. Whether to outright release Kevin Glenn during the off-season.

Glenn as the starting quarterback makes the most money on the team and the Ticat brain trust most be wondering whether a 500 record is all Glenn is capable of (last season's gaudy stats notwithstanding). Quinton Porter is obviously younger and if Glenn gets cut during the off-season, Porter wouldn't make as much next year as Glenn this year and Boltus wouldn't make as much as Porter this year. Thus the amount spent on quarterbacks would drop and that difference could be deployed somewhere else (the secondary?). If the Ticats figure Porter can perform just as well as Glenn next year, then he could well get cut.

Of course Porter could get hurt or suck, Boltus plays poorly when called upon and Ticats dream of a 500 record like back in the old 3 and 15 days. The off-season should certainly be interesting. Do the Cats pay big money to a one year older Cobourne for another year? Is Stevie Baggs still good value for the high salary the Cats are paying. In a league with a low salary cap, there's no room for sentimentality.