Thursday, November 28, 2013

2014 CFL Free Agent List

Montreal Alouettes

Martin Bedard, FB, Non-Import
J.P. Bekasian, DL*, Non-Import
Josh Bourke, OL, Non-Import
Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, C, Non-Import
Marc-Olivier Brouillette, LB, Non-Import
Michael Carter, DB, Non-Import
Alan-Michael Cash, DT, Import
Noel Devine, RB, Import
Curtis Dublanko, LB, Non-Import
Shea Emry, LB, Non-Import
Ed Gainey, DB, Import
Kyries Hebert, LB, Import
Josh Neiswander, QB, Import
Michael Ola, OL, Import
Billy Parker, DB, Import,
Rafael Priest, DB, Import
Brian Ridgeway, LB, Import
Daryl Townsend, DB, Non-Import
Sean Whyte, K, Non-Import

Toronto Argonauts
Adriano Belli, DT, Non-Import
Mike Bradwell, SB, Non-Import
Ahmad Carroll, DB*, Import
Zach Collaros, QB, Import
Danny Desriveaux, WR, Non-Import*
Dontrelle Inman, WR, Import
Jeff Johnson, RB, Non-Import
Andrew Jones, OL, Non-Import
David Lee, DL, Non-Import
Robert McCune, LB, Import
Chad Rempel, WR, Non-Import
Zander Robinson, DE, Non-Import
Wayne Smith, OL, Non-Import
Swayze Waters, K, Import
Patrick Watkins, DB, Import
Andrew Woodson, RB, Non-Import
Jordan Younger, DB, Import

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Marc Beswick, DB, Non-Import
Henry Burris, QB, Import
Luca Congi, K, Non-Import
Torrey Davis, DL, Import
Kevin Eiben, LB*, Non-Import
Jamall Johnson, LB, Import
Simoni Lawrence, LB, Import
Kevin Scott, ST, Non-Import

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Chris Cvetkovic, FB, Non-Import
Andre Douglas, OT, Import
Jade Etienne, WR, Non-Import
Will Ford, RB, Import
Akeem Foster, WR, Non-Import
JT Gilmore, DE, Import
Jovon Johnson, CB, Import
Rory Kohlert, WR, Non-Import
Chris Kowalczuk, OL, Non-Import
Pierre-Luc Labbe, LB, Non-Import
Ryan Lucas, DL, Non-Import
Kenny Mainor, DL, Import
Chris Matthews, WR, Import
Steven Morley, OT, Non-Import
Henoc Muamba, LB, Non-Import
Marc Parenteau, OL, Non-Import
Michel-Pierre Pontbriant, FB, Non-Import
Mike Renaud, P, Non-Import
Chad Simpson, RB, Import
Justin Sorensen, OL, Non-Import
Brandon Stewart, DB, Non-Import
Alex Suber, DB, Non-Import
Dan West, LB, Non-Import

Saskatchewan Roughriders
Graeme Bel, RB, Non-Import
Craig Butler, DB, Non-Import
Weston Dressler, SB, Import
Alex Hall, DL, Import
Aarron Hargreaves, WR, Non-Import
Victor Harris, DB, Import
Brent Hawkins, DE, Import*
Kierrie Johnson, WR, Import
Abraham Kromah, LB, Import
Terrell Maze, DB, Import
Jermaine McElveen, DL, Import
Chris Milo, K, Non-Import
Graig Newman, DB, Non-Import
Jock Sanders, RB, Import
Ricky Schmitt, K, Import
Kory Sheets, RB, Import
Taj Smith, WR, Import
Drew Willy, QB, Import
Paul Woldu, DB, Non-Import

Calgary Stampeders
Jabari Arthur, WR, Non-Import
Fred Bennett, DB, Import
Demonte' Bolden, DL, Import
Derrius Brooks, LB, Import
Marc Calixte, LB, Non-Import*
Randy Chevrier, LB, Non-Import
Rob Cote, RB, Non-Import
Johnny Forzani, WR, Non-Import
Arjei Franklin, WR, Non-Import*
Jeff Hecht, DB, Non-Import
Malik Jackson, LB, Import
Cordarro Law, DL, Import
Etienne Legare, DL, Non-Import
Anthony Prker, WR, Non-Import
Maurice Price, WR, Import
Chris Randle, DB, Import
Juwan Simpson, LB, Import
Dorian Smith, DL, Import*
Tim St. Pierre, RB, Non-Import
Dimitri Tsoumpas, OL, Non-Import
Jamar Wall, DB, Import

Edmonton Eskimos
Joe Burnett, DB, Import
Matt Carter, WR, Non-Import
Hugh Charles, RB, Import
Cary Koch, WR, Import
Brandon Lang, DE, Import
Ted Laurent, DT, Non-Import
Michael Miller, DB, Non-Import
Scott Mitchell, OL, Non-Import
Damaso Munoz, LB, Import
Matt Nichols, QB, Import
Orrin Thompson, OL, Import

BC Lions
Josh Bell, DB, Import
Stu Foord, RB, Non-Import
Dan McCullough, Non-Import*
Nick Moore, WR, Import
Steve Myddleton, OL, Import
Keron Williams, DE, Import

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CIS Changes NCAA Return Eligibility Rule

Just saw on the @ArashMadani Twitter feed that the CIS has changed the rule where returnees from the NCAA football have to sit out a year before playing with a CIS team. Increases the depth in the CIS.

I'll be curious to see whether this leads to a large increase in NCAA refugees. For the Ticats, Arnaud Gascon-Nadeau returned from the NCAA (Rice) to play at Laval.

Grey Cup 101 Television Ratings

TSN released the numbers for the Grey Cup. Average audience was 4.5 million on TSN, peaked at 5.5 million. Surprisingly 2.2 million watched the post-game coverage (I was not among those obviously).

The average was probably hurt by the game being a blowout relatively early. The Cats did close somewhat in the second half and then it was blowout again. Last week's Eastern final was much closer and peaked at 3.7 million, which isn't that far off the Grey Cup peak.

TSN Loses NHL to Rogers Sportsnet, CFL Implications?

With news that TSN has lost a bidding war for NHL rights to Rogers (and the CBC), what's the implications for the CFL?

Probably good in some sense, as TSN will have even more incentive to pump the league. The league could boost the number of pre-season games from the two they showed in 2013 (i.e. it would be smart to show both Rough Rider games). The CFL season only overlaps partially with the NHL season, which is problematic for TSN.

TSN could try increasing other sports instead like basketball and MLS to fill the gap left by the NHL, but historically their ratings have been terrible compared to the NHL and CFL. One of the main strengths of both the NHL and the CFL is that both have a large number of Canadian teams, meaning obviously there's a lot of games featuring two Canadian teams that boosts ratings. Canadians often don't care about games in any league that feature two American teams.

One thing that might be good for the CFL is that TSN could be interested in having a tenth team, both for the additional games and for balancing the schedule. Quebec City, Halifax and Moncton should get down to business.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grey Cup 101: That Kinda Sucked

I'll have more posts going over Grey Cup 101 which turned into a debacle for the Cats. I was afraid of the scenario where the Cats got down early and they did.

Two plays stick out. The first is the one where Durant fumbled and the ball popped straight up into Korey Sheets hands and he rumbled for a ton of yards. Teams don't get much luckier than that and if the ball doesn't advance from the point of the fumble, the Riders are punting and maybe the game turns out a lot differently. Durant fumbled three times in the first half and usually that's bad for a team, but not in this game.

The second was in the second half where the Cats were sort of coming back and had the Riders at second and 19 fairly deep in their own end. Korey Sheets rumbled 20 plus yards up the sideline, the Riders made the first down and that was pretty much the end of the comeback.

The last game did suck for Ticats fans (apart from the first five minutes). The Cats were unlucky that they were facing the Riders in Regina, which is a home game for the Riders. A bit obvious, but if the game happened to be in Winnipeg or Edmonton things would have been a little different (although there still would have been a lot of Rider fans).

Still it was a good season for the Ticats. Two close playoff wins, including one in Toronto against Toronto were highlights. Going into next year, the Cats have a good coach and GM and pretty decent talent and should contend for top of the East next year (especially with Ottawa joining the East).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grey Cup 101 Preview

Well it's game day and the Cats have made it to the Grey Cup, for the first time since 1999. Although statistically the team has a one in four chance of making it, so it should seem that remarkable.

Looking at the lineup, the Cats are pretty healthy. The offensive line is the one that gets used when the Cats are healthy, with imports Simmons and Figuero as the tackles, and Dyakowski (future Jeopardy contestant, Hage and Wojt in between. That should be better for both run and pass blocking, although the Cats haven't run with a running back much the past couple of games.

For the receiving corps, the Cats are again going with import Luke Tasker plays again at wide receiver after making one catch last week against the Argos. He was injured previously and goes instead of Onrea Jones, who is at least a decent blocker and isn't even on the roster.

Ellingson is the other import receiver. Bakari Grant is a slot along with non-imports Giguere and Fantuz. Gable is the running back with non-import Delahunt as the fullback when the Cats aren't using five receivers.

Burris is obviously the starter with LeFevour as the backup quarterback.

This is the starting offense the Cats generally wanted. The last few weeks the non-quarterback running game has been non-existent. Not being indoors maybe Gable sees more runs rather than just catches? Also indoors last week Burris handled almost all the snaps. In colder weather do the Cats use LeFevour for running plays like against Montreal in Guelph?

On defence, the defensive line is the regular one with Boudreaux and Norwood as the ends, with non-import Bulcke and Davis in the middle. Whether they can stop running back Kory Sheets probably deterBremines who wins the game.

The starting linebackers are Lawrence, Johnson and Murray.

The secondary has Breaux and Davis as the starting cornerbacks with McCollough and Hobbs as the defensive halfbacks. Webb is listed as a backup. Non-import Stephen is the safety.

Congi kicks and Bartel punts, with Banks as the returner.

The game really depends on the Cats not falling behind early. If they do, the Riders will pound Sheets over and over again. The Cats also have to watch for Durant running.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ticats Win! Going to the Grey Cup 101

I made the journey to Dead Ted's Dome (aka the Rogers Centre)* to watch the Ticats play the Argos today in the East Final. I got on the GO train at Clarkson (11:06 am train) and it was packed, mostly with Ticat fans and maybe a few people going to the Santa Claus parade. And the odd Argo fan. I walked up to Milestones, where there were a fair number of Ticat fans and then walked back to Rogers as a mini-parade formed of Ticats fans.

At the game, there were a lot of Argo fans, but certainly a lot of Ticat fans, especially on the Ticat side of the lower bowl. I sat in the 500 level, pretty much dead set with the C. Those seats weren't expensive at $43.75 including taxes and the Ticketmaster gouge, and have a really good view of the field.

The first half was pretty concerning, as Ricky Ray slice and diced the Cat defense, Argo receivers made a lot of yards after the catch and the Ticat receivers made pretty much no yards after the catch. The Cats did manage to score a late TD, bringing it within a TD and I felt somewhat better.

The second half was an awesome display of ball control and not letting Ray get much of a chance. The Argos had a bunch of two and outs, while the Cats had a number of long drives, culminating in the last five minutes where the Cats sealed the deal. I had to leave a bit earlier to catch the GO train back to Clarkson and then drive to Buffalo to fly to Boston, but I listened to the CHML app on my phone and it was indeed sweet.

Props to Fantuz who had 11 receptions and a plethora of first downs and Henry Burris for having an awesome second half. I'll go over the stats more tomorrow, but I'm just going to bask in the glory of going back to the Grey Cup for the first time since 1999.

* Ironically I had difficulty getting signal on my Rogers phone inside the Rogers Centre. How about that.

Ticats Parade to Rogers Centre

On the GO Train to the CFL Eastern Final

Totally packed train with a lot of Ticats fans. This could be over half the stadium cheering for the Ticats. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grantland Article, Coach Who Never Punts and Almost Always On-Side Kicks, Applicable to the CFL

This Grantland article about high school coach Kevin Kelley who never punts and almost always does an on-side kick and how it should be applied at other levels of the game makes me wonder about its applicability to the CFL.

The on-side kick thing is probably the least likely in the CFL. I don't know the percentages of recovering an on-side kick in the CFL but I can't think they are that high. However, that said, I think the percentage would be higher if the kicker could consistently deliver an on-side kick in the right location with enough hang time. Then its just a numbers game charging the delivery area and potentially 11 versus 12, which isn't bad odds.

The third down situation is more interesting. CFL teams often go on a yard or less on third, even in their own end, especially if it isn't a full yard. The defence having to give up a yard on the ball makes this a no brainer. This quote from the article made me wonder:

"Cal professor David Romer concluded that teams should not punt when facing fourth-and-4 or less"

Some more teams do seem to go on third and two now then in the past, especially just past midfield. The longer CFL field may make a difference, it may not. How good your offense is should also make a difference. If you're the best offense in the CFL you probably should be going for it more often on third and short (especially if your defense is considerably worse), if your team's offense is the worst in the CFL, maybe not.

Certainly I think a case could be made for going on third and two almost always. Even in your own end, if you decide instead to kick, the other team is likely going to end up with great field position.

Maybe for Ottawa's team next year, with low expectations this is something they could experiment with. 

Will Rob Ford Go to the East Final on Sunday?

Cunnilingus maven Rob Ford has been asked by the organizers of the Toronto Santa Claus parade to not come this Sunday. The Argos Ticats playoff game is also this Sunday and yesterday Rob Ford sported his Argonauts shirt (number 12) while making some ill-advised comments, so the possibility is there that he could attend. The Argos have tried to distance themselves from Ford, however if did attend (and made it known he was attending) that could lead to some additional publicity and perhaps attendance for the game. On last night's Daily Show, the CFL tag on the front of Ford's shirt was prominently visible.

Hamilton mayor Bob "Britannia" Bratina has refused a traditional friendly bet with Ford. As a Hamiltonian and Ticat fan, I think this is ill-advised as our mayor should have more confidence in his team.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Toronto Argonauts Just Opened Up the 500 Level for the 2013 CFL Eastern Final

Just saw a tweet from @CFL that the Argos have opened up the 500 level (basically the upper level of the Roger's Centre) for the Eastern Final. I highly suggest getting tickets there rather than the lower bowl.

Will the Argos Open Up the 500 Level at the Roger's Centre for the 2013 CFL East Final

Last year I went to the Roger's Centre for the Vanier Cup and sat in the upper 500 level. It was actually quite a good view compared to the crap views on the lower levels. So far the Argos haven't opened up the 500 level for ticket sales. That's disappointing, because I would rather sit in the 500 level, even for the same price.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guelph Secret Parking Lot

Now that the games in Guelph are consigned to the dustbin of history, here's a photo of the secret free parking lot near Alumni Stadium. What made it sweeter was that a private lot charging $20 was almost next door. 

Here's a photo

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ticats Win East Semi-Final in Overtime Against the Alouettes, Quick Analysis

Another game against the Alouettes that had a satisfying ending, this one 16 to 13 in overtime.

I was at the game and the wind was incredibly strong and was by far the main factor in the game. Punting into the win was close to useless and the fact the Cats were against it in the fourth quarter had a sense of doom associated with it.

The Montreal defence was mostly awesome and the Montreal offense was mostly smelly including quarterback Troy Smith who again had a completion percentage below 50% (albeit in punishing conditions).

The Cats offense was mostly bad, but turned it on at the end into the wind, with the Gable TD and then in the Cats first overtime possession. The Cats continued with their use of LeFevour, including for the final two plays of the game when he went up the gut. Using multiple quarterbacks in the game blows commentators minds, but who's in the East final?

Looking ahead to Toronto, the Argo defence isn't nearly as aggressive against the pass, the game is indoors and Ricky Ray is way, way better than Troy Smith. Chad Kackert is supposedly injured, but I'm not sure he's that much better than his backup.

I'll go over the stats tomorrow. Tonight I'm just going to enjoy the victory. I'm not even sure when the last Ticat home victory was.

Montreal at Hamilton East Semi-Final

The morning of the big game, first home playoff game since 2003. Weather forecast is 6 C and rainy in Guelph. Last I heard yesterday there were not many tickets left, so a sellout seems likely. How many Alouettes fans is also a question.

After some injuries of late, the Cats are apparently returning to a lineup they had at mid-season.

Importantly for the offensive line, the Cats have returned to two imports as the tackles, Simmons and Figueroa, with Wojt moving from tackle back to guard along with Dyakowski at guard and Hage at centre. That means the Cats will need an additional Canadian starter on offence.

Ellingson is penciled in as one of the starting receivers along with Onrea Jones who had an excellent game last week when many of the other receivers were rested. Ellingson has missed the previous seven games, so what he'll be like will be interesting. From, Ellingson apparently had a leg injury.

Grant, along with the non-imports Fantuz and Giguere are the slotbacks. Tasker who along with Ellingson has been injured is listed as a backup slotback, but barring one of the others above on the depth chart not playing, Tasker probably sits.

Gable is the running back and Delahunt the fullback, with Burris, LeFevour and Masoli as the backups. Congi kicks and Bartel punts. Banks is listed as the kickoff and punt returner.

On the defensive line, there's the preferred lineup with Bourdreaux and Norwood as the defensive ends and Davis and non-import Bulcke in the middle.
After taking last week off, Lawrence, Johnson and Murray are the starting linebackers. Corners are Breaux (back from injury)  and Davis, McCollough and Hobbs as the defensive halfbacks and non-import Stephen as the safety.

For the Als, both offensive tackles, Bourke and Perrett are non-imports, but weirdly one of the guards Ola is an import, with Bomben the other and Brodeur the centre.

Carter, Bruce and non-import Graves are listed as the wide receivers, with Bowling and Green the slots. Lavoie is the fullback and Sutton the running back. Smith, Neiswander and Marsh are the quarterbacks. Goat of the last Ticat Alouette game, Whyte is the kicker and punter.

On the all import defensive line, Lavarias and Bowman are the ends and Cash and Hopkins are in the middle.

Cox, non-import Emry, and Herbert are the starting linebackers. However whether Herbert will actually play is unknown and apparently a game time decision. Gainey and former Ticat Tisdale are the cornerbacks, Parker and Brown are the halfbacks, although Parker likely won't play according to Alouette supreme overlord Jim Popp on Friday. Non-import Edem is the safety.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weather Forecast for 2013 CFL Eastern Semi-Final in Guelph

In Guelph tomorrow, the high is 7 and the low is 0 and the precipitation forecast is rain. So cold rain, but not really cold rain (or freezing rain). Some pundits have predicted cold weather would benefit Montreal because I suppose of Hamilton's poor running game versus their strong passing game. However Henry Burris having played in Calgary for years has significantly more cold weather experience than Troy Smith (who played at Ohio State University and not much at all in the NFL). Smith's completion percentage so far in the CFL has not been anything to write home about and I can't imagine cold rain will improve on it.

In terms of the running game, if the Cats decide to run, they may go with Jerimiah Masoli at quarterback and run the wildcat again which worked against Montreal in the last game. 

New Post On My Olympics Statistics Blog, 2012 London Summer Olympics Body Mass Index (BMI) Statistics

I had scraped some statistics from the London 2012 Olympics profile pages for each athlete a while ago and made a blog about it (Olympic Statistics). There haven't been many entries (OK only one), but I made new one using the Olympians body mass index (BMI) statistics. Histograms of all, male and female athletes, minimum and maximum BMIs.

If you're interested, check it out here. I'll try and make some more updates for the 2012 Olympics before the 2014 start in Sochi in February.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ticats Say Greg Ellingson Probable Against Montreal

Just saw on the Ticats twitter feed that Greg Ellingson is probable for Sunday's playoff game. Of course that's not 100% as Ellingson seemed to be coming back for other games.

2013 CFL Television Ratings Up 4.3 %

Chris Zelkowich's Yahoo blog has a rundown on the television increases for this CFL this year. Argos games were up 26% while the Ticats were up 14%. The Argos had a better regular season record than last year and are probably coming off a bump from winning the Grey Cup last year (no one knew the Argos would win it during the regular season last year).

The Cats regular season record went from 6 and 10 to 10 and 8 this year which is probably the main reason for the increase. The Cats were out of if relatively early this year. The Cats increase is more impressive as there was no Labour Day game to juice the rankings.

For the Argos and Cats to go up, likely the Eskimos and Bombers went down as they were out of it relatively early this year.

I wouldn't mind seeing a ranking or better yet the actual numbers for the different teams.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What is Up with Greg Ellingson?

Will Ticat receiver Greg Ellingson play in the Eastern semi-final against Montreal? Since becoming injured, Ellingson hasn't played since week 12, Friday September 13th in an away lost to Calgary.

Ellingson has 50 catches for 800 yards on the season and if he was uninjured and continued at his pace would have been a lock for rookie of the year in the CFL. The strange thing is, the nature and severity of his injury has been under reported, at least in my opinion. Ellingson has missed seven games. If this were Saskatchewan, there would be countless articles on his progress or lack thereof.
I did go through his tweets from @gelliman82, but there wasn't a lot of information there about his injury.

Even if he does come back, missing seven games will mean some rust and likely some problems fitting in again into the Ticat offense against a great Montreal defence. I wouldn't bet on him coming back though. To be out this long, there has to be a serious injury.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Calgary Stampeders Micah Johnson, Demonte Bolden and Marquay McDaniel Will Miss West Final

Just saw on Twitter that Calgary Stampeder defensive linemen Micah Johnson and Demonte Bolder as well as 1000 yard plus wide receiver Marquay McDaniel will all miss the West Final. All three were injured in the meaningless last game of the regular season. Cue sanctimonious TSN talking heads.

On the upside they're all imports, so they will be easier to replace. McDaniel being out has to really hurt the Calgary offense.

2013 CFL Power Rankings Week 19

1. Calgary Stampeders
Still the best team, although the fallout from injuries from their game against the Lions remains to be seen. At least they have an off week. They still have Glenn and Cornish and Hughes which is a pretty good core.  

2. Toronto Argonauts
Sure they lost against Montreal, but that was without Ricky Ray and his ridiculous completion percentage along with other assorted starters. Plus they have a solid ballhawking defence. They did lose three out of four to close out the season, which is a bit worrisome, but because of their earlier stellar play the last four games weren't that important.

3. Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders did lose to Edmonton in the final regular season game of the year, but they kept it close with backup quarterback Willy. The Riders were great in the first half of the year, but pretty mediocre in the second half and go into the playoffs with a two game losing streak. When Sheets is healthy, the Riders are still a good team, but not a great team.

4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Cats won four of their five last games and blew out the hapless Bombers on the road despite resting their starting linebackers, C.J. Gable, slot Andy Fantuz and others. At least Hamilton looks like they have good depth. Burris looked better in this game than against the ferocious pass rush of Montreal the previous two weeks. Hamilton is relatively healthy (apart from import receivers Ellingson and Tasker) compared to a lot of other teams which is a plus.

5. BC Lions
Travis Lulay came back which is the main thing for the Lions. They beat the Stamps at home easily. Also importantly Andrew Harris had over 100 yards rushing and got back on track, while Stefan Logan added another 62 on the ground for an effective ground attack. BC is a bit of a wild card going into the playoffs and could easily upset the Riders.

6. Montreal Alouettes
The Als beat Toronto in a meaningless game. That's something. Quarterback Troy Smith looked decent and has emerged as an OK replacement for Anthony Calvillo. Montreal still has a great defence, which separates them from the two bottom teams. Their offense is still their Achilles heel even with Smith.

7. Edmonton Eskimos
Kavis Reed is now gone. I'm not sure if that makes the team automatically better or not. The Esks did manage to go out on a high note, beating the Roughriders in a meaningless game where the Riders resting a lot of players. That's more than the last placed team. Will the Esks be better next year? Sometimes bad teams play better at the end of the season as they regress towards the mean. The Eskimos didn't do that. There's a couple of good parts (Fred Stamps), but the Eskimos just didn't have the horses. Expect to see a jettisoning of many players over the off-season. Improving the offensive line might be a good starting point to try and keep Mike Reilly alive.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Hamilton didn't absolutely need to win their game with the Bombers on the weekend, but were somewhat motivated to have a winning regular season record. The Bombers were playing for pride and for next year's jobs. They basically shit the bed. Max Hall couldn't move the ball at all and had a veritable festival of two and outs and were torched by also ran receiver Onrea Jones. Does Tim Burke get fired? I think there's a case to be made. Will the Bombers be better next year? Regression to the mean would say so. The Bombers are pretty screwed moving to the West next year anyways. Another rebuilding year.

Edmonton Eskimos Fire Head Coach Kavis Reed

Just saw it flash up on Twitter. Somewhat inevitable considering the Eskimos woeful record and the fact they didn't seem to make much progress in the second half (apart from winning their last meaningless game).

I wasn't a particularly big fan of Reed's time in Hamilton so I wasn't expecting much from his Eskimo tenure. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

2013 CFL Predictions Week 19

All games that don't matter!

Montreal at Toronto
Ricky Ray is being rested (pretty sensibly) which does hurt, although Collaros did quite well when Ray was injured. Toronto will probably rest anyone else who is iffy. Montreal will go with Troy Smith again and I will assume try to go with a lot of the first team offense just to try and get them more in sync with Smith before next week's playoff game. More likely some defenders may rest. Hard to pick. I have the feeling Toronto doesn't really care, however I do like Collaros better than Smith at this stage. Toronto is a much more ballhawking defence than Hamilton was the past two weeks against Smith, expect a few picks. Maybe even pick sixes.
Toronto 33 Montreal 22

Calgary at BC
Buck Pierce gets the start. But will he get the finish? Even if he is healthy (which is a bit of a stretch) DeMarco will probably finish. Haven't heard who starts for Calgary, but it will probably be Tate who will be motivated. BC is at home and the Stamps don't care too much. However the Lions offense has been mediocre all season, especially without Lulay. Talent seems to be a bit of problem and I don't expect that to change.
Stamps 44 Lions 38

Hamilton at Winnipeg
The Ticats wouldn't mind getting 10 wins and having a winning regular season (the last I believe was 2003), so there's that. Winnipeg is playing for their jobs, but that's because they aren't a very good team. The Cats have some starters coming back from injury who will play to get the rust off (hello Greg Ellingson) so it won't be a pile of total stiffs for Hamilton. Burris will get some work, but last week Masoli got a ton of action with the wildcat and was more effective than Burris and will obviously play a lot, so that might not be to Winnipeg's advantage. Defensive end Greg Peach (formerly a Ticat) is injured in a surprise to no one. Somehow with Hamilton needing a victory for a regular season winning record I think they'll do it. Also Winnipeg has been pretty incompetent this year.
Ticats 28 Bombers 26

Edmonton at Saskatchewan
A nothing game to the Riders, but Edmonton has found ways to lose all year, so I'm not go to even waste the time with a cursory analysis.
Riders 30 Eskimos 20