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.