Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 17

1. Calgary Stampeders
They only won by 14 at home against Montreal. Of course they weren't really playing for anything but a good record.

2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Bombers at the number two spot. Didn't really see that coming in the early part of the season before Nichols took over. Beating BC on the road puts a stamp on a great regular season.

3. BC Lions
Good but apparently not quite Winnipeg good. Will likely have a surprisingly good record for a team without a home playoff game.

4. Edmonton Eskimos
Didn't play, will likely cross-over, the East is crap.

Won a close game on the road that was needed and did it with Henry Burris as the quarterback. That's a lot in the CFL East.

6. Saskatchewan Roughriders
After hammering Toronto on the road, they are close to being better than all the East teams. And eliminated from playoffs.

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
They were close to winning, with Masoli this past week at home, but could not get it done (with some help from the CFL command centre). Collaros is out another week, Tasker and Owens are out, secondary is crap. This isn't a good team.

8. Toronto Argonauts
Got rid of their receivers. Pretty much building for next year.

9. Montreal Alouettes
Got rid of their receivers. Pretty much building for next year.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 14

Toronto at Ottawa
Ottawa has been terrible lately, and Toronto has also been poor. Ottawa is at home. That's pretty much it.

REDBLACKS 17 Argonauts 15

BC at Edmonton
The Eskimos can't beat the Riders. Lions are hot. Lions signed former Ticat Terrell Sinkfield.
Lions 38 Eskimos 24

Winnipeg at Calgary
This is obviously the marquee matchup of the week, win streak against win streak. Calgary always seems to find a way to win this season, so I'm going with them.
Stampeders 29 Blue Bombers 27

Hamilton at Saskatchewan
Hamilton has been better of late with Zach Collaros, but have a lot of injuries. The Riders have managed to win a game. Don't like it, but I think the Riders take this one.
Roughriders 23 Tiger-Cats 22

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 14

1. Calgary Stampeders
Still one loss. Injuries don't seem to affect them much.

2. BC Lions
Coming off a bye week plus they signed Terrell Sinkfield as a free agent.

3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Good performance against the Argonauts in the peg. Really hot.

4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
They beat Montreal at home, but it was much too close. Injuries really starting to pile up.

5. Edmonton Eskimos
Losing to the Riders, even on the road isn't a good thing in 2016.

6. Toronto Argonauts
Not terrible against Winnipeg this week. Dan LeFevour isn't the worst CFL backup pressed into service.

Things are not going Ottawa's way. And what has happened to Chris Williams?

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Have now won two games.

9. Montreal Alouettes
They have a respectable defense and Jim Popp is no longer the coach. Only way is up. Or wallowing in position 9 for a while longer.

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 13

1. Calgary Stampeders
They keep winning. Not much else to say.

2. BC Lions
Another Lions victory, although admittedly Montreal is somewhat inept.

3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
In some ways the hottest team in the league (apart from Calgary) although the last two wins were against Saskatchewan which has one win this year. So still not sure if it is for real.

4. Edmonton Eskimos
Played Calgary at home and were close to winning. That's something.

5.  Ottawa Roughriders
They had a bye week some maybe that should help them.

6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Good offense, bad defence. Well mostly bad secondary. Special teams overall this year aren't that great.

7. Toronto Argonauts
Now they have Drew Willy in place of any increasingly injury prone Ricky Ray. Frankly Dan LeFevour didn't look that bad last week against Hamilton.

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still sucking.

9. Montreal Alouettes
I think Montreal is imploding and that was before they got rid of Kevin Glenn.

Friday, September 9, 2016

2016 CFL Picks Week 12

Montreal at BC
Montreal under Jim Popp has been very poor of late. And they're in BC. Not much more to say.
Lions 39 Alouettes 17

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
The Riders were actually pretty close to winning the Labour Day Classic in Regina. I'm going to go out on a big limb and say the Riders ruin the Banjo Bowl party.
Roughriders 23 Blue Bombers 22

Calgary at Edmonton
The Stamps won big on Labour Day, but I have the feeling that Edmonton will make it closer. Not close enough to win, but closer.
Stampeders 33 Eskimos 30

Hamilton at Toronto
Toronto is at home, but Ricky Ray has an injured lung. Collaros versus the backup isn't a big contest.
Tiger-Cats 29 Argonauts 20

Thursday, September 8, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 11

1. Calgary Stampeders
Easily beat their provincial rivals at home. Again the class of the league.

2. BC Lions
Didn't play this past week, so at least they didn't acquire any injuries.

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Ticats with Collaros are awesome as shown by their comeback victory at home against the Argos on Labour Day. Secondary is somewhat feeble however.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Eked one out against the sad sack Riders. No team is hotter in the league, but I'm still meh.

5. Edmonton Eskimos
Lost the Labour Day classic. Don't seem to be the same team as last year. I blame coach Jason Maas, but I'm probably still blaming him for his ill fated tenure as the Ticats savior.

Managed to be Montreal that's something.

7. Toronto Argonauts
Good showing against the Cats, and if Ray doesn't throw a TD in the end zone the Argos probably win that game. If rumours are true Ricky Ray is injured, that's not good.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Bad team, bad coach and dare I say bad GM.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still have a win and the streak against the Bombers is broken. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 11

BC at Toronto
Considering that the Argos have been crap of late, especially at home, I'm picking the Lions and Jennings regardless of Ray.
Lions 27 Argonauts 22

Ottawa at Montreal
I'm reminded of a certain scene in the film Requiem for a Dream. Ottawa has been cold of late, but Montreal has been worse. Plus Ottawa has a good receiving corps that should do something.
REDBLACKS 24 Alouettes 20

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
The Riders may be at home, but they still just have one win. The Bombers have been way better with Nichols at quarterback instead of Willy. Bombers break Rider hearts on Labour Day Weekend.
Blue Bombers 35 Roughriders 22

Edmonton at Calgary
The Stamps looked so hot last week in Calgary against Hamilton, I can't see them losing.
Stampeders 31 Eskimos 27

Toronto at Hamilton
Short rest for the Argos against a rested Hamilton at Tim Horton's Field? Not a good recipe for an Argo win.
Tiger-Cats 39 Argonauts 33

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 10

1. Calgary Stampeders
Close at the end, but overall the Stamps were in control against the Tiger-Cats at home, who are now a good team with Zach Collaros. Mitchell is either the best or second best quarterback in the CFL, a good set of receivers plus Messam at running back and a good defence.

2. BC Lions
Definitely the surprise of the league so far. Jennings is a quality CFL quarterback that most defensive ends have a tough time running down.

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Cats played the Stamps tough at home in a loss, but Collaros is looking good in his return. Tolliver is starting to have a good year which makes the Hamilton receiving core even stronger. C.J. Gable hasn't looked good this year. Secondary is still somewhat meh.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Get rid of Drew Willy and suddenly the Bombers are hot with Nichols. Back to back games with the Riders isn't going to hurt their confidence either.

5. Edmonton Eskimos
Definitely hot and cold and should be better. Beating the Riders at home isn't particularly indicative of anything. Reilly is still healthy though.

After a hot start of the season, Ottawa is suddenly mired in mediocrity. The Burris Harris quarterback thing might be turning toxic.

7. Toronto Argonauts
At least Ray is back.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Should the Alouettes fire GM/coach Jim Popp from every role? I'm starting to think so.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still sucking.

Friday, August 19, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 9

Montreal at Ottawa
The Alouettes seem in disarray. The REDBLACKS haven't played for a while and Ottawa is at home. Seems like an easy pick.
REDBLACKS 35 Alouettes 27

Calgary at BC
This one is interesting. Calgary has the best record in the league this year, but they haven't struck me as fantastic, more the beneficiary of being consistently competent while other teams are more hit and miss. BC has been the big surprise with strong play at quarterback with Jennings and the linebacker tandem of Elimimian and Bighill. I think the Lions take this one at home.
Lions 28 Stampeders 27

Edmonton at Toronto
Still no Ricky Ray for Toronto, so one has to lean towards the Eskimos and a healthy Mike Reilly. Toronto has a reasonable defence, but not much of a home crowd.
Eskimos 22 Argonauts 18

Saskatchewan at Hamilton
Things are not right in Riderville, both on the field and in the front office. The Tiger-Cats are coming off a close game in BC they came from way back to tie with Zach Collaros in his first appearance in 2016. Collaros looked hot in the second half and actually made C.J. Gable part of the Ticat offense rather than an afterthought. The Ticats should be stronger in Collaros' second game of the year.
Tiger-Cats 32 Roughriders 24

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 9

1. Calgary Stampeders
They just keep winning. And stirring shit up with other teams on Twitter.

2. BC Lions
Won a tight one at home against Hamilton, but they did manage to score the go ahead TD late. Jennings is making an argument on being the best quarterback in the CFL. Elimimian and Bighill are a potent combo at linebacker.

A week off helps Ottawa. Plus no new injuries.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Like Hansel, Winnipeg is so hot right now.  Nichols is playing reasonably at quarterback and the released and returned Clarence Denmark had a ridiculous game in the Big Smoke last weekend. Not really sure it is going to last, but at least Mike O'Shea's job is safe for another few weeks.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The anointed one Zach Collaros has returned. Looked OK in the first half and great in the second half. Collaros also managed to find Gable receiving out of the backfield for a long run, which happened a lot last year, but not much in the first six games with Masoli. The Tiger-Cats secondary was torched badly in BC however and couldn't stop Lion receivers even with multiple coverage. Front seven is decent.

6. Edmonton Eskimos
Beat Montreal, but that isn't saying a lot. Still Mike Reilly isn't injured and considering all the injuries that happen to quarterbacks in the modern CFL, the Eskimos still have a decent chance to win.

7. Toronto Argonauts
Got crunched at home by Winnipeg. Good on the road though.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Lost yet again, albeit on the road to the Esks. Jim Popp would be better off going back to being GM only next year and find another coach.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
They didn't look awful against the Stamps at home, but they didn't win either. Getting close to being a rebuilding year considering they have only won one game.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 8

Montreal at Edmonton
Both teams have not been very good of late. Montreal isn't really surprising, while Edmonton is the defending Grey Cup champion. Despite the CFL weirdly being a road team biased league this year, one has to think that the Eskimos will regress upwards towards the mean here and win at home.
Eskimos 31 Alouettes 19

Winnipeg at Toronto
Not really sure on this one. Toronto has been decent all year, while the Bombers have suddenly turned things around with backup quarterback Matt Nichols taking over from Drew Willy in a bit of a desperation move for Bomber coach Mike O'Shea. The Argos don't have Ricky Ray in their lineup, so I'll go with the improbability of a Bomber road win.
Blue Bombers 25 Argonauts 22

Calgary at Saskatchewan
Despite being a road game for the Stamps, this looks like a gimme for Calgary. That was before Stamps quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (abbreviated as BLM somewhat confusingly) took to Twitter to accuse the sadsack rebuilding Riders of having a secretly funded blackops practice squad. Rider fans are now mad, but I don't think it changes the result.
Stampeders 40 Riders 18

Hamilton at BC
Traditionally Eastern Time Zone teams in the CFL have done poorly in BC which always seems to schedule evening games. The Cats have managed to go 3 and 3 with Jeremiah Masoli as the pivot, but now the appointed one, Zach Collaros is back and looking to light up the scoreboard (and actually throw running back C.J. Gable some passes). Collaros is coming off ACL surgery and will likely be somewhat rusty, plus the Lions are at home and Lion quarterback Jonathon Jennings has been good this year. So Lions.
Lions 29 Tiger-Cats 23

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 8

1. Calgary Stampeders
Sure they only beat the Roughriders last week, but you can't argue with their record. Bo Levi Mitchell is still healthy which definitely helps.

Henry Burris is back and angry at the CFL panel and other critics. Personally I thought Trevor Harris gives them a better chance to in, but he is injured so there's something to be said for durability.

3. BC Lions
Not a lot of fans in the stands, but the team is doing well in 2016. Jonathon Jennings is having an impressive year.

4. Toronto Argonauts
The Argos are better than I would have thought, especially on the road. Not sure what that says about Argo home fans.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Zach Collaros is returning! Hopefully he doesn't have too much rust, but we are assuming he can still dump it off to C.J. Gable for big gains.

6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Still not sure the Bombers are for real, but they have turned things around with Edmonton's castoff quarterback.

7. Edmonton Eskimos
What has happened to Edmonton? Mike Reilly isn't injured and were it not for the Riders, they would be in the basement.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Even with Kevin Glenn in the lineup, the Alouettes aren't very good. Their kicker absolutely sucking this year hasn't helped.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Yeah it is going to be a long season for the Riders.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

2016 CFL Week 7 Predictions

I hate Wednesday games. Missed getting this out before the game last night, but here's the rest.

BC at Montreal
At a neutral site, I would pick BC. Then again road teams keep winning in the CFL this year. Glenn looked OK against the Riders last week so Montreal should not be terrible. I'm going to go with Montreal when I really shouldn't.
Alouettes 23 Lions 20

Saskatchewan at Calgary
Despite no doubt many Rider fans in Calgary, this is the gimme game of the week.
Stampeders 35 Roughriders 20

Edmonton at Ottawa
Two teams that seemed great early and maybe not quite so great now. I'll go with wacky road team wins and Ottawa not having Harris.
Eskimos 28 REDBLACKS 24

2016 Week 6 CFL Power Rankings

I actually wrote these out before yesterday's game, so for posterity here they are.

1. Calgary Stampeders
The Stamps always seem decent and in a year of massive parity that's something.

2. BC Lions
Sure they lost, but it was tight and the Lions are still doing well in 2016.

There's trouble in Bytown. When does Trevor Harris come back?

4. Toronto Argonauts
Looked mediocre in week one, but the double blue seem to have righted the ship even without Ricky Ray

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
They will be better whenever Collaros actually gets back.

6. Edmonton Eskimos
The Eskimos were good. Now I'm not so sure. Seems strange with Mike Reilly being healthy, but there you go.

7. Montreal Alouettes
With Kevin Glenn the Alouettes aren't awful. That's something.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Better without their Willy. Who would have thought?

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Yeah the Riders are bad.

Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 Week 6 CFL Predictions

The CFL claims that today's game belongs to week 5, but Tigercatatonia goes by a strict Monday to Sunday definition of a week apart from statutory holidays.

Montreal at Toronto
Not a great matchup, but Toronto is at home and the Alouettes are terrible, especially on offense.
Argonauts 30 Alouettes 17

Winnipeg at Edmonton
Will Edmonton lose two at home in a row at home? Probably not. The Bombers aren't starting Drew Willy this week, but that won't help.
Eskimos 35 Blue Bombers 20

Saskatchewan at Montreal
Real short week for the Alouettes. They are at home. The Riders have been mostly bad this year. Montreal is a bit of mess though. I'll pick the Riders on the road.
Roughriders 22 Alouettes 18

BC at Calgary
The marquee matchup for this week. Calgary being good in 2016 isn't a surprise, the Lions being good most definitely is a surprise. Still though I have to go with home field advantage.
Stampeders 28 Lions 23

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 5

Some changes as even the Riders won and the Ticats made a miracle comeback.

This is a bit tough as Ottawa did lose barely to the Riders on the road and Trevor Harris was injured. Still have a lot of receiver talent.

2. BC Lions
Not a lot of fans, but they have a great record. Good defence and the offense has surprised.

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Monster comeback win on the road against Edmonton with Jeremiah Masoli breaking the CFL record for consecutive passes, as unlikely as that seems. The defence look hapless in the first half, then suddenly came alive. The fact that Masoli is 3 and 2 and he and the team having a 3 and 0 record on the road is frankly bizarre. Collaros is probably back after the bye week.

4. Calgary Stampeders
The Stamps won versus the woeful Blue Bombers on the road (which actually isn't that impressive this year in the CFL). The Stamps have Messam and Mitchell working, which is more than most CFL teams.

5. Edmonton Eskimos
Epic collapse at home. 2 and 2. Edmonton is better than this, but it is still somewhat strange.

6. Toronto Argonauts
They have a quarterback. After the first five teams, that's a lot. Defence isn't bad either and will probably improve as the season goes on.

7. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Win a game against the best team in the league and out of the basement! Did it with Mitchell Gale as quarterback too. Back in the playoff hunt. Sort of.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Well Drew Willy is out as the starter. The Bombers seem pretty hopeless, even with a lot of dollars spent in the off-season.

9. Montreal Alouettes
Rakeem Cato doesn't seem to be the answer. Hopefully Kevin Glenn eye infection ends. Maybe GM Jim Popp should fire himself as head coach.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 5

Calgary at Winnipeg
I doubt that the Bombers will be able to slow down Jerome Messam much. Then Bo Levi Mitchell will burn them.
Stampeders 28 Blue Bombers 17

Ottawa at Saskatchewan
Durant is out and the Riders are giving Mitchell Gale his first start. Can't really see Trevor Harris getting out dueled by Gale.
REDBLACKS 30 Roughriders 24

Hamilton at Edmonton
No word that Collaros will start for Tiger-Cats so I can't unfortunately see the Cats winning in Edmonton.
Eskimos 35 Tiger-Cats 23

Montreal at Toronto
The Argos are at home and Montreal has a ton of injuries. Argonauts have a reasonable defence so that's not good for the Alouettes
Argonauts 27 Alouettes 22

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 4

Beat the Argos in Torontoville. Trevor Harris is probably better than Henry Burris at quarterback.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Like last year the Eskimos keep winning. Mike Reilly passed for a ton of yards against Winnipeg this last week so that and him not being injured is a positive.

3. Calgary Stampeders
Didn't play, but that also means no injuries. Jerome Messam looks to be having a monster year.

4. BC Lions
The Lions were behind the Riders when I stopped watching the game and then roared back to win against the hapless Riders. I didn't think the Lions would be good at all this week, but turns out they are.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The first half was poor, but they pulled ahead in the second half despite the mediocrity of backup Jeremiah Masoli. Banks is back this season doing his special teams thing, Maher kicked extraordinarily well and the defence looks good, especially Tracy. Collaros could be back soon too.

6. Toronto Argonauts
Mediocre. Not terrible, but not good either. I thought their defence would be better, but it will probably improve as the season goes on.

7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Are they better than last year? I guess.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Kevin Glenn better come back, otherwise it is going to be another bad season for Montreal.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Have to win a game to get out the power rankings basement. With Durant injured I suppose they are potentially worse.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 4

Damn Wednesday games. Missed out on the Ottawa Toronto game. Balls.

Edmonton at Winnipeg
Sure the Bombers won on the road last week in Hamilton, but I don't think they can count on the Eskimos making as many turnovers as the Ticats. Still they are at home and Drew Willy is still healthy. I'll still pick Edmonton
Eskimos 29 Blue Bombers 22

Hamilton at Montreal
This one is interesting. Collaros won't be back so it is Masoli at quarterback for Hamilton. Montreal hasn't looked great this year, but they are at home. That for me is the difference.
Alouettes 23 Tiger-Cats 21

BC at Saskatchewan
The Riders have not won yet this year, but they looked OK last week, while the Lions ended up pulling Jennings for poor quarterback play. Call me crazy by I think the Riders will make it happen at home.
Roughriders 27 Lions 25

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Week 3 CFL Power Rankings

Things are getting more confusing.

Tied a good team in Calgary. No losses yet and Trevor Harris is kicking ass.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Admittedly it was tight against the Riders, but they still won in the end. A healthy Mike Reilly is a good thing.

3. Calgary Stampeders
A tie on the road isn't something to complain about, even if it is a weird event. The Stamps again look like a solid team.

4. BC Lions
Lost to Toronto, but the Lions are still a better team than I was expecting.

5. Toronto Argonauts
The Argos over the past few seasons have been a better road team than home team. Still seems to be the case in 2016.

6. Montreal Alouettes
Certainly not a good team. That's pretty much it.

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Unlikely to stay here with Collaros returning to practice, but he isn't back yet. A lot of talent, but also a lot of turnovers from Masoli.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
They did beat the Ticats led by Masoli on the road, but the Bombers in no way looked competent in that game. Unlikely for their future opponents to have that many turnovers.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still not good. Probably better in the second half. No playoffs for you!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

2016 Week 3 CFL Predictions

Winnipeg at Hamilton
Hamilton didn't look very good on offense against BC at home last week with Masoli in at quarterback. Maher missing field goals didn't help. Fortunately for the Ticats, their next opponent is Winnipeg who have started off winless in 2016. Look for Hamilton to get on track against the Bombers at home.
Tiger-Cats 26 Blue Bombers 21

Toronto at BC
I wasn't expecting much of BC this year after losing Andrew Harris to Winnipeg and I wasn't expecting much of Wally Buono's return to coaching. Turns out I was wrong. The Argos beat the Riders last week in Regina, which isn't saying a lot. BC is at home which is always difficult for Eastern teams. Lions win yet again.
Lions 25 Arognauts 19

Calgary at Ottawa
The Stamps are looking good, especially with Canadian running back Jerome Messam (who weighs 263 pounds) running wild last week for Calgary. However for Ottawa, backup quarterback Trevor Harris is positively on fire, with former Ticat receiver Chris Williams playing really well. Ottawa is basically the best team in the CFL now and at home.
REDBLACKS 39 Stampeders  34

Saskatchewan at Edmonton
The Riders managed to lose their only game at home to Toronto. I think the Riders will be better than last year's team, but not a lot better. Saskatchewan losing Weston Dressler to Winnipeg via free agency is problematic because of the chemistry he had with the now healthy Darian Durant. If Durant and Saskatchewan are going to be successful, a new Dressler will have to emerge for the Rider offense. I don't see that happening in the first few games of the season. Edmonton is a better team right now than the Riders and they are at home. This would seem to be an easy pick.
Eskimos 33 Roughriders 20

2016 CFL Week 2 Power Rankings

I thought that the REDBLACKS made the best free agent signing in quarterback Trevor Harris. I thought that he was probably better than Henry Burris already, but with Burris' injury that is moot, Harris is the starter. Harris has put up some ridiculous stats, including some gaudy numbers from receiver Chris Williams plus a good showing from Canadian receiver Brad Sinopoli.

2. BC Lions
You can't argue with undefeated. The Lions winning on the road against a decent Hamilton team is impressive early on in 2016. I guess Wally Buono still has it with regards to coaching. I honestly didn't see that coming.

3. Caglary Stampeders
The Stamps lost their first game but bounced back in week 2. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was good, but most impressive was the Stampeder running game led by Canadian Jerome Messam who looked unstoppable at times.

4. Edmonton Eskimos
I don't think that Jason Maas is as good a coach as their former coach Chris Jones. However they still have quarterback Mike Reilly, who while healthy is one of the better pivots in the league.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Whenever Zach Collaros returns from injury, the Cats will move up these charts, however that could be Labour Day. Right now the Cats would probably just be happy to go 500 without Collaros. Jeremiah Masoli looked good in the first game against the Argos and then medicore against the Lions at home last week. Masoli is in no danger of beating out Collaros for the Ticats starting job, but he is OK as a backup. Plus the Ticats also have Jeff Matthews. An issue for the Cats in 2016 is their secondary, especially the corners. The Cats released vet Geoff Tisdale, but don't expect that to have magical effects. The Cats need Maher to have a better game kicking than last week. The Cats had a lot of field goals last year from the now departed Justin Medlock.

6. Toronto Argonauts
Ricky Ray is a good quarterback by the standard of every down played in the CFL (which would include all the downs played by backup quarterbacks in the league this year due to injury). That doesn't seem to be enough for the Argos to occupy the top of these rankings. Picking up linebacker Shawn Lemon this week should help the Toronto defence.

7. Montreal Alouettes
Having Duron Carter being suspended obviously doesn't help the Alouettes, however at least he scored an impressive TD on the play. Kevin Glenn seems at this juncture to be a better option than the other Alouette quarterbacks, so the team isn't terrible. Jim Popp has been a great GM (although having quarterback Anthony Calvillo to rely on for years didn't hurt), and a medicore at best CFL coach.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Looks like another losing season for the Bombers. I liked the signings of Harris, Dressler and Medlock, but they haven't panned out yet. Not really a lot to say until they start making an impact.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders lost their home opener to Toronto even with a healthy Darian Durant. Not expecting much this year, although they will probably be better in the second half.

Friday, July 1, 2016

2016 BC at Hamilton Depth Chart Analysis

The big news is that Canadian defensive tackle Ted Laurent is back for the home opener tonight against BC.

As last week, the Cats go with two American offensive tackles Simmons and Lewis. Canadians Dyakoski and Bomben are the guards and Filer the centre. So that's three Canadian starters out of the seven required on the offensive line.

Wideouts are Underwood and the Canadian Spencer Watt. Slots are Tasker, Owens, and Fantuz, another Canadian. Starting running back is C.J Gable and the Canadian fullback Prime. My assumption is that with four receiver sets with Prime in as fullback, then only one Canadian receiver will be in usually. So that's always two Canadian starters for the receivers and fullbacks, for five total on offense.

Masoli starts at quarterback, with Maher kicking and punting.

On the defensive line, Chick and Tracy are the ends, with the aforementioned Laurent as one of the tackles and Nevis as the other.

The linebackers are Lawrence, Dean and Rico Murray. Corners are Tisdale and Pointer. Defensive halfbacks are Sears Jr. and Lewis. The Canadian Stephen is the starting safety, so that's two Canadian starters on defence.

Very little change from last week's starting lineup against Toronto.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 2

Well week 1 didn't go very well. I feel a little bit like Chris Schultz.

Ottawa REDBLACKS at Montreal Alouettes
The Alouettes are at home and managed to win with Kevin Glenn last week which I wasn't really expecting. Ottawa lost Burris, but it seemed to be addition by subtraction with Trevor Harris coming in. Harris was Hansel like hot last week against Edmonton. Expect that to continue.
REDBLACKS 35 Alouettes 29

BC Lions at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Both teams won last week, but Hamilton dominated Toronto in all three facets of the game. Masoli looked excellent. The Lions aren't as bad as I thought they might be going into the season (Buono still has it as coach, who knew?) but the Ticats will be extremely tough in their home opener.
Tiger-Cats 35 Lions 21

Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Toronto was mediocre at home last week against the Ticats. The Riders haven't played and certainly were not good last year. I'll go with the Argonauts on the road. The Riders didn't do enough for me in the off-season player wise and I don't trust Durant anymore.
Argonauts 26 Roughriders 18

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary Stampeders
The Bombers won't have Dressler to help them this week, so that's pretty much it.
Stampeders 31 Blue Bombers 25

2016 CFL Week One Power Rankings

Well last week's games didn't go as I thought. So much for the home field advantage in the CFL.

1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Cats didn't have Ted Laurent in on the defensive line, but they didn't need him. Jeremiah Masoli looked great, Simoni Lawrence was a monster, justifying his selection as best Eastern defensive player last year and Chad Owens burned his former team. Special teams again looked strong. Fantuz was productive and didn't get hurt.
Won against the defending champs on the road. Made a good comeback with a 55 yarder as the clock ran out to tie and then won in overtime. Burris getting injured isn't good, but proves what a good signing Trevor Harris was as backup. Brad Sinopoli is likely the best Canadian receiver.
3. Edmonton Eskimos
To be fair, they were close to winning their opener against a good team in the REDBLACKS, but they still lost at home. At least Mike Reilly didn't get hurt.
4. BC Lions
Wasn't expecting a lot out of the Lions this year and then they go and win their opener. Solid defence.
5. Calgary Stampeders
Is Calgary now mediocre? Admittedly they lost on the road, not at home. Bo Levi Mitchell should be better than this.
6. Montreal Alouettes
So Kevin Glenn still has something in the tank. That's good for Jim Popp and the Alouettes. 
7. Toronto Argonauts
Toronto wasn't awful, the Tiger-Cats were just better at all facets of the game.  Losing Canadian defensive back Jermaine Gabriel wasn't a good thing for the Argos going forward for their ratio.
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Losing at home against the Montreal Alouettes, while certainly not implausible wasn't what I expected. Justin Medlock missing kicks isn't great either, although I'm sure by the end of the season, Medlock will be right up there. Dressler getting injured isn't what the Bombers wanted to see either. At least Drew Willy is OK.
9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still haven't seen the Roughriders yet in 2016. I'll need evidence to move them out of the basement.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Hamilton at Toronto Week 1, Depth Chart

Ticats as they have for a number of years go with two American offensive tackles, Simmons and Lewis. I fully expect other Americans to play those two positions as the year progresses. Dyakowski and Bomben are again the guards and Filer is at centre, all Canadians.

Tolliver and Watt are the starting wideouts, with Watt being a non-import. Tasker, Owens and non-import Fantuz are listed as slotbacks. Gable is the running back, with Prime as the non-import fullback. So in the usual Ticat passing formation of one running back, plus five receivers, that's three starting Canadians on the offensive line plus two starting Canadian receivers, for a total of five Canadian starters on offense.

Masoli starts at quarterback, with Matthews backing up. Maher kicks and punts.

On the defensive line, Chick and Tracy are the starting ends. Nevis takes over Bryan Hall's import spot at defensive tackle with Atkinson playing in Ted Laurent's non-import spot. Gaydosh backs him up.

The starting linebackers all imports are the returning Lawrence and Murray, with Dean in the middle.

Corners are Tisdale and Pointer. Halfbacks are Sears Jr. and Davis. We'll see how long Sears goes uninjured. Non-import Stephen moves to the safety spot from cornerback with Daly backing him up.

2016 CFL Predictions Week 1

Hamilton at Toronto
If Zach Collaros was starting, then it would be a no-brainer that Hamilton would be favoured. Instead the Cats are going to be starting Masoli as quarterback against a healthy Ricky Ray. This is in Toronto and in the CFL, home teams have a marked advantage. Hamilton lost some players through free agency and Toronto picked up some decent players in free agency including Hickman and Henry on the defensive line from Hamilton. However Hamilton did pick up receiver Chad Owens from Toronto, who should be motivated to put on a good performance against his former teammates in the double blue.

Still I think the Argos are slightly favoured due to being at home. The Argos should actually have fans at this game for once, although there probably will be plenty of Ticat fans.
Argonauts 35 Tiger-Cats 33

Montreal at Winnipeg
Battle of two crappy teams. The Alouettes have Duron Carter back and the Bombers have Drew Willy not injured yet. Andrew Harris was supposedly injured, but now is not. Again I'll go with home field advantage. Not much is known, although I don't think Kevin Glenn has much left in the tank. That's still more than a lot of quarterback who will start this year in the CFL.
Blue Bombers 27 Alouettes 22

Ottawa at Edmonton
Henry Burris is still old, but didn't get injured last year which is more than can be said for most quarterbacks last year. Mike Reilly isn't injured yet. I think Ottawa should be a decent team, but yet again probably not good enough to beat Edmonton at home.
Eskimos 37 REDBLACKS 30

Calgary at BC
The Stampeders are still a good team and Bo Levi Mitchell is still a good young quarterback. The Stamps don't have Jon Cornish to run the ball and break the ratio, however they've replaced him with Jerome Messam. The Lions lost Andrew Harris in the off-season. I don't think BC is a very good team, even though they are at home.
Stampeders 29 Lions 19

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ticat Tallboy Beer Prices Remain at $9.50 at Tim Horton's Field in 2016

One thing we learned at Friday's pre-season game (besides that Ottawa's backups aren't very good) is that tallboy prices (Canadian and Coor's Light) will remain at $9.50, the same as last year. Prices in 2014 were only $9 per tallboy. Putting up prices to $9.75 would likely be bad for tips for the servers. When the price inevitably reaches $10 things definitely will be bad for server tips.

Tigercatatonia protip: go to the Prince Edward Tavern on Barton before the game and get liquored and then ghost in just at kickoff.

Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 CFL Power Rankings Post Pre-Season

The regular season is almost upon us with all pre-season games completed. With the somewhat limited knowledge the pre-season games brings (mainly which players blowout their Achilles tendons and are gone for the year), here are the official Tigercatatonia Post Pre-Season Power Rankings:

1. Calgary Stampeders
The Stamps are generally in it in this CFL era. Having Bo Levi Mitchell as your starting quarterback and a serviceable backup certainly helps. They were good last year and should be good this year.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
The Eskimos lost their head coach so obviously that has to hurt (especially to the Riders). Whether Jason Maas can get it done as head coach is a question. They still have Mike Reilly as quarterback and provided he stays healthy (which admittedly is a little unlikely) then the Eskimos should be decent.

They made it (barely) to the Grey Cup last year in their second year of existence. Ottawa has an even older Henry Burris as quarterback, however he managed not to get injured last year something almost all the other younger quarterbacks could not do. Plus they have former Argo quarterback Trevor Harris as the heir apparent, so Burris isn't as crucial as last year. Ottawa should have a winning record, but probably not as many wins as last year (hello regression to the mean).

4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Cats are going to have to get it done without Zach Collaros at the start of the season. That means Masoli will have to find a way to win. Unless Jeff Matthews does. The Cats have former Argo Chad Owens who looks like he means business (unless he gets injured) plus a bunch of other targets. The Cats got a little stripmined in the off-season, but they still have solid Canadian talent (unless they get injured) plus C.J. Gable is one of the better running backs in the league (unless he gets injured). The Cats will go however far whatever American import tackles they trot out there on the offensive line go, which given their fungible nature is reasonably far. Placekicking probably goes down without Justin Medlock, but the punting probably won't be worse.

5. Toronto Argonauts
Ricky Ray is back and uninjured! The Argos also picked up Ticat defensive line stalwarts Bryan Hall and Justin Hickman so that has to help with the loss of Cleyon Laing to the Miami Dolphins. The new stadium can't hurt either.

6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Drew Willy is healthy for now and the Bombers have stolen Weston Dressler from their prairie rivals. Picking up non-import running back Andrew Harris has to help the ratio.

7. BC Lions
I can't see the Lions being very good, especially with the loss of Andrew Harris.

8. Montreal Alouettes
They have Kevin Glenn and Duron Carter back to go with S.J. Green. That's something. Jim Popp is still the head coach which is not ideal.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
New head coach. Maybe not as crap as last year, but likely still crap.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

What's Up With The Ticats 50% March Season Ticket Sale?

The Ticats have released a season ticket sale for March: "you can sit between the 50 yard lines for 50% off with half-price season seats." As a season ticket holder that seems a little strange and makes me wonder how season ticket sales are doing this year. Looking at the ticket master site, this appears to be seats on the second level of the less desirable East side, with the lowest cost being $489 compared $715 for "new season", which doesn't really seem to me to be a 50% discount.

I suppose it applies to a pretty limited area of the stadium with what seems to be me to be a pretty steep list price, so I guess as someone who bought somewhere else it isn't that big a deal. Still the optics to existing season tickets holders seems a little off-putting.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Defensive Tackle Bryan Hall Signs With Argos, What Will Ticats Do?

Stalwart import defensive tackle Bryan Hall has signed with the Argos. Last year Hall had 38 tackles and 3 sacks in 15 games for the Cats and was a powerful presence for the recently resigned non-import Ted Laurent in the middle of the Ticats defensive line. The Cats will miss Hall, as the combo with Laurent really limited runs up the middle last year.

Besides Laurent, the Cats also resigned non-import Linden Gaydosh, who spent all of 2015 on the injury list. Potentially the Cats could play both Laurent and Gaydosh in the middle and have two Canadian starters on the defensive line. The Cats look like they will continue to play a Canadian at safety and Courtney Stephen at corner, for a total of four Canadian defensive starters, only requiring three more to play on offense. Alternatively the Cats could find an American defensive tackle to play beside Laurent and have Gaydosh back him up and have the opportunity to have Gaydosh start in case of an injury to another Canadian starter.

On offense the Cats look like they will start three Canadians at both guard positions plus center and then Andy Fantuz whenever he is healthy at slotback. The Cats are looking fairly good again in terms of Canadian talent for 2016, although injuries could quickly change that. 


Saturday, January 2, 2016

RIP TSN's Remaining World Junior Television Ratings With Canada Out

With Rogers having most of the NHL hockey television broadcasts, TSN depends heavily on the World Junior tournament after Xmas to generate big ratings. Canada on average has a good performance, but in some years like 2015-2016 Canada goes out early. With Canada not in either of the semis or the finals, TSN's ratings will end up tanking from what they could have been.