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.