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.
3. Ottawa REDBLACKS
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.