Well, here we go: The final week of the regular season. The division winners are set, but the exact order of the Western Division playoff teams is still to be determined.
Here are the latest power rankings (with the team’s previous ranking posted after their current record in parentheses):
- Calgary (15-2-1, 1, BYE): Three unimportant games in a row now leads to three weeks off. Losing to Montreal was absolutely irrelevant. But considering what Calgary did during the regular season, anything short of winning the Grey Cup will be a disappointment.
- BC Lions (11-6, 3, vs Saskatchewan): The Lions are now positioned to grab a home playoff game; they need to again knock off Saskatchewan, and this time at home, to make that happen. BC’s kicker Richie Leone had another up and down game. He will need to be rock solid good come the post-season.
- Edmonton (9-8, 4, vs Toronto): The Esks have won four of their last five, and they would be the team to beat in the Eastern Division playoffs. Remember, too, this team was 2-4 and then 5-7 at different points this season. With the playoffs approaching, Edmonton has to keep Mike Reilly upright; he takes too many hits.
- Winnipeg (10-7, 2, at Ottawa): The Blue Bombers laid an egg in their loss to the REDBLACKS. Winnipeg’s seven-game winning streak seems like a long ago memory; the team has lost three of five since then. A win this week is critical to generate post-season momentum.
- Ottawa (8-8-1, 5, vs Ottawa): The REDBLACKS have won the division, now do they have any interest in being the only team in the east with a winning record? Henry Burris appears to be the quarterback who will lead Ottawa into the post-season.
- Hamilton (7-10, 6, vs Montreal): The TiCats were 6-6 and positioned to win the Eastern Division. Losing four of the last five games ensures Hamilton will enter the playoffs with no momentum. Getting Brandon Banks back from suspension is good; watching Andy Fantuz collapse with a knee injury against Edmonton is not.
- Montreal (6-11, 8, at Hamilton): Yes, the Alouettes beat Calgary. But the win means very little, especially if any injury to quarterback Vernon Adams is serious. Jacques Champdelaine has provided some stability, but has he done enough to be given strong consideration to become the head coach next season?
- Saskatchewan (5-12, 7, at BC Lions): The Roughriders bid farewell to Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field with a thud. The rotating quarterbacks used in the loss to the Lions also raised more questions about whether Darian Durant has a future with this team.
- Toronto (5-12, 9, at Edmonton): A team that was 4-2 wraps up the season hoping to avoid last place. It does seem a touch ironic that Ricky Ray’s final game in Toronto (and maybe as a CFL quarterback) comes where some of his greatest years took place.