Sunday, November 06, 2011

Let the post-season begin!!

The CFL regular season has come to an end. The post-season begins with no absolute favorite in either division; the playoffs, therefore, could provide plenty of close games as six teams look to end the season hoisting the Grey Cup.

The final power rankings are below, and they are followed by the predictions for the post-season.

  1. British Columbia, 11-7. The Lions have the "favorite to win the Grey Cup" label because right now they are the best team in the CFL. After beginning the year 0-5 and 1-6, the Lions roared down the stretch winning 10 of 11 and the West Division title.
  2. Edmonton, 11-7. The Esks started 5-0 and finished 4-1. In the middle, they were 2-6. They enter the playoffs without a pedigree of recent success and with plenty of inexperience.
  3. Calgary, 11-7. Drew Tate delivered three wins in three starts; there's no question who leads the surging Stamps into the post-season.
  4. Winnipeg, 10-8. The Blue Bombers lost five of their final seven games, erasing the feel-good emotions from the start of the season. They nevertheless won the East Division and have a crucial extra week to get back on track.
  5. Montreal, 10-8. The Alouettes had three chances to win the East Division championship over the final three weeks of the season. And they lost each of those games. Now, they need to win three games in three weeks to grab another Grey Cup.
  6. Toronto, 6-12. The Argos won three of their final four games, but they were 3-11 prior to that run. Will head coach Jim Barker benefit from the late-season surge or be held accountable for the dreadful first 14 games?
  7. Hamilton, 8-10. The TiCats won one game outside Ontario this season. They also lost their final two games of the season to Saskatchewan and Toronto, losing any chance of entering the post-season with momentum.
  8. Saskatchewan, 5-13. The Riders collapse can be summed up by two numbers -- 0 and 10. That was their record against their fellow West Division opponents this season.
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
EAST
Hamilton at Montreal: The Alouettes are vulnerable. Really vulnerable. But the TiCats won't take advantage of it. Montreal 31, Hamilton 26.
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WEST:
Calgary at Edmonton: The Stamps' post-season experience and the Esks' expected jitters will be the storyline. Calgary 28, Edmonton 17.

DIVISIONAL FINALS:
EAST:
Montreal at Winnipeg: One of these teams has to win this game. Neither really deserves the chance based on how they ended the regular season. Winnipeg 31, Montreal 30.

WEST:
Calgary at British Columbia: The Lions are rested, confident and believe they can win. Sounds good. British Columbia 37, Calgary 24.

GREY CUP:
Winnipeg vs British Columbia: Muy Bueno, Mr. Buono. British Columbia 38, Winnipeg 18.

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