This is the final week of the Canadian Football League regular season and this is what we know. The Calgary Stampeders have won the Western Division. The last couple of weeks have been a little anticlimactic as we have known for a while now that the playoffs will not have the B.C. Lions, Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Even though Hamilton and B.C. have been eliminated, they are actually playing good football as of late. The Tiger-Cats began the season 0-8, but since Labour Day, the Tiger-Cats have turned the corner as they have gone 5-4 and will be heavy favourites when they host the Alouettes in their season finale at Tim Hortons Field on Friday.
The Lions meanwhile snapped a five game losing streak with a 36-27 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this past Saturday. However, even during the streak the Lions were very competitive. In four of the five losses, the Lions were within a touchdown. This weekend, the Lions have an opportunity to play the spoiler role further as they face a Toronto Argonauts team trying to finish first in the East.
With a win, the Argonauts will pass the Ottawa Redblacks and win the Eastern Division. A loss and Ottawa wins the division. The Lions beat the Argonauts way back in week two of the season by a score of 28-15.
In the West, the Edmonton Eskimos can finish in second, third or fourth. If Winnipeg beats Calgary on Friday, the Blue Bombers clinch second. However if Winnipeg loses, the Eskimos will finish in second if they beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders. If Winnipeg loses and the Roughriders win, the Blue Bombers finish in second, with the Roughriders third and the Eskimos fourth. An Eskimos loss may actually benefit Edmonton as they will get to play through the East en route to the Grey Cup rather than the West.
A friend of mine actually proposed the idea that if a crossover comes into effect in any given CFL season, then the third place team that makes the playoffs from the stronger division has the option whether or not to crossover into the over division for the playoffs. I like the idea, because this year fourth place in the West may be more beneficial than first, second or third!