The day after the 102nd Grey Cup where the Calgary Stampeders triumphed over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats had CFL fans asking the question, “Is it June yet?”. The Stampeder victory is now seven months old, the slates are clean and yes, it *is* June.
Will Calgary repeat? Can Ottawa finally give their fans a winning season? In 24 hours, our questions will begin to be answered.
Here’s how I see the standings shaping up this season.
1. Edmonton Eskimos (13-5) – The absurd eleven game losing streak against the Calgary Stampeders has to stop sometime, right? At this point, the Calgary curse has to be more psychological than physical with the Eskimos. With that improved offensive line and a healthy Mike Reilly at the helm, though, Edmonton is as good as any team in this league.
2. Calgary Stampeders (12-6) – Calgary is still the team to beat this year, and they’ll have as much of a target on them as ever before. The Stamps will go as far as Bo Levi and Jon Cornish take them; but with Cornish having battled injures over the past couple years, I expect him to miss time this season. This drops Calgary to second.
3. Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-8) – Saskatchewan’s Canadian talent has taken a hit lately but with a healthy Darian Durant, the Green can compete with anyone. An entire receiving core over the age of 30 brings the Riders an injury or two away from disaster. Expect a mid-season slump as the grind of the season takes its toll.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7-11) – With a home Grey Cup looming, the Bombers will do everything in their power to make it to the big game. They have made some improvements in the off-season, but questions about their depth remain. I expect them to make it to the East semi-final game via the crossover.
5. BC Lions (6-12) – There are so many question marks surrounding the BC Lions. A questionable offensive line combined with a bum shoulder for Travis Lulay could equal disaster. I hope for the best for Lulay, but all the pressure is on that bad shoulder.
1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (11-7) – The TiCats flexed their depth during the preseason and they will show, once again, that they are the beasts of the East. I expect a slow start to the season, as the injuries *really* piled up on them throughout training camp.
2. Montreal Alouettes (9-9) – The success of this team is going to revolve around the Montreal defense. Lead by Bear Woods (coolest name in the league, by the way), this defense can inflict some damage. The questions surrounding the quarterback position will hold this team back from making the Grey Cup, however.
3. Toronto Argonauts (8-10) – The ceiling for the Argos is high with all of the weapons they have on offense: Andre Durie, Anthony Coombs, Chad Owens and the newly signed Brandon Whitaker all have the ability to put up massive numbers. But when will Ricky Ray play…? We may not see Ray until Labour Day, meaning a tough road for Toronto ‘til then…
4. Ottawa RedBlacks (5-11) – Antoine Pruneau predicted Ottawa would win 12 games this season. Yes, 10 more than they had last season. The RedBlacks have brought in some *big* names for 2015, including superstar Chris Williams, and that should definitely help with the offensive numbers. They’ll be a fun team to watch, but the second -team will again struggle with depth.
The 103rd Grey Cup
It’s five months from now but mark me down for the Edmonton Eskimos over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, as the Tabbies lose their third straight Grey Cup on a cold day in Winnipeg.
Now let’s play football!
– written by Travis Currah