CFL Pass

CFL Pick ‘Em: Labour Day’s battles for supremacy

Halfway through the Labour Day weekend slate of games, and this one’s looking like an instant classic – not to mention just as difficult to predict in CFL Pick ‘Em as ever in 2015. Additionally, those much-hyped battles for divisional supremacy you may have heard something about kick off today. Nice.

CFLpass submitted Pick ‘Em picks for week 11, unsurprisingly going 1-1. Let the record state that the choices (both times siding with the majority) were these:

A couple of brief notes on those then.

After losing a game that puts BC Lions into what is currently the no. 6 playoff seed, Alouettes general manager/interim head coach Jim Popp further reshuffled the Montreal coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Turk Schonert was dismissed in favour of Anthony Calvillo, who enjoyed two promotions in two weeks since the heads started rolling, and Ryan Dinwiddie, who Bombers backers may remember, as (yes!) co-offensive coordinators.   

Questions: Co-offensive coordinators? Co-?!? What’s the precedent for this? Is there a precedent for this? How do you figure this scheme will work out? Where is Rakeem Cato, by the way? And finally, who are the Alouettes playing next week? Bye? Okay, I’ll take bye minus the points.

As for the sound you heard yesterday emanating from Saskatchewan was the collective sigh of relief from the Rider Nation, as the now 11-0 Labour Day winning streak beat out this season’s funk of an 0-9 start. A starving Riders fanbase could finally gorge on highlights: After his mysterious benching mid-game last week, Brett Smith vindicated himself with an efficient (if not especially flashy) performance; Nic Demski’s punt return touchdown redeemed two egregious errors; and Tyron Brackenridge added a nifty forced fumble TD (albeit in garbage time).

Going forward, the Riders have got to be looking forward to the Banjo Bowl, facing these same Blue Bombers – the only team Saskatchewan has proven they can beat thus far in 2015.

Onto the Monday games!

Yes, Toronto and Hamilton are tied in the East at 6-3 but whoa, are those different 6-3s. The Tiger-Cats defence is clearly among the CFL’s elite, whereas the Argonauts D gives up over 27 points per game – including 34 points to an arguably weaker Ticats offence in week six. All three of the Argos’ losses have come against other top four teams (Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton), against whom they’re a combined 1-3 – and all three losses were away games.

Even in a season when Pick ‘Em makes no sense, the simplest statistics say Hamilton Tiger-Cats over Toronto Argonauts.

Though James Franklin contributed outstandingly (29-of-38 passing for 335 yards and one TD against zero interceptions) last week and thus appears to have settled any ineffable quarterback controversy in Edmonton, the Stamps have become the embodiment of the CFL’s “No Lead is Safe” principle – except when they’re recently blowing out Ottawa or Winnipeg, that is.

Plus, more pragmatically speaking, Calgary got nine days between games this week. Rest plus home field should equal a win for the team we may acknowledge as best in the CFL come Wednesday. Calgary Stampeders over the Edmonton Eskimos.

– written by Os Davis