Bye weeks are upon us, which means Labour Day is around the corner, which means we are nearly halfway done the 2011 CFL season. Does time fly or what? Teams seem to be settling in to they're roles. We have the top teams, the middle teams and the bottom dwellers. But as we all know, anything can happen over the last 12 weeks of the season.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Last Week: 1)
The Bombers continued their mastery over the league by dominating the Lions in BC in Week 7. The Bombers look like the most complete team in the league right now, and it's going to take teams being nearly perfect to beat them.
2. Montreal Alouettes (Last Week: 3)
The Als have won two straight after dropping two straight, and completely dismantled the Eskimos on Thursday night. What can you say about the Als that hasn't already been said. They're just good.
3. Calgary Stampeders (Last Week: 4)
Finally! That's the Stampeder team I've been waiting to see. While the final score showed a 10-point win, the game was never really that close. The Stamps look to have found their stride. They could start to become very dangerous now. Watch out.
4. Edmonton Eskimos (Last Week: 2)
After starting 5-0, the Eskimos have come back down to Earth. Edmonton has lost their last two (admittedly difficult road games against Winnipeg and Montreal), and the reason is simple: their Offense has disappeared. The Esks averaged 30.6 points per game in their five wins, 10 per game in their two defeats. The Eskimos Offense needs to step it up.
5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Last Week: 5)
In their four wins, the Tiger-Cats have shown everything it takes to be a contender. In their three losses, they have shown everything it takes to be an average team. The five games following their bye – where they play Winnipeg, Montreal twice, Edmonton and Calgary – will tell us everything about what type of team this is, contender or pretender.
6. Toronto Argonauts (Last Week: 8)
How, you may ask, does a team on a six-game losing streak jump two spots? Well, the Argos looked very good against Hamilton in Week 7 and looked better than both BC and Saskatchewan in defeat. If they Argos can continue to play like they did at Ivor Wynne, the wins will come.
7. BC Lions (Last Week: 6)
So much for Arland Bruce having an impact. The Lions struggled once again at Empire Field (I have to think they'll be happy to get back to BC Place next month) and got hammered by the Blue Bombers. Travis Lulay was pulled, and one has to wonder if he's as good as some (myself included) have made him out to be.
8. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Last Week: 7)
Saskatchewan is a complete mess right now, and fingers are pointing in a lot of directions. Head Coach Greg Marshall, Defensive Coordinator Richie Hall and Offensive Coordinator Doug Berry have all taken some heat for the Riders' poor start. But fans seem to lay the blame for this on the doorstep of General Manager Brendan Taman. Regardless of whose fault it is, Saskatchewan is in trouble, and 2011 is starting to look like a lost season for the Green & White.
Highest Climb: Toronto (+2)
Steepest Fall: Edmonton (-2)