Thursday 1 July 2010

Smitty's Selections: Week 1

I've been shooting my mouth off while playing the part of expert for the better part of the last six months, so I might as well go full big mouth by doing weekly game predictions. I figure if I can hit about 66% for the season, that's pretty good. If I get to 50%, I'll be happy. And to any non-Tiger-Cat fans out there (are there any that read me?), I promise I will not pick the Cats every week... on second thought, I probably will.

Montreal at Saskatchewan

A rematch of last year's Grey Cup – which as we all know Montreal won under the most bizarre of circumstances – will kick off the CFL season on Canada Day, in game one of an opening-night doubleheader. Both teams look primed to return to the big game. The talent level in Regina and Montreal makes this one of the most evenly matched contests of the opening week. Montreal usually starts out like gangbusters, rolling over opponents in the opening weeks of the season. In 2010, that trend will continue with an Als win at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

Winner: Montreal, 33-25

Toronto at Calgary

The second game of the opening-day doubleheader will see the Argonauts travel to McMahon Stadium to take on the Stampeders. I don't think there are two teams who have dealt with more roster turnover than the Argos and Stamps. The Argos completely gutted their team after last year's dismal 3-15 season, while the Stamps dealt with retirement after retirement after retirement in the last month. The mass exodus from Calgary sees them enter the 2010 season with a lot of question marks. This game will be closer than many expect, but the home team will prevail as the Stampeders prove too much for the rebuilding Argonauts.

Winner: Calgary, 27-17

Hamilton at Winnipeg

This is quickly becoming as intense a rivalry as there is in the CFL. Having spent a fair amount of time on the CFL forums, I have noticed a general dislike between the two teams' fans. Last season, the Cats went into Winnipeg in the final week of the regular season and eliminated the Bombers from playoff contention, which is probably where the rivalry started to really heat up. The Bombers retooled in the off-season, changing their QB and Head Coach, while the Cats have seen the most continuity from one season to the next since the days of Darren Flutie, Danny McManus and Ron Lancaster. These two teams will face each other four times in the first seven weeks of the season, and whoever wins the season series will have the inside track to the playoffs. The Cats start out by drawing first blood on July 2nd at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg.

Winner: Hamilton, 35-24

British Columbia at Edmonton

The week will close with the Lions traveling to Edmonton to take on the Eskimos on July 4th at Commonwealth Stadium. The Eskies and Leos are two very evenly matched teams. This will be the first game played at Commonwealth without natural grass. While the game will not be played on our nation's birthday, any Americans watching will see more fireworks than at their Independence Day BBQs. I expect a good, old fashioned CFL shootout, with BC narrowly escaping with a victory.

Winner: BC, 44-38

Montreal, Calgary, Hamilton, BC

Season Record: 0-0

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