Saturday 20 November 2010

Smitty's Selections: Division Finals

And we're down to four. Not the four I expected – I was incorrect on both my predictions last week – but these are the four nonetheless. Each of these teams made it this far in different ways and deserve kudos for getting to their respective Division Finals, but only two can move on, so two fan bases will feel what Tiger-Cat and Lion fans felt last week as their teams' seasons come to an abrupt halt.

East Division Final: Toronto at Montreal

Toronto entered this season with expectations about as low as they can be. Winning one more game than last season – when they went 3-15 – would have been considered a drastic improvement. Yet here they sit, on the verge of a miraculous Grey Cup appearance. Montreal did in 2010 what Montreal has done for the past 10 years: win football games. Last week, Toronto needed five Hamilton turnovers to beat the Tiger-Cats; Montreal won't give the Argos the same gifts that the Tabbies did.

Winner: Montreal, 37-17

West Division Final: Saskatchewan at Calgary

When I was younger, my father used to always say that the AFC Championship game was the only game that mattered. He's a Bills fan, so you can understand why he'd say that. I'm sure there are plenty of people out west who feel the same about the West Division Final. Not because the West can't win the Grey Cup – they've won seven of the past ten – but because many observers feel that the West is the superior division in the CFL. I'm not here to debate that point, but this matchup between the Riders and Stamps might be the Sox-Yanks of the CFL. Two teams that just plain don't like one another and whose fan bases couldn't be more different. These teams match up incredibly well with one another, so the slight advantage goes to the home team, setting up a rematch of the 96th Grey Cup from 2008.

Winner: Calgary, 38-34

Montreal, Calgary

Season Record: 38-36

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