Thursday 4 November 2010

Smitty's Selections: Week 19

Here we are. A journey that began on Canada Day is now at its end. The playoffs are on the horizon, but the regular season ends this weekend. I have watched more CFL games this season than in any other season. I always liked the CFL a great deal, but this season I realized I love the CFL. This has just been a great season, and I hope the playoffs provide a nice cap to what has been the most enjoyable season of CFL football I have ever witnessed. The only sad part is that only two teams have anything to play for this weekend. Luckily they aren't playing each other, though that would have made for one awesome ending with the game feeling like a playoff matchup.

Calgary (12-5) at Winnipeg (4-13)

This is a pride game for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They have battled hard throughout the 2010 season for first-year Head Coach Paul LaPolice. They have lost an astounding number of games by four points or less, and the pieces are there for them to be a really good team next season. However, the best of those building blocks, QB Steven Jyles, is not there. Calgary will probably play a lot of their backups, but I'll take Calgary's backup QB over Winnipeg's fourth-string QB.

Winner: Calgary, 31-21

British Columbia (7-10) at Hamilton (9-8)

For two teams that do not play each other very often, there seems to be a lot of bad blood between them. A lot of ex-Lions play for the Tiger-Cats (Otis Floyd, Markeith Knowlton, Jamall Johnson and Jason Jimenez, to name four), and there is still the anger over the Lions knocking the Cats out of the playoffs last season, at least among the fan base. The Lions are mad at Jason Jimenez for taking a cheap shot at Brent Johnson during their last contest, in BC, in September. At any rate, I think the Cats will come out wanting to make up for last week's butt whooping, as well as put the final nail in the coffin of the BC Lions' 2010 season.

Winner: Hamilton, 34-24

Edmonton (7-10) at Saskatchewan (9-8)

Since I have the Tiger-Cats winning above, this game would be replayed next week, with much more serious consequences. I think once both teams are aware that the Lions have lost, the game plans will be altered to not show too much in anticipation of the rematch the following week. As odd as this sounds, the Riders will need this more than the Eskimos. Four losses in a row, two of them at home, is not the way one wants to enter the post-season.

Winner: Saskatchewan, 27-21

Toronto (8-9) at Montreal (12-5)

All signs point to this being an Argo win. Anthony Calvillo will sit this one out, with Adrian McPherson getting the start for Montreal. Toronto had last week's game in their hands, and Cleo Lemon threw it away, literally. His end-of-the-third-quarter interception was the turning point that allowed Montreal to get back into last week's contest. That won't be repeated this week, but that's because the Argos won't be that close.

Winner: Montreal, 33-20

Calgary, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Montreal

The thing with this week's picks is that the dominoes will fall much differently if the Lions beat the Cats on Saturday afternoon. That is the linchpin of my Roughrider selection. If the Leos topple the Tabbies, then Edmonton will be forced to go all out, and in that case I would take the Eskimos. But I'm putting it down on my boys from Steeltown to want to avenge last week's embarrassment in Calgary, which means that the Eskies will have nothing to play for, and neither will Saskatchewan, but I doubt they want to go into the playoffs on a five-game losing streak.

Season Record: 36-32

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