Tuesday 19 July 2011

Power Poll (Week 3)

Minimal changes this week as the top teams keep winning and the bottom teams keep losing. There are clearly three categories of teams: The Best (Montreal and Edmonton), The Worst (BC and Saskatchewan) and The Rest (Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton).

1. Montreal Alouettes (Last Week: 1)

The undisputed class of the league. Montreal allowed Toronto to stay around into the fourth quarter on Friday, but capitalized on some key Argonauts mistakes and turned the game into a bloodbath. In this early part of the season, I'm starting to wonder if anyone can hang with the Als.

2. Edmonton Eskimos (Last Week: 2)

When it comes to impressive performances, no one ranks ahead of the Eskimos. No one thought the Eskies would be 3-0, yet here we are three weeks in and Edmonton is undefeated. Each week they beat a previously winless team, but that doesn't matter. Edmonton has won and continues to win. Next week, the Battle of Alberta gets renewed; that will be Edmonton's first real test. Win that, and this team might be on their way to a magical season.

3. Calgary Stampeders (Last Week: 4)

Calgary earned their win in Week 3 over Winnipeg. That was a hard-fought, rugged win. Either team could have taken it, but in the end it was the Stamps who gutted out the victory. They look shaky, but they are the better of the three teams immediately behind them, so for the time being they park themselves in third.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Last Week: 3)

Winnipeg's Offense will be their undoing. The Defense is one of the best, if not the best, but for a third straight week, the Offense has been horrendous. Winnipeg has a championship-level Defense, but if the Offense doesn't soon catch up – which won't be easy with a nicked-up Buck Pierce and Joey Elliott out for the year – the Bombers will continue to fall down these rankings.

5. Toronto Argonauts (Last Week: 5)

The hardest decision was who to put at number five and who to put at number six. I settled on the Argos at five because, while the score looked bad, the Boatmen were in Friday's game against Montreal until mistakes caught up with them. I'm still not sold on the Argos. Until they get reliable and consistent quarterbacking, this is not a team that can be counted on. Their home opener against the Blue Bombers in Week 4 should be a good litmus test for both teams.

6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Last Week 8)

The Cats, simply out, beat the pants off the Riders. Now, was that a product of Hamilton finally finding their rhythm or Saskatchewan being so tremendously terrible? I'm not sure yet, and because of that I'm not ready to put my full faith behind the Tabbies. They looked good on Saturday, but a repeat performance will have to occur before I start believing fully in them.

7. BC Lions (Last Week: 6)

Regardless of the week, the outcome remains the same. Whether poor coaching decisions or dropped passes or costly turnovers, something always seems to scuttle the Lions' plans to get their first win. BC seems to be following the same script they've followed the past few seasons. Sooner or later, it is going to catch up to them.

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Last Week: 7)

The only reason Lions fans shouldn't be worried is because the Riders are in the same division. Saskatchewan, simply put, is a bad football team. They stink in every imaginable way. It is looking like it is going to be a long season in Riderville.

Highest Climb: Hamilton (+2)
Steepest Fall: Winnipeg, BC, Saskatchewan (-1)

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