1 (1) CALGARY
The Stampeders boast the league’s best record (12-1-1) and are five points ahead of the next-closest team, the 10-4 Blue Bombers. The Stampeders excel in all three phases of the game. Their defence, in particular, is a force. It would not be surprising to see Calgary run the table en route to what seems to be an inevitable Grey Cup victory.
2 (2) WINNIPEG
The Blue Bombers had nine victories in a 10-game stretch before falling 30-13 to the visiting Tiger-Cats on Friday. Of greatest concern is a hand injury suffered by Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols. The injury is not believed to be serious, which is fortunate for the Bombers because he is their meal ticket. If the Bombers were to lose Nichols for any significant period, their ranking could plummet.
3 (3) SASKATCHEWAN
The Roughriders started off at 2-4 before going on a 6-2 roll. There is uncertainty about the quarterbacking situation, because veteran starter Kevin Glenn has struggled of late while 25-yearold understudy Brandon Bridge has made a case for more playing time. This much is certain: After some growing pains, Chris Jones has transformed Saskatchewan into one of the CFL’s better teams.
4 (5) EDMONTON
Edmonton made a strong bid to become the first team in the CFL to lose seven games in a row after winning seven straight. The Eskimos avoided such an ignominious fate by defeating Montreal 42-24 on Monday. Even though the Eskimos are on a 1-6 skid, the 8-6 overall slate is good enough for a No. 4 ranking. Every other team in the league has a losing record.
5 (7) OTTAWA
The Redblacks’ record (6-9-1) is an eyesore, but they could be a factor now that Trevor Harris has returned. On Saturday, Harris piloted Ottawa to a 30-25 victory in B.C. In collaboration with receivers such as Greg Ellingson, Brad Sinopoli and Diontae Spencer, Harris could pile up serious yardage and points down the stretch.
6 (4) TORONTO
Toronto (7-8-0) won three consecutive games before losing 27-24 at home to Saskatchewan. Toronto led 16-3 before Saskatchewan went on a 24-8 roll. The game was a microcosm of the year for the Argonauts, who have looked impressive at times and hopeless at others.
7 (8) HAMILTON
The Tiger-Cats have four victories and two losses since June Jones replaced Kent Austin as the head coach. A convincing victory over Winnipeg was the biggest eyebrow-raiser to date. An even tougher challenge — Calgary — awaits. Good luck with that.
8 (6) B.C.
The Lions’ bizarre season continues. B.C. led Ottawa 25-6 Saturday, only to surrender 24 unanswered points and lose 30-25 at home. Touted as championship material as the season dawned, the Lions are last in the West Division.
9 (9) MONTREAL
The Alouettes are the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention. At least they are first at something. On Monday, the Alouettes opened up a 15-0 lead against Edmonton and still lost by 18 points. Another fine outing.