Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Division Finals)

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Division final weekend is over in the CFL and that means that there are two teams left fighting to be crowned the best in the league.

Both Ottawa and Edmonton punches their tickets to Winnipeg for the 103rd Grey Cup as the two top teams in the league found their way to the final game of the year.

It wasn’t easy for either of them though as the path to the Grey Cup required both to take on their rivals.

Rivalries are what drive any league and in the CFL there are some classic rivalries that only get better with time.

This year the finals weekend featured two rivalries but two very different rivalries. In the west was the Battle of Alberta between Calgary and Edmonton in a legendary rivalry that spans back generations.

Calgary and Edmonton are a rarity in Canada especially out west as both are major cities only kilometres apart.

Not many provinces have two major cities and as a result there is a natural rivalry to prove which city is better.

The easiest way to do that is through sports where major teams get to play each other and attempt to give their city some bragging rights.

The Battle of Alberta is one that crosses the sports world as the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames have had a long history of great games in the NHL.

That rivalry on the ice continued with the Edmonton Oil Kings and the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL.

The rivalry is also reflected in CIS sports between the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta and in lacrosse between the Roughnecks and the Rush.

Before any of these rivalries began though the Eskimos and the Stampeders were playing for provincial pride.

Over the past few years that long-time battle was decidedly one-sided with the Stampeders ruling the series.

That was until Chris Jones arrived and brought the Eskimos back t relevance in 2014.

In the last two years the Eskimos and Stampeders have fought for the top spot in the division and played for the division championship both seasons.

This year there was a slight shift though as it was the Eskimos that came out on top both during the season and in their final matchup.

The Esks beat the Stampeders in Calgary for the first time since 2011 and moved to the top of the division.

They also got the last laugh this year in winning the divisional game in a fairly comfortable fashion with a 45-31 victory.

It was just the latest chapter in a very long story between these two teams that have been fighting to be better every year.

Unlike the Battle of Alberta the Battle of Ontario 2.0 is not a rivalry with a lot of history.football-sidebar

The Battle of Ontario is the name given to the league’s longest rivalry between Toronto and Hamilton but the newer version is between the league’s newest team and the Ti-Cats.

Most of the rivalry came this year when the Ti-Cats and the REDBLACKS ended the season with two straight games that determined the top team in the East.

Only helping the rivalry was the fact that a number of players on Ottawa were outcasts from the Ti-Cats including starting quarterback Henry Burris.

Burris was released by the Ti-Cats a year after guiding them to the Grey Cup in a move that was more to do with young up and coming QB Zach Collaros.

This year Burris had the team to challenge the Ti-Cats and after two straight wins did just that taking the top spot.

They then awaited Hamilton in the division finals and although it was a very close game they took the win and a ticket to the Grey Cup.

The Battle of Alberta is a rivalry with plenty of history and there is no doubt that they do not like each other and that is shown every time they play.

The Ottawa-Hamilton rivalry is a fairly new one but as has been seen in the Battle of Alberta, these are the games that create the best rivalries.

Important games that mean something provide that animosity that feeds rivalries and makes them great.

The Esks and Stamps are already there and this past weekend only added to the animosity while the Ti-Cats and REDBLACKS are just beginning to build it through the seasons.

That is what made the final weekend so great but now the focus for both teams turns to Winnipeg where two teams look to bring their fans back a championship that neither city has seen for a long time.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on this week in the CFL)

Changes on the Coast
The BC Lions ended up making the playoffs this year but amid declining attendance and poor showings in the past few years the Lions may be looking to change things up as Jeff Tedford has received interest form the NCAA and many have called for the return of Wally Buono

Hufnagel’s Future
With the loss against the Edmonton Eskimos this weekend the long and great career of John Hufnagel came to an end with Dave Dickenson taking over next season but despite the plan to continue in the GM role in Calgary Hufnagel has been linked to every available job in the CFL

More Finalists
The awards finalists have all been announced as every team announced their nominees for the final award, the Jake Gaudaur Veterans Award, for the player who demonstrates the attributes of Canadian veterans with the list including players like Rolly Lumbala, Rob Bagg, and Peter Dyakowksi


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