Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 8)

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This year the CFL season started off as one to watch with teams playing very close games throughout the first few weeks.

It seemed like things were headed in the right direction after a few years of lopsided games that concentrated on the division between west and east.

It has been building for years as the western and eastern divisions have seemed to be mismatched.

Things only seemed to get worse when the Ottawa REDBLACKS came into the league which also coincided with the rise of Alberta as a football powerhouse.

Since the REDBLACKS joined only four years ago the West has dominated the match-ups between the two.

For the last two years, the West has taken an Eastern division playoff spot in the crossover and the possibility of an all-west final is becoming more realistic every year.

This year things seemed to be changing as the preseason saw eastern teams reload and despite the dominance, the east also had the defending Grey Cup champions.wk8

The Montreal Alouettes looked like they finally found their quarterback while the Argonauts brought in a new regime and a host of new talent.

Things were looking good for the East as they might finally be able to truly compete, or at least the top teams would be able to compete.

It started out well as the CFL saw a number of close games in the first few weeks with exciting football every single week.

The Grey Cup rematch between Ottawa and Calgary solved nothing as the teams tied for the second time in two years and then the week 2 game between the two was almost as close with Calgary taking a win.

The East looked like it could compete and that was going to make things a lot more interesting throughout the season.

Things began to correct though and the west took over again as Calgary’s win in Week 2 was just the beginning of what has become a typically dominant run through the East.

Montreal has been the only successful team against the West with two wins against the West making them the only eastern team to beat a western team this year.

The last few weeks have turned things even worse towards the western side as the scores have become pretty one-sided.

There was Calgary’s 60-1 win over a winless Hamilton and then their 41-24 win against Toronto the week after.

This week Winnipeg followed up with a 39-12 win over Hamilton giving some serious fire to an argument that has been boiling for the last few years.

That argument is that the CFL should seriously consider getting rid of the division structure and merge all teams into one big division of nine teams.

By doing this the league will allow the best teams to get through to the playoffs and if that happens to be all of the Western teams then so be it.

As it stands right now the fifth-place Western team could be better than any of the top teams in the East but still be eliminated from the playoffs.

Only one team is allowed to crossover so the fourth place team is the only team that could find their way to the eastern playoffs.

For some that doesn’t make any sense because the best records should simply be able to make their way to the playoffs and have a chance to make the Grey Cup.

It is an interesting argument as the best teams do not necessarily make the playoffs every single year and with the west looking so much better they would certainly enjoy a lack of divisions.

football-sidebarMuch of the reason for the stay on the division structure is about the tradition but it also makes scheduling easier for the league and allows Eastern fan bases see more games.

The way it sits right now the east might host one playoff game and that would be the same for the last few years and potentially the next few years.

Although it might not be fair the league needs the east to sell tickets too and without playoff teams, the finances of some of the East teams, who are already struggling, might suffer.

The best argument for keeping it though might just be what happened last year as the Ottawa REDBLACKS won the east with a losing record.

They would have been eliminated from the playoffs had there been no divisions and the fans would never have seen one of the biggest upsets in Grey Cup history.

The REDBLACKS would never have made the Eastern final and never would have made the Grey Cup only to take home the team’s first ever championship.

That moment would never have happened had the league gotten rid of the divisions and for that reason, there is still an argument to be made to keep the divisions.

The argument is not getting any easier though as the West continues to dominate and with a new commissioner that seems more than willing to make changes a change like this could come soon if the east can’t even things out.

 

Fourth Down

Gainey’s Career Night

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are all of a sudden a team to watch as they are playing better football now than the last two seasons. A big indication that they are ready to compete came in Week 8 when they took on the BC Lions looking for some revenge from Week 7. They got it with a convincing win thanks in no small part to Ed Gainey’s massive night where he earned four interceptions and one fumble plus a touchdown to lead an impressive team performance.

Strength in Diversity

The CFL unveiled some new T-Shirts this week that became one of the better promotions that the league has unveiled in the last few years. The BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders wore new “Diversity is Strength” shirts that included names of past players. Those names on the back perfectly expressed the diversity of the league with names like Chiu, Haji-Rasouli, Custise, Kwong and Lancaster just to name a few.

Legendary Halftime

The CFL will be a big part of the Canada 150 celebrations as they will be one of the last major events in Ottawa for the year. They will look to celebrate the year in Canada’s only Canadian only league with the game’s biggest single day event. This week they made the festivities a little bigger as they announced a Canadian legend for the halftime show. Shania Twain will return to Canada after years in Las Vegas to perform at halftime and celebrate 150 years.

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