CFL Power Rankings: Week 9 | Football | CBC Sports

CFLCFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 | 01:16 PM

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Linebacker J.C. Sherritt, top, was part of a strong Eskimos' defence that stifled the Argos in Week 9. (Chris Young/Canadian Press) Linebacker J.C. Sherritt, top, was part of a strong Eskimos' defence that stifled the Argos in Week 9. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

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Once a week, Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.
Once a week, Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.

1. B.C. LIONS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Four wins
Once again, QB Travis Lulay was not very good by his standards (16-26, 220, 1 TD, 2 picks), but he came up with the key plays late when needed against Winnipeg. What was impressive is the way carrot top was able to use his legs when the passing game wasn't there, hustling for 50 yards. Great teams can find ways to win even when they aren't on their game, and this club right now is in that neighbourhood. LB Adam Bighill, the pride of Montesano, covered about 10 miles this week and had eight big tackles.

2. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: One win
Not bad at all. Into Toronto to face a tough defence and you produce enough points to win despite losing your starting QB and sending out Kerry Joseph, all of 38. Hardly an offensive output to haul up on the wall of Eskimos honour, but it got the job done. Now take that defence. As a matter of fact, don't you put a hand on it, buddy, or there's going to be trouble. Stifled the still-developing Argos nicely, apart from a few let downs. Ricky Ray and his receivers had no idea. Loved the way they were able to literally sneak guys around back of the LBs to overload a side and charge.

3. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Three wins
There was a sense of inevitability when the Als took over the ball with 1:22 to go against Hamilton, down a point. They were just playing too well at that moment, and the Cats can't stop a clock right now. What nobody expected was QB Anthony Calvillo running his team into field goal range, once by himself up the middle for almost 20 yards, bad shoulder and all. AC will do anything to win, hence the attempted trip the week before after a pick. Now, they meet B.C. at home on Friday and we'll see who the top dog is in the season's first half. Down, Eskimos fans.

4. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Up from 6]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: One win
Stamps looked like the White Stallions of old, charging out in the first quarter to a 14-0 lead with all guns blazing, Jon Cornish running at will, Saskatchewan on its heels. Then, nothing. Just three lousy points the rest of the way. Inconsistency like this will eventually lead to a playoff spot and early exit. The defence is doing its job, and Charleston Hughes was quite the stud, with two sacks, a pick and two forced fumbles. In the Stamps' defence, that wind in Regina didn't make things easy, but more from the attack will be needed.

5. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Down from 4]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: One loss
Well, that was awful. A loss to Edmonton was bad enough, but the way it was done has to be deeply concerning. The offence sputtered and started and stopped all game, Ricky Ray couldn't find receivers and was picked twice while fighting for his life behind porous blocking. The defence was not bad, but committed dumb errors and penalties at the worst times. Ahmed Carroll took three of them from his DB position and was eventually yanked. On the positive side, the dressing room was pretty pissed off at its own efforts, and recognizing the problem (themselves) is 50 per cent of the solution.

6. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Down from 5]
Overall record: 3-5
Streak: Three losses
There's Henry Burris and his attack putting in a nice effort against Montreal, while the defenders couldn't do enough to hold this one. Avon Cobourne was OK on his return, with 50 yards on the ground. Luca Congi is doing a good job on the field goals (5-for-5). But there's something going on here, as this team looks more afraid to lose than determined to win. HC George Cortez did not throw a challenge flag on a late call that would have been corrected and changed the game. Was that because he, too, is more afraid to lose?

7. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 3-5
Streak: Five losses
My late father, the former Regimental Sergeant Major, used to complain that I was sounding like a broken record. That was when he wasn't saying I made a better door than a window. But here we go again. The Riders did just enough to not win again, dropping five straight now. They are starting to look like the 2010 Winnipeg club that won just four times, despite being in practically every game they played. We said then, and we'll say now, good teams find a way to win close ones, bad teams find a way not to. It's a bad team at this moment. Keep an eye out for new receivers coming in from the NFL cuts.

8. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: One loss
Quick comment on Paul LaPolice's firing. Coaching changes always work in this league. For one game. Now, work to do for the new administration. One, cut down on the penalties. This is a tough one because the line on defence between aggressive and dumb is such a thin one, and this is a young team given to pushing the line. Two, get the team healthy. Oh, I'm sorry, injuries aren't the coach's fault. It's the GMs for not having adequate replacements. Three, rebuild confidence. Good luck, Tim Burke.

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