CFL Power Rankings: Week 11 | Football | CBC Sports

CFL Power RankingsCFL Power Rankings: Week 11

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013 | 01:22 PM

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Jon Cornish (9) of Calgary eludes Mike Nichols in last Friday's 22-12 win at Edmonton. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press) Jon Cornish (9) of Calgary eludes Mike Nichols in last Friday's 22-12 win at Edmonton. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

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Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.

Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League:

1. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Up from 2]
Overall record: 8-2
Streak: Won 3

Wasn't that nice of the White Stallions to let Edmonton stay in the game for a while before they put the Green and Gold away? Kind of like when you play with your little brother and mom tells you to let him win once in a while. Seriously, the difference in the rematch with Edmonton was the return to competitive health of RB Jon Cornish, who rushed for 131 yards and added another 46 in the air. Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel kept Bo Levi Mitchell on a short leash out there as the young QB tossed for 175 yards on 19 receptions. It was short dump here, hitch screen there ... nothing wild. Runs well, too. On the flip side, four sacks are too many to allow and the defence gave up a lot of rushing yards. Calgary now spends a month messing around with the East Division.
2. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Down from 1]
Overall record:8-2
Streak: Lost 1

Two ways to look at Saskatchewan's loss to (hang on, my cat Zeus is coughing up a hairball ... there we go) Winnipeg. First, these things are going to happen and there is no reason to panic because a mangy dog ate your breakfast while you were distracted. Besides, you're 8-2. Second, this team has played just one really good game from whistle to waving red flag in more than a month, so it might be time to get things together. Lesson learned on this day was if you keep RB Kory Sheets under control (65 yards) -- and that's exceptionally difficult to do one must admit -- it creates major problems for QB Darian Durant in throwing downfield. And how often will the Riders give up eight sacks? Still suspect this loss to the Bombers was one of those things and there will be a turn the other way again once the humiliation wears off. At least that's what we're saying now. Wait until next week.
3. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Up from 4]
Overall record: 6-4
Streak: Won 1

With just over seven minutes left in the third quarter, Argonauts punter Noel Prefontaine fumbled the ball, leading a play later to a Montreal touchdown that would have given Toronto an excuse to pack up and go home, trailing 22-8. The Argos didn't quit. Missing Ricky Ray et al and spurred by a relentless defence, the Double Blue pulled this one out as QB Zach Collaros came alive and his blockers and receivers stepped up. New RB Jerious Norwood added enough of a rushing game (46 yards) to help out, plus he can block and that's key. Five sacks and at least as many hits on Collaros after he threw did not help, but the coaching staff did a nice job of adjusting at halftime and cutting off the rush. Defence was excellent.
4.B.C. LIONS [Down from 3]
Overall record: 6-4
Streak: Lost 1

Wonder if Lions QB Travis Lulay called Mike Reilly in Edmonton after B.C. lost to Hamilton? They could have compared bruises. Lulay was only officially sacked three times, but it seemed every time he got a pass away, someone in red pajamas (Cats were wearing 1943 throwbacks) hammered him to the turf. It was enough to make any retired offensive lineman with an ounce of respect turn away from the TV in horror. When you're getting charged like that, the response is to run the ball or toss quick hitters. The Lions had just 32 yards rushing, 10 by someone paid to do that job. Lulay somehow threw for 334 yards and no picks. Amazing, but much of that was because the kitty kats took their paws off the throttle in the fourth quarter. Right now, this Lions club is merely OK. That's not going to cut it in the West.
5. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Unchanged]
Overall record:5-5
Streak: Won 1

Advance Greg Ellingson into national spotlight for the first time. Just leave those red pajama bottoms behind, please. The Florida International product had scraped out a pro career south of the border for two seasons before coming to Hamilton, where he's added to an already strong receiving corps. Against B.C., Ellingson caught seven balls for 111 yards and two TDs. At the same time, Andy Fantuz and C.J. Gable were over 100 yards themselves. Gable, who we've praised previously, totalled more than 150 yards receiving and running and is giving QB Henry Burris a go-to weapon when things are slowing down. First win of the year against a first-division club, but we have to see another to move them up. About all those penalties (again). Stop it.
6. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-6
Streak: Lost 1

This is how training a young QB works, so there's no sense complaining about Tanner Marsh's poor outing of just 13 completions and three picks in the loss to Toronto. He wasn't bad at all in the first of the back-to-back last Tuesday. Remember that 14 of the Larks' points came from Argo turnovers on Sunday. Take them out and there wasn't much of anything from the offence. The defence had a great first half, dominating the Double Blue by bringing the safeties regularly on blitz packages that weren't being picked up. After the visitors adjusted their schemes, though, the McGill castle walls were stormed. Marsh could be great next week against B.C. Don't count Montreal out by any means.
7. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Up from 8]
Overall record: 2-8
Streak: Won 1

This is how you handle things professionally when a season is going wrong. Make the personnel changes you think are important, but keep the BS away from the players, so they can do their job. Congrats on beating the Riders, done despite zero first downs in the opening half (I can't remember the last time I saw that). Held together, played hard, defence was fab and then fab again (eight sacks, can you believe it?). With a sellout crowd watching the Banjo Bowl, the Blue Bombers came out in their great old uniforms (throwing back to when they won Grey Cups once in a while) and absolutely played their hearts out. Great. Congrats all around. Now let's see you do that again. N.B.: So long to Buck Pierce, who goes back to B.C. in a trade to back up Lulay. Akeem Foster comes east.
8. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Down from 7]
Overall record: 1-9
Streak: Lost 8

The offensive line of Ed Hervey, Ed Hervey, Ed Hervey, Ed Hervey and Ed Hervey did not live up to expectations, even without Simeon Rottier, who Ed benched, giving up seven sacks to Calgary as the Eskimos hung in for a while before giving it up. When Hervey missed those field goals, it really hurt, so he's cut. On defence, Hervey made some good tackles, but allowed far too many big plays at the wrong time. Hey, if it's going to be all about the general manager, it may as well be ALL about him. In real news, receiver Cary Koch, highly respected by this column, suffered a knee injury that we hope does not keep him out long because he's wonderful to watch.


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