CFL Power Rankings: Week 12 | Football | CBC Sports

CFL Power RankingsCFL Power Rankings: Week 12

Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 | 01:02 PM

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Marquay McDaniel of the Stampeders dives in for the decisive touchdown in last Friday's 26-22 home win over the Tiger-Cats. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press) Marquay McDaniel of the Stampeders dives in for the decisive touchdown in last Friday's 26-22 home win over the Tiger-Cats. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

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CBC Sports football contributor Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.

CBC Sports football contributor Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League on a weekly basis:

1. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 9-2
Streak: Won 4

Sorry, Ottawa. It doesn't look as though Bo Levi Mitchell is going to be available for the expansion draft. The careful development of the talented young QB continued against the Ticats with an up-and-down (20-30, 257 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) performance that ended with a quality drive for the winning score. He makes mistakes, but when you see that bomb to Mo Price, under pressure and perfectly placed on the correct shoulder, you know head coach John Hufnagel is getting what he wants. The boss also had a chat with him about that pick into double coverage early in the third quarter. Steady on, you White Stallions. We're into the far turn. And coming up on the right there are the Argos, who arrive for a clash of the CFL's best on Saturday night.
2. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Up from 3]
Overall record: 7-4
Streak: Won 2

The most important huddle the Argos have each game seems to be at halftime when head coach Scott Milanovich gets together with OC Marcus Brady and DC Chris Jones to scheme adjustments for the final 30. QB Zach Collaros had just 56 yards passing in the opening 30 minutes against the Riders, got a new attack plan and tossed for 170 in the second for the win. WR John Chiles continues his excellent debut season here by catching eight passes for 104 yards. And they got just enough running to keep the clock moving late and give a different look. Speaking of which, it's a darn shame that Grey Cup MVP Chad Kackert got back in the lineup after a long rehab only to be gooned with a helmet hit that makes next week a question mark. Great defence again, especially the full-out rush. Remember, the Double Blue are doing this without their three top offensive weapons, including QB Ricky Ray.
3. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Down from 2]
Overall record:8-3
Streak: Lost 2

This week stunk. Smelled. Awful. LB Rey Williams is gone for the season. Three guys are up on assault charges after an alleged incident at a bar. RB Kory Sheets went down early against Toronto with a bruised knee (could be back quickly). SB Weston Dressler didn't dress. QB Darian Durant may have hurt a pinky (that's not funny when you're a QB and it's your throwing hand). Still, the Riders had a chance to win at home against Toronto until a missed two-point convert try ended with Durant under a pile of Argos. Without Sheets, the running game produced just 27 yards and that puts so much pressure on the passing attack, something it can't handle in the long term because defences will prepare for it. Especially damaging on this night was the 16 penalties. Note: That's three times this year a Rider has led with his head on a tackle and hurt someone. One of these times, at a key moment, the refs are going to notice it, call it and Saskatchewan will lose because of it.
4.B.C. LIONS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 7-4
Streak: Won 1

Uh, oh. QB Travis Lulay ran for a nice TD in the fourth quarter against the Als and may have whacked his shoulder. He did not look good on the sidelines. Early reports say it's serious and that's Saskatchewan up ahead. Backup QB Thomas Demarco led a pretty drive with the game no longer in doubt. There's also Buck Pierce, just traded back in from Winnipeg (there's GM Wally Buono, again, sensing a need before it happens). RB Andrew Harris will be more heavily counted on. The Lions came into this game knowing they had to get it together and play a decent all-around game. That happened. Led by the defence, B.C. was far too much for visiting Montreal, even with stud LB Solomon Elimimian out. This was the kind of complete package not seen for more than a month now.
5. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Unchanged]
Overall record:5-6
Streak: Lost 1

No, they didn't beat Calgary, but there were things here that still caught our attention. Too often in the recent past, Ticats teams have gone west and been intimidated by both the surroundings and the challenge, folding the tent early. This year's edition came out firing against the Stamps. Hamilton couldn't hold it at the end, but it was in it late against the league's best team. Congratulations to QB Henry Burris on 50,000 career passing yards. He has so many receiving targets and the Kitties use all of them, all the time. Another big catching and running day for RB C.J. Gable. And WR Andy Fantuz is back to being Andy Fantuz. Defence was solid stopping RB Jon Cornish. There's a feeling these felines are right on the edge of doing something special.
6. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-7
Streak: Lost 2

Tanner Marsh's third start for the Larks didn't last that long as the QB had a poor first half and was replaced by Josh Neiswander, who was not bad, but tossed a pair of critical picks. Recent signing Troy Smith also made it in for a bit, too. Somewhere in these three the Larks have to find someone who can move the ball with authority, at least some time. With RB Brandon Whitaker now out for the rest of the regular season, Jerome Messam will have to carry a big load to help his rookie pivots. This defence is not bad at all, picking off Lulay three times, and can do its share to earn wins, but the game in B.C. showed that keeping it out there for too long is a recipe for disappointment. Congrats to OT Josh Bourke on his 100th game.
7. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Up from 8]
Overall record: 2-9
Streak: Won 1

We take a moment here to feel really good for QB Mike Reilly, who has been beaten to a pulp this season and finally picked up another win, this one over the Bombers. In front of his family, Reilly threw for just under 200 yards and three TDs, ran for 113 yards more and limped off to hold a long post-game chat with the TV folks. This is a classy young man. The Eskimos built a 17-0 first quarter lead and basically played defence from there. A fascinating appearance at right guard by Simeon Rottier, who had apparently been benched for the season the week before. Short season. Great to see J.C. Sherritt back at linebacker after recovering from injury. The schedule has turned in Edmonton's favour for a moment as it gets to play Winnipeg again.
8. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Down from 7]
Overall record: 2-9
Streak: Lost 1

Big Mo visited southern Manitoba for a week, took a look around and decided it wasn't worth staying. Four sacks, two picks, two fumbles and nothing from QB Justin Goltz in the first half, who, to be fair, was under constant attack. Max Hall came in for the second and looked somewhat sharp, except he finished the game beaten back into a ploughshare as the injury wracked offensive line couldn't hold water. Any chance of building on last week's upset of Saskatchewan disappeared in the first 15 minutes. There has to be a lot of unemployed import defenders out there cut from NFL camps who can, you know, tackle and cover. Training camp 2014 continues.

Follow Malcolm Kelly on Twitter @sportsnag

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