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

1. B.C. LIONS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 7-6
Streak: Six wins

The Lions have been quietly grooming former Vancouver Island junior Andrew Harris as a territorial exemption since 2008. He was a special teamer in 2010 and now is emerging as a talent. Friday, on a memorable night re-opening B.C. Place, the youngster produced 175 combined yards and two scores as the Lions won their sixth straight. This team is a contender to play for the Grey Cup in its own building. Personal note: Could you guys tell the next anthem singer that O Canada is a march, not a dirge? Thank you.
2. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 8-5
Streak: Two wins

As tweeted Friday, if Anthony Calvillo were standing on the field with his severed leg next to him, he’d claim it was a flesh wound (#montypython). Again, the Als O-line is allowing their aging warrior to be hit far too much. Even then, Calvillo was merely superb on Friday, tossing for 335 yards and three TDs against Winnipeg. Would have been a crying shame if the worst pass interference call I’ve seen since … let’s see … last season, had taken this win away. Fabulous goal-line defence.
3. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Up from 5]
Overall record: 8-5
Streak: One win

These six lines belong to Jon “Corndog” Cornish, born in B.C. and now the feature back for the Stamps, taking over from future Hall of Famer Joffrey Reynolds. Cornish is the all-time leading rusher for the Kansas Jayhawks. Gale Sayers went to Kansas. He has paid his dues through five years on the Stamps roster, first on special teams, then as the backup runner, and now No. 1. Saturday, he ploughed for 149 yards on 13 carries with two TDs, one of them superb. He could become the best Canadian back in at least a generation.
4. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 7-6
Streak: Two wins

Cats are back on track, yes, but to do anything in the playoffs they have to fix these little errors. Toronto was in this last game far longer than necessary, and it was Hamilton’s own fault, led by QB Kevin Glenn and his three interceptions. They could have lost this one, easily. On the positive side, young Terry Grant had a nice 89-yard rumble for a TD. The defence did not allow a major score (yes, the Argos are toothless, but still), and overall the Kitties look relaxed and confident. Gets really hard from here in.
5. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Down from 3]
Overall record: 8-5
Streak: Two losses

Rod Black had this great line on Friday, saying the Bombers team picture right now is an X-ray. Alex Brink, in for Buck Pierce and his black and blue ribs, hung right in there at QB against the Als, throwing for 326 yards, but also tossing two picks and fumbling a couple of times. With both running backs out for the year, Chris Garrett stepped up from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia and he had 76 yards on 11 carries with a score. He and his team, wracked by injuries, will have to stand like a stone wall behind the defence from here on in. (Historical-type reference).
6. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 7-6
Streak: Two losses

What a tough spot the Eskimos found themselves in on Friday night, on the road against the Lions, winners of five straight, at the re-opening of B.C. Place. And then they delay the kickoff by half an hour because the other game went long. Amazing everyone didn’t pop hamstrings. Runner Jerome Messam had the expected meltdown back in B.C. after leaving on bad terms. This game showed the Eskimos will battle right to the last whistle, no matter the circumstances.
7. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-9
Streak: Two losses

Athletes love it when there’s somebody around you can blame for your troubles, and it’s a natural human reaction, really. So, yeah, it must have been coach Greg Marshall’s fault the team started so poorly. Now, with Marshall gone, there’s no excuse. That was a horrid performance in Calgary, led by QB Darian Durant, who looks like he really would prefer to have Ryan Dinwiddie doing the job. Nothing from the running game. Nothing from a defence that gave up more than 200 yards on the ground. Just nothing doing.
8. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 3-10
Streak: One loss

Jobs moving ahead: A. Rebuild the Canadian content. This team was caught without enough non-imports to fill out a roster on Saturday. That’s unacceptable. B. Rebuild the receiving corps. Don’t look at QB Steven Jyles. He’s fine. He needs athletes who will be where they are supposed to be when the ball arrives and who can catch the ball when the ball arrives. C. Convince current and potential season ticket holders there is hope for next year. See A and B.