Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 3 Excitement rankings (Pierce injured? Oh no!)

Websites and other news organizations often compile statistics to determine how good a team is and call them 'Power Rankings'. These rankings are completely meaningless since the only true indicator of how good a team is is by its win-loss record, which is the same way that the league determines it.

These rankings are not totally useless, however, since they've given the 'Eh' Factor an idea into compiling statistics to determine how exciting the team is in played games. While close defensive battles may be a signature of the game of football, we all know that long bombs and high scores put butts in the seats and close games keep you tuned in on the couch.

Call these what you will. 'Excitement Rankings' suffice for us.

Even the grotesque and unfamiliar red jerseys of the green Riders couldn't shake a pretty decent slate of games this week. Though touchdowns were hard to come by, all but one game came down to the last possession. The Argos, a surprising 2-1, shot up in the rankings this week, while the Blue Bombers, fresh off a blowout loss to the Tiger-Cats and losing their starting quarterback dropped like a ball off the hands of Kamau Petersen.

1: Montreal Alouettes

The Als managed to hold the top spot despite not scoring a single touchdown in their rare road win over BC. They also hold the top spot despite not having played a single game at Percival Stadium yet. Anthony Calvillo is throwing over 300 yards a game, and spreading the ball around really well too. Six Alouette receivers have caught for at least 100 yards so far, more than on any other team, even though Kerry Watkins, their top receiver in yardage, is 11th in the CFL.

2: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Riders managed a comeback win to climb to 3-0 and back into second spot in the rankings, with a comeback win against the Eskimos. It took a couple of dropped passes and baffling play call moves from former coach Richie Hall on the Eskimo sideline, but a win is a win, even if it's while wearing Rough Rider colours.

By the way, Saskatchewan are the only team to score more touchdowns than drive-stalling, channel-changing field goal attempts.

3: Toronto Argonauts

The Argos are getting it done with timely defense, a strong ground attack and a very balanced, though terrible, passing game. A lot of bad teams (hint: British Columbia) simply target one receiver and make themselves easy to beat. [statgeek alert] The standard deviation for Argonaut receivers in yards is the lowest in the league by a good margin, telling us that while Cleo Lemon isn't necessarily putting up great numbers, he's distributing effectively, meaning that the right play call could put the ball in the hands of any number of receivers.

Only Anthony Calvillo has more 70-yard receivers at his disposal than Cleo Lemon.

4: Calgary Stampeders

The Stamps have managed to keep every game close, even though they tend to slog through fourth quarters and are about as urgent as a cop car with a busted siren. The team has yet to play in a game where either side registers over 30 points. Rookie kicker Rob Maver leads the league in field goals.

5: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Despite an impressive performance from Kevin Glenn against his former team, the Cats drop in the rankings because they were a little too good this week, putting the game out of reach early, giving us reason to catch up on the morning's 'Price is Right' on our PVRs. But I don't have a PVR just yet, so instead I watched Seinfeld reruns.

6: Edmonton Eskimos

They're 0-3, but the calculations I use to determine these rankings must take into account the comical ways that the Eskimos have managed to lose these games. Kevin Strasser [offensive coordinator] has his can't-lose strategy of 'put the ball into the hands of your playmakers and forget about balance'.

It's a shame, because the team has been very good defensively, to see them start 0-3 and seemingly in disrepair. How bad is it? Next week's game against Winnipeg is pretty well a must-win.

7: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, on average, play in games that are decided by more than two scores. Combined with an injured Buck Pierce (miss you!!!! xoxox!!) and the worst defense in the league, it isn't looking better for this team. Check your cheat-sheets for career third-down backs: we may be able to tell how Steven Jyles will do.

8: BC Lions

After an 0-2 start at Empire Fields, I bet being indoors with the artificial, amplified sound is starting to be missed by the Lions and their fans. Apparently Wally Buono has become a bit of a crazy man, signing players who fit the man's deep religious convictions. That's a positive, because only God can help this flimsy excuse for an offense.


Mathematically, the best game this week should be between Saskatchewan/Calgary. The over/under for Henry Burris interceptions is set at two and a half.

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