Monday, August 9, 2010

CFL Week 6 wrap-up, with Excitement Rankings!

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.

1: Toronto Argonauts

Cleo Lemon responds to his coach's challenge, per sé, and throws for 292 yards, gets the win on the road, and Toronto take the top spot in the Excitement Rankings. This isn't based on a whole tonne of factors, but I'd be lying if I said that the games the Argos play in don't keep me interested through the full sixty minutes. They've gained and lost the lead a total of 13 times (a league high) and each game they've played have had the winning points scored in the fourth quarter. Taking the lead on your last offensive play from scrimmage doesn't hurt either.

2: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Marcus Thigpen hasn't returned for a touchdown since Week 2, but the Ti-Cats still lead the league in return TDs, though I'm not entirely sure what accounts for their 5-spot jump in the Excitement Rankings. Perhaps it has something to do that Kevin Glenn has thrown for just under 800 yards in the past couple of weeks, a distance longer than some Western European countries. The Ti-Cats played to a close finish this week at home to Winnipeg, and it took a clutch tackle by Garrett McIntyre a disastrous step by Steven Jyles to climb to 2-4.

3: Montreal Alouettes

The Alouettes did not learn from their Week 1 mistakes, and blew another big lead to Saskatchewan in hopes of preserving a close victory. They drop out of a Top 2 spot for the first time this year, based on a so-so passing game, they didn't score a touchdown in the second half, and, along with Saskatchewan, have seen the fewest lead changes in the league, just one per game.

4: Edmonton Eskimos

It's about this time in the year, where two of the spots in the top half are taken up by the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos, and I realize I need to reconsider my ranking formula. In fairness, they fought admirably against a way better team. Arkee Whitlock looked dangerous for the first time all year, Ricky Ray looked competent and an adorable attempt to win the game on laterals.

5: Calgary Stampeders

No team plays in closer games, on average, than Calgary, (7.67 point difference each game), and they see a lot of lead changes. However, Henry Burris is a shadow of his former dominant, and less interesting where turnovers are concerned, self, and they don't see a lot of points on the field. At 5-1, the best battles they fight are on the Internet.

6: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Darian Durant may be the first person on the planet to be interecepted on a shovel pass against the Alouettes. That's gotta count for something.

7: BC Lions

It wasn't enough for Nik Lewis to criticize the Lions' defensive backs for hitting low, but now he has to go after the weather in Vancouver? On the two worst venues in the CFL, Empire Fields in the rain is on par with BC Place in mid-summer heat, and slightly above Ivor Wynne.

Early reports suggest that Jarious Jackson is going to become the third Lions starting QB this year. The one problem is that the Lions are going to run out of quarterbacks to call on by Week 10.

8: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

First, Adarius Bowman sees one pop out of his mitts on third down, and then the team fails to convert with no time on the clock to tie the game. Luckily, the CFL schedulers give them a break and will let them play the Ti-Cats in Week 7, which comes at a beneficial time, when you need to get your team as many different looks as possible.


This is the only week on the schedule this year that will see every game played on a different day, allowing the average Joe to watch each one. Don't get complacent, because they're also using four different time slots, although the games are being played in just three time zones. Be careful when setting your PVRs, being sure to record over the Lions offense.

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