Monday, August 23, 2010

The CFL Week 8 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: Calgary Stampeders (6-1, 1st place West)

The idle Stamps jumped over three active Eastern teams who played a couple of stinkers this week. Two statistics jump off the page--even though the Alouettes have played one more game than Calgary, Calgary has as many passing touchdowns, (and will likely build on that against BC this weekend) but the Stamps have one statistic rarely found in the CFL this season: zero return touchdowns.

2: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-4, 3rd place East)

The tabbies fell back this year, though they got a very important comeback win on the road in Toronto. Kevin Glenn cooled off, throwing for only 247 yards, but Arland Bruce III continues to heat up, earning a week-high eight receptions. This bodes well for fans of passing football and morbid endzone celebrations.

3: Toronto Argonauts (5-3, 2nd place East)

I can only imagine that Chad Owens' 37-yard completion this week off a reverse is a direct result of seeing Arland Bruce gun one in similar fashion last week. Owens is now leading the Argonauts in QB rating (a perfect 158.3) and yards (37).

4: Montreal Alouettes (6-2, 1st place East)

Every now and then, Anthony Calvillo will get injured and a backup quarterback that nobody on the team has heard of will wander in and then the over-extensive analysis of Calvillo's injury begins. This week it was Chris Leak, and while he made away with a very passable 10-for-15 with 99 yards, the game changed when Calvillo got knocked out of the game. A 24-0 lead quickly changed to a 24-17 lead until Brandon Whitaker came through with a terrific fourth.

But the charge over the backup quarterbacks--we've seen a number of quarterbacks start out as backups and become all-stars in a flash. Darian Durant is a great example of this. I can't think that Montreal doesn't have quarterbacks in reserve with zero athletic talent, I think it has more to do that Calvillo still calls his own plays, thus knows the offense better than anybody. Perhaps there's something to be said for holding a clipboard and recognizing how the offense works.

5: Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-2, 2nd place West)

Idle Riders, idle in the rankings. I'm deliciously anticipating the force stereotypes as we prepare for the Banjo Bowl.

6: Edmonton Eskimos (1-6, T-3rd place West)

This week, the Eskimos have a great chance to get their defensive statistics back to a number that's more indicative of how bad of a team this is. They actually have the second best defensive scoring stat in the league, 179 points allowed, to Calgary's 142.

7: BC Lions (1-6, T-3rd place West)

They have the worst combined point statistic in the lead, (offensive points plus defensive points x .66), seventh place in my brand-new EXCITING TOUCHDOWNS statistic (return touchdowns plus passing touchdowns / 4) and seventh place in passing yardage.

This week TSN started asking whether Wally Buono should step down. Please?

8: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-5, 4th place East)

Wow. They are a terrible team too. The obvious flaw in the CFL playoff system is that either one of Edmonton, BC or Winnipeg will make it. Reduce the number of playoff teams to four, and all of a sudden, we can get rid of these three horrible teams, and we have a great battle for the final playoff spot in the East between Toronto and Hamilton.

In a perfect world, we prefer to have the meaningful games played between good teams. In Week 18 this year, the Bombers play the Eskimos. How bad will that one be, and how awful would it be if the winner of that one bad game made the playoffs only to get destroyed by Saskatchewan or Calgary?


Bye week, and hey you guys, I just might be at Empire Stadium on Saturday.

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