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CFL Week 13 Power Rankings: Elks End Historic Streak, Ticats Surprise Lions, Winnipeg Bombs Montreal, Toronto Wins Thriller

12 weeks of the CFL 2023 season are in the books. The league has reached its true halfway point with twelve weekends of CFL action remaining, nine in the regular season and then three in the playoffs.

After Week 12, not much has changed at the very tip top of the CFL mountain. However, one of the league’s top contenders, the B.C. Lions surprisingly stumbled again, this time at home. A rising team in the Alouettes got a wake-up call. And the playoff picture beneath is just as murky as ever. And oh yeah, the Edmonton Elks finally snapped their seemingly never-ending home losing streak.

If the season ended today, the 5-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders and the back-from-the-dead 4-6 Hamilton Tiger-Cats would qualify for the postseason.

Here is what the CFL standings look like after twelve weeks of play.

CFL Week 13 Regular Season Standings


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Here’s how I stack up all nine CFL teams from the bottom to the top, heading into Week 13 and Labour Day weekend.

CFL Week 13 Power Rankings

#9: Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-8 )

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 7
  • Last Game: 30-20 Road Loss To Edmonton
  • Next game: After Bye, Week 14 Home vs. Hamilton, Friday, September 8

After a promising 3-3 start, which saw Ottawa pull off thrilling back-to-back OT wins over Winnipeg and Calgary in consecutive weeks. The REDBLACKS have dropped five straight games. Their latest flop taking place in Edmonton. as Ottawa helped the Elks finally snap a historic home-losing skid.

Bob Dyce’s team has fallen apart, and despite not being mathematically out of a playoff race, for all intents and purposes, looks like a dead team walking. They’ll have a bye to regroup before playing out their final seven games of the season.

#8: Edmonton Elks (2-9)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 9
  • Last game: 30-20 HOME Victory Over Ottawa
  • Next game: At Calgary, Monday, September 4th

Finally, the Elks have won a game at home. It took 23 games, but the misery is over. And all of sudden, Edmonton is winners of two straight, with a huge jolt of lightning injected into the franchise thanks to Tre Ford. Things are looking up for the team that has been down in the dumps.

It took Edmonton way too long to make the switch to Ford. But better late than never. It may take more divine intervention for the Elks to sneak into the playoff race. But at least they are out of that deep darkness they’ve dwelled in for the last few seasons.

#7: Calgary Stampeders (3-8)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 6
  • Last Game: 39-31 road loss to Toronto
  • Next game: Home versus Edmonton, Monday, September 4

On Friday night. Predictably, Calgary, who had beaten the Argos three times in a row, gave Toronto all they could handle.

Offensively, the Stampeders had their best passing effort of the season, or since Malik Henry was in uniform for them. Jake Maier threw for nearly four hundred yards and four majors. Reggie Begelton exploded with a 203-yard receiving effort. But ultimately, it wasn’t enough, as a Boatmen team that has feasted on the big play all season outdid the Stamps.

The record does not look favorable. 3-8 after eleven games. But the last two losses were encouraging for Calgary. Dave Dickenson’s Stampeders stood toe to toe with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Unfortunately, the Stamps have been on the losing end of these types of games all season.

Moral victories won’t get Calgary into something that has been commonplace for their franchise. The postseason. The Stampeders have seven games left on their docket to make things right. Despite their record, parity in the middle of the CFL pack has them still alive. However, They need to start winning the games they’ve been losing. Or this season will become a lost cause.

#6: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-6)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 8
  • Last game: 30-13 road conquest over B.C.
  • Next game: Home versus Toronto, Monday afternoon, September 4

A week ago, the Ti-Cats were left for dead. They suffered the indignity of being the first team to lose to a then-winless Edmonton team. And they did it in Hamilton.

As a result, Even the CFL website dropped the Tiger-Cats to last in their power rankings behind the Elks.

What a difference a week makes. Hamilton pulled off one of the season’s biggest surprises, dominating the Lions in their building, where B.C. had previously been unbeaten.

The Ti-Cats elite players stepped up mightily in Vancouver. RB James Butler, in particular, exacted revenge on his former team with another All-Star effort, amassing 154 total yards and two scores.

It was a great all-around performance by Orlando Steinauer’s squad.

It can be argued that no team in the league has underachieved more than Hamilton. Maybe the tide will start to turn for the topsy-turvy 2023 Tiger-Cats. Regardless, after ten games, even at 4-6, they would be in the playoffs at this moment.

To avoid having Week 12 viewed as a fluke, Hamilton can build off their latest success by beating Toronto at home on Labour Day. That would genuinely set a new course for them.

#5: Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-5)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 5
  • Last game: 34-29 Home Victory Over B.C.
  • Next game: Week 13, Home vs. Winnipeg, Sunday, September 3rd

The Riders are coming off a bye and their best win of the season. They will have a chance to build momentum in a crucial matchup at home against the rival Blue Bombers.

#4: Montreal Alouettes (6-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 4
  • Last game: 47-17 Road Loss To Winnipeg
  • Next game: Home vs. B.C. Saturday, Saturday, September 2nd

The Alouettes four game win streak was snapped in half by the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. Montreal suffered their worst defeat of the season, 47-17.

Jason Maas’s team is 6-0 against teams not named Winnipeg, B.C., and Toronto. Their win streak and success against the rest of the league helped separate them from the pack. But thus far, the Alouettes haven’t flown high against the CFL’s elite. They will have a chance to correct that back at home against B.C. on Saturday.

#3: B.C. Lions (7-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 3
  • Last game: 30-13 home loss to Hamilton
  • Next game: At Montreal, Saturday, September 2nd

So much for home dominance. For the first time in a long time, BC Place was friendly to an opposing team.

All of a sudden, the Lions have dropped two straight games.

During a long CFL season, it can happen to the best of teams. However, how B.C. lost in Week 12, particularly at home, was disappointing. The Leos were out-clawed by the Ti-Cats.

British Columbia’s fourth loss of the season has opened the door for Winnipeg to create further distance in the West. The type of separation that could ensure that the Lions won’t be hosting a West Final when they inevitably and probably meet the Bombers there.

First things first, The Lions have a tough task in Week 13 because not only are they headed East, but they are facing a team that is also coming off a helping of humble pie in Montreal.

#2: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-2)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 2
  • Last game: 47-17 home victory over Montreal
  • Next game: At Saskatchewan, Sunday, September 3rd

In back-to-back games at IG Field. Winnipeg has scored 97 points. 50 against B.C. and 47 against the Alouettes, who didn’t know what hit them last Thursday night.

It certainly helped to get reigning MOP Zach Collaros back in the lineup at QB. But ever since, Kenny Lawler entered the picture. It’s given an extremely well-rounded Winnipeg team even more firepower. Not to be outdone, though, or overlooked, is the Bombers’ defence, which is playing at a very high level right now.

Mike O’Shea’s team is clicking on all cylinders and is looking every bit like the championship squad they have been the last few seasons. It shouldn’t be surprising that a 15-3 team from last year is 9-2 after eleven games this year.

#1: Toronto Argonauts (8-1)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 1
  • Last game: 39-31 home victory over Calgary
  • Next game: At Hamilton, Monday, September 4th

In front of the Boatmen’s largest home crowd of the season at BMO Field. The Argonauts exacted some sweet revenge against the team that beat them for their lone loss of 2023. In Week 12, Toronto topped Calgary 39-31 in a wild shootout.

It was a much-needed victory for Ryan Dinwiddie’s Argos, who had lost three straight games to the Stampeders. It took a standout effort from MOP contending quarterback Chad Kelly and another game-changing moment by breakout special teams star Javon Leake for the Argos to outdo the Stamps.

The Double Blue, at 8-1, got an added boost in Week 12 when a surging Alouettes team cooled off in Winnipeg. However, the Argonauts have their work cut out for themselves if they want to maintain their stranglehold on the East. They have a Labour Day showdown in the Hammer upcoming against Hamilton, followed by back-to-back games with the Als and then another meeting with the Ti-Cats, before the Boatmen head to Winnipeg for a Grey Cup rematch.

The next five games will determine a lot for the defending champs, who have defended their throne atop the CFL in glorious fashion so far.

author avatar
Mike Mitchell Reporter
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. D Malcolm

    August 28, 2023 at 10:30 am

    What does it take? The Bombers have the league’s leading passer, leading rusher, best record, have scored more points, have the most dangerous receiving corps and the most dominant defence in the league and yet you only rank them # 2? Winnipeg spotted Montreal 14 points and still demolished the Alouettes. On the other hand, the Argos haven’t dominated anyone. It seems that everyone is blowing air up Toronto’s skirt just so they won’t throw a sissy fit and soil their baby blue diapers.

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