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CFL Week 8 Power Rankings: Stacking The League’s Best To Worst Teams

Week 7 of the CFL 2023 Regular Season is in the books. The top tier of the league retained its status quo. The middle of the pack is very crowded. And Edmonton’s historic run of futility continues.

CFL 2023 Week 8 Regular Season Standings





Let’s look at how the league stacks from the bottom to the top heading in Week 8 of the CFL Regular Season.

#9: Edmonton Elks (0-7)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 9
  • Last game: 28-14. Road Loss To Winnipeg
  • Next game: Home Vs. B.C. Saturday, July 29

The down-bad Elks hung tough with the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Thursday night. But the end result was an expected one.

The lone positive, if you are reaching for one, is that the Elks didn’t lose in mind-boggling fashion against Winnipeg. No mistaken rouges allowed or first and goal failures from the one-yard line.

The bottom line is that Edmonton is a bad football team, desperately looking for a ray of sunshine in one of the franchise’s darkest periods.

Dating back to last season, Edmonton has now lost 11 straight games overall.

Unfortunately, things could get darker for the Elks in the coming weeks. They continue a rough stretch of games against the West’s top two teams. In Week 8, they head back home, facing off with British Columbia.

The Elks have lost a CFL-record 20 consecutive home games, a string of futility stretching back nearly four years to Oct. 12, 2019. Edmonton can make more negative history in Week 8 of the CFL season if they lose again at home. They are currently tied for the longest run of consecutive home losses among North America’s major professional leagues. Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Browns lost 20 straight in 1953 before becoming the Baltimore Orioles the next season.

#8: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 8
  • Last game: 31-15 home loss to Toronto
  • Next game: At Ottawa, Friday, July 28th

The outclassed Ti-Cats down to Option C at quarterback in Tyler Powell, utilizing an ultra-conservative gameplan, nearly made a game of things with Toronto but didn’t have enough firepower to make a comeback in front of a sell-out crowd in Hamilton.

Despite their unimpressive 2-4 record after six games, the Tiger-Cats are right in the mix for a playoff spot. They will face a team they beat three weeks ago in division rival Ottawa this coming Friday. Hamilton will then host Montreal. Winning those two games would help solidify the second spot in the East behind Toronto.

Hamilton’s not good enough right now to challenge the Grey Cup Champion Argos, but perhaps they can be a better team the next they meet their rivals on Labour Day.

#7: Calgary Stampeders (2-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 6
  • Last Game: 43-41 overtime home loss to Ottawa
  • Next game: At Montreal, Sunday, July 30th

A week after a dramatic last-second road victory over Saskatchewan. The Stampeders suffered their second overtime loss of the season at home. This time to a suddenly red-hot Dustin Crum-led Redblacks team.

Calgary’s offence has woken up the last two weeks. But their defence has played pitiful, especially in clutch situations. They’ve been unable to maintain leads late.

Dave Dickenson’s Stamps are an inexplicable 0-3 at McMahon Stadium this season. There was a time when winning games in Calgary for opponents was a nearly impossible feat. That has not been the case this year.

#6: Montreal Alouettes (2-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 5
  • Last game: 35-27 home loss to Toronto
  • Next game: Week 8, Home vs. Calgary, Sunday. July 30

Montreal benefitted from sitting back during their bye as they got stronger, adding perennial CFL All-Star Shawn Lemon into the mix.

While the majority of CFL teams have gone through injury or production issues on the pivot, Montreal is in a prime spot to contend the rest of the way because they are getting quality production from a healthy Cody Fajardo. They are coming off a three-game stretch where they played Winnipeg, B.C., and Toronto.

However, Jason Maas’s team will be tested, as they are about to go on a three-month stretch of games without a bye week.

#5: Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 4
  • Last game: 19-9 road loss to the B.C. Lions
  • Next game: 2023 Touchdown Atlantic Vs. Toronto, Saturday. July 29

Saskatchewan, particularly on defence, played a great game against B.C.’s vaunted offence on the road, holding them to only 19 points. However, the Riders’ offence, in the post-Trevor Harris world, was anything but fine against the Lions.

After showing some promise coming off the bench against Calgary a week ago. Mason Fine wasn’t up to the task against British Columbia’s elite defence in Week 7. Saskatchewan’s offensive attack was ultra-conservative and lacked any innovation. Offensive Coordinator Kelly Jeffrey needs to find some answers quickly.

The Riders have dropped two straight games to divisional rivals and, as a result, are in a precarious position moving forward. If the season ended today, Saskatchewan would be in the playoffs but they need to avoid spiraling any further.

The jury is still out on how good the Roughriders are, especially with Trevor Harris out of the picture. After all, Two of Saskatchewan’s three wins this season have come against the winless Elks. Both times in nail-biting fashion. Like their contest with the Leos, the Roughriders will be tested mightily this coming week against the CFL champs, Toronto.

#4: Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 7
  • Last Game: 43-41 Overtime Road Victory Over Calgary
  • Next game: Home Vs. Hamilton, Friday, July 28th

For the second consecutive week, the Ottawa Redblacks found a way to win with their backs against the wall. An improbable comeback in Week 6 against Winnipeg, and now a thrilling overtime victory with the deck stacked against them until the final gun.

Don’t look now, but Dustin Crum, Ottawa’s 4th starting quarterback this season, might be the charm the Redblacks needed all along. The Kent State standout has looked amazing thus far. He has shown tremendous poise as a dual-threat quarterback in his first two CFL starts.

Once can be described as a fluke. Twice can be a coincidence. But the latter appears to be developing a pattern. If Dustin Crum continues to play at a high level, he might be setting a new standard, which will ultimately vault Ottawa into serious contention.

Bob Dyce’s squad has a lot of momentum on their side. They will look to make a large statement this coming week when they attempt to avenge their loss to Hamilton three weeks ago.

#3: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-2)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 3
  • Last game: 28-14 home victory over Edmonton
  • Next game: Week 9 Post-Bye. Home vs. B.C., Thursday, August 3rd

The Bombers took care of business in Week 7, predictably prevailing over hapless Edmonton. Winnipeg expectedly bounced back at home, but it wasn’t the blowout victory expected from them after their monumental collapse against Ottawa the week prior.

Nevertheless, Mike O’Shea’s squad is 5-2 after seven games. They will have a week off before what is shaping up to be their most pivotal game of the season. A Week 9 revenge clash with the Lions after B.C. embarrassed them at home 30-6 earlier this season.

Beating Edmonton is fine. But the true barometer of the Bombers’ season will be how they perform when the Lions return to the scene of the crime.

#2: B.C. Lions (5-1)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 2
  • Last game: 19-9 Home victory over Saskatchewan
  • Next game: At Edmonton, Saturday, July 29

If not for the Leos defence, Week 7 for B.C. would’ve been a complete downer. The Lions barely clawed past the Riders 19-9 at home. And in the process, they lost star quarterback Vernon Adams to injury. The positive coming out of the latter is that VA’s injury isn’t a serious one. B.C. dodged a bullet on that front.

Having Dane Evans, although he wasn’t overly spectacular against the Riders, is an asset moving forward. A luxury that other CFL teams wish they had. The Lions can afford to sit Vernon Adams until he’s completely a hundred percent. Especially considering who B.C. is playing next and then afterward.

Therein lies the rub, British Columbia is walking into the ultimate trap game this coming week against the Elks. On paper, the Lions are levels ahead of Edmonton. They should beat a team that has lost 20 straight games at home. However, with a rematch in Winnipeg the following week, looking past Chris Jones’s winless squad would only be natural.

#1: Toronto Argonauts (5-0)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 1
  • Last game: 31-15 road victory over Hamilton
  • Next game: 2023 Touchdown Atlantic Vs. Saskatchewan, Saturday, July 29th

Remarkably, even after winning 18 championships, and despite entering their 150th year of existence, this is the first time that the Toronto Argonauts have been 5-0 to start a season in over sixty years. (1960) Back then, CFL teams were playing exhibition games against NFL teams.

The Argos stayed perfect in 2023, beating their eternal rival Hamilton 31-15 last Friday night. Every time this season that Toronto has been challenged, they have handled any threats with ease. Hamilton inched back into things against them, but the Boatmen quickly shut the door on any comeback attempt.

Quarterback Chad Kelly has led a supremely talented and well-constructed roster expertly thus far. Kelly is playing his way into being the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. And ultimately back into the NFL.

At some point, the Argonauts will lose. Perhaps that will come in their neutral site tussle with Saskatchewan in Week 8 or a week later in Calgary. But right now, Ryan Dinwiddie’s team looks as good as any top CFL team has in years. Toronto is doing a masterful job defending its throne and title.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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