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CFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Middle Of The Pack Gets Muddled While The Top Tier Remains The Same

Week 8 of the CFL regular season is in the books. The league’s top teams retained their spots atop the mountain, while the middle of the pack continues to be very muddled.



BC Lions761012182943-0-03-1-05-0-0
Winnipeg Blue Bombers7520101901473-1-02-1-03-1-0
Saskatchewan Roughriders734061381781-2-02-2-03-3-0
Calgary Stampeders725041701920-3-02-2-01-3-0
Edmonton Elks808001052120-4-00-4-00-5-0


Toronto Argonauts6600122171243-0-03-0-03-0-0
Montreal Alouettes633061311292-2-01-1-02-1-0
Hamilton Tiger-Cats734061462071-2-02-2-02-3-0
Ottawa REDBLACKS734061521582-2-01-2-00-3-0

Let’s look at where the CFL’s nine teams rank from the Edmonton bottom to the top heading into Week 9.

CFL Week 9 Power Rankings

#9: Edmonton Elks (0-8)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 9
  • Last game: 27-0 Home Loss To B.C.
  • Next game: Home Vs. Winnipeg, Thursday, August 12th

The historically bad Edmonton Elks continue to top their own sinking levels of futility. Chris Jones’s squad failed to show up against the Lions in a discouraging 27-0 loss at home. But they did manage to continue making history. Albeit while being on the wrong side of it.

The Elks have now lost a CFL-record 21 consecutive home games. Edmonton now stands alone as the team with 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.

Edmonton has a bye week upcoming. You almost wish that it could be permanent for the rest of 2023. Just fast forward to the end of the season.

#8: Calgary Stampeders (2-5)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 7
  • Last Game: 25-18 road loss to Montreal
  • Next game: Home Vs. Toronto, Friday, August 4th

Traveling out East to play a well-rested Montreal team in their building was always going to be a difficult chore for Calgary. But at some point, the Stamps need to find a way to win close games before their season falls apart completely.

The Stampeders, despite their less-than-stellar 2-5 record, are still in the mix to make a playoff push due to league-wide parity. However, Calgary has a very difficult stretch of games upcoming. Their next four contests are against Toronto twice, with the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers sandwiched in between.

#7: Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 4
  • Last Game: 16-12 Home Loss To Hamilton
  • Next game: At Saskatchewan, Sunday, August 6th
What a difference a week makes. Heading into Week 8, thanks to Crum A Mania and two straight thrilling overtime victories. The Redblacks looked like a team on the rise who was ready to take the next step as legitimate contenders.

However, a disappointing loss for the second time to Hamilton has knocked Ottawa down a peg from their all-of-sudden lofty perch. Bob Dyce’s team ran out of magic. They are still in a decent spot to contend for a playoff spot in the East, which is a huge improvement from seasons past.

But their two losses to Hamilton head-to-head, coupled with a winless divisional record, still has them in trail mode.

#6: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 8
  • Last game: 16-12 road victory over Ottawa
  • Next game: Home vs. Montreal, Saturday, August 5th

A bizarre victory for the Ti-Cats, where returning starter Bo Levi Mitchell threw for five interceptions, got even more bizarre when Hamilton lost their prized free-agent pickup again to injury, thanks to an ill-conceived quarterback sneak in the game’s closing seconds.

Mitchell will miss at least six more games. It certainly hasn’t been the storybook redemption arc that some projected for the multiple-time All-Star.

Setting aside yet another injury to the quarterback position. The Tiger-Cats clawed their way to a very important victory over the Redblacks in Ottawa.

Hamilton, now at 3-4, despite all their struggles, is in a decent position to make a playoff run. As ludicrous as that appears.

The Ti-Cats have another important divisional game upcoming at home against Montreal. One that could help them leap further up the Eastern standings. For that to happen, Their talented defence and star players will need to continue playing at a high level, no matter who the quarterback is.

#5: Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-4)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 5
  • Last game: 31-13 Touchdown Atlantic Loss To Toronto
  • Next game: Home Vs. Ottawa, Sunday, August 6th
There’s a temptation to write off the Riders after the significant loss of Trevor Harris and now a three-game losing streak. And while the lackluster play at quarterback of Mason Fine is something that warrants concern.

The truth is that the strength of the schedule, and the level of opponent, the Riders have faced in the absence of Harris needs to be considered.

In the last two weeks, Saskatchewan’s defence has answered the call. They held the Lions in B.C. to only 19 points. And at TD Atlantic, the Riders slowed down the Argos’ offensive attack, holding them to only one offensive touchdown. Sask’s 31-13 defeat at the hands of the champs is misleading. A defensive score and special teams returns camouflaged what was a very competitive game.

At 3-4, the Riders are still in contention. However, they will need to get elevated play on the pivot in order for them to stay above water.

#4: Montreal Alouettes (3-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 6
  • Last game: 25-18 home victory over Calgary
  • Next game: At Hamilton, Saturday, August 5th
Fully rested coming off a bye week, the Alouettes snapped a three-game losing streak by outlasting the Stamps at home 25-18. It was exactly what Montreal needed to reset and redirect their season.

The Als have a chance to create some separation from the middle of the pack in the next few weeks. They play a pivotal game in Hamilton before returning home for Saskatchewan and then a road tilt against Ottawa.

If Montreal can continue to play balanced football, Jason Maas’s squad could strengthen its current position.

#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

Arguably the biggest game of the CFL season will take place this coming Thursday night. The Blue Bombers will be at home and will have had two weeks to prepare for redemption against a Lions team that humiliated them in the same setting over a month ago.

#2: B.C. Lions (6-1)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 2
  • Last game: 27-0 Road victory over Edmonton
  • Next game: At Winnipeg, Thursday, August 3rd

The Lions’ 27-0 walk-in-the-park conquest of Edmonton in Week 8 fit the old adage of stealing candy from a baby. It was the second time this season that B.C. shut out the Elks.

Dane Evans did his part in place of Vernon Adams. The Leos’ defence toyed with their prey.

The whole game had the feel of being a preliminary matchup before what amounts to a main event in Week 9 against Winnipeg.

The Lions will meet the Blue Bombers in Week 18 at home and then likely again in the Western playoffs. But Thursday night’s game could be a deciding knockout blow if B.C. finds a way to beat Mike O’Shea’s squad again in Winnipeg. A victory would effectively put British Columbia in the driver’s seat to get to the Grey Cup.

#1: Toronto Argonauts (6-0)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 1
  • Last game: 31-13 Touchdown Atlantic victory over Saskatchewan
  • Next game: At Calgary, Friday, August 4th
The Toronto Argonauts are putting together quite the encore season thus far to last year’s Grey Cup victory. Fittingly enough, in their 150th year of existence, the Boatmen are 6-0 for the first time in 88 years. They have never been 7-0 to start a season in their glorious history.

At Touchdown Atlantic, the Argos showed why they are championship caliber.

Despite an off day by Double Blue’s offence against a stout Saskatchewan defence. Toronto showed why they are the league’s most well-rounded team. It was their special teams and bend but don’t break defence that guided the Boatmen to another victory.

Dating back to August 26th of last year, Ryan Dinwiddie’s team has won 15 of their last 17 games. That’s if you count the Argos’ season finale loss last season, where they played only backups and third-stringers against Montreal.

The last true loss by Toronto? A 29-2 defeat at the hands of the Stamps in Calgary last October. Coincidentally, that’s who and where the Argos are headed to play in Week 9.

At some point, the 2023 Toronto Argonauts will lose. But the defending CFL champions continue to build upon their earned lofty status atop the league.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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