2024: who doesn't make the playoffs?

The defence took a big hit losing Ceresna, so I don’t know that the D will be better.

Edmonton has missed the playoffs the past two years and been a hot mess. Perfectly reasonable for people to have them finishing out of the playoffs again.

Montreal had records of 10-8, 7-7, and 9-9, with playoff appearances and (in 2022) a playoff win. There was zero reason for them to be ranked ninth at the start of 2023.

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I didn’t pick Hamilton to miss the playoffs for two reasons. Ottawa has to prove that signing a bunch of free agents again will actually make a difference this time. They also have the worst in game coach in the league, although I like Dyce very much as a person and I am sure the players do as well. It’s just that the Peter Principle may be in effect here. Brown also hasn’t proven anything except that he’s a reliable back up. Too many ifs for me.

I don’t think Hamilton will finish ahead of Montreal this season, but there might be a path to beating the Argos if Kelly misses significant time or maybe even the whole season. Sure, the Argos don’t have the same 16-2 team that cratered in the Eastern Final, but they are still pretty much as strong as any other Eastern team and the Bombers have shown that being successful doesn’t always kill your ability to compete, although it does present challenges. If there was no risk of Kelly not playing except for injury I would pick the Argos to finish first. As of right now Kelly’s antics have made them a question mark. I think it’s a fair bet that no matter what happens Kelly won’t start the season and that as a minimum he will get 2 games, quite possibly a lot more.

Your team Hamilton has improved defensively I would say, especially the D Line we would love to have in Winnipeg. You also I think will be impressed with the acquisition of new receiver Apple-Orange from the Bombers I predict, although you really could have used Bailey as well. You might have the weakest stable of receivers in the league even with Tim White, unless there is a Schoen hiding among the new players you are bringing in. In my opinion however, your biggest worry is at QB. Bo hasn’t had a decent year since 2018 and he is injury and interception prone. Despite my doubts about Brown, although I wouldn’t be shocked if he did well, I would take him over Bo in a heartbeat. To me it appears that a large part of Hamilton’s fortunes will depend on how well Powell plays, unless they bring in someone else. Still, I have you in the playoffs, even if you only finish 8-10 again.

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:laughing: 8-10 ? We wrote the book on 8-10 .

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I look at Hamilton and I just don’t see how they turn the corner from 8-10. There is a lot of hope that Milanovich can turn things around, which I understand and sympathize with, given that the Cats own the longest Grey Cup drought in the league. Realistically, though, Milanovich didn’t turn the team around in 2023 when he came in for Condell as OC. Nor was his tenure in Toronto some kind of dynasty situation. He rode a hot Ricky Ray to an upset GC win in year 1, after which it was a pretty steep decline – no playoff wins in the next four years and two seasons of missing the playoffs altogether. He also hasn’t been a head coach in the CFL for a number of years. We’ll have to see whether he can adapt.

Now, maybe with the benefit of training camp and a chance to install his system, Milo will do better, but then we have the question of whether Bo can regain his old form. Added to the question marks surrounding the receiving corps. Added to the huge question marks surrounding the linebacking corps. Added to the uncertainty of a new ST coordinator.

Calgary is living on past glory. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 6-12 again. Dickenson has been there too long and is stretched too thin. Maier hasn’t shown that he can carry the team and Shiltz certainly isn’t going to be a magic solution.

Ottawa, on paper, has the weakest head coach in the league, as well as huge question marks at QB (unproven Brown and Masoli the injury machine), a new OC who will have to put his system in place, and a DC who wasn’t able to get things done last year.

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I also had Hamilton and Calgary at 8-10. Hamilton makes it by default.

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I agree that Edmonton’s defence isn’t any better and it’s probably worse without Ceresna the beast. Who says Jones doesn’t value Canadians? He traded his best defensive player for a Canadian receiver with one good year under his belt that was injured most of last year. Not a trade I would have made. Their offense should be much better, with the 1-2 punch of Macbeth and Ford being only second in the league to Collaros and Streveler in my opinion and a top 3 league wide receiver in Lewis, assuming he still has it. Still I picked them to miss, perhaps not by much.

I think Calgary is closer to a hot mess than Edmonton is, although to their credit they won in the clutch against the also hot mess Riders, but I don’t think that means much. Although he could improve with a year starting under his belt, Maier has impressed exactly no one so far. Calgary also improved the least in my opinion among the also rans in the off season. They may have saved themselves by signing Shiltz and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was starting before long. Shiltz was well respected before his poor playoff performance which led Hamilton to start him over their big bucks guy. Some think he is a career back up and they may be right. He has only fallen out of favour as a result of that game and he wouldn’t be the first athlete in the history of sports that struggled in his first appearance in the clutch, but rebounded. Good bet on Shiltz but still a very weak team that didn’t improve. Like Hamilton, also an unimpressive receiving corps aside from one very good receiver and one decent second receiver. I think Calgary will finish last in the West and that is my “best bet” prediction.

I have Saskatchewan finishing third ahead of Edmonton, but that is certainly no lock. I think people are underestimating Harris, who has always been a very good regular season QB, which is all we are talking about here. But him staying healthy is also no lock and they appear to be very weak in QB depth. Most Rider fans are of the opinion that they should have kept Dolegala over Fine. I’m not sure about that, but don’t consider either of them to be very impressive and certainly not in Dru Brown territory. The Riders however have improved their team immensely in the off season and for the first time in recent memory appear to have significantly improved their O Line. They do still lack depth and god forbid what will happen if Harris goes down, but I have them squeaking into third.

Although both Winnipeg and BC may take a step back this year as many have predicted (hope?), in my book they are both still far superior to the other West teams and have the two best starting QB’s in the league, the importance of which can’t be underestimated. To me they are both a lock to make the playoffs and are very likely to finish 1-2 in the West.

As to your Als, you have indicated more than once on this forum your displeasure at them being ranked last in the league pre season last year. I can’t remember but assume you are referring to the site power rankings. I know that even a lot of Als fans don’t find that very crazy. The Als you could say were a hot mess a year ago given the fact that they lost what were thought to be several key players including Lewis, had a wonky ownership situation that didn’t allow them to participate effectively in free agency and had a new starting QB that had just been run out of Saskatchewan together with a new coach that took the same train to Montreal. Not a lot of positives happening for a while. I didn’t rank them 9th but it wasn’t crazy to do so at the time and only seems that way with the benefit of hindsight. I also wouldn’t rank them first this year as the site has done, but it’s not crazy to do so either. The rankings as we know are just educated guesses are for fun and I certainly don’t take them seriously. None of the sports books I am aware of rank them first this year and betting odds are a far more reliable indicator of likely success than social media forums. I don’t know how the Als were ranked by the sports books a year ago, but it wouldn’t shock me to learn that some of them had them 9th. In any event I expect the Als to finish first in the East this year, the biggest possible playoff advantage in the CFL and perhaps in any professional sports league.

I’ll shut up now.

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Yeah, to your SSK point, I think Harris will get them into the playoffs now that they appear to have a team around him, better pass-blocking, and a competent head coach.

As for Montreal, yes, absolutely, we had a lot of uncertainty in the 2022 offseason – the ownership mess had lots of players leaving. But to see literally every major media outlet pick us to finish last (in the league! not even just the division) was absurd. I could have accepted a bump down in ranking but that uniform “last across the board” told me that those journalists were too lazy to actually render a fair assessment. I too wouldn’t rank us first this year. Maybe #2 but that’s more because Toronto has lost many key pieces in addition to the Chad Kelly legal saga. If I saw someone rank Montreal at #3 behind Winnipeg and Toronto, I’d understand why.

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One more thing about Shiltz: he is a career backup IMO. We Als fans had a full view of him in Montreal for four years. Good guy, has the physical tools, always seems like he’s on the cusp of doing something good, but he never quite gets there. A one-read QB. Maybe Dickenson will work his QB magic on him, but if he were capable of doing that, wouldn’t he have done it already for Maier? I think Calgary brought Shiltz in as “making the playoffs” insurance in case Maier gets injured or plays so poorly that a QB change becomes necessary. But I don’t think he’ll be enough.

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Ownership change right before F/A.
Trevor Harris signs with Saskatchewan.
Eugene Lewis signs with Edmonton.

Just three examples of reasons why Als were given the ranking.

All the more reason for the organization to demonstrate that the “pundits” had it wrong.

In the end, they did.

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I certainly agree.

Not sure why it is still being brought up about where we were picked. It was fully understandable to be picked 9th.

Our previous years’ records were irrelevant at that point. We had all the free agent losses, plus Cody at QB & Maas as HC after their messed up 2022 Sask. seasons.

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Me neither. This is supposed to be a thread about 2024, why someone wants to continue to whine about where some pundits predicted us to finish last season is a mystery to me. Not to mention tiresome.

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The solution is obvious. O.P. should edit the title to include inaccurate predictions of previous seasons :rofl:.

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Renegades , Concordes and Schooners will 100% all miss this year…book it .

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After considering this for some time I have made my decision. The three teams who will not make the playoffs are;

Calgary Stampeders
Ottawa REDBLACKs or Toronto Argonauts depending on if Kelly plays or not
Saskatchewan Roughriders

Agree with this. But to be sure I have a tainted view of the Stamps. I will also be the first to admit the stamps since Huff got on board have perpetually been contenders and always seem to be able to find talent needed when they need to faster than other teams are able to do. For sure one team in the West is going cross over again this year.
Toronto may or may not be trouble. Much depends on how the fallout from the current legal battle shakes out.

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There hasn’t been a west crossover since 2019. What do you mean by “again” this year?
The East has been very competitive the last few years.

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It’s comun back this year is my meaning

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This is for the author…

Montreal, Montreal, Montreal :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

For the rest of us - Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal

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good one lol GIF by Chicks on the Right

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Montreal, Calgary and sask.