Attendance battle

In the east corner. The stuggling Tiger-Cats, coming off a strong showing against Edmonton, are set to square off with division-rival Winnipeg. A win could set the stage for a dogfight for 2nd in the Eastern division, face off against the capacity of Percival-Molson stadium.

With a season average attendance of 20307, the Ti-cats are the odds-on favorites to take this one. Both the Ti-Cats and the Bombers are looking at new life, and bad blood between these two teams via trade should help to boost interest, but I don't see the Ti-Cats overcoming their position in the standings. At least the Ti-Cat game will CRUSH the Montreal game in TV ratings, now that TSN dumped it to their alternate feed.

zbest picks: Montreal, 20202 to 19462

Previous Meetings:
Wk 11: Hamilton 18723, Montreal 20202
Wk 10: Hamilton 25911, Montreal 20202

In the west corner, the top team in the CFL from Sask pits their newly-expanded capacity against their bitter rivals to the West. This week the Stamps welcome Don Matthews and the Argos to town. A team that has struggled as of late and a defence that should let Burris and the Calgary offence showcase their talents. This one comes down to weather. And a forecast with highs of 17 and partly cloudy gives a slight edge to Calgary. But I still don't think they can make up for the fact that their opponent isn't worth watching.

zbest picks: Sask 30945 to 30249

Previous Meetings:
Wk 10: Calgary 35650, Sask 30985
Wk 4: Calgary 31116, Sask 28800

I'd take:

Montreal 20202 over Ham. 18500

Calgary 32000 vs. Sask 30945

Rusults for week 13:

Montreal over Hamilton: 20202 to 19102
Calgary over Sask: 33135 to 30945

zbest goes 1-1, esks123 goes 2-0

On to week 14:

Toronto vs Winnipeg

Good feelings in Winnipeg against disaster in Toronto. Both are tied for 2nd in the east fighting off a crossover and fighting for a home playoff spot.

zbest picks: Toronto 29465 to 28794

Previous Meetings:
Wk 8: Toronto 30521, Winnipeg 25484
PS B: Toronto 21422, Winnipeg 29553

Week 14 results

Winnipeg over Toronto: 29794 to 28672

(My Winnipeg number was exactly 1000 off)

Battle for week 15:

Sask vs Toronto

Toronto hosts the BC lions, and the MOP is back in at QB. Sask welcomes Calgary, and the game is expected to sell out. 1st place is on the line.

zbest picks: Sask 30945 to 28734

Previous Meetings:
Wk 4: Sask 28800, Toronto 28522
Wk 13 ('07): Sask 28800, Toronto 26423

Week 15 results:

Sask over Toronto: 30945 to 28273

Brings me back up to 2-2

Battle for Week 16:

BC vs Calgary

Calgary hosts the Riders, and is already looking at sellout (35,650), a week from gametime. BC has been able to beat that number a few times this year. With a piece of first place, will the BC fans come out in force this week, against a division rival like Edmonton? Both previous meetings this year have gone to BC by a fairly large margin. They seem to have their best attendances when battling Calgary.

zbest picks: Calgary 35650 to 33448

Previous meetings:
Wk 12: BC 38608, Calgary 30960
Wk 4: BC 37174, Calgary 31116

Week 16 Results:

Calgary over BC 35650 to 34778

Brings my record to 3-2

Battle for week 17:

Sask vs Toronto

The league's largest market takes on the league's smallest market. Will Torontonians come out and support their team, or will they get clobbered by the Reginans again, proving that the CFL is, and always will be, a western canadian league.

zbest picks: Sask 30945 to 27854

Previous meetings:
Wk 15: Sask 30945, Toronto 28273
Wk 4: Sask 28800, Toronto 28522

Week 17 Results:

Sask over Toronto 30945 to 30262

The surprising number to come out of this week is they both beat Calgary's 30110. I almost put Calgary up against Edmonton when I could have made it a 3-way dance. Toronto put up a really good fight, but in the end failed to register an upset against Rider Nation.

Brings me up to 4-2

Battle for week 18:

Hamilton vs Montreal

Montreal elected not to move thier last home game to the Big O this year. But it doesn't look so hot for Hamilton. This one is a pretty easy call. Come on Cats fans ... I'd like you to make me eat crow on this one.

zbest picks: Montreal 20202 to 18964

Previous meetings:
Wk 13: Montreal 20202, Hamilton 19102
Wk 11: Montreal 20202, Hamilton 18723
Wk 10: Montreal 20202, Hamilton 25911

Week 18 Results:

Hamilton over Montreal 20614 to 20202

mmmm ... crow. Way to go Cats fans.

Brings me to 4-3

Battle for week 19:

Toronto vs Calgary

After the surprising results from week 17, I'm going to put Toronto against Calgary rather than Winnipeg. Rider nation will be out in force to try and help Toronto knock off Calgary.

zbest picks: Calgary 32163 to 31074

Previous meetings:
Wk 17: Calgary 30110, Toronto 30262
Wk 12: Calgary 30960, Toronto 28453
Wk 6: Calgary 35650, Toronto 28523

...I haven't seen a conversation this one-sided since Kanga was a regular...

Week 19 Results:

Calgary: 30275
Edmonton: 29911
Toronto: 28654
Winnipeg: 24595

Calgary beats Toronto.

Edmonton actually lost to Calgary, in a game that didn't involve the Riders. What happened Esks fans? Why do you treat your playoff team with such disrespect? Totally disappointed in this showing from Edmonton, which has had reliably the best attendance in the league for, well, forever. Regina can sell more tickets than each of these teams, regularly. Had there been a game in Regina, it would have been the best attended game of the week.

In every game outside of Ontario, the Riders either played in front of the largest crowd of the week, or in a sold out stadium. Next year, they really have some work to do with their marketing if they want to make it a nationwide blackout.

Cheers all, until next year.

There weren’t even 29,000 fans there anyway, figure probably included paid attendance… Maybe there were 22-24,000 all told, including G&G club, tailgating, folks standing, etc. at any one point.

I can tell you folks that alot of Edmonton fans are downright angry about the fact that the best their team could do was crossover; they were also unhappy about the game being scheduled on halloween night, and about the recent blowout losses we took on the road in Saska and Mtl.