I think one USA team playing one game in the states and the rest all road games might work too. If the first game does well they can have two the next year.
Jon, I wish you would take the time to check out the facts - please. You may think the situation was the same but - in 2021 Zach played the 2nd last game & Dru Brown was brought in with less than 3 minutes left in the 1st half of the last game. So he was not sat down until the 2nd half of the last game of the season. And yes, in the 3rd last game he played a full game & go back as far from there as you want. He missed half a game going into the playoff round.
In 2022 Zach was sat down after the Oct 7 match & saw 1/2 game of action after that until the Nov 13 Final. In fact in that Oct 7 match, a laugher over Edmonton, he didn't even finish that game. So he played 1/2 game of live action in 28 days. Sometimes you can spin it any way you want as a Bomber fan & it just doesn't add up.
I already said I didn’t compare the two years minute for minute but Zach was rested in both years.
You seem to think that this is what led to his sub par performance and the Bombers losing in the GC. I say there is no proof that is the case and again, this is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenarios.
Zach played well without much in the way of prior repetitions in 2019 and in 2021 was GC MVP under the same scenario. Arguably he is the player in the league that is the least in need of repetitions before a big game. In fact he drove them into field goal range in the last minute of this year’s GC, but he doesn’t do the kicking as you know.
I would speculate that the main reason for Zach’s sub par performance was his injured ankle. He appeared to have trouble comfortably planting for his throws. The Bombers of course aren’t using that as an excuse and neither are their fans, but common sense and observation would seem to support this being at least some kind of a factor.
We can agree on one thing - well, no doubt you won't. The Bombers, in particular, the veteran OL, Zach (who himself admitted as much), & the 2 recent MOP's on Defence, didn't play well. Unless you think throwing 5 interceptable balls & fumbling twice by the QB's is awesome, 6 times getting sacked (sure 2 were called back but he was still put on the ground because the OL couldn't handle the rush), & one tackle combined for Bighill & Jefferson is great football. They couldn't hold a 9 point lead with the winning TD scored with the starter on the sideline.
Something was wrong with the Bombers. So, if it wasn't rust, as cautioned by the media against resting players, then maybe the moment to make history was too big for this seasoned club. Funny that the older veterans were the ones rested in those final weeks & they, almost to a man, had (I'll be kind) sub par games. Or the team flat out choked to a team deemed "unworthy". You have to beat the opponent put in front of you. The Argos don't have to apologize to anyone. They stepped up.
Zach had more than one drive in the end to win the game & threw a costly INT. He was underthrowing receivers consistently. Both Schoen on a deep throw had a step on Peters, who had time to recover & had it hit him in the bread basket. Later Zach underthrew a wide open Bailey & Muamba said thank you very much. On the final attempt had the FG not been blocked, it is far from certain at that distance that Legghio would have made the kick. I mean, the guy has trouble kicking converts which are lined up on the 25 yard line.
I get it that the Bombers are your team. But no need to be offended. IMO O'Shea blundered on resting some of his veteran starters in the last 2 weeks when there were already 2 rest days built in - a bye & a semi. Not the best way to keep your team sharp. And they weren't sharp.
I fully agree on the injury thing but Zach wasn't the sole reason they lost. IMO there were a lot of veterans that needed to look in the mirror.
You’re still overthinking a one point loss, in my opinion. I get it that you’re not a Bomber fan but let’s be realistic. The Bombers once again dominated the regular season at 15-2 plus one garbage time game loss. They were one point away from an unprecedented threepeat in the salary cap era. They will no doubt be the pre season favourite next year. No need to pull the fire alarm.
As has been said many times, any team can lose any game to any other team. At least the Bombers earned their way into the GC fully, something we know Toronto didn’t do. Yes they won that game but are they a better team? Hardly.
I agree that many Bombers didn’t have their best game. Most of those including Zach, Jeffcoat, Rose (pulling a full Bobby Baun) and Bighill were contending with significant injuries. No excuses but certainly a factor when your best players are hurt, not to mention the defensive starters out long term that couldn’t even dress. No excuses for Liegghio. If Castillo had played you could have chalked up another GC victory. Toronto played their best and Winnipeg played their worst game of the year outside of the Hamilton loss and still only lost by one. Trying to say they will be mincemeat next year is not an unbiased opinion. Please also feel free to make an argument as to which team you believe will be better next year.
One point you make about the Bomber performance I don’t agree on is Willie Jefferson, who played very well in spite of the fact that the Argos were able to focus on him and frequently double team him. He was still the disruptive force he almost always is, just like he was all year. As Blue said on another thread, you can cherry pick stats and indeed can do that for every player on every team to make them look good or bad, depending on your agenda. Willie’s game and value has never been about tackles. It is no surprise to me that he was the second most disruptive player (or maker of big plays) in the league last year next to Mauldin IV (and there appears to be four of him). Just gleaned that from a post Capital Dave made in another thread which I will link below. That is an unbiased stat.
There is only one team recognized as the best team & that is the Grey Cup winner. That's why the 11-7 Winnipeg Blue Bombers, with the 4th most wins, were the best team in 2019 - not the 15-3 Hamilton Tiger Cats. That's why the 11-7 Toronto Argonauts, with the 4th most wins, were the best team in 2022 - not the 15-3 Winnipeg Blue Bombers. You get the irony, I hope.
Nobody cares who won the President's Cup or the pennant. Nobody cares if you have to go through the "Group of Death" to get there or through 3 minnows. Nobody cares if you lost by 0.0000001th of a second in the 100 metre to a guy you beat twice in the heats.
Pre-season favourites? Sure the Bombers are likely the favourites which means very little. The last 2 double winners, the 1996-97 Argos didn't go to another GC until 2004, the 2009-10 Als returned to the playoffs for the 1st time this year. Walters & Bighill have both mentioned this year that they are near the end of the cycle & "think" they may get one more run at it. Things can change quickly.
It's way too early to judge the Argos or Bombers at this point because they don't operate in a vacuum. Every team is going to make changes.
Willie? The MOP is heavily weighted to DL, specifically DE, & LB's. The stats that hold the most weight for DE's is not tackles - Ive never said that. It's sacks. The awards bear out the fact that DE's up for the awards have a lot of sacks for their position. Willie also gets a lot of knockdowns. DT's rarely get the attention they deserve. Tackles are the most weighted stats for LB's.
I'm probably going to take a short break before Christmas so I do wish you a Merry Christmas & all the best in the coming year. Take care. Enjoy the time with family.
I completely disagree with this.
The Bombers were clearly the best team in the league last year (for the record, I'm not a Bomber fan). Yes, the Argos won a game against them at the end, but that single win does not erase the fact that Winnipeg dominated the entire year. Or the fact that the Argos were not even the second best team in the league. Or the third.
The Argos claim to be champions is undermined by the fact that the league format essentially gifted them an undeserved bye and much easier path to the game which should have gone to better teams. If they were an underdog who won their way into the big game, at least I could respect that. But they did not earn their placement, and I don't think they could have made it there if they had to play their way up through fair and honest seedings.
In my opinion, the Argos "championship" is a shining example of what is wrong with the league, and emblematic of larger issues which are killing competitive integrity, costing the league its credibility, and driving fans away.
I'm sure many will disagree with my assessment, but I stand by it, and attendance and viewership numbers appear to back up my opinion.
I think 2015 was the last time I was able to make it to a CFL game. I’m determined to get to one this year.
Looking at the schedule, I think it’ll be one of these:
7/15 at Saskatchewan
7/28 at Ottawa and 7/30 at Montreal
8/6 at Saskatchewan
When my plans firm up I’ll be back to get advice on the city/game day experience.
"It's a new season". The playoffs are what count. "It's not how you start, it's how you finish". The Argos were the best team in the 2nd half @ 7-2.
The argument that they play in a weak division, often used, is crap. The Patriots play with the Dolphins, Bills & Jets who were mediocre teams through most of the Brady era. Should they apologize for playing in a crappy division?
The best Patriot season was 16-0 & they lost the Super Bowl to a 10-6 team. That year the Giants were the best team. The less said about the Patriots the better. Nobody talks about the 16-2 Edmonton team that still holds the record for most wins in a single season. They talk about the Riders who beat them on the way to winning what some say (I disagree) the best GC game ever.
The 2021 Bombers, for all they did in the regular season, were mediocre in the playoffs. There is no dominance in 2 division finals when you win by 4 points. There is no dominance in the GC when 1 game is tied after regulation & the other is a 1 point game. Dominant teams don't turn over the ball 7 times in a final like they did in 2021 & they don't bumble along in the Cup game like they did this year.
Make all the excuses you want, you gotta win the last game of the season to be declared the best. Otherwise it is, as Adam Bighill said, "unfinished business". Lack of finish. It ain't over until the GC is played. 15 win teams crapping the bed when it counts has been the norm the past decade. Sour grapes. If you REALLY believe that the Bombers are the best team & Argos far beneath them, then that means only one thing. When it counts, they choked - big time. Blame the Bombers for not having what it takes to "finish". I'll give this to the Bomber players - they're not whining about it.
As I said, some will disagree with my assessment. Based on attendance and viewing numbers, I'd say that an increasing number of people agree with me that the league needs to make a change, and that one game does not an elite season make.
So we're hosting the TigerCats to kick things off in 2023. Why not a rematch with our Grey Cup opponents... the Argonauts (who we only face ONCE)?
Looks like CFL HQ's scheduling clock is out by a year.
Absolutely. Any team can win any one game. Being gifted a path to that game as the 4th place team by not having to fight your way there is absurd and deserving of another asterisk, one of many Toronto should have beside their Grey Cup wins.
Most sports try to make it as fair as possible and seed their teams accordingly, with lower seeds having to beat higher seeds to get to the big game. Not the CFL, where 4 of 9 teams get a chance at a free pass solely as a result of where their city is located.
Another glaring example of the best team not always winning is soccer. If tied after extra time a coin flip type shootout takes place where one team will get luckier than the other. They will win the game or championship but in no way does that mean they are the best team. They simply won the last game. This reasoning applies far less to those who must prevail in a series of games such as in hockey where luck is much less of a factor. Anyone who thinks a one off one game win always identifies the best team is taking a myopic and naive view.
Speaking of myopic, the new and heavily unbalanced schedule for the CFL appears to demonstrate that the powers that be are more interested in hiding the problems with lack of parity than they are in fixing them.
I'm losing interest in this league by the day.
Don't get greedy Jon. They give out pennants for winning the most games. They give out a trophy for winning the West Final, which hardly anyd team touches. But the team you beat head to head in the regular season by one point got a do-over & turned the tables. Don't see how you can call yourself the best if you played the Argos to a draw over the season. The Grey Cup is only for the one who vanquishes all challengers. You didn't beat the last one. So sad you can't choose & pick your opponents.
Had you lost to the Lions, Jon, you would still be calling yourself the best based on your logic because it's based on regular season results & that wouldn't have changed had you lost the Final. I haven't seen the t-shirts or hats yet for "Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Best CFL Team 2022". Work on that will you. I'll buy the 1st one.
You’re again conveniently missing or ignoring the point.
Losing to the Lions would have been completely different as they are in the division that must earn their way to the Cup. You have yet to be able to justify the Argos path to the Cup based on their geographical location and you can’t. I would say that the Lions are a better team than the Argos as well.
Taking a team that finished fourth (with an easier schedule) than the top three teams and arbitrarily awarding that team second place and a puppy like path to the big game simply because they are situated to the East doesn’t prove anything other than the CFL needs some major work on their competitive integrity.
Exactly. What is the point of having playoffs and championships? Just crown the team with the best record!
Bottom line is,
Ask any player if they would rather have the best record, or the Grey Cup!
They will all say the best record(team) means nothing if you don't win the cup
Funny though....People cry that their team with the best record is the best team.
People cry that the team on top of the power rankings is the best team because win/loss means nothing!
The only thing that means anything is winning the cup
Agree with your last sentence. Therefore there should be a level playing field so that all teams have the same chance to make the Grey Cup game. In the CFL that is clearly not the case. Like most years, the two best teams didn’t play in the Grey Cup and that is a farce.
It's out by at least half a year as they started working on the schedule in the summer and was completed prior to playoffs even starting. Side note: the "Grey Cup Rematch" didn't happen in 2022 and it's going to be a rare event in the future. There's always a chance that they do it by accident.
The funny thing is that it was starting to become a tradition and then it suddenly stopped and no explanation has been given.