Cross over: fate or choice? Hmmm.....

At 4:00PM PST the Edmonton Eskimos will be squaring off to decide who will be crossing over to the east. All the Esks need to do is tie and SSK will be going east. A SSK win and the Esk will be heading east.

In scenarios like these I always wonder if coaches and their respective teams wonder which route gives the team a better crack at making it into the Grey Cup.

Surely, SSK and Edmonton must be wondering: "Do we have a better chance knocking off Toronto and Ottawa or a better chance fighting as hard as we can to stay in the west and face Winnipeg and then Calgary.

To Toronto and Ottawa fans, don't get me wrong please. I'm not suggesting for a minute that Edmonton and SSK are superior to Toronto and Ottawa but I'm sure the Esks and Roughriders have their own opinions as to whom they'd like to meet and why.

I don't know how many times a western crossover team has won the eastern semi-final but stats are simply stats so it probably doesn't much matter.

But heaven forbid if either the Esks or the Roughriders are coached to play at less than full speed because they actually prefer to crossover because they believe this improves their chances of a Grey Cup birth. That would not be right but that is the nature of the beast I suppose.

Sure, a team factors in travel time and jet lag but does that figure all that much into the equation? Would that weigh in heavily when it comes to placing 3rd in the west or crossing over into the east?

And yes they are "professionals" bla bla ba. But let's admit it. Just like coaches will rest their starters in mean nothing games to improve their chances of advancing so too there are other ways to improve a teams chances of advancing.

I'm hoping to watch a very entertaining game in a couple of hours and I know who I'll be cheering for. But tucked somewhere in the back of my mind I will be wondering, if I were an Esk or Roughrider player or coach who would I "prefer" to meet in a Semi and ultimately Final and how much this factors into the "effort" the players put into the game. Hmmmm....

Not sure if the players agree but I hate sitting long hours even when I was young so if I can travel close to home it would be the preferred route I would want to take .

I like the Rider's chances no matter who they play... 8-3 over the past 11 games... a WSF vs. the Bombers would be a guaranteed classic. If we go over the East, 2-0 vs the Argos and 1-1 vs Ottawa, those are going to be good matchups, I would really like to see a SK/WPG semi-final.

Now THAT would be one heck of a game to watch! And in my opinion, either team has a good chance of knocking off Calgary.

I guess I have been too busy defending the Bombers from the naysayers to notice that you became a mod. Congrats, you're a good choice.

I could never play or coach to lose no matter what the benefit.

Thanks for the affirmation Dan. I appreciated that. :slight_smile:

" I could never play or coach to lose no matter what the benefit. "

I hear you Dan. Let me pose this question to you about playing to win or playing to lose. Let's say the team receives no benefits because it's a mean nothing game. So let's say a coach decides to rest some of his starting players in the last couple of games because the team has sewn up 1st place. If a coach does that then he's not play all out and is not truly playing to win. Would that not be considered playing to lose as in the opposite of playing to win is actually playing to lose? I'm not saying he would intentionally be trying to lose but if the coach isn't intentionally trying to win then what is left?

Am I splitting hairs and getting too cerebral here? lol

I hate it when this comes up.

NO TEAM wants to finish 4 and do the cross.

Also, if any coach ever suggested tanking, to get an easier road, he would lose the respect of every player in the locker room.

Further, a real champion will have the confidence to take on any team any where.

If not, then you they do not have the right to be champions.

Jock Climie is nuts. He suggested that during the Esk - Rider game.

BTW, if the sad effort from the Riders, they will have no chance against Ottawa.

That should put that debate to rest.

Donald Trumps makeup guy doesn't even split that many before he goes public on how great he is.

Thanks for the nonsense. try to lose a game with 42 players and have zero feed back.
Not counting the players released from team!!!!!!!

You don't need 42 players on board. You just need the coach to rest a few key starters, call some bone-head plays, go for things like 3rd and 4 on his team's end of the field, yada yada yada. I'm not saying coaches have tried to lose so they can face what they thought might be a weaker opposition but I think it is naive to actually think that temptation isn't there.

I wouldn't believe that crap would happen ever. Especially Jones or Moss or any CFL Coach
To MUCH to loss!! To much at stake! If you can win you do!!!!!!!!!!!!

All coaches in all most all leagues would take a chance and take the win. Big win.
Dreamers think of let's roll the dice. NOW REALLY!!!!!
Gee's another dreamer
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right now, the easier route would appear to be thru the west.

You might be right FYB.

That’s a silly thought, then you could sayCalgary purposely let Winnipeg win by resting their starters so they could avoid facing the riders in the western playoffs , this notion that the riders wanted to go east is silly. To much thinking going on here.

If I rested players, it would be because of 2 things. 1- I don't want players to get hurt in a meaningless game. 2- and the coaches should do this much, much more, I would want to give playing time to guys sitting on the bench. Expecting a guy who has held a clipboard for 2 years to jump on the field and lead the league is a dream. Yet this is what some fans and coaches do year after year. Really smart coaches find a way to put guys in to get playing time so when you need them, they are ready. I like being prepared. I guess others don't !

Dumb penalties lost Sask that game. Edm was hardly dominant without Sask shooting itself in the foot.

Exactly , all teams do it therefore it can’t be construed as trying to lose, it’s called getting ready for the playoffs.

Agree with this. As attractive as losing and getting a weaker opponent might be sometimes I can't see any team doing it.

NO TEAM wants to finish 4 and do the cross. Why not, if you have a better chance of making it to the Grey Cup? In theory it makes sense. Whether or not it's put into practice is something else.

Also, if any coach ever suggested tanking, to get an easier road, he would lose the respect of every player in the locker room. The coach doesn't even have to bring it up. He could attempt to manipulate the outcome hoping it is to his team's Grey Cup appearance chances without ever even having to discuss it with his team.

Further, a real champion will have the confidence to take on any team any where. Agreed

Jock Climie is nuts. He suggested that during the Esk - Rider game. I disagree. He raised an interesting point. Because you disagree with it doesn't make it any less interesting.

BTW, if the sad effort from the Riders, they will have no chance against Ottawa. I wouldn't bet on it.

It makes all the sense in the world to give your second stringers real playing time so no disagreement there. The more playing time they get the more confident and more proficient they should become. What better time than in a mean nothing game. I think the fact still remains Dan that it is reasonable to say the coach is no longer playing to win when he does that and that's my point. And I agree this would not be the same as actually playing to lose by trying to manipulate the outcome as in the scenario I presented. Agree or disagree, losing to get the crossover and face what might be perceived as a weaker team may not be all that far fetched as some would believe.

Losing to play a 'weaker team' is a stupid and dangerous perception. Imagine if the other team got wind of that ? It makes no sense to me to lose to win. I don't for a moment believe it has never been thought of or done, knowing human nature. Pre-season games are mean nothing games and teams still want to win....Look at Cal. they had first place locked up games ago yet they still played their first stringers and with no motivation, they lost their last three games... When the game is out of reach, then and only then could we say the coach is not playing to win because he has already won the game.... The other side of the coin is coaches who refuse to pull guys when they have a commanding lead. I am against this 100%. First, the losing team will resent and remember having the score run up on them or even trying to score a TD with 6 mins left in a 43-6 blowout. It creates enemies. I don't care what the reasoning is. Don Matthews and Trestman were both guilty of this. They would not pull Calvillo and so the backup got no time. Look at the trouble Mont is having finding a QB today. They never developed a QB as long as AC was playing and it still is hurting them.