I posted this in a post a bit ago but I think it would be neat to see what all you guys think about it in its own thread. I made one change tho as my opinions have changed just a little bit with some of the changes that have happened in Edmonton.
my opinion, the Riders have done a great job of upgrading their roster. I will give you my opinion as to standings then I will justify them.
T 1. Edmonton
Even tho in my opinion they lost the better of their 2 quarter back in Jason Mass, Ricky Ray is still one of the top 5 Qbs in the CFL. There is alot of talent and depth on this team. One of their downfalls could be Danny Macoica (I honestly have no idea how to spell this guys name properly), his players make him look good, and he does little for the team. One major major question now is the O line, it will be interesting if they are even capable of handling a blitz in the first par of the season. No line is the same after losing that many guys. Will Ray and Troy Davis be albe to produce the numbers they are going to need behind a more or less completely revamped line???
I don't feel that they will be as strong as they started out the season last year, the loss of Printers was big for them as he was the better player, but Dickensen is the leader take from that what you want. BC will still have an impressive offense and a strong defense. But the loss of their anchor Simpson in the MLB spot could be a glairing hole. They will pose problems for teams they play.
Do not forget how well Calgary played in the latter portion of last season. When you look at their receivers they all have potential to be 1000 yrd men. Tom Higgins is a quality coach who knows what he is doing. Burris has a great arm and he has some young quality receivers to pass to. Not to mention Reynolds at running back, this is going to be a quality offense. As to their defense they are one of the top 3 in the league (the 3 being Calgary, Sask, Toronto how that order plays out has yet to be seen). The reason I have them ahead in the tie with sask is due to the fact that I think their defense matches up much too well again what Sask does offensivly, they have strong fast linebackers and a solid line wich is capable of killing the running attack.
The addition of Joseph and Armstrong saves the Riders from flat out being last in the West. Don't kid yourself by thinking I am going to nay say about the Riders here, the 06 Riders are going to be a better team than last year that is for certain, in saying that I think with the dispersal of the Renegades the CFL hasn't seen this much tallent in a long time and I don't think that the Riders will be able to over come that this year. This is the only reason I have them low, but they deffinitly have ptential to finish ranked 1st to 4th with the ammount of talent in the league at the moment. They will be alot of fun to watch this year, offensively they have the potential now to be one the elite offenses in the CFL this year. Defensivly they may be taking a slight step back, all in all I think that they will end up in 3rd tied and losing the tie to Calgary as I said before Calgarys D I think is way too capable of handling the type of Offensive attack the Riders will bring. One question now is will Almondo Curry be able to step up an fill McCallas shoes now that he is retiring?
West Round Up:
To be 100% honest this is probably the strongest this Division has ever been with Sask adding Joseph and Armstrong. Each and every team in this division has the potential to finnish from 1st to 4th. I originally thought that Edmonton would walk away with the division but now that their O-Line has more or less disintegrated out from beneath them they could be in some serious troubles from the strong defensive teams (Sask and Calgary), this division is way way way too tight to call at this moment in time and they all have serious potential to finnish 1st, and that is why I tied them all in 1st. Its a shame that there isn't going to be a cross over this year as all 4 of these teams look like they should be playoff contenders.
If Damon Allen still has the tallent he has shown in the last few years look out. This offense is powerfull with lots of wepons the addition of Keith Stokes is what puts them in 1st over hamilton. If by the long shot chance they do land Ricky Williams this team will win the GC (wich I think is now more than likely going to happen if not happened already). Don't over look their Defence top 3, possibly the best in the league. Pin ball will always keep this team in contention there is alot to be said about his character and what he has done in TO.
They will live and die on the shoulders of Mass, he will be the emotional leader of this team, there hasn't been a quarterback in the CFL as gutsy as this guy for a long time. They will finish 2nd on heart alone, wich is something that Mass will enforce into this team. They wont have the flashiest (is that a word) roster in the league but they will work harder for that inch than most of the other teams and there is alot to be said for that.
Step back year for montreal, there is still alot of talen on this team but Matthews is at the end of his rope and unless the assistant coaches and AC and keep the gears greased and running they wont play all that well. Look for some major questions in the secondary this year. Montreal still have some of the most dagerous receivers in the league and AC is one of the best QBs in the league.
Winnipeg will be the only push over in the CFL this year, I don't think that Kevin Glenn is a starting caliber QB altho he did show signs of something desirable last year at times. Winnipegs defence is not horrible but by no means will it be one of the stronger ones. Charles Robers can work miracles and he will always have to be watched, and Stegall will do great in the slot but his playing days are winding down if he can stay healthy as well as Roberts they may have an outside shot at 3rd.
East Round up:
Toronto is the power in the East, if you were to take the other 3 teams into the west I would rank all of them at the basement enough said. Look for Toronto or Hamilton in the GC but more than likely Toronto, Hamilton will need a year or so to be the #1