O'Leary: Could the East win more than the West in '22?

It’s something we’ve only seen once this century but after a busy off-season filled with free agency movement, you wonder if it could happen again in 2022.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/02/28/oleary-could-the-east-win-more-than-the-west-in-22/

Yes. This year the East could win more than the West. My squirrel emerged from his lair and saw his nuts (or was that his shadow?).

If BC fails to upgrade their offensive line, poor Nathan Rourke would fail miserably as a starter. Also if Edmonton doesn't rebuild literally EVERYTHING in time for the playoffs... that'll open the door to an Eastern Crossover team.

I see a shift in the balance of power coming.

The odd of winning more divisional games is not based on how many teams are In a division, five vs four. The advantage how good those teams are or are not.

Example 2019 Hamilton won 15 of 18 games, more importantly 9 of 10 against the west, if the East only had two teams and they were equally competitive they would have 18 of 20 games. Nothing to do with quantity, more to do with quality.

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Agree. It's all about interdivisional games. When Ottawa beat Montreal last year, that's a win for one in the East, a loss for the other & there is no gain vs the West. When Ottawa beat Edmonton twice they added 2 wins to the Eastern side & prevented 2 wins to the Western side. Wins within the division are irrelevant. The fact there are 5 teams in the West & 4 in the East means of the 32 interdivisional games, each East team plays a West team 8 times. In the West the 32 games are split up this year with 6 vs BC, Edm & Cal & 7 vs Wpg & SK, the top 2 teams.

Ottawa should win a lot more games but if these are vs Hamilton, Toronto & Mtl, Ottawa provides a win to the East side & prevents the other teams from doing the same. Ottawa gets Edm & BC twice of those 6 games but Hamilton gets Wpg, Calgary & Saskatchewan twice & Toronto also gets the latter 2 twice.

One thing for certain. No crossover from the East unless someone believes the 4 Eastern teams can push BC, Edm & one of Wpg, Cal or SK out of the playoffs.

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Ah, well then I think it's fair to say that the 'quality' of Eastern teams is on the rise. With Masoli in Ottawa together with a boatload of FA talent there's no longer a weak sister in that division (at least on paper). The biggest break we'll get this season will be facing Ottawa in back to back games right off the bat BEFORE they've played together for any length of time. After that our Eastern matches will only get harder. We'll find out what kind of 'quality' our Western division has when we host Hamilton and then roll into Toronto. If we're still the 'best in the west' and lose to those teams then I guess the East will have risen above the measuring stick.

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Still leaves 3 if 2 fail; so the 4th place East team has to beat the 3rd place West team to crossover.

Given Ottawa plays Montreal 4 times splitting games will leave them both short unless they win every game played against a western opponent.

Possible but unlikely IMO

Your going to find out week one against Ottawa. Maybe try going 1 - 0 there first before sweeping the rest of the schedule.

You do raise a good point about the team not being the same as they might be later in the season which is why the schedule is important. Playing back to back games magnifies the consequence of time lost to injuries when a key player is out. A balanced schedule would give less chance that the same player or issue would influence the outcome of both games.

2022 schedule is what it is though.

I gotta say, reading everything you typed made my brain hurt a little :upside_down_face:. I'm not knocking you and I trust it's all accurate because fact checking all that isn't on my priority list. Well done though.. :slightly_smiling_face:

But I do have to say your last paragraph has a lot of assumptions there. A bit early for bold predictions I would say. As unlikely that it is that either Edm or BC finish first in the west, it's equally unlikely the standings will finish in the same order back to back seasons. It just never happens that way, or rarely at least.

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You're right. Three teams have to miss the playoffs so if all 4 Eastern teams get in, 3 of the West won't. Personally I think it's going to be a big scramble in the West because all have good areas, all some bad. Not impossible though. What will help this year is exhibition games. Everyone but Winnipeg had lots of changes & not having pre-season games to evaluate all the new personnel hurt them. I think there will be a few surprises this year for sure. If BC & Edm's QB's do well, they have the personnel to move into the top 3. That's the biggest question mark there.

The team won the games they did DESPITE poor coaching not because of good coaching. When your coach is so pissed off that your QB used Maas offence to score every touchdown in Calgary when we won that they used it as an excuse to dump him......
We need to replace a solid Canadian lineman but I have no doubt they will look for that in the draft.
The line backing core was a little suspect last year. Both against the run and the pass. I think we added a few decent people in free agency, like Gainy, Lacey, Konar and I think they signed a herd of line backers.

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Hrmm ... will monkeys fly out of someone's butt this year? (strokes chin in contemplation) They just might. I'll believe it when I see it though.

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You have to direct your monkey questions to Bobo if you want an answer that really hits home Prairiedog. Mind you in lieu of a coherent response sometimes Bobo will just throw feces so make sure you don't wear your good clothes around him when you're in an inquisitive mood.

As for Squishy? Personally I think we ought to give the old guy some credit for standing up for his team. The Elks might've been a steaming pile of Elk droppings last year, but a full year later everything's frozen over and doesn't smell nearly as bad. Squishy's right to be optimistic (as long as he's careful where he steps).

The Elks have no where to go but up. Fourth place is not entirely out of the question this year. Dare to dream big Squishy!

I don't think the Elks are as bad as some are letting on. The offence looks good. The OL is pretty deep. They likely start, L-R Washington, Foucault, Beard, Korte & Kelly. All solid veterans - Beard & Kote among the best in league at their positions. Jack-Kurdyla, 2nd highest OL available in '20 draft started 10 games, probably bumps Foucault to backup. Saxelid has started 16 games over 2 years @ LT, RT & G. They have some good receivers & could move up Carter. Great RB. Not bad on D, good depth @ DT, could use another DE. And Jones brought in a half dozen veteran ST's.

Has done a good job of addressing 3 key areas - stopping run, ST's & rounding out OL. Kicking needs to be addressed &, of course, QB. But, I've said it before Squishy, McAdoo has been very good with inexperienced QB's. To repeat - he got Reilly in year 2 & under him Reilly became a star, a GC MOP & winner. Franklin was great the 2 years under McAdoo, not so much afterward. And Fajardo, to date, had his best year under him & ended up Western MOP. Underestimate what Jones has done if you like but, so far, IMO he's done a good job. I still have them @ 4th but they're my dark horse team.

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I'm hoping that the Elks will be a greatly improved team this season. Last year's squad was a real drag to watch. For the good of the league Edmonton has to field a better squad. I think they're making some good moves early on.

Fingers crossed.

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Flood, fires, plague, & the East getting more wins than the West could only mean the end is nigh. I'll believe it when I see it, but it makes for an entertaining fairy tale for the slow season.

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The GOOD news is...

We've already had the flood, the fires, and the plague. Whatever happens next has GOT to be better... RIGHT?!

HappyHappy

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I hope so , so far this year I've lost my mother & my dog, so I really need some happy, happy, joy, joy. Football season can't come fast enough.

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I hear you PorkyPine. Let's get to June already.

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Not too worried how the stats break down. Just glad to see the East competitive again.

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It's not EXACTLY official yet, but 'on paper' I think you're right. If things unfold as they might and the East becomes the Beast... then next year at this time we might be 'glad to see the West competitive again'. :grin:

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