Four weeks into the 2008 season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders remain on top of the CFL on TSN Power Rankings.
The defending Grey Cup champions have made a steady climb up the rankings after going through numerous changes in the offseason. But new head coach Ken Miller has guided the Riders to their first 4-0 start since 1970.
With Marcus Crandell sidelined with a hamstring injury, Darian Durant has stepped up and made a case to be the starter. Durant threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns in 41-33 win over the East Division-leading Montreal Alouettes.
“When I see the kid play, I don’t see an inexperienced quarterback,” said CFL on TSN analyst Matt Dunigan. “I see a veteran who is leading with poise and maturity. He doesn’t panic and he makes plays with his legs.”
With the loss, the Alouettes dropped from the third position to fourth in the rankings.
The Calgary Stampeders held on to second place after a convincing 43-16 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday.
Quarterback Henry Burris threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns while running back Joffrey Reynolds ran for three majors.
“What I like about the Stampeders is their wonderful absence of complacency,” said CFL on TSN analyst Chris Schultz. “They start the third quarter like a team should start the first quarter. As long as they have that kind of purpose and intensity starting each half, they will win a lot of games.”
As a result of their emotional victory over the struggling Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Wendy’s Friday Night Football, the B.C. Lions moved up to third spot.
Trailing 18-11 going into the fourth quarter, the Lions scored 16 points to register the come-from-behind victory, highlighted by a 48-yard touchdown pass from Jarious Jackson to Geroy Simon. Paul McCallum chipped in with four filed goals.
The biggest mover up the charts was the Toronto Argonauts, that is if you call going from seventh to a share of fifth with the Edmonton Eskimos a big move.
Quarterback Kerry Joseph threw for 343 yards and one touchdown and rushed for another 118 yards and a major on the ground in a thrilling 35-31 win over the Eskimos. The TSN Turning Point was a 109-yard drive in the fourth quarter, culminating with Joseph’s leap into the end zone for the winning score.
“When he saw an opening, he took off and got the first down,” said CFL on TSN analyst Glen Suitor. “He didn’t hook-slide very often and took the hits to get his team back in the win column.”
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats dropped to seventh spot and for the second straight week, the Blue Bombers find themselves at the bottom of the rankings. Kevin Glenn’s struggles continued against the Lions and head coach Doug Berry has decided to go with Ryan Dinwiddie as the starter next week. And it appears Barrin Simpson may be out for the rest of the regular season with a torn pectoral muscle. When it rains, it pours.
“I thought they were far more competitive than they’ve been in past weeks,” said CFL on TSN analyst Jock Climie. “Offensively, they were pushing the ball down the field aggressively but they had some turnovers that I know Kevin Glenn would like to have back. Other than that, I thought they played a very solid football game under tough conditions.” [/b]
 Saskatchewan (Last Week: 1)
 Calgary (Last Week: 2)
 B.C. (Last Week: 4)
 Montreal (Last Week: 3)
[T-5] Edmonton (Last Week: 5)
[T-5] Toronto (Last Week: 7)
 Hamilton (Last Week: 6)
 Winnipeg (Last Week: 8)