Very subjective thread, but may be good for some discussion and insight from fans around the league. Again - these are just my basic opinions - as of today:
Halifax team: - Obviously improving, lol. Hoping to officially welcome them as the new guy in 2018.
Montreal: Improving, but barely. They have rid themselves of some nonperformers and likely can't do worse than 2017, IMO. Kavis - it's do or die time. He's brought in some good talent.
Ottawa: Even. They've lost some talent, and Harris hasn't entrenched himself completely as starter. I don't have a solid opinion here either way.
Hamilton: Improving. Austin drama is done and June Jones, Steinauer & Glanville will run the team. Only concern here is lots of very talented, vocal, and capable coaches. Is it TOO much? Masoli will do well again.
Toronto: Improving. We saw them manage themselves and focus very well late in the season - and they are the Grey Cup champs after all - with some solid signings. RR and Franklin tandem should be very productive.
Winnipeg: Improving. Despite the offseason challenges of players moving around, they had been on the upswing last season and I see that continuing. Mgmt seems focused and cohesive.
Saskatchewan: Improving. One defensive play out of the GC game last year. More talent present now than then. Have depth and a balanced mix of youth and experience. Collaros is a bit of a question mark.
Edmonton: Improving. They host GC this year and wanna be in it and are making the tough decisions to get there. They are better than 2018 - on paper anyway. And Reilly - is Reilly.
Calgary: Declining. They have peaked (for a couple years in a row, now) and the magic might be gone. Lots of talent is gone. And DD isn't Huf. Some major public fingerpointing in their GC loss indicates dissension.
BC: Improving. Hervey just may be the football ops management guy they needed, Jennings looks solid, and their run game will be improved over 2017.
I don't think we will see such East/West disparity as we did last season.
Halifax doesn't have a team . How could they be improving or declining? It's an impossibility.
1-Montreal......... Improved defense talent but still a mess
4-Toronto...... slight improvement good defense and a good young QB
5-Winnipeg.....Improved, added Canadian talent and depth......best off- season
6-Sask.......on a very short peak, but about to be pushed into a deep decline with no Canadian depth or core
8-BC......I really don't know, really a tricky one.
9-Calgary........Calgary is Calgary, they just ARE. That's like asking if God as improved or declined.
Halifax team : Will continue their amazing streak this year as the only team that has never lost a game in CFL history .
Montreal : A total train wreck . They could very well give the 1-17 Ti-Cats of 2003 a run for their money as the worst team in CFL history . They will be hard pressed to match their 3 win total of last year . If they do improve it won't be by much . Maybe by a game or two at best and a 4-14 or 5-13 record at best if they're lucky .
Ottawa : I think they take a step back this year . They will be hard pressed to match their back to back 8 win totals of the last two seasons . A 3rd place finish in the East will see them wind up missing the play-offs for the first time since their inaugural season . At the very best I can see them maybe being a .500 , 9-9 team but more likely I think they slip down a few notches to wind up at 7-11 on the season .
Hamilton : Hopefully they continue where they left off in the last 10 games of last season when they won 6 of 10 games . As a Cat fan I sure hope so . If the team can avoid the injury bugaboo that has derailed it the last two seasons and the new coaching staff clicks without a hitch I can see this team finishing a solid 2nd in the East . I can foresee a 4 to 5 win improvement over the 6 wins of last year .
Worst case scenario I think could be a 9-9 .500 season at the least .
Toronto : Will probably continue on where they left off last season when they were underdog surprise Grey Cup winners . I can see year two in the Trestman -Popp era as one where the Argos are the clear run away winners in the East if all things go well . I can see this team improving on their 9-9 mark of last season and easily being in double digits in the win column by seasons end . No reason why this team can't win at minimum at the very least 12 games this season or better . Lets go with a prediction of 13-5 and another home date in the Eastern final .
So for what it's worth that's my early look at the East this season .
I'll post my thoughts on the Western teams in my next post .
We all know the Stamps can be beaten by anyone - any given Sunday. But the last Sunday in November is the luckiest for whomever plays the Stamps. Especially if they're from a much weaker east division.