Prediction time: Nye makes his annual picks | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
 
 
Adam Gagnon
 


Time to put my neck on the line for the 2014 season.


West Division


Let me start of the West Division predictions with this; Who knows? It’s wide open season, especially among the top three teams. Edmonton, Winnipeg can only get better than what they were last year. I don’t see a 14-win leader in the West this year. Try all teams between 11 and 6 wins. But I’m going to take my butt off the fence and predict...

First Place: Saskatchewan Roughriders - As a note, I did not pick them to finish first in the West or to even appear in the Grey Cup last year, so no homerism here. They have the #1 QB in the West. They have the #1 offensive line in the West. They have the #1 secondary in the West. All of this will allow them some stability early to get over some early season bumps in the road and find their groove in the back half of the season. Complete opposite of last year, where they started 8-1. More like a 5-4 start and a 6-3 finish.

Second Place: B.C. Lions - I really think the trade for Kevin Glenn will pay off big time for the Grey Cup hosts. Add to that the dynamic of Stefan Logan and Andrew Harris out of the backfield. The offence may not be a chuck it 30+ yards down field big play team, but they’ll certainly get some big plays that start with a quick hitch or dump off. As for the defence, they may have the best pass rush in the league up the middle. Can I also say 11 wins for B.C? I think I just did.

Third Place: Calgary Stampeders - Bo Levi Mitchell/Drew Tate... it doesn’t matter who throws the ball, as long as they have Jon Cornish running it they’ll stack up some wins. The question comes with the offensive line changes, can they get off the ball as powerful as they did last season. I’m not so sure. With Charleston Hughes and Keon Raymond, etc on the defence, they have playmakers, and add to that the best kicking in the CFL West Division, they’ll be right there fighting for first in the West. 11 wins? Fine, I’ll give them 10.

Fourth Place: Edmonton Eskimos - Mike Reilly is a fierce leader who a team is going to follow him all the way through, especially if he stays on his feet a little more. A new dynamic pair of running backs and the offence will win some games. Still questions on the defensive side of the ball, but I’m excited to see what Chris Jones does with talent like JC Sherritt, Rennie Curran and Marcus Howard. They could threaten a crossover to the East.

Fifth Place: Winnipeg Blue Bombers - I still have questions about the offensive line. If they give Drew Willy time to find a pretty good crop of receivers, they’ll be able to go score-for-score with the opposition. But there has to be concern with unproven special teams and defence, which is interesting as that has been head coach Mike O’Shea’s specialty over his career. But a rookie kicker has a lot to prove. Their pass rush has always been great, but can the new faces at LB and DB get on the same page? A team that may find itself after labour day and could start to surprise.

East Division

First Place: Hamilton Tiger-Cats - The Tabbies aren’t going to need the first half of the season to find their game like last season and that should allow them to leap frog Toronto for first place and host the Eastern Final at the new Tim Hortons Field. I have only two concerns with Hamilton. Is Zach Collaros the guy? Is the offensive line going to keep him on his feet? Kent Austin is two for two getting teams to the Grey Cup game in his two years as a head coach, and it’ll be hard to bet against him this time.

Second Place: Toronto Argonauts - The race in the East is going to come down to the head-to-head battles between the Argos and Ticats. The QEW should be full on game day between the two markets when they face each other, because that will be the best football played in the East this season. Ricky Ray and Chad Owens will be great, but expect the Argos defence to miss coordinator Chris Jones, who will turn the fortunes around in Edmonton.

Third Place: Ottawa REDBLACKS - What, you think I was not going to take a flyer on a team? Why not! Ottawa has a very talented coaching staff. Henry Burris may be getting closer and closer to the end of his career, but he can still lead a team to victory. The whole dilemma is whether they can find an identity early enough, commit to it and find ways to win with it. I did see a very prepared and organized team in both pre-season games. They still may not be a playoff team with so much positive going on in the West.

4) Montreal Alouettes - Too much change! Bottom line. When you lose leaders like Calvillo, Richardson, Flory, and Emry, there will be some growing pains. Add in yet another change in coaching staff, a fired offensive coordinator during training camp and sorry but I find it hard to think they’ll be firing on all cylinders. Chad Johnson will be fun to watch in the first few weeks to see if he’s the real deal, though.

GREY CUP PREDICTION: Hamilton over Saskatchewan. Why not?

About Jamie

Jamie Nye bleeds green and is the Roughrider insider for News Talk 980 CJME Regina and News Talk 650 CKOM Saskatoon. All of his Rider coverage can be found at www.GreenZoneFootball.com and you can follow him on Twitter @JamieNye.

Fan Comments
green&white
Atta boy Jamie.....Lumsden, SK strong. I do think it will be close from top to bottom in both divisions this year. If Glenn stays healthy BC looks good. I agree Riders will get stronger as the season goes on. First in the West, at most, 12 wins, same as East., No crossover. As we all know first place seems to lose the Division final quite often. My predictions

BC 12-6 SK 11-7, Cal 11-7, Winnipeg 7-11 and EDM 6-12.
Tor11-7, Ott 10-8, Ham 9-9 Mtl 6-12
EDS- Ott over Ham FInal, Tor over Ott
WDS - SK over Calgary, WF SK over BC
Grey Cup SK over Toronto in a classic. SK 28- Tor 27
Durant Grey Cup And Season MOP. Canadian of the game, Rob Bagg.
Yes it's a homer pick, and I feel good about it.
I agree with the CFL fan, I think Ottawa will be good. Burris is good, has a huge chip on his shoulder.
June 27, 2014 - 3:11pm
stampsstomp51
Are you kidding me?
June 29, 2014 - 11:10pm
 
michaelgoss
I take it your a TiCat fan?Tabbies first place but unsure if Collaros is the guy?Who will lead the offence then at QB...Should have kept Burris..I see Ticats only winning 8 games this season
June 26, 2014 - 7:43pm
 
als rule
a wild prediction article by nye!! NO GC team from the year before has been able to repeat as champions having lost as many players as the green has over the off season!!
June 26, 2014 - 5:47pm
Orange & Black
This Jamie guy probably doesn't get out of Regina much !!!
June 27, 2014 - 3:47am
 
Duressler47
West:

1. Y-Calgary: 12-6
2. X-Saskatchewan: 11-7
3. X-BC: 9-9
4: X-Edmonton: 8-10
5. Winnipeg: 5-13

East:


1. Y-Hamilton: 12-6
2. X-Toronto: 11-7
3. Montreal: 7-11
4. Ottawa: 6-12
June 26, 2014 - 5:25pm
 
the cfl fan
I think that the REDBLACKS are going to win the Cup. Call me crazy, but I think that Burris finally has a team that combines both (what appears to be so far, even in only the two preseason games) solid defensive control with a capable receiving core; a combination that, if it were present in the Ticats last year, would've put them in a legitimate spot to contend in each and every game.

In last year's Ticats, they had the offense, no doubt about it, but their defense was so Swiss cheese-esque at times that they lapsed into reliance on an overwhelming offense to seize victory - a strategy that shouldn't be expected to win games if up against a team that had strong ball control and an oft suffocating defense (aka Sask).

I think the REDBLACKS have the tools, but we'll see if they're capable of pulling through consistently and beating the 18-1 odds to become Grey Cup champs.

I'll spot them at 11-7 in the regular season, with the top offense and fourth best defense (with regards to yrds for and against) in the league.
June 26, 2014 - 7:42am
 
CornishIsBetterThanSheets
Nye is biased at all haha
June 26, 2014 - 3:25am
 
Orange & Black
Jamie Who??? The guy must be from Regina!
June 26, 2014 - 1:51am
 
red&right
Stampeders in third place? Sorry, don't think so! They will be fighting for first!
June 26, 2014 - 12:01am
 
Wheelers31
Better to be the chaser rather than the chased. Lets see if Collaros and the offensive line to live up to all the hype.
June 25, 2014 - 9:26pm
 
Mcboyes
Jamie, how are you more optimistic about this year than last?
Anyway, I think that the top three teams in the west are very close. I have the Riders in #1 because of their stability at QB. In the East I have Toronto coming out on top of the Ti-cats. Also I expect Montreal to easily get the third spot. For the Grey Cup I predict Toronto to beat the Stampeders.
June 25, 2014 - 7:30pm