February 23, 2024

Nye: Everything wrong with the Way Too Early Power Rankings

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

Huh. Apparently our crew here at CFL.ca didn’t learn from last year in doing their Way Too Early Power Rankings.

I can’t wait to hear about Jake Maier’s ‘F*** you, just watch’ speech after the 2024 Grey Cup in Vancouver.

Let’s just say I wasn’t consulted – again – on the Power Rankings and they’re nothing close to what I’d have.

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From 1-9, there was a lot of curious eye brow raising. It started at number one!

Montreal are the reigning Grey Cup Champions and if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best … blah, blah, blah.

However, the Alouettes weren’t exactly flawless in their trek to their championship. They were a streaky bunch that ended on a hot streak and the way they were starting to take away the ball on defence will be hard to replicate this season.

Top three team? Sure.

No. 1? No.

I know, Cody. “F.U., just watch.” I’ll see you in Vancouver.

Winnipeg and BC absolutely deserve to be high but Saskatchewan in the top four? My jaw hit the floor and I live in Saskatchewan.

I’m supposed to be blinded by the hype machine that is Rider Nation thinking this is going to be the year. But even the coaches and players are slow playing the rebuild. Nobody wants to say any bold predictions for this season because they know it is one thing to put together a good team on paper, it’s something completely different to build one on the field.

Toronto being ranked below Saskatchewan after their 16-2 season seems disrespectful. Especially when I’d argue the BC Lions lost more key contributors, like Mathieu Betts and Dominique Rhymes, than the Argonauts.

Sure they lost a star linebacker, defensive back and running back, but in the history of the CFL, we’ve seen teams find those players quickly. An impact Canadian defensive end and a big play, big target receiver aren’t as easy to find.

I’d flip the Lions and Argos and drop the Riders down a peg .. or two.

Now we get to the bottom half of the rankings where the Elks and REDBLACKS push above two playoff teams in the Tiger-Cats and Stampeders.


I know everyone wants to predict the end of the Stampeders playoff streak but they’ll be better this year than they were last year in my opinion.

Jake Maier will be pushed even harder with Matthew Shiltz on the depth chart and Dedrick Mills is a suitable replacement for the departed Ka’Deem Carey. The Stampeders still have talent around the field.

To put them below the Elks is a brave move when the Elks aren’t entirely sure McLeod Bethel-Thompson is going to be able to find his game again after leaving for the 11-man, four down game last season.

Also, there are some serious questions on a young defence in Edmonton with some veterans not returning.

I have faith Chris Jones will find the next man up but piecing it together as the head coach and general manager has been a difficult task for the head coach who will start the season on the hottest seat in the league.

And to have the REDBLACKS over the Tiger-Cats in the Power Rankings is another head scratcher.

The Tiger-Cats re-signing Tim White is a huge boost to an offence that should have an extra spark with Scott Milanovich now running the show. Sure, Bo Levi Mitchell is a question mark but they’ll quickly turn to Taylor Powell, who has that ‘next one’ feel to him.

Meanwhile, the REDBLACKS are throwing as many quarterbacks at the wall to see what sticks this season. Is Dru Brown capable of leading a franchise on his own?

It’s brave to give Brown a better chance at success with a team that had some big holes over Hamilton who with a stable quarterback and coaching staff in 2024 should be better than they were last year.

My bottom half would be Hamilton at six, Calgary at seven, Edmonton at eight and Ottawa ninth, if you’re asking.

My Power Rankings:


They still have Zach Collaros, Willie Jefferson, Brady Oliveira, Dalton Schoen, Kenny Lawler, Nic Demski… etc., etc. Why are we thinking they won’t win again?


Fajardo and Maas appear to be on the same page and with Darnell Sankey and Shawn Lemon back. It should be a stronger start for the Als.


They were 16-2 last year but have some questions that will need to be answered.


No Rhymes, no Betts, and they have injury holdovers from late last season impacting offence and defence to start the season. Yes, I’m tempted to drop them even lower.


Corey Mace brings a background of winning with him but he’s still a rookie head coach with first time offensive coordinator. They had a good free agency, but for me it’s still TBD if they can actually turn it around quickly.


I think Scott Milanovich will have a focussed group with winning talent after a hectic season of turmoil around the Tiger-Cats with a QB carousel and a mid-season coordinator change.


Jake Maier will answer the question if he’s a franchise guy this season and if it’s not the answer the Stampeders want, they’ll quickly turn to Shiltz.


They need to take a jump forward. I’m just not sure it’ll be enough to make the playoffs.


You can’t sell me a turnaround with a team turning to a quarterback with limited snaps. Sure, the Argos did it with Chad Kelly last season but he had far more proven talent around him and much stronger defence.

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