March 3, 2024

The Waggle takes on The Way Too Early Power Rankings

Arthur Ward/

TORONTO — The Way Too Early Power Rankings have been out for over a week and they’re still generating conversation.

“Don’t come at me and Henoc. We had nothing to do with it,” Donnovan Bennett said on this week’s episode of The Waggle, as he and Henoc Muamba readied to dive in on their take of’s annual winter rankings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the conversation hinged on the Toronto Argonauts sitting in the middle of the pack at No. 5.

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“I don’t understand how the Toronto Argonauts are five,” Bennett said, mentioning to Muamba that Montreal Alouettes’ defensive lineman Shawn Lemon questioned Bennett’s dismay at the ranking.

“They were No. 1, essentially for the balance of the year. Last year, they lost one game to Montreal and granted Montreal went on to win the most important game, the Grey Cup. (The Argos) lost a lot in free agency. I get it. But to drop from No. 1 consensus essentially to middle of the pack? To me that seems bizarre.”

With Muamba just a few days removed from announcing his retirement from football — and keeping in mind that he spent the last three seasons as an Argonaut — he didn’t disagree with where his now former team was placed. Much of that stems from the departure of defensive coordinator Corey Mace, who is now the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“I definitely agree (with) the drop because of the changes that are going to be in the locker room; not just player-wise, a few who literally went down the QEW, I think that’s going to have an impact on that (rivalry) matchup. I don’t think that was a coincidence,” Muamba said.

“Coaching staff, we talked at length about Corey Mace leaving as a defensive coordinator. I think that will take a little bit of time to kind of re-establish that system, defensively speaking. I kind of see what that (the staff) were thinking when they did that.”

Sticking with that team down the QEW, Muamba wanted to see the Hamilton Tiger-Cats higher than eighth.

“The Hamilton Tiger cats are going to have the type of offence that every team is going to be afraid of,” Muamba said. “(Head coach and offensive coordinator) Scott Milanovich, (quarterback) Bo Levi Mitchell and an off-season is something dangerous, is something that you have to talk about.

“I think they’re going to be doing more damage than obviously, (the staff) believe. I would definitely move them up higher.”

Bo Levi Mitchell has an entire off-season to work with new head coach Scott Milanovich (Matt Smith/

The co-hosts did agree that the Roughriders were surprisingly high in the rankings, sitting at No. 4. While the team has brought in Mace as its new head coach and has a bumper crop of incoming free agents like AJ Ouellette, Jermarcus Hardrick, Jameer Thurman and Malik Carney to name a few, Bennett and Muamba wondered if this was a top-four team at this point.

“Saskatchewan, a team that might I remind ya’ll missed the playoffs, is four,” Bennett said. “Here’s my biggest question: we said last week in terms of the odds, we like Saskatchewan. (Their odds to win the Grey Cup) should have increased post-Free Agency. I don’t know if they should be this high, however, in relation to Toronto.”

“As much as I love Cory Mace, as much as I believe in his system, I still understand also the fact that it’ll take a little bit of time,” Muamba said. “Whether it’s mid-season that starts to click, whether it’s late in the season, maybe whether it’s Year 2 that it’ll start to click, it will click at some point in Saskatchewan. Rider fans are going to be proud of the team that Corey Mace is coaching.

“But I don’t know if The Way Too Early Rankings should have them this high. I would definitely move them down a little bit.”

With the co-hosts in a heated debate over the rankings, one that couldn’t spare Peter Sarellas, The Waggle’s producer, Bennett has promised to return for next week’s episode with his own Way Too Early Power Rankings, just to clear the air.

Whether you agree or disagree with them, The Way Too Early Power Rankings never fail to get people talking about the league, even when Week 1 is still just over three months away.

“What does it say on top of (the list?),” Muamba asked? “It says, The Way Too Early Power Rankings and this is the perfect time to have that conversation.”

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