No truth to the rumour Ryan Thelwell and Neil McKinlay were brought out of retirement to make our weekly fearless forecasts. Not a bad idea though…
Toronto at Winnipeg, 5 p.m.
Free speech is again a casualty, but you can’t complain what Bombers coach Paul LaPolice is doing this time. LaPolice’s gag order comes in the fact he is charging his team $5 every time they mention ‘first place’ or ‘Grey Cup’ in a quote. Probably a good thing seeing as though the Bombers haven’t secured top spot yet and are the team with the longest Grey Cup drought in the league.
Winnipeg can put one hand on first place (sorry, Paul) with a win, seeing as though their opponents are basically in rebuilding mode. Province pick: Bombers
Hamilton at Saskatchewan, 12 noon
Saskatchewan has also officially shut down for the season, a week after the standings indicated they could do so, when the Riders elected to send Darian Durant and Andy Fantuz out to pasture for the final two games. Not a bad idea.
No matter what Ken Miller decides to do, or what is done to him, Saskatchewan needs to reassess its talent base and there is no better way than for the starting quarterback to give way. Ryan Dinwiddie and Cole Bergquist will play the next two weeks behind centre.
Hamilton has been sparked by its win over B.C., but there is still concern with the running game, which goes along with the weekly guessing game as to how much Kevin Glenn and Quinton Porter will play. Hamilton signed ex-Edmonton back Daniel Porter as insurance behind Avon Cobourne, who clearly didn’t look right against the Lions. Province pick: Ticats.
Edmonton at B.C., 7 p.m.
It appears at this stage the Lions will actually be able to field a team, but don’t think the Eskimos will be feeling sorry for their opponents. Remember it was the Eskimos who played a game against the Lions without four receivers earlier this year and lost by 35 points.
Edmonton is in much better shape, and with a fourth straight win against the Lions would almost qualify to achieve Kavis Reed’s recent challenge to his team of ending the season with five straight wins, similar to as they did when they opened the year 5-0. Edmonton plays host to Saskatchewan next week, which clearly puts the pressure in this one on the Lions, who have struggled offensively for two weeks. Province pick: Eskimos
Calgary at Montreal, 10 a.m.
Home-field advantage could be on the line in a couple of ways depending on results earlier in the weekend. The good news for Calgary is that they won’t have to juggle its ground game further, as a health scare to Jon Cornish was ultimately ruled to be faulty and the Stamps can use him and Joffrey Reynolds in tandem again.
Drew Tate didn’t look bad against Saskatchewan in his debut behind centre. But Anthony Calvillo throwing three picks against Winnipeg? Province pick: Stamps
Last week: 2-2 Season record: 36-28