CFL Blitz: Possible Grey Cup matchups
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo looks to pass against the Eskimos in Montreal, Que., Oct. 28, 2012. (OLIVIER JEAN/Reuters)
In the history of the CFL crossover, no team has gone through the other division to reach the Grey Cup.
If this is the year, and it would take a mighty run by the Edmonton Eskimos to do it, there would be a big-game matchup this league has never seen before.
For the 100th Grey Cup, it would be a first — and that would be special. But as the playoffs set to open, there are several interesting possibilities among the nine possible matchups.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders could get revenge on the Montreal Alouettes for back-to-back losses in 2009 and '10.
The Als would dearly love another chance at the Calgary Stampeders, a team that beat them at home in '08.
Or what about the hometown Toronto Argonauts? Just having them in the Grey Cup would create plenty of buzz in Southern Ontario.
Here are the nine possible matchups and how they break down, with previous championship game meeting and head-to-head Grey Cup record.
Montreal Alouettes vs. B.C. Lions
Last meeting: 2006 Lions won 25-14; Series record: 2-0 Lions
Analysis: The last time these two teams faced each other in chilly Winnipeg, the game wasn’t interesting at all. Inside Rogers Centre would be a different story, as the elite pivots would be throwing all over the place. The two teams split the season-series, with each winning at home.
Toronto Argonauts vs. Calgary Stampeders
Last meeting: 1991 Argos won 36-21; Series record: 1-1
Analysis: Just how triumphant will Stamps QB Drew Tate feel if he goes into Rogers Centre and beats the team that sidelined him for three months? Tate suffered a dislocated shoulder July 7 at Rogers Centre, but he came back for the end of the season and will start in the playoffs. The Argos beat the Stamps twice this season.
Edmonton Eskimos vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Last meeting: Never
Analysis: This might be the unlikeliest matchup of all, seeing as how both teams would need to win back-to-back on the road to get there. These teams have played three fairly uninteresting games this season, with the Eskimos winning two of them.
Montreal Alouettes vs. Calgary Stampeders
Last meeting: 2008 Stamps won 22-14 Series record: 2-1 Als
Analysis: There is something about the Als that makes the Stamps rise to the occasion. Of the six regular-season starts Tate has made, two have come against the Als — and both are victories.
Toronto Argonauts vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Last meeting: 1997 Argos won 47-23; Series record: 1-0 Argos
Analysis: Ricky Ray is quite familiar with the Riders from all his years with the Eskimos, but the quarterback hasn’t faced them in the post-season since 2003.
Edmonton Eskimos vs. B.C. Lions
Last meeting: Never
Analysis: The Eskimos are the only team to win in newly renovated B.C. Place, but they were blown out by the Lions backups the last time they met. There is a lot of bad blood between the teams thanks in large part to Khalif Mitchell.
Montreal Alouettes vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Last meeting: 2010 Als won 21-18; Record head to head: 2-0 Als
Analysis: Although the '09 13th man loss was one of the greatest games in Grey Cup history, the rematch the following year wasn’t all that memorable. If the Riders make it, this might be the team they want because of the previous defeats though.
Toronto Argonauts vs. B.C. Lions
Last meeting: 2004 Argos won 27-19; Series record: 2-0 Argos
Analysis: This would be dubbed the Braley Bowl as owner David Braley would be guaranteed a Grey Cup ring no matter who wins. The biggest question is what jersey both teams owner would wear.
Edmonton Eskimos vs. Calgary Stampeders
Last meeting: None
Analysis: Three of their four meetings this season have been decided on a last-second field goal. Regardless of what anybody might think going into this game, there is no doubt this would bring the most entertainment value.
On Twitter @SUNIanBusby