No one is within spitting distance of them and they can clinch the East Division title this weekend, but the Montreal Alouettes aren't buying their own success quite yet.
Too many times, the Als have been burned in the playoffs after strong regular seasons. Centre Bryan Chiu knows the feeling well. The Vancouver native has been a part of the Montreal offensive line since 1997 and has been on the losing side in the Grey Cup game five times. Just once, in 2002, did Chiu hoist the Cup.
"In the past decade, we have come out to great starts and had great leads (in the standings) like we have had this year, but we have let up and not peaked at the right time," Chiu said. "When you're successful, you have everyone telling you how great you are. The danger in that is believing it and getting caught up in it, and thinking you can just show up."
At 10-2, the Alouettes should be able to beat the Argonauts, 3-9, in their sleep this afternoon at the Rogers Centre. If Montreal wins, it will ensure a home playoff date; if the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lose to the Calgary Stampeders tonight, coupled with an Alouettes win, Montreal will win the East for the second year in a row.
But Als coach Marc Trestman has been adamant that his players not take a peek into the future or concern themselves with what went off the rails in the past.
"People don't understand how difficult it is to win year in and year out," said Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo, whose 72.1% pass completion rate leads the Canadian Football League.
ALL ABOUT NEXT GAME
"It doesn't matter what you did last year or even in the last game. It's what you do in the next game."
The Alouettes beat the Argos 25-0 in their previous meeting and of their 10 victories, just two have been by less than 10 points.
Argos returner Dominique Dorsey, who also will get some looks at running back today, was with the Washington Redskins when Toronto was blanked.
After playing in two road games, Dorsey will dress at home for the first time since Sept. 27, 2008.
"I'm really excited about it and I've been telling everybody to just envision yourself making a big play," Dorsey, the 2008 CFL special teams player of the year, said. "You want to break the big one every game but it takes time and more than one person to make it happen."
Dorsey, the Argos defence and running back Jamal Robertson are among the concerns that the Alouettes say they have. But if Montreal meets its potential, forget it.
"They still have a hunger," Chiu said. "They don't want to get embarrassed and they will come at us with their best stuff."