CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Montreal (10-7) at Hamilton (4-13)

The skinny: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. (TSN, RDS). The Alouettes used last week's 43-23 demolition of the Ottawa Renegades to regroup after they'd laid a giant egg (49-23) against the East-topping Toronto Argonauts the previous week. While the Als, who, according to head coach Don Matthews, had a "total team collapse" against Toronto, were restoring internal order, the loss they inflicted on Ottawa officially extinguished the Renegades' playoff flame. The Alouettes will have a first-round playoff matchup in two weeks with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Als aren't likely to get too excited about the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in their regular-season finale, although with their lack of consistency this season, a strong, focused effort seems like a good idea. Ticats QB Kevin Eakin threw his fourth TD pass in two late-season starts during Hamilton's 34-11 loss to the Argos last week.

Cody's call: Als 27-21

Toronto (11-6) at Ottawa (6-11)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 3 p.m. The Renegades remember mid-August. The good ol' days. Days when the Renegades were nearly as hot as the weather that blanketed Dry Gulch, er, Ontario. Ottawa, you might remember, began the season 5-3. They were kings of the East castle, although never more than a baby step ahead of the defending champion Argos. Well, you can do the math as easily as I can. Since their heady start, the Renegades have gone 1-8, losing every game that meant anything along the way (even a must-win affair two weeks ago against Hamilton). Toronto waved good-bye a while go, Montreal more recently. Even Saskatchewan gets to rub it in, crossing over from the West to steal the East's final playoff spot because the Renegades were too weak to claim it. The Argos? Last year, with nothing to settle in the final regular-season game, gave several of their stars the night off in a loss to the pennant-winning Als.

Cody's call: Argos 27-17

Saskatchewan (8-9) at B.C. (12-5)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 10 p.m. (TSN). The Roughriders are coming off a rough week, even though they didn't play. The Roughriders have been struggling to cope with a sex scandal involving veteran linebacker Trevis Smith, who is facing a charge of aggravated sexual assault involving a B.C. woman. Smith, a sixth-year Roughrider, was arrested on his way to practice last Friday morning and has been suspended by the Roughriders. The RCMP has announced Smith is HIV-positive. Meanwhile, the Roughriders have dropped their last three, a sorry state that means they'll have to cross over and represent the East in the Grey Cup chase. That can't be sitting well in the stomachs of Westerners, although they will feel some pleasure in the fact their shuffle our way comes at the expense of Ottawa. The Lions need this game, if only to have momentum heading into the playoffs. They're 1-5 since starting 11-0.

Cody's call: Lions 33-30

Edmonton (11-6) at Calgary (10-7)

The skinny: Sunday, 5 p.m. (TSN). The Stampeders, who won just four games in 2004, are going for win No. 11, second place in the West and home-field advantage in their first-round playoff game. All of the above will belong to the Stampeders if they can defeat the Eskimos in the final regular-season matchup. It's interesting that the Stamps are 6-3 on the road while 4-4 at McMahon Stadium. The Eskimos and Stampeders split their two previous meetings this season. The Eskimos have lots at stake as well. They can finish first in the West if they beat Calgary and the Lions lose to Saskatchewan, which is well within the realm of possibility. The Eskies must be pleased as punch to have placekicker Sean Fleming back at his best. Fleming, out of sorts most of the season, hit all five field goal attempts in last week's 22-19 win over B.C., including the game-winning 36-yarder with no time left. Look out for the Eskimos.

Cody's call: Eskimos 23-17

Season record

Last week: 3-1; overall: 45-28


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