CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

B.C. (7-3) at Montreal (7-3)

The skinny: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. (TSN). The Labour Day weekend slate begins with a potential noodle-knocker between division leaders. Leaders, yes, but these teams are heading in opposite directions. The Lions have won five straight after a 2-3 start. The Als? They've lost three straight after a 7-0 start. Last week, the Alouettes were dominated by the Calgary Stampeders, who piled up 523 yards on the way to a 41-23 win on Montreal's field. So the Als have issues, not overwhelming problems, mind you, but things that need taking care of. The offence needs to be more consistent so the defence doesn't spend so much time on the field and get worn down as it did in the second half against Calgary. The Stamps outscored Montreal 28-7 to overhaul a 16-13 deficit. Quarterback Anthony Calvillo also needs to find his stride after three straight sub-par games.

Cody's call: Alouettes 33-27

Winnipeg (5-5) at Saskatchewan (5-5)

The skinny: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (TSN). The Blue Bombers are coming off an 18-15 loss to the Argonauts last Friday. They had this one in the bag, up 15-0 at the half and 15-3 after three quarters. Now, instead of sitting alone in second in the East, the Bombers share it with Toronto and also have a three-game losing streak. The good news heading in against the Roughriders is Winnipeg is likely to have quarterback Kevin Glenn (knee) and slotback Milt Stegall (ribs) back. Add running back Charles Roberts (who rushed for 120 yards against the Argos), and the Bombers' picture gets a lot brighter. The Roughriders have a new GM in Eric Tillman and a two-game winning streak, albeit their lopsided 46-15 and 51-8 wins both came against Hamilton. The neat thing about the 'Riders 51-8 win Saturday is it came with third-string QB Rocky Butler at the helm. He threw three TDs and ran in another.

Cody's call: Roughriders 28-20

Edmonton (3-6) at Calgary (6-4)

The skinny: Monday, 3 p.m. (CBC). If you're waiting for the Stamps to collapse, forget it. Two straight wins over the Als say they're for real, especially last week's 41-23 pasting. With a win, and a B.C. loss, the Stamps get a share of the lead in a West loaded with teams with a legitimate shot at winning -- even the defending-champion Eskimos. The Stamps are rightfully full of themselves, even using Ken-Yon Rambo on a double reverse that gained 36 yards and set up a Calgary TD in the third quarter. Football is fun again in southern Alberta -- not so much up north where the Eskimos are fumbling around. I definitely like the Stampeders in this one -- especially knowing they're 4-1 at home and the Eskimos are 0-4 on the road.

Cody's call: Stampeders 27-17

Toronto (5-5) at Hamilton (2-9)

The skinny: Monday, 6 p.m. (CBC). The toothless Ticats hit bottom in Saturday's 51-8 home loss to Saskatchewan and interim head coach Ron Lancaster finally pulled the trigger on some much-needed changes. They fired offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao and O-line coach Kani Kauahi, and Lancaster vows to simplify the offence. The cannings were necessary. An offence, especially one as talented on paper as the Ticats, that hasn't mustered either a TD or a field goal in its last three home games (and getting outscored 100-10), clearly needs a new approach. The players. aren't blameless. The time for talk is over. It's time for them to play. No wonder their faithful are frayed. The Argos, reasonably healthy again (although there's concern over John Avery's ankle), have beaten the Ticats in both games and are on a three-game roll. The D is getting better -- the whole team is, actually, although the offence requires a healthy Damon Allen. The Ticats could win back a lot of hearts in Steeltown knocking off their hated rival, but I don't see it happening.

Cody's call: Argos 24-12

Season record

Last week: 2-1; overall: 22-18


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