Pundits should Wake up

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

All those beating the drum for the defensive end in B.C. to be the league's most outstanding player are in for a Wake-up call.

Traditionally, the CFL MOP award is reserved the best offensive player. It has always gone that way, and defensive players have their own award, which is just as prestigious for those on that side of the ball.

And in a season with an offensive surge and plenty of great personal campaigns, B.C. Lions sack-stud Cam Wake is a nice story and a shoo-in to win the defensive award, but he won't be voted in for both top honours. Wake has had an outstanding campaign for the Lions in just his second CFL season. He won both rookie and defensive player of the year in 2007 and followed it up by recording 20 quarterback sacks in 16 games so far this season.

He needs seven sacks in the final two games to break James (Quick) Parker's record of 26.5 in a single season. It's worth noting Parker didn't win the CFL's most outstanding player award the year he did that. Winnipeg Blue Bombers RB Willard Reaves took home the honour.

Although there's no doubting Wake's effect on a game, he's padded his sack total by getting seven in two games against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In four games against the top two teams, Calgary and Montreal, Wake has dropped the quarterback once.

The argument for Wake winning the league MOP would be better if there wasn't an offensive player chasing a prestigious record as well. With 42 TD passes, Montreal Alouettes pivot Anthony Calvillo is within striking distance of Doug Flutie's single-season record of 48.

OPENING DRIVE

How Lions kicker Paul McCallum caught the Edmonton Eskimos by surprise on his fake punt was a bit shocking. That was the fourth time this season the veteran punter has pulled the ball down and either run or passed for a first down. The run-and-slide was a thing of beauty for the pending free agent, who isn't slowing down with age ... Talk about a tough week for Blue Bombers coach Doug Berry, who is a huge Boston Red Sox fan. Berry didn't get to see much of Saturday's Game 6 win by the Sox as his team was getting hammered by the Stamps. Then, the Sox couldn't complete the comeback Sunday in Game 7 when Berry and his team were back home ... With QB Steven Jyles coming in and winning in relief for the Roughriders against the Ticats, that makes it five different quarterbacks who have guided the Riders to victory this season. Now head coach Ken Miller has to decide who to start the remaining two games. Michael Bishop threw three picks to the Stamps a week ago, Darian Durant had a trio in the first half against the Ticats, and Jyles threw one up for a touchdown.

ENDZONE TOSS

B.C. Lions RB Charles Roberts broke out of a season-long funk against the Eskimos and finished with 102 rushing yards. That included 49 yards on seven carries in the first quarter ... Lions KR Ian Smart will likely get two CFL records in his next game. Smart needs 95 kickoff return yards to break Eric Blount's single-season record of 1,695. And with his second kickoff return, Smart will break Blount's mark of 64 ... RB Kenton Keith is having a tough time in Hamilton with only two games played in more than a month. He missed action with illness after eating a bad Pizza Pocket, then came back and suffered a laceration to his arm against the Als last week. That kept him from playing against his former team in Saskatchewan this weekend. "A chin strap cut a bunch of stuff in my arm. It was pretty nasty, and I just about threw up when I looked at it," Keith said.

EXTRA POINTS

Despite being in the CFL four years, Ticats RB Jesse Lumsden has never played in Regina ... Struggling K Alexis Serna hit three field goals between 47 and 48 yards out against the Stamps ... Bombers QB Kevin Glenn is now 0-5 at McMahon Stadium.

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QUOTABLE

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

"Not bad for a bunch of guys who are supposedly long in the tooth."

Lions tackle Tyrone Williams, about beating the Eskimos 43-28

GO FIGURE

PLAYIN' THE NUMBERS GAME

18

The number of sacks Alouettes DE Jermaine McElveen would be on pace for if he played a full season. He has six in six games.

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THREE STARS

WEEK'S TOP PERFORMERS

1. Stamps QB Henry Burris -- Threw five TDs to four different receivers in whipping Bombers.

2. Riders K Luca Congi -- Hit 36-yard game-winner into the wind, plus a 55-yarder in beating Ticats.

3. Lions SB Geroy Simon -- Two fourth-quarter TDs and 125 yards in huge win over Eskimos.

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RANKINGS

(WITH PREVIOUS WEEK IN BRACKETS)

1. (1) CALGARY -- Two straight blowouts of playoff-bound teams.

2. (2) MONTREAL -- Handling meaningless games well.

3. (4) B.C. -- Can Buck Pierce stay healthy after great, gutty performance?

4. (3) EDMONTON -- Got beat on special teams.

5. (5) SASKATCHEWAN -- Confusing quarterback situation heading down stretch.

6. (6) WINNIPEG -- Must be questioning themselves now.

7. (8) HAMILTON -- Good effort against Riders.

8. (7) TORONTO -- Will the Don go winless this season?

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CRYSTAL BALL

OUR PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD

Calgary at Hamilton -- Give them first place. Stamps by 16.

Edmonton at Saskatchewan -- Will Steven Jyles burn his former team? Riders by 3.

Toronto at B.C. -- Argos will mail it in on long road trip. Lions by 21.

Winnipeg at Montreal -- Visitors just need this one more. Bombers by 3.

Record (last week; overall): 3-1; 37-27


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