East Division sacked its rep as league's weak sister?

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

The defending champion Calgary Stampeders are 0-2, while the perennial favourite B.C. Lions are also winless.

The formerly Least Division has four wins against the West already. Maybe there will be a crossover this season, but it could be a newcomer to the West Division semifinal.

Could the balance of power in the CFL have shifted during one off-season? Prognosticators, including the one found on this page, didn't see this coming.

Granted, it is early, but considering the East only had six wins against the West all of last season, this start is a clear sign there is more parity in the league.

There is less shock the Eskimos lost badly in Montreal (that happened in 2008) and the Stamps were beaten in Winnipeg, which is the same result since 2006.

The real stunner was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beating the B.C. Lions in Vancouver. The Lions were enjoying a 14-game home-winning streak against Eastern time-zone teams.

After Week 3, there will only be one undefeated team left, seeing as how the 2-0 Montreal Alouettes travel to Saskatchewan this weekend for a meeting with the 2-0 Riders.

But the Lions and Stamps could both start out 0-3 and considering those two foes fought it out for a Grey Cup trip last season, it would be an interesting meeting July 24 in Vancouver for win No. 1.

Of course, a great start doesn't mean a great finish. The Riders began last season 6-0 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

The 2005 Lions won 11 straight games to begin that campaign and were knocked off in the West final. And the Alouettes typically get off to a great first-half record, but that team rarely wins the Grey Cup.

OPENING DRIVE

Maybe it's time to start talking about Darian Durant as the real deal. The Roughriders quarterback isn't picture-perfect at the helm, but his record as a starter is. The Riders are 6-0 when he starts a game for them ... Bombers QB Stefan Lefors didn't have great numbers, but he led his team to its first victory. It was also Lefors, first win as a starter, breaking an 0-6 mark. Coach Mike Kelly got the Gatorade bath at the final gun, which seemed a tad premature even to the new coach ... Despite backup QB Barrick Nealy getting two late TDs in the loss to the Bombers, don't expect a change at pivot in Stampsland any time soon. Coach John Hufnagel said of the three Henry Burris interceptions, only one could be blamed on the quarterback. One was a tip, and the other receiver, Jeremaine Copeland stopped short on a route.

ENDZONE TOSS

It doesn't look like Argos K Justin Medlock will be joining his girlfriend Hannah Jun as a caddy just yet, although he might be able to show her how to hit straight. Medlock went 3-for-3 in field goals in replacing the injured K Eddie Johnson ... Can't remember a worse debut for one player than RB Arkee Whitlock's for the Eskimos. Dropping two touchdown passes was a tough start, and it got worse. He fumbled one rushing attempt and then had a pass go off his shoulder pads for another touchdown. The Eskimos claim to be sticking with him, and here's hoping he can recover emotionally from this ... Great debut by DeAndra Cobb. Hard to believe he started the season fourth on the Ticats depth chart and managed 100 yards along the ground in Week 2, plus being the leading receiver in the win over the Lions.

EXTRA POINTS

Apparently Bart Andrus didn't know the reputation of his defensive tackle before this season. Adriano Belli has taken plenty of unnecessary roughness penalties over the year, but the new Argos head coach wants it to stop. "If he wants to be a WWE wrestler, he can go do it, but he's not going to do it on my football team," Andrus said. This seems an odd tact on a team that also features noted rabble-rousers Rob Murphy and Dominic Picard ... Als QB Anthony Calvillo needs three TD passes to surpass Ron Lancaster for second place on the all-time list.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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