Six-pack of CFL's best

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Have we really reached the one-third mark of the CFL regular season?

My, how time passes when you're having this much fun.

With all the attention focused on the wacky goings-on here in River City, there's been precious little time to dissect happenings in the rest of our dear, old loop.

So here's a Friday six-pack to go along with that cold one in your hand as you get ready to enjoy yet another rain-soaked Manitoba weekend.

1. Best Story Line: the Tabbies

Don't know about you, but after all those years of dirtying the CFL litter box, I find myself pulling for the Cats. You can only watch misery for so long.

Who'd have guessed the Ticats would be 3-2 at this point, though, with the league's top running game, sans Jesse Lumsden?

With CFL rookie DeAndra' Cobb darting about, up-and-comer Quinton Porter in the QB's perch and second-year star Prechae Rodriguez getting his paws on the ball, the future looks prrrrty good in Hamilton. Finally.

2. Biggest Head-Scratcher: From Champs to Chumps

OK, so it's a little early to write off the 2-3 Stamps. But getting licked regularly isn't the way you'd expect a team with that much talent to begin defence of the Grey Cup.

"In my first year we were 4-14," receiver Nick Lewis told Sun Media. "But it wasn't that bad, because we weren't that good."

Blown out at home by Montreal, Week 1, giving up 42 points to the impotent Bombers, Week 2, then blowing a late lead at home against Saskatchewan last week -- there's only one explanation: the curse of the Grey Cup host.

3. Greatest Revelation: Wally's Leos

Apparently the man is human, after all. Lions head coach Wally Buono is probably on his way to his first losing season since '02, when he was in Calgary with the then-dysfunctional Stamps.

Buono still needs four victories to pass Don Matthews on the CFL's all-time list -- which is about how many times his team, now 1-4, coughs up the ball every game.

At this rate, he might not reach win No. 231 until 2010.

Buono promises he'll turn things around, and we have a hunch he will.

4. Best Staying Power: A.C.

Hands up, everyone who thought Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo was done a couple years back.

Somehow, new head coach Marc Trestman has rekindled the magic, and A.C. is back at the top of the passing heap, his efficiency rating of 110.6 a whopping 15 points better than the next full-time starter.

He leads the league in yards, is tied for the lead in touchdown passes and the fewest number of interceptions and is completing passes at a 75% clip.

And he'll turn 37 later this month.

We should all age this gracefully.

5. Top Rookie Bench Boss: Hall

Three teams hired new head coaches this season, and there's no better measuring stick of an organization than it's choice of the man running the sideline.

It's still early, but right now the Eskimos' choice of Richie Hall looks like the best move, while the jury's still out on Bart Andrus in Toronto and Mike Kelly here in the 'Peg.

We'll be keeping an eye on this one.

6. Biggest Anomaly: the Blue Bunglers

You didn't think we could go an entire column without touching the Bomber offence, did you?

The numbers say this team simply shouldn't be 2-3, not with an attack that, at its current rate, will bungle its way into infamy.

Dead-last in 18 statistical categories, and nearly 100 yards passing per game behind the next-to-last Riders in that one, this group is setting a new standard for futility through the air.

So how'd they get two wins?

An incredible plus-11 turnover ratio, easily the league's best, and one which normally would translate into at least a 4-1 record.

But this is the CFL. And there's nothing normal about a lot of things.


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