The odds might favour the Argos but veteran defensive back Adrion Smith is leaving nothing to chance.
Given Toronto's opponent, the arch-rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Smith isn't about to put too much stock in past wins or any current trend when the historic foes meet in this Friday's CFL Eastern Division semi-final at the SkyDome.
Not that the sage Smith needed to be reminded, but in the aftermath of Toronto's 38-31 win over Hamilton two weeks ago, Ticats defensive co-ordinator and former Argo assistant Kavis Reed left a subtle message.
"He said to me that conventional wisdom tells him that you can't beat a team 14 times in a row. He said that to me on purpose," Smith recounted yesterday as the Argos continued their preparations for Friday's tussle with the Ticats.
"It's hard not to think about it but at the same time everything gets thrown out when these two teams meet."
Including the pre-season, the Argos haven't lost to the Ticats in 13 successive games. Friday's matchup marks the sixth time the Argos and Ticats will meet this season.
There have been Labour Day classics, some classic blow outs, some infamous blow ups and plenty of bad blood over the many years Toronto and Hamilton have butted heads.
Amazingly, the teams haven't met in the post-season since 1999, while the Argos haven't played host to the Ticats in a playoff game since 1987.
"Whether the score was 58-0 or 13-12, when the Argos and Ticats come together it's always a good matchup," Smith said. "I don't expect anything to be different on Friday."
The Argos went 2-0-1 against the Ticats this season. In each win, the Argos forced five turnovers.
Defensively, Smith insists the Argos will use their basic defence and not resort to any chicanery.
"You don't go into this game trying to trick yourself or the other team," Smith said. "We got to this point by playing a certain way.
"If you try to come up with something new, you might have a tendency to confuse yourself. For us, simplicity is the key and making sure we each know our responsibilities."
On July 10, the Argos ended Hamilton's season-opening three-game win streak by knocking out quarterback Danny McManus (concussion) en route to a 34-6 victory.
When they met on Labour Day, Troy Davis torched the Argos run defence by establishing a club-record 233 yards along the ground. The game ended in a 30-30 tie with the teams combining for 37 penalties and a total of 408 yards.
In their most recent meeting on Oct. 21, the Argos jumped out to a 28-0 lead and won 38-31.
"You don't need any motivation to get excited when you play Hamilton," Smith said. "The fact that Friday's meeting is a playoff game adds to the excitement."