Grey Cup preview?

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

Some are calling it a Grey Cup preview.

Others claim it's just another ho-hum game, but don't believe it.

Winnipeg plays host to the reigning CFL champion B.C. Lions at Canad Inns Stadium tonight in a match that includes a host of intrigue.

For example, B.C. running back Joe Smith currently leads the rushing race while Blue Bombers' tailback Charles Roberts, the defending champ, is second.

Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn is the morning-line favourite to become the East nominee for Most Outstanding Player. Smith will likely be the Western rep.

And the Lions lead the entire CFL with a 9-3-1 record. Winnipeg leads the East at 8-4-1.

"It could be a Grey Cup preview but our coaches have instructed us that this isn't a Grey Cup preview," Roberts said. "It's a home game and an opportunity for us to take advantage of homefield and win against a good team.

"The CFL is a crazy league, man, anything can happen ... It's still too early to tell if this could be a Grey Cup preview. It's just two quality teams going after each other."

But the Bombers could take a step closer to the CFL's Holy Grail by knocking off the best in the business.

"You don't want to worry about stuff that you have no control over right now," Glenn said. "We're not in the Grey Cup so, we shouldn't be thinking about the Grey Cup right now. We should be thinking about B.C. coming in and playing in our stadium. The most important thing is, we have a home game against a good team and we can get two points and try to distance ourselves from the rest of the East Division."

And the Bombers do not want to jinx themselves.

"I'm not the kind of guy who's going to say that this is probably the two teams that are going to be in the Grey Cup because, if you think like that, you're not going to get there," said Winnipeg offensive lineman Alexandre Gauthier. "So, this is the next game and it's the most important game and that's why we're going to play hard to win."

But Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono hopes it is a Cup preview.

"I'd be happy to play Winnipeg in the Grey Cup," he said. "(But) the game today has no relevance to the game in November. Everything changes within the next seven weeks."

B.C. quarterback Jarious Jackson is aware of the hoopla, though.

"I know there's more hype, and I know there's a lot of importance to this game," he conceded. "I've just gotta look at it like's it just another game and try not to put too much pressure or too much emphasis on anything, and just go play."

The Bombers beat the Lions 22-21 in Vancouver in August so, they are expecting them to seek revenge tonight.

"For sure, because you never like to be beaten in your own place," Gauthier said. "But that was a tight game. It could have gone either way at the end. Here, we're going to have our home crowd. We're ready for a good fight but this game is going to decide who's going to be first overall during the next week."

Bomber defensive end Tom Canada is determined to prove that Winnipeg deserved to beat the Leos.

"From what I understand, they're saying, 'We let that one get away. It was our fault that we lost. They didn't win, we beat ourselves,'" he said. "We've been talking about that in the locker-room. That's kind of something we'd like to prove, that it wasn't a fluke. A win is a win for us because we earned it. That's going to be one of our driving forces."


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