author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
They made it! Now what?
With Saskatchewan’s crushing 30-7 victory over the Calgary Stampede on October 20, 2017, the Riders have clinched a playoff spot. The team has shown constant improvement over their already lucrative season in being able to beat Calgary, who is currently considered the best team in the league with 13 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie. The Riders’ most recent victory was against the Montreal Alouettes on October 27, 2017, scoring 37 points against the last-place eastern-division team while only allowing the Alouettes to score 12.
It’s good to be back in the postseason.
The Roughriders currently have a season record of 10 wins and 7 losses. The team sits in fourth place in the western division, behind Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton, ahead of only the BC lions. It’s not the best place to be in within their own division and with only one game remaining in the regular season to change that, it is unlikely that the Riders will be able to move themselves out of this position. The one possible but unlikely change is if Saskatchewan is able to win their next game against the Edmonton Eskimos. While Edmonton and Saskatchewan would be tied, the Riders do hold the tiebreaker.
Thankfully, however, the Roughriders will not be excluded from the playoffs because of their current placement, due to the crossover rule that will allow the Riders to take the third-place position of the eastern division, which still seems to be the most likely scenario. With the current third-place eastern team doing worse than the fourth-place western-division team, in this case, the Riders will take the place of the Tiger-Cats, and match up with the Ottawa Redblacks or the Toronto Argonauts
The third-place team in the eastern division, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, have 5 wins and 12 losses, and currently hold the place that the Riders will take by way of the crossover rule. Looking at the difference between the divisions as a whole highlights the inequality between the teams of the eastern and western divisions as the top 4 western division teams sit above every eastern division team in the season’s standings, as of week 19.
As the date of the playoffs near, fans of every team grow more eager to see who will be the ones to take home the Grey Cup this year at the annual Grey Cup Championship to be held at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa on November 26. If all goes to plan for the Roughriders, the line-up would comprise of the team playing the Argonauts or Redblacks in the division semi-finals, playing for a spot in the division final against the home team, whichever of the two takes the eastern division. With the current projection for the west, the Eskimos and the Blue bombers will face off in the division semifinals for their chance to play in the division finals against the Stampeders to get to the Grey Cup game. If all goes well, the Riders could have a better shot at the Grey Cup through the East, rather than the West.