The 17th week of the Canadian Football League has come to an end, and we are no closer to finding out who will host the Eastern and Western finals than we were a week ago.
Both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Edmonton Eskimos were close to securing trips to the finals with wins on their respected days, but both fell short.
Winnipeg's game against the Toronto Argonauts saw Buck Pierce throw a pick-six and put up poor numbers early on, allowing Toronto to go up 24-6 by halftime.
Alex Brink came in off the bench in relief of Pierce after suffering what was labeled a leg injury. He was able to put up 16 points in the second half, but the team short and lost by five.
This allowed the Montreal Alouettes an opportunity to put themselves ahead of Winnipeg with a win over the Calgary Stampeders at home, a place where they generally dominate.
But everyone must remember this is the CFL and anything can and most likely will happen.
This time it was Calgary going up 29-22 late in the fourth quarter and making a third-down defensive stop to win the game by two points.
In the West, the B.C. Lions hosted the Edmonton Eskimos, who were looking to keep pace with B.C. by splitting the season series. That result did not happen as B.C. led the game for the majority; their eventual win gave them the season series over Edmonton.
With Calgary’s win over Montreal Sunday afternoon and Winnipeg also losing, the CFL currently has five teams with a 10-7 record heading into the final week.
Not often do you look at the final week of the season and still have no idea who will finish atop their divisions than you did at the start of the season.
But here you have the CFL—with all the parity in the world it seems—showing that any team can win on any given day.
Looking ahead to the final week, Winnipeg needs for either Montreal to lose or simply to win their final game over Calgary in order to host the Eastern final. If both Winnipeg and Montreal lose, Winnipeg will host the Eastern final.
Should Montreal win and Winnipeg lose, Montreal will once again host the Eastern final, which could very well see them in the Grey Cup for a third straight year.
For the West, B.C. currently holds the tiebreaker on both Calgary and Edmonton, while Edmonton has the tiebreaker over Edmonton. Calgary has neither and will most likely need a win in Winnipeg to have a slim chance of making the playoffs.
There is almost no way the teams involved thought their hopes of being one game closer to the Grey Cup would rest on the final game of the season.
For Winnipeg and Edmonton, it shows that hard work and determination can allow you to succeed at anything—especially after both clubs finished last in their respective divisions just a season ago.
As a fan of the CFL, I am enjoying the ride all that much more and cannot wait to see what the final week of the regular season will bring.