Back on July 1, the National Post ran an article featuring 4 CFL panelists giving their pre-season predictions on 20 different questions. The panel included long-time CFL on TSN panelist and former pro-football player Chris Schultz as well as robe wearing, opinionated bigot, the Rider Prophet (along with Matt Brown from Fantas-Eh Football).
Here is a question by question breakdown of how Chris Schultz (who gets paid for his football analysis) fared against the foremost sports related-prognosticator in the country…
1. What new player will help his team the most?
Schultz’s Pick: Jamall Lee
Prophet’s Pick: Buck Pierce
I’ll admit due to the inevitable injuries that cut short Buck Pierce’s season his impact was not all that long lasting but in just 5 games he did pass for over 1000 yards and rushed for another 237. Jamall Lee appeared in 9 games racking up just 16 rushing yards and 99 receiving yards.
2. What player’s departure will hurt his team the most?
Schultz’s Pick: Keron Williams from Montreal
Prophet’s Pick: Barron Miles from BC
Montreal still had one of the top pass rushes in the CFL.
BC struggled to find a suitable replacement for Miles.
3. What 2010 draftee will have the most immediate impact?
Schultz’s Pick: Cory Watson
Prophet’s Pick: Rob Maver
Cory Watson – 17 catches for 277 yards and a TD
Rob Maver – Led the CFL in kicking points.
4. Who will be the next big-name player to retire?
Schultz’s Pick: Gene Makowsky
Prophet’s Pick: Anthony Calvillo
The jury is still out on this one. Though to be fair, at this point, I would say Schultz has the better shot at being right.
Winner: Undecided but leaning towards Schultz
5. Who is likely to take a step back this season?
Schultz’s Pick: Henry Burris
Prophet’s Pick: Jermaine Copeland
Schultzy was so close on this one… you know except for the fact that Burris had one of his best seasons ever and is the West nominee for MOP. By contrast Copeland turned in his least productive season in 8 years.
6. Who will emerge as a star this season?
Schultz’s Pick: Prechae Rodriguez
Prophet’s Pick: Arkee Whitlock
Whitlock was on pace for over 1300 yds and 10 TDs when his season was cut short due to injury.
Rodriguez was on pace to accomplish very little when his season was cut short due to getting cut.
7. Who will be the comeback player of the year?
Schultz’s Pick: Kelly Campbell
Prophet’s Pick: Casey Printers
Even though Campbell really didn’t have a stellar year, he still did better than the embarrassment that was Casey Printers.
8. Which team will have the biggest QB controversy?
Schultz’s Pick: Toronto
Prophet’s Pick: Toronto
Realistically, the way Cleo Lemon played this year would have created a QB controversy on any other team in the league but Jim Barker stuck with him for some misguided reason leading to no controversy.
Winner: Both wrong
9. How many RBs will crack the 1,000 yard barrier?
Schultz’s Pick: 5
Prophet’s Pick: 5
The correct answer was 5… I can only assume Schultz was looking off my paper and copying my answer on this one.
Winner: Both Correct
10. Who will be the league’s top Canadian this season?
Schultz’s Pick: Calvin McCarty
Prophet’s Pick: Andy Fantuz
Seriously?!? Calvin McCarty?!? This was your pick for best Canadian in the League? Wow. I mean sure McCarty was the top Canadian on his own team but that’s pretty much by default since the Esks are so devoid of Canadian talent that a pulse and a Canadian passport is all it takes to get that nomination. Compare that with Fantuz who is a lock for the Most Outstanding Canadian award after leading the league in receiving… Calvin McCarty? What were you thinking?
11. Who will be the outstanding defensive player?
Schultz’s Pick: Barrin Simpson
Prophet’s Pick: Markeith Knowlton
Simpson is a far less embarrassing pick that Calvin McCarty and actually turned in a very good season, leading the league in tackles. However, Markeith Knowlton turned in an even better one on route to being named the East Nominee for Defensive Player of the Year.
12. Who will be the outstanding offensive player?
Schultz’s Pick: Darian Durant
Prophet’s Pick: Casey Printers
Durant led the league is passing yards and was the top rushing QB.
Casey Printers wasn’t good enough to last the season without being cut.
13. Which team has the league’s best defense?
Schultz’s Pick: Montreal
Prophet’s Pick: Hamilton
Hamilton allowed the 2nd least points this season.
Montreal was 5th
14. Which team has the league’s best offense?
Schultz’s Pick: Saskatchewan
Prophet’s Pick: Montreal
Montreal scored more points and gained more yards than Saskatchewan and were the 2nd overall offense in the league (Sk was 3rd).
15. Which team will surprise this year?
Schultz’s Pick: Toronto and Winnipeg
Prophet’s Pick: BC
Schultz tried gaining an unfair advantage by picking 2 teams when he was only asked for one… but the second team he picked ended up being the worst team in the league so no such advantage was gained.
Though BC and Toronto both finished 3rd in their divisions I will give the edge to Schultz because expectations were only moderately above zero for the Argos coming into the season so making the playoffs is more surprising for them than the Lions.
16. Which team will disappoint?
Schultz’s Pick: Hamilton
Prophet’s Pick: Calgary
Swing and a miss by me. Hamilton did have a pretty good regular season (they saved the disappointment for the playoffs) but unless they’ve recently changed the definition of “disappoint”, you can really classify the league’s best team through the regular season as having a disappointing season. (Though the Stamps did make up for it with their disappointing loss in the West Final).
17. Which team is facing the most pressure?
Schultz’s Pick: Hamilton and Edmonton
Prophet’s Pick: Saskatchewan
Even though he once again cheated by picking two teams instead of one, I will call this a draw since all 3 teams mentioned faced a ton of pressure.
Winner: Both Correct
18. What game on the schedule do you look forward to most?
Schultz’s Pick: Labour Day
Prophet’s Pick: Labour Day
I may rag on Schultzy a lot but even he knows enough about the CFL to know that Labour Day weekend is best weekend of the year.
Winner: Both Correct
19. What 2 teams will miss the playoffs?
Schultz’s Pick: It’s too hard to tell.
Prophet’s Pick: Toronto and Winnipeg
By virtue of providing an actual answer I win this one, as an added bonus I was half right.
20. Who will play in the Grey Cup and who will win?
Schultz’s Pick: BC beats Montreal
Prophet’s Pick: Saskatchewan beats Hamilton.
BC to win it all is almost as laughable as Calvin McCarty for top Canadian… almost. While I realize that Hamilton didn’t make the cup, at least the team I picked to win it all actually made it to the Grey Cup.
Here’s your final tally…
Rider Prophet – 14 correct answers
Chris Schultz – 7 correct answers (only 4 of which I didn’t also get correct)
Undecided – 1
So in the end it wasn’t even close. By an overwhelming majority, I proved to be the superior football mind. That said winning a battle of intellect with a former lineman isn’t exactly an overwhelming challenge.
Trust me, I’m a prophet!