2021 MOP – where to look
It’s that time of year. The CFL teams are vying for position in the playoffs. And people are starting to think which player has made the biggest impact. Who will be the 2021 CFL MOP?
During ‘awards season’ the CFL hands out a number of player honours including, Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, Most Outstanding Rookie, and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.
In the not too distant future the CFL will announce each team’s nominees in each of these categories. As voted for by CFL head coaches and football reporters of Canada.
Since the turn of the century the overall Most Outstanding Player award has been won by a quarterback on 14 of the 20 (2000-2019 inclusive) occasions the award has been given.
So with our focus on the ‘main’ player award, and because it tends to be a QB, here is list of the current leading quarterback candidates:
Zach Collaros – QB Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
OK – maybe I am being a little facetious here. But, Collaros is far and away the leading candidate at this stage of the season. Plus, any players that could possibly challenge him are not quarterbacks.
The current 2021 MOP candidates
As mentioned above, Collaros is the leading candidate as we get into the business end of the season. Could anybody challenge him? Let’s take a look at the leading candidates.
Zach Collaros QB – leads the league in every major passing category. Over 11 games he has gone 215 of 303 passing for 2832 yards, 18 touchdowns and 6 picks. It does not hurt his case either that he has guided the Blue Bombers to a first West Division title in a decade. Winnipeg are 10-1 and look a class apart so far this season. Now comes the difficult part. Will they rotate players? Will they maintain momentum like they did going into the playoffs last time out on the way to a Grey Cup win? Could rest or rotation give another candidate a chance?
William Stanback – RB – The Montreal Alouettes are vying for a playoff spot. The quarterback spot has seen some changes in personnel due to injury and coaching choice. But the Als are relying on Stanback to churn up the ground and carry them into the post-season. Over 9 games, Stanback has 152 carries for 960 yards and 3 touchdowns. That puts him 176 yards ahead of the closest running back, Ka’deem Carey. Stanback has played 3 less games than Carey on his way to averaging 106.6 yards per game.
For me – that’s it. That’s the entire list of 2021 MOP candidates as the season stands! Arguments could be made for others, but these two are far in front of them. I don’t expect a defensive player to get it. That has only ever happened once, and while the likes of Willie Jefferson are leading a spectacular Winnipeg D I still see this award going to a player from the offensive side of the ball. Of course Jefferson could well pick up his second Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.
Last time out Brandon Banks was named the 2019 CFL MOP. That was alongside four Hamilton Tiger-Cats players who walked away with the prizes at the league’s annual awards ceremony on the back of playing for that season’s most dominant team. Which only strengthens the case for Collaros as he is leading such a dominant Winnipeg team.
As ever, it will be fascinating to see how it all plays out.
Banner Image: Zach Collaros – leading 2021 MOP candidate. Image from cflnewshub.com