The CFL Final Four is set. The semi-finals have been and gone. It’s next man up every time a player goes down. And in the playoffs it’s a next game up culture. None of the final four remaining teams can afford to rest on their laurels. No time for looking back, only onto the next games, – the East and West finals.
The league will probably be happy too. There were no crossover teams in the playoffs. Because of this they are set for an all Western and all Eastern Final coming up. Meaning they have a guaranteed East-West match-up to come in the Grey Cup itself.
The East Final
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-6) at Toronto Argonauts (9-5)
These two intense rivals last met in an Eastern Final in 2013. That year Hamilton followed up a semi-final win over Montreal with a 36-24 win over the Boatmen on Toronto’s own turf.
The Argos will want to avoid that fate this time around. And they will be positive going in. Because they faced the Ti-Cats four times this year and beat them on three occasions.
Hamilton and Toronto have met in the Eastern Final on eight occasions claiming four victories each. So, this is a chance to pull ahead. Toronto will also want to do what they did last time they were in the CFL’s final four. That was in 2017 when they hosted the Eastern Final and went on to win the 2017 Grey Cup.
At the same time, neutrals will be hoping this year’s Grey Cup is anywhere near as good as the Argos 2017 success. Which really was one of the best Grey Cup games of the last decade.
The West Final
Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-5) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11-3)
As we have noted, Winnipeg will host a Division Final for the first time since 2011. And the West Division Final for the first time since 1972. This game will be a rematch of the 2019 West Final. A game Winnipeg won 20-13 in Saskatcewan on the way to ending a drought, and winning the last Grey Cup to be played.
These two met twice in the regular season. Winnipeg swept that mini-series 2-0. With a dominant aggregate score of 56-17. Saskatchewan will be hoping for third time lucky for a win in this final four matchup.
These two rivals have met 15 times in the playoffs with Winnipeg ahead by the narrowest of margins 8-7. At this stage, they have two triumphs each when contesting a Grey Cup slot.
One Game Away
This is always an exciting time of year in the CFL. You have to love the playoffs when teams go head to head in an all or nothing contest.
For fans of both these teams the excitement and tension will be building. We are just one game away from the 2021 Grey Cup now and we won’t know who will be contesting it until these games are played out.
Bring it on!
The CFL Final Four is set – image from cfl.ca