Tuesday, November 8, 2016 — The East and West Semi-Finals are set: for the first time in CFL history the Edmonton Eskimos and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will meet in the Grey Cup playoffs this Sunday at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton. In the West, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will face off against the BC Lions in Vancouver for only the second time since 1986.
Edmonton will cross over to the East for the third time in their history, where they have a 1-1 record as the crossover team. In 2008, the Eskimos beat the Blue Bombers 29-21 and in 2012 they were defeated by the Toronto Argonauts 42-26. A team from the West has crossed over to the East a total of eight times - none of them has ever made it to the Grey Cup championship game.
Although this will be the first postseason clash between Edmonton and Hamilton, the teams have met in the Grey Cup twice before. In 1986, Hamilton beat Edmonton 39-15 in front of 59,579 fans at BC Place. And in 1980, Edmonton topped Hamilton 48-10 at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium in front of 32,669 fans.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the BC Lions have met a total of seven times in the postseason including three consecutive meetings between 1983-1985. The Lions hold a 5-2 lead in their playoff series history. In addition, each team has one championship from their two Grey Cup clashes against each other. This Sunday’s clash at BC Place will be the first Western Semi-Final in Vancouver in 30 years – the most recent one being in 1986 when the Lions beat the Bombers 21-14.
Six teams will take part in the 104th Grey Cup Playoffs, representing four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario). The Winnipeg Blue Bombers lead the way with 24 all-time Division Championships, followed by Edmonton (23), Hamilton (20), Calgary (14), Ottawa (14) and BC (10). The Blue Bombers and the Lions have gone the longest without being crowned Division Champions, with both teams last winning in 2011, when the Bombers won the East title and Lions topped the West. This is the first time since 2003 that the CFL has had back-to-back Division champions in both the East and the West.
Here is a list of the six teams in the 104th Grey Cup Playoffs, including their all-time playoff records and winning percentage from 1936-present:
- BC (20-31, with a .392 winning percentage)
- Calgary (45-46-2, with a .495 winning percentage)
- Edmonton (57-44, with a .564 winning percentage)
- Winnipeg (61-49-2, with a .554 winning percentage)
- Ottawa (42-40, with a .512 winning percentage)
- Hamilton (42-45-1, with a .483 winning percentage)
Ottawa CFL teams currently hold the longest Grey Cup drought, having last won in 1976 (40 years ago), followed by Winnipeg who were crowned champions in 1990 (26 years ago) and Hamilton whose last Grey Cup victory came in 1999 (17 years ago).
TSN is Canada’s exclusive home for complete coverage of the CFL Playoffs, kicking off with a doubleheader featuring the Eastern and Western Semi-finals. Coverage begins with a 60-minute pre-game show this Sunday, Nov.13 at 12 noon ET on TSN1, TSN4, and TSN5.