November 25, 2021

Interesting Western Semi-final Tidbits

With the opening weekend of the CFL playoffs nearing, we’ve been scouring the record books to find some interesting facts to help us get ready.

Check out a few that we’ve found:


The Stampeders haven’t lost in back-to back divisional playoff games since losing in the 2010 West Final to Saskatchewan, followed by a West Semi-Final loss in 2011 to Edmonton. With a loss to Winnipeg in the West Semi-Final in 2019, the Stamps are looking to avoid their first back-to-back losses in a decade.


The last two times Calgary and Saskatchewan played in the West Semi-Final, the winner went on to the Grey Cup (2007, 2012). This remains true for three out of last four times (1997, 2007, 2012 but not 2006) that these teams met in the West Semi Final. If this trend continues, Sunday’s battle comes with major ramifications for either team.


With each possible game of the CFL playoffs in 2021, the Stampeders will travel further and further east. They’ll start with a short trip to Regina before a possible West Final match-up in Winnipeg and a future Grey Cup bout in Hamilton.

CGY → REGINA (757.1 km)
CGY → WINNINPEG (1,332.9 km)
CGY → HAMILTON (3,337.4 km)


With a win on Sunday over the Roughriders, the Stampeders would have a date with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at IG Field scheduled for the following weekend. If Calgary can advance to the West Final, it will be the first time they’ve played a West Final at Winnipeg since November 17, 1965. Back then, the teams played a best of three series to determine who would advance to the Grey Cup. Winnipeg would win the series 2-1, but the Stampeders would outscore them 50-43 thanks to a big 27-9 win in Game 1.


In 20 all-time playoff battles between Calgary and Saskatchewan, the two teams are in a deadlock at 10-10. This weekend’s match will break the tie and give the winning team the all-time bragging rights – until the next playoff meeting, that is.


Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has started a playoff game against each of the West Division opponents, except for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. That will change this Sunday when he will take the field at Mosaic Stadium, making his first ever playoff start against those guys in green.

His previous results vs. the West Division:
2019 vs. WPG, 35-14 L
2018 vs. WPG, 22-14 W
2017 vs. EDM, 32-28 W
2016 vs. BC, 42-15 W
2015 vs. EDM, 45-31 L
2015 vs. BC, 35-9 W
2014 vs. EDM, 43-18 W


This year’s West Division standings provided a first for CFL history as the top-three in West has never finished in this order; 1) Winnipeg 2) Saskatchewan 3) Calgary. Granted, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers did spend 21 years in the East Division over three separate stints (1987-1994, 1997-2001, 2006-2013). Still, with just five teams in the division, it remains odd that this combination of teams wouldn’t have previously finished atop the division in this particular order.


When the organization officially became the Stampeders in 1945, there was no regular season due to WWII. The West Semi-Final that season was a two-game series between Calgary and Regina, with the team scoring the most total points moving on to the West Final. In their first ever game, the Stampeders beat the Roughriders 3-1 at Taylor Field. Just for good measure, Calgary would blank the Riders 12-0 the following week at home to move on to the West Final.


Sunday marks the fourth time the Stamps and Riders will do battle this season. The two teams have not faced off four times in a season since 2013, which marked the end of a four-year stretch in which the teams battled four times (regular season and playoffs). Over those four years, the Calgary held a 10-3 regular season record against Saskatchewan, but just a 1-2 playoff record.


Calgary has been in the CFL playoffs each of the past 15 years and yet, they’ve played every West Division team in the playoffs more recently than Saskatchewan (2013). Including Grey Cups, the only team they haven’t met more recently is Montreal (2008).


Entering Sunday’s game, Calgary’s roster has a combined 106 CFL games worth of playoff experience under their belts. That includes Randy Chevrier (15), Calvin McCarty (13), Rene Paredes (11) and Bo Levi Mitchell (10).


Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell holds the franchise record for touchdown passes in the post-season with 18 and will look to push that number higher this season. He’s also 3rd among all-time Calgary QB’s in passing yards with 1,887. He needs 442 yards to pass Jerry Keeling for second and 943 yards to surpass Eagle Day for first all-time.