Five of 20 CFL regular season weeks have concluded. Here’s what we know at the quarter-pole: West is best; teams that dominate the turnover battle usually win the games, and the leading quarterbacks are from the top teams. So, what else is new?

The 2-3 B.C. Lions are at the bottom of the West standings; however, if they were situated in the East, they would be on top. The Lions continue to adjust to inconsistent quarterback Kevin Glenn while Travis Lulay is recuperating from a shoulder injury.

Stats can sometimes obscure reality, but often they are a reflection of performance. It appears no co-incidence that in the two B.C. wins, Glenn has three touchdown passes and no interceptions, and in the Lions three losses, the 35-year-old, who is playing for his 6th CFL team, has two touchdown passes and a whopping eight interceptions. Sure, it’s far too easy to lay blame on one player but the quarterback will usually get too much criticism for losses and often too much credit for wins.

Calgary’s Bo Levi Mitchell has been effective and relatively mistake free. Mitchell has tied the league record, set by Jeff Garcia, with seven straight victories to begin his CFL career. He has seven touchdown passes and no picks. Not surprisingly, his Stampeders are 4-0. Mitchell’s QB efficiency is far better than Glenn (104.8 to 74.7), and the Stamps record, compared to the Lions, reflects that.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have already won more games this year (5-1) than all of last year (3-15). In 2013, the Bombers paraded four quarterbacks onto the field (Buck Pierce, Max Hall, Justin Goltz and Jason Boltus) and they threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Hall had the best passer rating of the bunch at 75.1. This year, Drew Willy is the new pivot in charge. In his first five games, Willy compiled a passer rating of 93.2, a completion percentage of 63.6 to go along with six touchdown passes and four interceptions. Willy was sensational again in Winnipeg’s 27-26 victory in Hamilton to begin week six as he tossed a two-yard TD pass to Nic Grigsby on the final play to cap an impressive 11-play, 95-yard drive that started with 100 seconds left. Willy was 31-of-41 for 361 yards and a TD against the Tiger-Cats.

The Edmonton Eskimos (4-1) have matched their win total of last year. Ex-Lion Mike Reilly leads the CFL in touchdown passes with nine compared to just four interceptions. His passer rating is 90.3 and completion % is 63.3. Last year, his first with the Eskimos, his passer rating was 87.0, with a completion % of 59.6. In addition, he threw 24 TD passes plus 18 interceptions, 2nd most in the league behind the 19 of Henry Burris and Burris had 55 more attempts and a better rating (93.3).

It doesn’t matter how many rules change, quarterback performance, plus turnover ratio, will always remain paramount to a team’s success. The league’s turnover numbers are staggering:

Teams with a +1 turnover margin are 6-3. Teams with a +2 or greater turnover margin are 12-0. Combined, that’s a whopping 18-3.

Home field advantage has also been significant: home teams are 13-8. In fact, none of the four Eastern teams have a road win (combined 0-11).

The aforementioned statistics lead us to the discrepancy of West vs East. The West is 12-2 against the East. All Western teams have scored more points than they have given up while all Eastern teams have allowed more than they have scored. The Eastern wins were Montreal over B.C. 24-9 and Toronto over Saskatchewan 48-15, both in week two, albeit the Lions and Riders earned their revenge with the Lions blitzing the Alouettes 41-5 in week four and the defending champion Roughriders crushing the Argos 37-9 in week five.

One should never underplay the importance of defence, however the last place Lions are 3rd in points allowed per game (18.4) and second in total yards allowed per game (291.6).

The Lions after the 5th week had the top rusher (Andrew Harris), the top combined return yards player (Stefan Logan) and leading tackler (Solomon Elimimian). Yes, they can argue they are better than their record, but B.C. allows, on average, one more turnover per game than they get (2.4 to 1.4). When that improves and when the quarterback proficiency improves only then will the Lions improve in the only statistic that matters; wins and losses.

From the Quote Rack:

In an upcoming film, Mike Tyson is played by Jamie Foxx. What’ll they call it, ‘Law A Biting Citizen’?

Well, the Oakland A’s have brought in yet another player, Jon Lester, whom they’ll have no chance of signing long-term after this season—in fact, Billy Beane has just been made a trustee with the American Renters Association.

Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

An ESPN survey said Geno Smith is the worst starting QB in the NFL. But Smith says “by this time next year or the year after, I expect to be in the top 5.” Top 5 where? In New York?

New NY Giants QB coach Danny Langsdorf thinks Eli Manning could complete 70 percent of his passes in 2014. In related news, the Chicago Cubs are printing playoff tickets.

Contributor Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

John McEnroe’s son Kevin was busted trying to buy cocaine and prescription pills from a dealer. When arrested, he screamed, “You cannot be serious!”

A 105-year-old great-grandmother threw out the first pitch in the Padres 2-1 home win over the Mets. Final stats for San Diego: 2 runs, 11 hits, 1 lead-off walker.

Comedy writer RJ Currie

A 105 year old woman threw out a ceremonial first pitch for San Diego. Fans described it as having much more heat and accuracy than they ever saw from former QB Ryan Leaf.

Johnny Manziel was photographed rolling a twenty-dollar bill in a bathroom. Jealous CFL players offered to trade him a Mcdonalds drink straw for the twenty.

Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver (

And in case you missed it:

A minor league baseball general manager in Myrtle Beach was given a prostate exam during the 7th inning stretch at a game. Which means he now knows how players feel during contract negotiations.

Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va.

Hartley Miller is the sports director for radio station TheGoat94.3 His column appears weekly on Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to [email protected]
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller