It’s out! Before the emotional high of the Grey Cup win has subsided, the CFL has released its schedule for 2018. Here’s a look at it from the Argos perspective.
Week One: Argos at Saskatchewan, Friday, June 15th
The defending champs will begin their title defence with what will be a great test for Toronto, facing a good team in a very hostile environment. You may see the James Wilder Jr. third-down catch from the East Final replayed a time or three in the week leading up to the game. A fantastic kickoff for Friday Night Football.
Week Two: Calgary at Toronto, Saturday, June 23rd
Are you kidding? The Riders get a chance for revenge in Week One, then the Stamps get the same opportunity in Week Two. If the Argos can come out of the gate 2-0 it will be a major statement. There is a pretty good chance that the weather for the Home Opener will be much better than it was on Grey Cup Sunday.
Week Three: Bye
Week Four: Edmonton at Toronto, Saturday, July 7
The storylines just don’t stop. Depending on the decisions of Ricky Ray and James Franklin, there’s a chance that this game could see Franklin starting against his former team. Or, it could be a battle between the 2017 finalists for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player as Ray faces Mike Reilly. Either way, it lines up an entertaining game.
Week Five: Toronto at Edmonton, Friday, July 13
Back-to-back games against the Eskimos. There’s usually an element of nastiness in these situations, which adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to a non-rivalry game. Another appearance on FNF.
Week Six: Winnipeg at Toronto, Saturday, July 21
The Bombers and Argos hooked up in a fantastic game last year at BMO Field. Lirim Hajrullahu preserved a 29-28 win when he punted a wide field-goal attempt by Justin Medlock out of the end zone on the game’s final play. Another one like that, please!
Week Seven: Toronto at Winnipeg, Friday, July 27
Another back-to-back against a team from the West. This is a great idea to add some added intrigue against a non-traditional rival. The first six games of the season are all against the West, which sets up a vitally important final two-thirds of the season against mostly Eastern opponents.
Week Eight: Ottawa at Toronto, Thursday, August 2
Finally, a divisional rival! Each game between the Argos and Redblacks should be vitally important in 2018. Remember a couple of years ago when the Argos played in the middle of the week? Tuesday Night Football was actually a thing. This is the only home game of the season that’s not on a Friday (one game) or a Saturday (seven games). It’s an incredibly fan-friendly schedule this year.
Week Nine: Bye
Week Ten: B.C. at Toronto, Saturday, August 18th
Another Saturday game, this one at 4:00 pm, which proved to be a very popular kickoff time with fans last season. This will be the first weekend of the CNE, so you will once again get a chance to double-up with an Argo game and a trip to the midway.
Week Eleven: Toronto at Montreal, Friday, August 24th
This is the first of three meetings the Argos have with the Alouettes this year. If Montreal struggles again this season these games become vitally important. It’s the final game of the first half of the season, so you know what’s up next.
Week Twelve: Toronto at Hamilton, Monday, September 3rd
The Labour Day Classic. The first opportunity these two teams have to establish Southern Ontario superiority. If you’ve never been to an LDC, do yourself a favour and try to get there. This truly is one of the best days on the CFL schedule every year.
Week Thirteen: Hamilton at Toronto, Saturday, September 8th
If back-to-back games against western teams raise the level of nastiness a notch, imagine how intense teams get for the second half of a home-and-home series against their most heated rival. That will be the case when the Argos welcome the Ticats to town for the first of two visits. The amount of Hamilton fans at BMO Field always makes for a fantastic atmosphere.
Week Fourteen: Bye
Week Fifteen: Saskatchewan at Toronto, Saturday, September 22nd
A rematch of Opening Day. This begins a three-game stretch of games against opponents from the West.
Week Sixteen: Toronto at Calgary, Friday, September 28th
The last regular season win in Calgary came back in 2013 for the Argos and they’ll look to snap that streak at the start of a road trip West. It’s the fourth of six appearances on Friday Night Football for the Boatmen.
Week Seventeen: Toronto at BC, Saturday, October, 6th
A 7:00 pm ET kickoff is an advantage for the Argos and their fans as it’s not one of the 10:30 starts that causes many to miss some west coast games. It’s the final regular-season game the Double Blue has against a western opponent.
Week Eighteen: Hamilton at Toronto, Friday, October 12th
The hated Ticats are back for a third matchup against the Argos. This game should have playoff implications for one, if not both teams. It’s the only Friday night game at BMO Field this season.
Week Nineteen: Montreal at Toronto, Saturday, October 20th
It’s the Alouettes lone trip to the 6ix all season and it’s also the final regular-season home game for the Boatmen. It’s another 4:00 pm kickoff.
Week Twenty: Toronto at Montreal, Sunday, October 28th
The second half of a home-and-home series with the Als. Montreal fans love their Sunday afternoon kickoffs, this one gets underway at 1:00.
Week Twenty-One: Toronto at Ottawa, Friday, November 2nd
A fantastic finale. The Redblacks are the Eastern team that the Argos only face twice this year, so this will be the Argos first chance to visit a field that holds some pretty spectacular memories. Attending a game in Ottawa is a pretty cool experience, so there’s a good chance of some serious Toronto rep in the stands.