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The Rouge: Who's the favourite for Most Outstanding Player?

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
9/26/2012 12:46:14 AM
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With six games remaining on the regular season schedule, all eight teams are officially in "final stretch" mode, either looking to lock up their post-season berth or force their way into a playoff position.

While players around the league are focused solely on the late-season playoff chase, we're taking a look at another race heading into October – the chase to be named the league's Most Outstanding Player. We follow the competition weekly with TSN.ca's MOP Watch.

This year's group of candidates is an eclectic one; two dual-threat receiver/returners and a linebacker tackling machine join the usual cast of quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers.

A closer look at the initial list of seven candidates:

Every year a small group of explosive return men emerge as big impact players, and often duke it out for the league's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award. It's when those return men are just as dangerous as receivers that they merit consideration for the MOP Watch.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Chris Williams and Toronto Argonauts' Chad Owens fit that bill, both doubling as top returners and receivers. Williams has already broken one record (six return touchdowns in a single season), while Owens is on the verge of breaking another (three consecutive 3,000 all-purpose yard seasons).

Two Calgary Stampeders made the Watch in Jon Cornish and Nik Lewis. Cornish has all but locked up the Most Outstanding Canadian award, and, by running away with the rushing title, is surely looking for an even higher honour.

Lewis, on the other hand, doesn't have the best receiving numbers in the league but, adding in all his intangibles, could very well lead the CFL in impact.

Anthony Calvillo is once again being Anthony Calvillo - more than enough to garner consideration for the MOP.

And Travis Lulay, last year's Most Outstanding Player, once again makes the list as he has led the defending Grey Cup champion BC Lions to the league's best record through 13 weeks of the season.

The Rouge asks: At this point, who is your pick for Most Outstanding Player in the CFL? Be sure to check out the MOP Watch regularly for a closer look at the contenders.

Chris Williams (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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