Week 12: NorCal CIF Bowl Rankings

It’s easy to notice 6-foot-8, 360-pound Aaron Cochran as the anchor for the offensive line at Buhach Colony of Atwater. The Thunder take on Antelope this week in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

CCS teams get added in Division II but not in Division III. Go inside to read analysis of every division by long-time editor Mark Tennis. Check Wednesday for this week’s State Stat Stars.

Note: The top 10 teams that would be ranked by CalHiSports.com for the CIF Open Division in Northern California would be:

1. De La Salle (Concord); 2. Franklin (Elk Grove); 3. Folsom; 4. Bellarmine (San Jose); 5. Elk Grove; 6. Luther Burbank (Sacramento); 7. Oak Grove (San Jose); 8. Buhach Colony (Atwater); 9. St. Mary’s (Stockton); 10. California (San Ramon).

With assistance from Harold Abend and Paul Muyskens, here are the Week 12 rankings for each of Northern California’s CIF bowl game divisions (previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, Nov. 10):

1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 10-0
2. (2) Franklin (Elk Grove) 11-0
3. (3) Folsom 11-0
4. (4) Bellarmine (San Jose) 9-1
5. (5) Elk Grove 10-1
6. (8) Luther Burbank (Sacramento) 11-0
7. (11) Oak Grove (San Jose) 10-0
8. (7) Buhach Colony (Atwater) 9-2
9. (9) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 9-2
10. (10) California (San Ramon) 8-2
11. (12) Granite Bay 8-3
12. (13) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 10-1
13. (14) Freedom (Oakley) 9-2
14. (15) James Logan (Union City) 10-1
15. (NR) Pittsburg 8-3
Drops: Previous No. 6 Serra (San Mateo) lost to St. Francis (Mountain View) 24-0.
Bubble Teams: Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 7-4, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 7-3, Del Oro (Loomis) 6-5, Downey (Modesto) 10-1, Grant (Sacramento) 5-6, Lincoln (Stockton) 8-3, Palma (Salinas) 8-2, Palo Alto 8-2, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 7-4, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 6-5, Serra (San Mateo) 8-2, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 7-3.
No. 1 Team Result: De La Salle (Concord) did not play; had bye in opening round of CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
Race for No. 1: Despite the shutout loss to St. Francis, Serra of San Mateo was still the No. 5 seed in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs. Seedings in that division aside, the loss does allow unbeaten Oak Grove to move up to No. 2 overall in the CCS behind Bellarmine since the Eagles own a win over St. Francis….
•Palma of Salinas, which was highly thought of in the preseason, also has a win over St. Francis, but with losses to Seaside and St. Joseph of Santa Maria will have to go on a run in the CCS Open Division to get a ranking…..
•New No. 15 Pittsburg is seen as having a chance against top-ranked De La Salle, especially if you consider that coach Vic Galli’s team just hammered a Monte Vista of Danville team 55-29 that it lost to 44-14 earlier in the season. Pitt’s only other losses were to No. 10 California (40-34) and No. 14 Freedom (49-48) while big wins have come against No. 12 Granite Bay (28-27) and Clayton Valley (40-27). If De La Salle has one of its sloppy games, it could get interesting…..

1. (1) Clayton Valley (Concord) 9-1
2. (2) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 10-0
3. (3) Oakdale 10-1
4. (4) Vista del Lago (Folsom) 9-1*
5. (5) Inderkum (Sacramento) 9-2
6. (6) Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 9-2
7. (NR) St. Francis (Mountain View) 5-5
8. (7) Northgate (Walnut Creek) 8-2
9. (8) Sierra (Manteca) 10-1
10. (NR) Milpitas 7-3
*Default win not included.
Drops: Previous No. 9 American Canyon & No. 10 Enterprise (Redding), both due to results from CCS playoff pairings and now having to include some teams for the first time this season.
Bubble Teams: American Canyon 10-1, Casa Grande (Petaluma) 7-3, Chico 8-3, Concord 9-2, Enterprise (Redding) 7-3, Foothill (Palo Cedro) 8-3, Los Gatos 6-4, Newark Memorial (Newark) 9-2, Paradise 7-3, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 7-3.
No. 1 Team Result: Clayton Valley (Concord) did not play; had first-round bye in CIF North Coast Section Division II playoffs.
Race for No. 1: This was a week for both D2 North and D3 North we’ve been waiting for because we can now finally, officially put in teams from the CIF Central Coast Section that did not make it into the CCS Open Division….
•In CCS Division I, Milpitas at 7-3 was the top seed with losses to Saratoga, Wilcox of Santa Clara and Valley Christian of San Jose. The two key Milpitas wins have been against Palo Alto and Los Gatos. That resume is good enough to just get into the top 10 but no further….
•In CCS Division II, it’s more interesting because St. Francis of Mountain View comes into the mix and even at 5-5 the Lancers have the strength of schedule to climb in the rankings. We have ranked them No. 7 this week to start, ahead of Northgate but behind Cosumnes Oaks. This is just after St. Francis evened its record with a huge 24-0 win over San Mateo Serra. The Lancers also have a win over Valley Christian of San Jose and can point out that all five of their losses (Oak Grove, Palma, Bellarmine, St. Ignatius, Mitty) are to teams that made it into the CCS Open Division and therefore would also be Division I….
•Even with St. Francis’ strength of schedule, it’s hard to see that the CIF commissioners would pick a team with five losses for a regional bowl game if the NCS Division II and Sac-Joaquin Division III champions end up being teams with much better records (and most with a key win over a bigger school that can be highlighted)…..

1. (1) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-1
2. (2) El Cerrito 11-0
3. (3) Placer (Auburn) 11-0
4. (4) Sutter 11-0
5. (5) Seaside 10-0
6. (6) Campolindo (Moraga) 10-1
7. (7) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 10-1
8. (8) Ripon 11-0
9. (9) Los Banos 10-1
10. (10) Analy (Sebastopol) 11-0
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Arcata 10-1, Aptos 8-2, Argonaut (Jackson) 11-0, Carmel 9-1, Center (Antelope) 9-2, Escalon 9-2, Justin-Siena (Napa) 9-2, Monterey 8-2, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 9-1, Salesian (Richmond) 9-2, Sobrato (Morgan Hill) 7-3, Soquel 8-2, West Valley (Cottonwood) 10-1, Valley Christian (San Jose) 4-6.
No. 1 Team Result: Marin Catholic (Kentfield) defeated Hercules 38-7.
Race for No. 1: Unlike in D2 North, this week’s D3 North rankings ended up not including any new teams from the CCS that did not get chosen for its open division…..
•Part of the reason for that is that D4 CCS top seed Seaside was already ranked and is clearly the most rankable team from either the CCS D4 or D3 bracket. The Spartans also closed their regular season with a big 20-7 win over Monterey, a team that was later seeded No. 1 for the CCS in Division III. Seaside’s case to be a NorCal D3 bowl team also can get stronger if Palma of Salinas keeps playing well and wins a game or two in the open division. One of Palma’s two losses is to Seaside….
•Among the other teams that are in the CCS D3 or D4 playoffs, keep an eye out for Valley Christian of San Jose. While the Warriors are just 4-6, they have wins over Milpitas and Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland. Many of their six losses also came in close games against West Catholic Athletic League foes, including one by just 38-35 two weeks ago to Bellarmine Prep. Could Ripon or Los Banos play the Bells to within three points? Not likely. Still, we didn’t want to drop out an 11-0 team this week to make room for a 4-6. Some of the teams with sterling records in this division are bound to lose so there will be time to move up VC if the team does what we think it might do in the next three weeks…..

1. (1) Central Catholic (Modesto) 9-2
2. (2) McClymonds (Oakland) 7-3
3. (3) Ferndale 10-1
4. (5) Pierce (Arbuckle) 11-0
5. (6) Capital Christian (Sacramento) 10-1
6. (7) California School for the Deaf (Fremont) 10-1
7. (8) Foresthill 9-1
8. (9) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 8-2
9. (10) St. Vincent de Paul (Petaluma) 9-2
10. (NR) Ripon Christian 9-2
Drops: Previous No. 4 Valley Christian (Dublin) lost to Drake (San Anselmo) 18-13.
Bubble Teams: Chester 8-1*, Le Grand 9-2, Maxwell 8-3, Portola 8-1*, St. Bernard’s (Eureka) 7-4, Tomales 6-5.
*Default win not included.
No. 1 Team Result: Central Catholic defeated Bear River (Lake of the Pines) 63-20.
Race for No. 1: To those from other sections thinking that Central Catholic will be just biting off way more than it can chew in the Sac-Joaquin Division IV playoffs, please note that the Raiders’ 63-20 win last week over Bear River came against a team that lost by just 14-7 to D3 North bowl-ranked Placer of Auburn three weeks ago. We think if Central Catholic does find a way to win that section title, then the Raiders will become instant favorites to win not just the NorCal bowl in D4 but the state bowl as well…..
•It does seem strange to drop Valley Christian of Dublin completely out after its surprising 18-13 loss to Drake of San Anselmo in the NCS Division IV playoffs, especially considering how dominant the team has been when it has played opponents like California School for the Deaf in recent years. Still, the Vikings are now done for the season while the others are not. Once all the playoffs are in, we expect that VC will get to go back in front of some of those other NCS squads…..

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  1. Guy Lilly
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Hi Mark, We haven’t spoken since
    you and I discussed Oakdale when
    it narrowly lost out to Novato for
    bowl game. I hope you will consider
    repositioning Oakdale to #2 if they
    give you quality victories in upcoming
    games. Oakdale’s only loss to Oceanside
    was there only blemish. And Oceanside
    is better than Pittsburg by far.
    Of course, we know that winner of
    of NCS and Sac-Joaquin division 3
    will go to regional game so I guess
    it doesn’t really matter, just a matter
    of Mustang Pride. By the by, I agree
    that SoCal would be favorite but Oakdale
    is not the same team that lost to Oceanside.
    They have tightened defense and added
    Ryan to offense as well as freshman
    of amazing abilities. You should check
    him out: Adam Olsen.

    • Posted November 14, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Any move for Oakdale ahead of Clayton Valley or Rancho Cotate for us also would require a sub-par outing or two from the team going down. You are right, though, in that after looking at CCS seedings that if Oakdale wins out in D3 in Sac-Joaquin it would just about be automatic that the team would be playing in the NorCal D2 bowl game.

  2. Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink


  3. Terry Smith
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    “Some of the teams with sterling records in this division are bound to lose so there will be time to move up VC if the team does what we think it might do in the next three weeks…..”

    I looks like Analy won’t be one of those teams. Also, Seaside’s chances took a big hit with the thrashing Palma endured at the hands of SI.

  4. Terry Smith
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Placer is making room for VC.

  5. Randy
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t McClymonds CBED of 550+ rule them out of division IV? Possibly you are giving leeway to the possibility that Mack will be one of the two smallest schools among NorCal CIF titleholders?

    • Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      We have checked with the school itself and they have told us they are D4 sameas last year. We are going with that until it has officially been proven wrong.

  6. Bagramsfinest
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark, any clue if the bowl committee will look at the rosters of the top schools and pay a matchup game with the bigger socal teams? In d3 you’ve got Sutter and Seaside potentially being compared to each other to get to the play in game. Sutter looks small on the lines whereas Seaside is huge and Seaside’s skills all stand over 6 feet (exception: 2 year all county scatback Jakubowski) matches Sutter’s speed across the board.

    • Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      No they don’t look at rosters and size of the linemen. Seaside may have edge when it’s all over anyway due to strength of schedule.

      • Sutter dad
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        No issues, it is nice to see any kids have great success. Not a lot of 2012 photos on Max prep and our roster never includes height or weight.

  7. Suzanne
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Who is VC? and where are they from?

  8. Terry Smith
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Now that Escalon knocked off Placer, what if CC doesn’t win SJS D4? What if Escalon or Los Banos win the section? Won’t their schedule strength be higher than Sutter or Seaside?

  9. EHS4life
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Escalon’s making there move dont count them out

  10. Terry Smith
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think VC has any chance of a regional bid with 6 losses. How could CIF say to the other undefeated teams, “Sorry but we’re going with a 6-loss team?” That precedent was set when NCS D3 champ Cardinal Newman (and strong schedule strength) had three losses a couple years ago, even though they beat the number one bowl-ranked team to win section, they gave the bowl bid to undefeated Escalon (with a super weak schedule). It’s a little different now with the regional game, but no way VC gets in despite their schedule strength.

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      You are likely right about Valley Christian with six losses, but for the record Escalon was chosen above Cardinal Newman not because of being undefeated but mostly because Escalon had an easy win over Central Catholic, which was a team that lost to Newman in overtime. That was the comparative score they looked at most. Being unbeaten helped, but if there wasn’t that comparative score Newman would have gotten that vote. Although we ranked Newman higher and would have been the team we would have picked, we saw that that comparative score could have been important and to enough section commissioners it was.

  11. sutter dad
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Just for the record, Sutter’s line is huge: LT 6’7″ 300 LBS LG, 6’1″ 220 lbs, C 6’5″ 260 lbs, RG 6’4″ 270 lbs, RT 6’5″ 280 lbs, collectively one of the biggest and best lines in California – any division. Please note that Sutter averages almost 10 yards per carry – for the year!

  12. Sutter dad
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Though line size may not matter, Sutter has one of the largest lines in California. Sutters back average almost 10 yards a carry for a reason. Winning out should place them in definite contention.

  13. Bagramsfinest
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Sorry I must be mistaken. I can’t find any pictures of that huge line. All of the pics I see the lineman are small and the roster isn’t complete in. max preps.

  14. EHS4life
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    In 2010 Escalon wasnt undefeated they had one loss to Patterson that year.Go Cougars!!!

  15. Terry Smith
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Escalon represented NorCal well in their SBG, and nice job beating Placer. What a surprise!
    Score differentials were not supposed to be used as criteria, just whether a team won or lost against a common opponent. But despite what all the published guidelines said about that, CIF did it anyway and subsequently gave reason for teams to run up the score on their opponents. If they wanted to chose escalon they should have used a different reason.

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t so much score differentials in the example between Escalon and Newman two years ago, but that one was overtime and tied in regulation and the other was not. I also stand corrected that Escalon wasn’t unbeaten, but had a loss to Patterson early in the season.

  16. Fan1
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Im glad oakdale feels so strongly about there team, American Canyon looks like a track team hope Oakdale can keep up!! Then you still have Inderkum, who has already beat oakdale before another track team and vista del lago is know push over. Alot of football left Good luck!!!

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