Week 15 D1 North CIF Bowl Rankings

Granite Bay players whoop it up after winning second straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title.

Granite Bay players whoop it up after winning second straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title.

SUNDAY PICKS ARE IN: De La Salle to face Folsom at Sac State plus Granite Bay to meet St. Ignatius. Go inside for early predicted winners.

Saturday’s Open Division regional final: De La Salle (Concord) vs. Folsom at Sacramento State’s Hornet Field.
Controversial choice? Not close. Easiest as can possibly be.
Bowl History: De La Salle is in the bowl games for the seventh time (lost in 2006 State Division I to Canyon of Canyon Country, won in 2007 State Division I against Corona Centennial, lost in 2008 State Division I to Corona Centennial, won in 2009 State Open Division against Crenshaw of Los Angeles, won in 2010 State Open Division against Servite of Anaheim, won in 2011 State Open Division against Westlake of Westlake Village). Folsom is playing in its second bowl game (won in 2010 State Division II over Serra of Gardena).
Early Prediction: De La Salle 34, Folsom 30. We’ve got to give the Bulldogs a shot due to their offense, more of a hometown crowd and their improving defense. Still, until someone in the state beats the Spartans, we won’t pick against them.

Friday’s Division I regional final: St. Ignatius (San Francisco) vs. Granite Bay at Sacramento State’s Hornet Field.
Controversial choice? There were no other teams even eligible to choose.
Bowl History: This will be the first bowl games for either the Grizzlies or the Wildcats. Both schools, however, have been successful on the statewide level in other CIF sports.
Early Prediction: Granite Bay 28, St. Ignatius 14. Everyone in Southern California can only talk about the Granite Bay’s two early losses to Westlake and Oaks Christian, but then they turn around and are amazed by how much Long Beach Poly has improved since then. Granite Bay is the same.

Here are the Week 15 CIF Division I North bowl game rankings (completed before this year’s bowl selections were made; after games of Saturday, Dec. 1; previous rank in parentheses):

1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 13-0*
2. (3) Folsom 14-0*
3. (7) Granite Bay 11-3*
4. (10) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 10-3*
5. (3) Bellarmine (San Jose) 11-2
6. (8) Franklin (Elk Grove) 12-1
7. (4) Elk Grove 12-2
8. (5) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 12-2
9. (9) Luther Burbank (Sacramento) 12-1
10. (11) Del Oro (Loomis) 7-6
11. (6) James Logan (Union City) 12-2
12. (12) Buhach Colony (Atwater) 10-3
13. (13) Serra (San Mateo) 9-3
14. (14) California (San Ramon) 9-3
15. (15) Freedom (Oakley) 9-3
*Indicates team is eligible for CIF bowl game, section champ.
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 8-5, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 8-4, Downey (Modesto) 10-2, Grant (Sacramento) 5-6, Lincoln (Stockton) 8-4, Oak Grove (San Jose) 10-1, Palma (Salinas) 8-3, Palo Alto 8-3, Pittsburg 8-4, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 7-5, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 6-6, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 9-3. Note: All teams on the bubble season complete and ineligible for bowl game.
Case for De La Salle: As usual, for the seventh year of the CIF bowl game rankings, choosing a game for the Spartans will be a snap. They won their 21st consecutive CIF North Coast Section Division I championship on Saturday night by dispatching speedy James Logan of Union City 52-7. Junior QB Chris Williams continued to show improvement with three more TD passes, two to Austin Hooper and Victor Egu took back an interception for an 11-yard TD. De La Salle also will go onto the board in Sunday’s selection meeting as the three-time defending CIF Open Division champion and now has the state’s longest current win streak as well at 24 in a row and counting. DLS would and should be in the Open Division.
Case for Folsom: Well, this one is pretty easy, too. The Bulldogs are the only other unbeaten large school team in Northern California and with their fun-to-watch passing game are the perfect opponent to go up against De La Salle’s outstanding defense. Folsom won its second CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title in three years on Saturday night with a 44-18 triumph over Elk Grove. Sophomore QB Jake Browning threw TD passes to Troy Knox (8, 51 yards), fellow sophomore Bailey Laolagi for a TD pass and scored one himself on a plunge. Browning now has 61 TD passes. Two years ago, Folsom QB Dano Graves led the Bulldogs to the CIF Division II state title. That team also beat Grant of Sacramento in a major showdown for the section title that drew more than 15,000 to Sacramento State’s Hornet Field. The anticipated De La Salle-Folsom matchup could be similar or more depending on weather and on how many watch on Time-Warner TV feed.
Notes about Granite Bay, St. Ignatius: With DLS and Folsom squarely pegged for the Open Division and with no other teams from below Division I that can claim an open bid, the only two eligible teams for the NorCal Division I game would be Granite Bay and St. Ignatius.
For Granite Bay, despite having three losses, the Grizzlies have won 10 straight after a 35-23 victory in the CIFSJS Division I finals on Friday night over previous state No. 18 Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills behind a powerful rushing attack that ran for a total of 549 yards. Many considered Ernie Cooper’s squad the favorite on Friday night but their three losses hurt their state ranking after losing to Westlake of Westlake Village, Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and Pittsburg. The schedule is now filled with impressive wins, beginning with the one against Lincoln of Stockton and continuing with that 37-7 win over previously unbeaten Franklin of Elk Grove in the semifinals. Granite Bay also has now won two straight SJS D1 titles, which historically has been a tough division to repeat in.
For St. Ignatius, its 13-10 overtime win on Friday over Bellarmine of San Jose in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division final was one of the shockers of the weekend. The Bells were going for their fourth CCS Open Division title in five years and their only losses in the last two years were to De La Salle. Bellarmine was stopped late in the fourth quarter on a play at the goal line that no doubt would have won the game. In overtime, the Bells kicked a field goal but the Wildcats answered with a game-winning 10-yard TD run by Elijah Dale. St. Ignatius avenged one of its three losses with the win. The team’s other losses were to Serra of San Mateo and Marin Catholic of Kentfield (yes, the same MC that beat El Cerrito and might now be the favorite to win not just next week’s NorCal D3 title but the state as well).

Comments or corrections? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.

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  1. Bobby
    Posted December 2, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    It would look much better if you put an asterisk by the teams still alive and no mark by those eliminated, or vice versa.

  2. HS Football Fan
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Cracks me up how folks are crying over the fact that a team has 3 loses. The beauty of having playoffs is that once you are in ANYONE can win! Just ask the 9-7 Super Bowl champions NY Giants. I’d love to see HS (and College) football work like the CIF & NCAA basketball tournaments. Take the top (fill in the number) teams for each division. Once you get in all records are 0-0 and may the best team win. Period. Doesn’t matter who you beat or lost to yesterday. Would eliminate all the chit chat. Know it won’t be happening anytime soon but it still would be nice. CCS Division II champs St. Francis at 8-5 would probably mop the floor with either Clayton Valley Charter (who did they play who was any good except Pittsburg?) or Oakdale (same question). Likewise Division III champs Valley Christian at 7-6 would be a tough matchup for both Marin Catholic or Sutter. MC gets props though because they beat some good teams (Mitty, Cardinal Newman, and El Cerritto). Sutter? Kinda easy to go undefeated against sub par competition (no offense to those teams). Though nowhere near perfect its still a better system than previously used.

  3. Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Actually I think in the NCAA tourneys they don’t take teams with losing records out of elite leagues and stick them in lower divisions (which is what happens with WCAL teams in the CCS). I don’t doubt that Valley Christian could beat Sutter and don’t care what VC’s enrollment is, either, that is a program that is simply not D3 in football. Even at 3-7, if Servite of Anaheim for example was placed in a D3 South playoff I don’t doubt it could roll through the field, either. St. Francis clearly should have been in the CCS Open Division, especially after it beat Serra 24-0. Terra Nova (Bellarmine’s first-round Open Division opponent) clearly should not have been. Don’t know how exactly they’d fix that, but it doesn’t make sense.

  4. Andrew
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I almost think Milpitas threw that game against Saratoga so they wouldn’t have to play in the CCS Open Division. The way they do it it now makes teams want to finish second if they are in an A league so they don’t have to compete in the open division if they are not a top team in the section (ie Terra Nova), and have a better chance to win a championship. If Terra Nova tanks their last game they go play in D3 and Sacred Heart Prep would play in Open. Watch next year as Monterey will win the Monterey Bay League and get beat in the first round of the Open Division just because they are in an A league even though they are a Division 3 team.

    Not sure the best way to do it either unless you just have a separate bracket for private school (New Jersey does that).

  5. Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    the Los Angeles city section tells schools before the season what division they will be playing in.They stay in that division for 2 years before they can ask to go up or down.

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