New State Top 25 Rankings (Part 2)

Oakdale head coach Trent Merzon (upper left in white beanie) and his players at Oakdale show their emotion after 27-24 win over Clayton Valley last Saturday night in Stockton for CIF NorCal D2 regional crown. Photo by Paul Muyskens.

Oakdale head coach Trent Merzon (upper left in white beanie) and his players at Oakdale show their emotion after 27-24 win over Clayton Valley last Saturday night in Stockton for CIF NorCal D2 regional crown. Photo by Paul Muyskens.

Check here for writeups and in-depth analysis of teams ranked from No. 13 to No. 25. Teams on the rise in the wake of last weekend’s regional bowl games include Mission Viejo, Marin Catholic, El Toro and Oakdale.

Writeups by Mark Tennis, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens
For game reports, please go to our twitter page @CalHiSports and for other updates please visit our Facebook page.
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13. (14) MISSION VIEJO 11-1
Why This Ranking: At the time when Mission Viejo was sitting at No. 4 in the state and had gotten upset by Long Beach Poly in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division playoffs, the team had to drop down far in the next rankings to a position below the Jackrabbits. Now that Long Beach Poly is still playing and that’s the Diablos’ only loss, their ranking can continue to climb. Also, looking at it closer from the Orange County perspective, it’s an easy call to put Mission in front of Huntington Beach Edison. The Diablos just have more quality wins than the Chargers.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: Yet another Long Beach Poly win this week in the CIF Division I state bowl game would likely merit another jump for the Diablos in next week’s final rankings.

Why This Ranking: Not a lot of folks expected the Chargers to beat No. 5 Serra, and despite the fact the game was played just down the road in Costa Mesa as a home game at Orange Coast College, they didn’t. With their resume and the fact they at least gave Serra a game means just a two spot drop this week. The reasons for Edison moving in front of Oceanside last week did not change with the loss to Serra. It would definitely change if Serra lost to Oakdale, though, in this week’s D2 state bowl game because Oceanside has a win over Oakdale.
Weekend Result: The Chargers had a 10-7 halftime lead but the speed and defense of Serra was like a time bomb, and it finally exploded with Edison surrendering 20 unanswered second half points in a 27-10 loss. Down 17-10, they had an interception returned 41 yards for a TD that pretty much took the starch out of their game. A subsequent interception sealed their fate. With fourth-and-goal at the Serra one-yard-line, they could have scored to make it closer, but in a class move coach Dave White let the clock expire.
Next Up: Season complete, but with a win by Long Beach Poly and depending on the result and margin of victory in the Open Division game, the Chargers could see movement upward.

15. (12) OCEANSIDE 12-1
Why This Ranking: If there’s one team in the state that is finished that could have its final ranking completely change after this week’s state bowl games, it’s the Pirates. Right now, their ranking continues to be hampered by their “bad” loss to Chaparral of Temecula. If Oakdale were to upset Serra in the D2 state bowl game, however, everything changes because then Oceanside’s 34-14 victory over Oakdale from early in the season would send the Pirates past all of the other Division II South teams in addition to Oakdale. And as they say, it’s the final rankings that count the most.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: Although the Pirates have a number of talented players coming back next season, look for head coach John Carroll’s program to continue to produce at least three to four Division I college signers this February.

16. (17) UPLAND 12-1
Why This Ranking: As we said last week, Upland’s best bet of moving back up in the rankings is if Centennial of Corona keeps winning and that’s what the Huskies did as they are headed to play in the CIF Open Division state finals. The Highlanders were ranked in the top ten before a loss to the Huskies ended their season.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: Senior Nate Romine should expect some postseason honors after passing for over 2,700 yards and rushing for over 1,000 yards during the team’s Baseline League championship season.

Why This Ranking: As was stated last week, the only way the Eagles could get any kind of a bump this week was if Long Beach Poly won, so with the Jackrabbits’ victory in the SoCal D1 game, head coach Harry Welch and his boys move up a notch, but they still have to be behind Upland and Mission Viejo.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: A win by Long Beach Poly would probably get the Eagles dragged along for another one spot bump in the final rankings. They’d also have to watch out for an upset in the D2 game involving Serra of Gardena and Oakdale.

18. (19) CRENSHAW (LOS ANGELES) 11-2
Why This Ranking: The Cougars move up one spot this week but could be hopped in the final ratings dependent on the performances by Marin Catholic and Oakdale in this week’s CIF bowl Games. It’s likely The Shaw will remain in the final top 20.
Weekend Result: Did not play. Season complete.
Up Next: Players in line for post-season statewide honors include cornerbacks Mossi Johnson and Dominique Hatfield plus junior QB Ajene Harris.

Why This Ranking: Although the Warriors are far removed from this week’s CIF bowl games since their playoff loss was to Mater Dei (and the Monarchs later lost to Long Beach Poly), they also are connected to No. 2 Centennial since one of their other losses was by just 36-32 to the Huskies.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: Alemany could move up one spot for next week’s final rankings if Long Beach Poly were to beat Granite Bay convincingly in the CIF Division I bowl game. The team also could end up behind No. 20 Marin Catholic, though, if that team wins convincingly in its bowl game.

Why This Ranking: The only Division III level or below school in either the Top 25 or the Bubble gets a one spot bump, but a ho-hum winner over a small town team from the Northern Section isn’t going to move them past teams at this point that have stronger resumes, or played in much higher playoff divisions. Still, a top 20 ranking for a school that actually has a D4 enrollment for all other sports and football section play (although they petitioned up) is nothing to sneeze at.
Weekend Result: The Wildcats brought about 600 people to Oroville for the CIF Northern California Division III regional bowl game, and that isn’t bad considering it was a 350-mile round trip. Still, they were dwarfed by the almost 3,000 screaming, raucous, but sportsmanlike fans that showed up from nearby Sutter, arriving outfitted with cow bells, noisemakers, and a train horn that did seem to cause some problems early on for Marin Catholic’s ability to call in their plays as they do from the sidelines. The Wildcats actually trailed 7-0 early but once Cal-bound quarterback Jared Goff and the defense got going, they scored 23 unanswered points in a 23-7 victory. Goff finished 16 of 23 for 216 yards and two touchdowns, both in the span of 1:28 to begin the third quarter. The second TD pass, after an interception by Jared Lazor, pretty much sealed Sutter’s fate.
Up Next: Coach Mazi Moayed leads his boys in their second trip to Carson when they meet San Diego Madison in the CIF Division III State Bowl Game on Saturday. Madison (13-1) has a lone loss to El Cajon Valhalla in Week 2 and reached Carson after beating cross-town and top-seeded St. Augustine, 35-21 in the CIF San Diego Section D4 title game, and then going to Monrovia, and beating the hosts 21-17 in the only regional bowl game played at a host school. To win against a team similar to the El Cerrito team they nipped 31-28 in the CIFNCS D3 title game, Marin Catholic will have to avoid turnovers and big plays, and stop the running game, particularly Arizona-bound Pierre Cormier.

21. (15) CLOVIS NORTH (CLOVIS) 12-1
Why This Ranking: This looks like a good landing spot for the Broncos, who don’t lose the eight spots they gained in last week’s rankings, but do lose six of them, after a convincing loss to Long Beach Poly in the SoCal Division I regional bowl game. Still, the top ranked and only team from the CIF Central Section is assured of a place in the final rankings despite what happens in any of the remaining bowl games.
Weekend Result: According to Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times, Bronco fans showed up bolstered with confidence, and the team played very well the first three quarters of the game after using some defensive sets Poly had not seen on film, forcing the Jackrabbits to throw the ball more than it wanted to. When it was 7-7 to begin the fourth quarter, and Poly wasn’t using its patented ground game, it looked like the visitors from the Valley might have a shot. That was when the dam broke and the Broncos gave up a TD pass and two subsequent fourth quarter touchdowns when Poly went to the wildcat offense. The result was a 28-7 Broncos defeat at Long Beach City College.
Up Next: Although its season is complete, there are several possibilities for Clovis North to move up. First off would be a loss by the Marin Catholic team the Broncos are directly behind. Granite Bay could also drop behind them based on the result and margin of victory in the CIF Division I state bowl game.

Why This Ranking: Since the Knights’ playoff loss was by a close score to No. 7 St. John Bosco, they get to come up two spots this week in place of previous No. 22 St. Ignatius and previous No. 23 Bellarmine. St. Ignatius losing by a big margin to Granite Bay also helped.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: If Marin Catholic were get upset by San Diego Madison in the CIF Division III state bowl game, Notre Dame’s final state ranking would be certain to improve.

Why This Ranking: For the same reasons that Notre Dame went up this week, so did Oaks Christian. The Lions’ playoff loss to the Knights after all also was by just one point.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: This is one team that might come up no matter who wins between Long Beach Poly and Granite Bay. This is because a Granite Bay win would enhance Oaks Christian due to its head-to-head win over the Grizzlies from early in the season.

Why This Ranking: Several teams that had their seasons end several weeks ago are now coming back up in the rankings as other teams lose and drop out. Among this group, we like the Chargers best. Although their last two games were fairly lop-sided losses, both of those losses were to higher-ranked teams (Mission Viejo, Santa Margarita). El Toro’s wins also stand out, including those against CIF Northern Division champ Palos Verdes, CIF Central Section Division I semifinalist Clovis (which also got a win over No. 21 Clovis North) plus those in the South Coast League against Tesoro and San Clemente.
Weekend Result: Season complete. Did not play.
Up Next: Upsets in the CIF state bowl games could shake up the order, but unless final research reveals something we don’t yet know about it looks real good that El Toro will be in next week’s final top 25.

25. (NR) OAKDALE 14-1
Why This Ranking:
It was a close call between the Mustangs and Franklin of Elk Grove in the NorCal pecking order, but we decided to give the Mustangs the final spot in the top 25 as they are headed to Carson this week to play in the CIF Division II state championship game against No. 5 Serra of Gardena. Their lone loss this season was to current No. 15 Oceanside, which just missed out on being selected to play in the CIF SoCal Division II regional game.
Weekend Result: In what was the closest NorCal game of the weekend, the Mustangs advanced to their first-ever state bowl game with a 27-24 win over Clayton Valley of Concord in the CIF NorCal Division II regional game at Lincoln High in Stockton. Spencer Thomas had a huge game passing for the Mustangs as he completed 10 of his 19 pass attempts for 225 yards and four touchdowns. Austin Jones caught two touchdown passes in the third quarter with his first coming on a deflected pass from 14 yards out to give the Mustangs a 14-9 lead. Dewayne Finney caught a 30-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 27-17 in what would be the game’s winning score.
Up Next: Coach Trent Merzon’s squad will be a big underdog this weekend but will have a chance to capture a state championship against No. 5 Serra of Gardena in the Division II state finals. In their corner we expect to see most of the town of Oakdale headed down I-5 to cause a sea of red in the stands.


Previous No. 22 St. Ignatius (San Francisco); No. 23 Bellarmine (San Jose).


Bellarmine Prep (San Jose) 11-2
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 7-3-1
Buhach Colony (Atwater) 10-3
California (San Ramon) 9-3
Charter Oak (Covina) 10-2
Central (Fresno) 11-3
Citrus Hill (Perris) 14-0
Clayton Valley (Concord) 12-2
Crespi (Encino) 8-2
Del Oro (Loomis) 7-6
Eastlake (Chula Vista) 9-3
El Cerrito 13-1
Franklin (Elk Grove) 12-1
James Logan (Union City) 11-2
Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 10-2
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 12-2
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 11-3
Poway 10-3
Rancho Cucamonga 10-3
Serra (San Mateo) 9-3
Serrano (Phelan) 13-1
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 9-4
Villa Park 12-2

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  1. Blackbeard
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    These rankings “In my opinion” are unintelligent. Teams who are no longer playing should not be ranked higher than the teams who are still competing. LB Poly should be #3 in the state. All the jive about who beat who in week whatever should be thrown out the door by regionals. Teams playing now should be ranked higher regardless of schedule. This site stated that if Oakdale should some how upset serra than O’side in the final rankings would jump ALL D2 south teams. I disagree, (and I’m an O’side fan) if Oakdale were to win state (I highly believe they can) they should be the top ranked D2 team in the final standings. I’m rooting for the underdog in this one.
    Let’s go Oakdale, lay the smack down on the south representative.

    • Blackbeard
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink


    • Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      So you actually believe that Long Beach Poly should be ahead in the rankings of a team they lost to 56-0 earlier in the year? On the other point we wrote that Oceanside would jump all D2 South teams if Oakdale wins Saturday because then the pecking order for all D2 bowl eligible teams statewide would be (based on results) 1. Oceanside; 2. Oakdale; 3. Serra; 4. Chaminade; 5. Edison, etc. Not sure if you understand that correctly. We’re not saying if Oakdale wins it would be in front of Oceanside. The head-to-head result criteria clearly would favor Oceanside even if Oakdale wins.

      • Blackbeard
        Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        I clearly comprehend your statement. All I’m saying in stating my opinion is that Poly is still playing and the team that spanked them are not. And if Oakdale were to win state, I would surely rank them over O’side (Oakdale is still competing, O’side is not). But that would be my rankings if I didn’t mention that already. In no way did I intend to offend you.

        • Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          No offense taken at all. Just making sure you were clear on what we were stating. Thanks for offering your opinion.

  2. Sibian
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    What I don’t understand is that they say the reason why Oceanside drops is because of it’s loss to Chapparral. If I’m correct, Chapparral was highly ranked but because their record didn’t pan out the way they thought, they drop Oceanside in the standings because hind-site shows Chapparral wasn’t that good of a team. Well who ranked them up their in the first place? The same people who dropped Oceanside and now they are going to push Oceanside up if Oakdale (whom Oceanside beat) wins state? You guys are just like the BCS. Biased, Confused, and Strange…I leave with this question…what is the record of San Diego teams who play in the state championship games?

    • Blackbeard
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      I believe SD is 5 for 7 in SBG, which is very impressive. Of the six D2 bowl games since 2006 (seven including this year) SD teams have won three (2007 O’side, 2008 Cathedral Catholic, 2011 Helix – O’side 2009 for D1.) It’s fair to say that D2 south is dominated by SD teams and no one comes close.

      • Blackbeard
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Two more SD teams playing in state this weekend, Santa Fe Christian D4 and Madison D3. Represent boys and bring two more state titles back home to SD.
        With five state titles under our belts already, is that enough to be considered “Title Town?” Just curious…

      • Posted December 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Sante Fe Christian will be about a 3 touchdown underdog to Central Catholic.Madison will also be an underdog to Marin Catholic but has much better chance to win.

      • Pirate fan
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Please don’t forget the Bishop’s School team that won A couple of years ago.

  3. Pirate Boy the II
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Oakdale is well coached, and I like their heart and passion, but it will be a tough game for them ? Maybe they are playing at a different level at this point ? Yes, Oceanside has all their great WR’s coming back, and big O-line. Tofi will be hard to replace, but Oceanside is a great program, and I expect them to be very powerful next year !

  4. EHS4life
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I think that the game Oakdale played against O’side is going to help prepair them for the speed they will see sat

  5. osideforlife
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink bottom line is the whole rankings are wrong and you guys have to realize you messed up, with that oside team, they whooped an oakdale team that runs a system most teams can’t handle, and add for there schedule allot of teams won’t play them and Coach Carroll had that pat hill approach anybody, anytime etc. sad part is in the oside area private schools are trying to take the kids which of course is allowed, oside is loaded next year with only losing paopao, gulley, keegan, and two others teams watch out. And as for who you play like most have said play who’s scheduled can’t help if they struggle.

  6. Glorydays54
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    As if you didn’t have enough Oside posts already, I just don’t understand how they drop from 12 to 15 with Edison still above them, losing handily to Serra, along with your knowledge that Oside is the overall better team, talent wise (stated in last weeks rankings). I’m started to believe that the SOS formulas are starting to control more than they should in your rankings. It just doesn’t make sense to me that they fall 3 spots when they didn’t play. It’s not like Edison’s loss affected Oside. I guess I get Granite Bay but not Mission Viejo.

    • Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      I don’t think we ever wrote that we think Oceanside is the “overall better team” than Edison after watching both play. Edison’s loss does effect Oceanside in the rankings, too. The reasons that team was chosen in front of Oceanside by the section commissioners and us did not change with the loss to Serra. Then when you compare Edison to Mission Viejo it’s simple to see that Mission should be higher with just the one close loss to LB Poly. Now if LB Poly loses this week, that pushes Mission a little lower. Also, as stated earlier, if Oakdale were to upset Serra, that pushes Oceanside much higher. Of all the teams in the top 25, other than Granite Bay and LB Poly, which are still going, Oceanside is the highest-ranked team with a “bad” loss. Because of what they’ve done in the past and because they did look like an elite team when we saw them, they are ahead of Upland (only loss to Corona Centennial), they are ahead of Crenshaw (losses to Narbonne and Westlake but win over Oaks Chr), Alemany and others. There are a lot of outstanding teams to consider and there’s still one week to go.

  7. PirateKiller
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Watch what Serra does to this Oakdale team.

    I think Chaminade is the best D2 team in the state after getting screwed on that bogus call negating their obvious onside kick recovery in the final minute vs serra. The line judge never even threw a flag so how can he call a penalty when the play is over. Down by 2 points at the Serra 35 1st down 50 seconds left. 5-10 yards and the kicker makes the winning field goal.

    Chaminade beats Edison by 14-21 last week and would beat Oakdale by 21-28 this week IMO

    • Blackbeard
      Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Stop with the fantasy already. You shouldn’t be in this conversation because you girls couldn’t win your section, enough said.

  8. Blng_Blng
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Shaminana, you lucky you did not play Edison. Edison matches better with Shaminade. Correct me if I am wrong, but the head coach should have been coaching instead of running same sweep and playin with cell phone.

    • Edislower
      Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      You are wrong Blng. You stand corrected.

      Chaminade has as much speed and size as serra in all the same positions.

      Now correct me if Im wrong. Can a ref crew call a penalty after a play without ever throwing a flag? There was never a flag thrown on that onside kick.Correct me if Im wrong.

  9. Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    In High School sports we keep comparing apples and oranges. We have a play off system that determines, like the NFL, who is the best (apples). Then we have a ranking system, like colleges, that tries to determine who is the best based on some objective stats and subjective opinion (oranges). I think we should totally throw out the apples or the oranges. What matters more? The team that is holding the State Championship trophy or the team that is “ranked” higher based on someones opinion? WE WILL TAKE THE TROPHY!

    • Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Yes, but would you rather have a shot in the Open Division (playing against De La Salle) or winning a D1 state title? It’s not apples and oranges that Narbonne beat LB Poly 56-0. It happened. But after this weekend LB Poly could be holding a state title trophy while Narbonne is watching on TV. That is the mind-set that the CIF knows it needs to change if the Open Division concept is successful in the long run. A mind-set that says being in the Open Division at all is more prestigious than being in any of the other divisions, even winning it all in another division.

      • Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Either. I prefer a play off system however you slice it or dice it. Honestly, private schools shouldn’t be mixed in with public schools. A definite advantage for private schools. Anyway, I think we both agree that the system is not perfect but perhaps heading in the right direction. Maybe they should have open division from the start or not at all.

  10. Kezar Kid
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I think any rankings beyond local, including the ridiculous Maxpreps and rivals rankings, are just throwing crap against the wall. The same thing applies to this nonsense. Tennis isn’t a football scout but nobody could really compare an entire state’s worth of schools. Does he really know Marin Catholic is better than Clovis North? How about Oaks Christian (23) which beat the snot out of Granite Bay (11)?

  11. osideforlife
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Lets go Oakdale, they will beat Serra 21/17 why can’t h they put a southern section vs San Diego section to prove a point that would be nice, mr. Tennis what you think about one of those

  12. Fred Martinez
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it about time that the Central Section be moved to the North? Most of the TV channels carry bay area news and sports. Plus the mileage is shorter.

  13. Edislowerthanshit
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I say if all these Oside douchebags are incorrect about this game, Oside should be banned from any further bowl consideration for a period of 1 year. ; )

  14. osde
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Calhi couldn’t drop Edison below Oceanside because that would be admitting they were wrong in the first place (they were and their rankings likely sent Edison over Oceanside). The problem came when Calhi dropped Oceanside when they had won 11 consecutive games… Most of which were over by the half…That same week Edison struggled to beat Foothill…. but that was enough to move them ahead of Oceanside?…. they used two teams (MD and Chap) that had absolutely nothing to do with Oceanside and Edison in week 13… Not a very good way to do rankings in my opinion… But hey, that’s what College football does and everybody loves that system!… btw, Go Irish!

  15. Posted December 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Tennis,
    I think it’s very fair to say LB Poly at this point is not the same team that lost 0-56 to Bonne, 6-29 to Bakersfield, or even 12-20 to Serra. For that matter neither is Granite Bay who lost 6-24 to Westlake, 13-48 to Oaks, and 27-28 to Pittsburg early in the season (although I think Pitt has been underated nearly all season). The Jackrabbits won the Pac friggin’ 5! That’s got to mean something in rankings!
    I thought Raul Lara came up with a brilliant game plan to mostly throw it for almost 3 qtrs (D lineman and LB’s get more tired against the pass than the run), then ground and pounded it for the last part of the game when the Clovis North D was worn out.
    Hope you continue this “chat sight” with your personal explanations next year too.

  16. Oakdale Fan
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    The real apples and oranges conversation should be about public schools having to compete against private schools… Advantage private schools. Oakdale will be smaller and slower, but they won’t lack courage… They’ll hit and they’ll be prepared to take hits… Win or lose the whole town is proud of them!

    • Posted December 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      For the private vs public debate, there are five of each in this year’s bowl games. If Corona Centennial and SD Madison win, the publics also could go 3-2. I agree that privates tend to have a huge advantage, but great public school football programs like LB Poly, Granite Bay, Centennial, Vista Murrieta, Narbonne and others at least make it close.

  17. Oakdale Fan
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the advantage is huge and perhaps will be examined/addressed. For the time being, go Oakdale!

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