So a computer formula from MaxPreps has spit out its list of the 10 toughest prep football leagues in the state and there’s no mention of Northern California’s West Catholic Athletic League? Oops. Somebody must have forgotten to punch in a number or the WCAL is being “punished” because its teams have only played four games instead of five.
No, this isn’t a computer, but here’s a likely more accurate ranking of the 10 toughest prep football leagues in the state, based on comparative results, rankings of newspapers and other factors:
1. Trinity League (St. John Bosco, Mater Dei, Servite, Santa Margarita, JSerra, Orange Lutheran)
The computer and any person who has followed prep football in SoCal this year with a brain knows this ranking is accurate.
2. Serra League (Alemany, Bishop Amat, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Loyola, Crespi)
Crespi seems a bit down from normal and Loyola has yet to turn around its fortunes, but it’s still solid top to bottom. Loyola’s win over Valencia last weekend showed strength.
3. Delta River League (Folsom, Pleasant Grove, Oak Ridge, Jesuit, Ponderosa, Sheldon)
Folsom, Pleasant Grove and Oak Ridge are all in the top 25 of the state and Jesuit went 5-0 in pre-league games as well.
4. West Catholic Athletic League (San Mateo Serra, Bellarmine, Archbishop Mitty, San Jose Valley Christian, S.F. Sacred Heart, S.F. St. Ignatius, S.F. Archbishop Riordan)
In De La Salle’s current win streak against California teams, its closest games have come against the WCAL, including the bowl games. Mitty also is just off the top 25 this week, which would be the league’s third that high.
5. Mission League (Gardena Serra, Chaminade, La Canada St. Francis, Harvard-Westlake, L.A. Cathedral, St. Paul)
The top two have been terrific, St. Francis a more surprising 5-0 but Harvard-Westlake’s loss to Palisades didn’t help the cause.
6. Baseline League (Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Etiwanda, Glendora, Los Osos, Alta Loma)
Upland’s early struggles have been largely overcome by Rancho Cucamonga’s big wins (one over Bishop Amat), Los Osos getting a win over Norco and Glendora being 5-0.
7. South Coast League (Mission Viejo, Tesoro, Trabuco Hills, El Toro, San Clemente)
This league ahead of the WCAL by MaxPreps? Really? Yes, Mission may be better than any WCAL team this year, but the 2-3-4-5 range of teams in the WCAL gives it an obvious edge.
8. Big VIII League (Corona Centennial, Norco, Corona Santiago, Riverside King, Eastvale Roosevelt, Corona)
Norco’s win over Alemany gave this league and the entire Inland Empire in general a major boost. Centennial has struggled on defense but its still an elite program while King has gone 5-0.
9. Sierra Foothill League (Granite Bay, Loomis Del Oro, Rocklin, Roseville, Oakmont, Nevada Union)
Yes, the SFL has been better in the past but Granite Bay’s only loss is to Folsom, Del Oro’s losses are to two top 20 teams with three quality wins and don’t forget about Rocklin (one of its losses is by two points to Oak Ridge and it just beat Inderkum).
10. Southwestern League (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta Valley, Murrieta Mesa, Temecula Valley, Great Oak, Chaparral)
Despite its recent loss to San Diego Cathedral Catholic, Vista Murrieta is favored in this league. Murrieta Mesa (5-0) and Murrieta Valley (4-1) are off to solid starts.
Toughest Small School League in the State? Our vote goes to the Tri-Valley League of the CIF Southern Section with a 26-2 record. Bishop Diego, Nordhoff and Carpinteria are all unbeaten while Oak Park (5-1) and Santa Paula (5-1) round out the group.