Note: We have an additional item about what’s next for the CIF bowl games to go along with this one about the future of the series. The other post includes our stance on whether the Central Section should move to the north, whether we like or don’t like the idea of giving every section champ a bowl game and more. It is for Gold Club members. To sign up and find out more about becoming a Gold Club member, CLICK HERE.
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When the selections for the 2012 CIF football bowl games were announced last December, the fiercest opposition and strongest criticism came from the Kern County community of Wasco.
Folks in that town were so angered by their unbeaten team not being chosen for the Division III South bowl game that it prompted state assemblyman Rudy Salas to call on the CIF to further explain the reasons for the choice and the process behind it.
“The recent decision by the (CIF) committee to deny the Wasco Tigers, and our community, the opportunity to continue their outstanding season in the regional bowl game leaves many people wondering if the selection process is fair for all schools,” Assemblyman Salas wrote. “We try to teach our children that if you work hard and do the right thing, then everything will work out. What the (CIF) has done by selecting teams with lesser records to play in the regional bowl games goes against that. At a minimum the (CIF) selection committee owes the students, their families and our community an open explanation of how such decisions are made.”
The CIF responded to that request, no doubt explaining criteria such as strength of schedule, which has been clearly communicated to everyone. And to its credit, Wasco went out this season and scheduled a game against Bakersfield.
Still, the outcry has caused some within the CIF or within the ranks of the CIF section commissioners to float the concept of a football bowl system in which every section champion could be guaranteed a regional bowl game.
This possibility and more topics related to the future of the CIF bowl games will no doubt be discussed when the first CIF Federated Council meeting of the school year is held on Monday at the DoubleTree near San Francisco International Airport.
In a nutshell: Every team gets in
The idea basically is to keep the Open Division as it is, as well as Division I and there also would be perhaps an Open Division for small schools (possibly less than 1,200 enrollment). Division II also might closely resemble the current Division II alignment, but after that would come a series of other divisions in which a four-team bracket with one regional bowl game leading into a state final would be conducted.
Based on last year’s teams that qualified for CIF bowl game consideration by winning a section title, here is rough outline of the games in this system that we think may have been played:
Open Division (North): De La Salle (Concord) vs. Folsom
Open Division (South): Narbonne (Harbor City) vs. Centennial (Corona)
Division I (North): Granite Bay vs. St. Ignatius (San Francisco)
Division I (South): Long Beach Poly vs. Clovis North
Division II (North): Oakdale vs. Clayton Valley (Concord)
Division II (South): Serra (Gardena) vs. Edison (Huntington Beach)
Open Division Small Schools (North): Marin Catholic (Kentfield) vs. Central Catholic (Modesto)
Open Division Small Schools (South): Wasco vs. Nordhoff (Ojai)
Note: Remember, this would be enrollment-based most likely so CIF D3 state champ Madison would have been too big.
Division III (South): Oceanside vs. Palos Verdes (PV Estates)
Division III (North): Citrus Hill (Perris) vs. Eastlake (Chula Vista).
Note: There are more section champions from the south than the north in current alignment so there has to be one or perhaps two divisions in this format that would have CIF Southern Section, San Diego or Central Section teams only. These four would have made an intriguing bracket last year.
Division IV (North): St. Francis (Mountain View) vs. Enterprise (Redding)
Division IV (South): Garces (Bakersfield) vs. Madison (San Diego)
Division V (North): Valley Christian (San Jose) vs. San Benito (Hollister)
Division V (South): Kaiser (Fontana) vs. Downey
Division VI (North): Ridgeview (Bakersfield) vs. San Fernando
Division VI (South): Monrovia vs. Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)
Note: This would have been another bracket in which South schools only were chosen.
Division VII (North): Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) vs. Sutter
Division VII (South): Lincoln (San Diego) vs. Rim of the World (Lake Arrowhead)
Division VIII (North): Ferndale vs. Justin-Siena (Napa)
Division VIII (South): Rio Hondo Prep (Arcadia) vs. Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach)
Division IX (North): Le Grand vs. Liberty (Madera Ranchos)
Division IX (South): View Park (Los Angeles) vs. Mendota
Note: To even out the north/south split in this run through there had to be one game in which a team from the north played a team from the south. The best fit was Le Grand vs. Liberty for this bracket based on close proximity of the two schools.
Division X (North): Portola vs. Willows
Division X (South): Brookside Christian (Stockton) BYE
Note: There were 48 section champions on the board last year and we counted View Park of Los Angeles so one team had to get a bye in this simulated selection. We went with one in the smallest division. This year, there will be the San Diego Open Division so there will be 50 teams on the board. No byes would then be needed, especially if there was an Oakland vs. SF game.
Bay Bowl Division: McClymonds (Oakland) vs. Lincoln (San Francisco).
Note: This would work only if neither of the two champions is in the Open Division or if McClymonds wasn’t in the Open Division for small schools. Last year, the Warriors wouldn’t have been picked ahead of Central Catholic. With an Oakland vs. SF game back in play, we’d then have 48 teams in 12 divisions (two would be designated open).
As for sites, home locations would probably be needed for many with more state bowl games going to somewhere like Fresno or the Bay Area or UC Davis.
Could this have worked last year and could it work in the future? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.