Top seeds go to Mission Hills (Open), San Pasqual (D1), Madison (D2), Francis Parker (D3), Monte Vista (D4) and Crawford (D5).
The CIF San Diego Section’s first-ever Open Division playoffs for football won’t really get cranking until the second-round due to all the top seeds getting first-round byes.
But it does look like the Open Division in the section will accomplish the task of bringing together the very best teams regardless of enrollment or any other criteria used to put teams in various divisions.
Mission Hills of San Marcos (9-1) was listed as the top seed for that division according to pairings released on Saturday by the section office. That’s good news for the Grizzlies because the other two top-ranked teams in the section – Eastlake of Chula Vista (9-1) and Oceanside (8-2) – will probably be playing each other in the semifinals. Mission Hills still won’t have it easy since its likely semifinal foe is Helix of La Mesa (8-2).
Here are other reactions to the San Diego Section pairings:
D1 – San Pasqual of Escondido (9-1), which has a win over Mission Hills but a loss to Rancho Buena Vista, is the top seed. What happens if San Pasqual wins this title and Mission Hills wins in the Open Division? Mission Hills may be ranked higher and will have won the Open Division, but the Eagles do have that head-to-head win over the Grizzlies and will have a case that they and not Mission Hills should be nominated for the SoCal D1 bowl game.
D2 – This is a great bracket and will be fun to watch with the eventual winner probably having a strong case to get into the SoCal D2 bowl game. Last year’s D3 state champ, Madison (9-1), is the top seed followed by St. Augustine (8-2 with a win over Cathedral) and then Imperial (10-0 and led by Mr. Football State Player of the Year candidate Royce Freeman). Watch out for No. 5 Rancho Buena Vista (7-3), which was good enough on one night to beat San Pasqual.
D3 – This division will have huge implications for the CIF D4 Southern California bowl game because both No. 1 seed Francis Parker (10-0) and No. 2 seed Christian of El Cajon (9-1) have enrollments below 500, which make them eligible to be chosen for that game. Among the larger schools that those two need to look for that could spoil the scenario include Hilltop of Chula Vista (9-1) and San Marcos (6-4).
D4 – Monte Vista of Spring Valley (5-5) was the top seed, but it also easily could have gone to Sweetwater of National City (6-4). No matter what, the winner will probably have an enrollment that would make it D3 South for the bowl games and probably will have no chance to merit serious consideration because no teams in the division have impressive records.
D5 – Crawford (10-0) is the top seed and shouldn’t have much trouble winning the title. It’s been a great turnaround for coach Michael Wright and the program, but the school is too large by enrollment to be considered for the D4 South bowl game and has not played a strong enough schedule to match the anticipated resumes of other teams that will be on the board for the D3 South bowl game.