It’s not quite the silly situation that could have happened if San Mateo Serra had dropped out of the Open Division, but there are some interesting teams to watch that could win a section title, including 2-8 St. Ignatius.
For fans of teams that have been near the top of the Division II North state bowl game rankings all season, the CIF Central Coast Section pairings that were released on Sunday morning did not completely screw up the pecking order.
Sure, St. Francis of Mountain View (7-3 with a win over Serra of San Mateo) could be a strong challenger for a D2 North bowl bid if it were to win the CCS Division II title, but not nearly as strong that Serra of San Mateo would have been had the Padres lost on Saturday to Archbishop Mitty and thus fell into one of the CCS divisional playoffs.
Serra’s 31-7 win vaulted the Padres to the No. 2 seed in the Open Division. They will open on Saturday against 7-3 Pioneer of San Jose and look like they have a favorable path to reach the title game.
Terra Nova of Pacifica received the top seed at 10-0, but it would be tough to find anyone in the section who regards the Tigers as a favorite in the Open Division due to the severe discrepancy in strength of schedule between them and the top teams in the West Catholic Athletic League. We will find out quickly about Terra Nova as its first game on Friday at home will be against Valley Christian (7-3) of the WCAL.
Archbishop Mitty will try to bounce back from its loss to Serra with a first-round game against Palma of Salinas (7-3).
In the other CCS divisions:
Division I (champion would be eligible for D2 North bowl game) – Alvarez of Salinas at 10-0 is the top seed, but doesn’t have a win you can point to as being that impressive such as Milpitas (8-2) with a win over Wilcox. If the Eagles were to win the title, they’d be an unbeaten team on the D2 North board although we’d have unbeaten Enterprise of Redding higher on ours.
Division II (champion would be eligible for D2 North bowl game) – St. Francis and Los Gatos are the top seeds in this bunch. St. Francis would be 10-3 if it won the title as would Los Gatos. That’s not going to beat the probable NCS D2 champ (Clayton Valley or Casa Grande) and it also would be tough to beat potentially 13-0 Enterprise. However, when it could be mentioned in the meeting that the Lancers have a win over Serra, it’s hard to predict how the section commissioners might vote.
Division III (champion would be eligible for D3 North bowl game) – Burlingame has quietly compiled a 10-0 record and is the top seed. Even if the Panthers win the division, they’re not going to be considered for the bowl game over the NCS D3 champion, but they could get it at 13-0 if the CCS D4 champion is not Carmel. Watch out for 2-8 St. Ignatius in this division. A couple of the Wildcat losses to the top WCAL teams were close. A 5-8 section champ this year? Yes, it could happen. The WCAL is that good compared to the rest of the section.
Division IV (champion would be eligible for D3 North bowl game) – Defending champ Sacred Heart Prep (9-1) is the top seed but we have Carmel (10-0) higher primarily because the Padres have a win over Palma and just beat 9-0 Pacific Grove. If SHP were to beat Carmel in the final, it would be a strong choice for the bowl game (probably ahead of even an unbeaten Burlingame) and Carmel would obviously as well if it were to beat SHP in the final. We’d probably rank Central Catholic of Modesto higher than either one, however, and would recommend it be moved up to D3 from D4. The problem with that is that it’s believed the Sac-Joaquin Section itself is going to be very much against that move.