Check here for teams we think will get bowl bids in next week’s Northern California regional bowls and for those that we are recommending to get picked. All divisions are now complete, led by De La Salle vs. Folsom for Open Division.
(All selections for the CIF regional bowl games – north and south – will be made on Sunday morning by a committee comprised of the 10 CIF section commissioners. The announcement of teams selected will be made at approximately 1 p.m. via the CIF Facebook and Twitter page. Watch the Time Warner Cable Selection Show online throughout the state that also begins at 1 p.m. Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis is scheduled to be on the program.)
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Should be picked: De La Salle of Concord (13-0) vs. Folsom (14-0)
Will be picked: Same
Case for De La Salle: The Spartans won their 22nd straight CIF North Coast Section title on Saturday with a 49-17 win over California of San Ramon. They have won 39 straight games, four straight CIF Open Division bowl games and have been No. 1 in the state 17 times since 1992. Not much else needs to be said.
Case for Folsom: The Bulldogs were coming in after a less-than-impressive 42-35 win over Jesuit of Carmichael, but topped Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills 49-17 to win the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I crown on Saturday. They have been No. 2 behind DLS in Northern California overall since the preseason and lost to the Spartans in last year’s NorCal D1 bowl game.
Should be picked: Serra of San Mateo (12-2) vs. Del Oro of Loomis (12-2).
Will be picked: Same
Case for Serra: With DLS and Folsom in the Open Division and no teams from a lower division with a case to be moved up, the next two NorCal teams for the bowl games would be the Padres along with Del Oro. Serra stamped its ticket for a bowl game by surging past Archbishop Mitty of San Jose 21-7 in Friday night’s CIF Central Coast Section Open Division championship. It is the first CCS Open Division title for Serra head coach Patrick Walsh, a member of the De La Salle Hall of Fame.
Case for Del Oro: A furious rally by the Golden Eagles pushed them past Elk Grove 20-19 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 championship. Del Oro, which played Helix of La Mesa in the D2 state bowl game in 2011, was trailing 19-0 in the second half. Del Oro’s two losses are two bigger schools De La Salle and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.
Should be picked: Enterprise of Redding (12-0) vs. Manteca (13-1).
Will be picked: Same.
Case for Enterprise: All week after the Hornets won the CIF Northern Section D1 title with a 40-14 romp past Paradise, it’s been speculated that this division could have four teams on the board all with a legitimate case to be in the game. Since two of those teams lost on Saturday, Enterprise will end up as the only undefeated team in contention for the pick and therefore will be too difficult to deny despite strength of schedule concerns. Enterprise only has a 23-22 win over Oakdale (which Manteca beat by 15) but also has a 28-3 win over West Valley of Cottonwood (strong contender for D3 North bowl) and two romps past Paradise (a perennial power in the section). All the comparisons involving Manteca, in the final analysis, may not matter because both may get in.
Case for Manteca: If St. Francis of Mountain View had won on Saturday and gotten bowl eligible, we think the Buffaloes would have been in trouble due to their loss to Wilcox of the CIF Central Coast Section. The line of argument about St. Francis having a win over CCS Open Division champ Serra and therefore being higher than Wilcox within the CCS may have really hurt. Los Gatos, though, took care of that argument with a 31-14 win over the Lancers on Saturday night. Manteca also, after all, also won by a huge margin in its section final 49-6 over a Sacramento High team that also beat Oakdale by more than one point.
Case for Miramonte: It doesn’t look good for the Matadors in a comparison against Manteca, but the strength of schedule argument could still come into play against Enterprise. This is a team that just knocked off Casa Grande of Petaluma, 41-28, in the NCS D2 final and Casa Grande was the team at 13-0 coming in that looked like it might potentially be the top team on the board in this division. The Matadors also beat Clayton Valley of Concord in the semifinals 44-38 when Clayton Valley also had been No. 1 in the division. The minus point for Miramonte’s case is a 45-14 loss to Marin Catholic and a 38-10 loss to Campolindo of Moraga. Both were early in the season and if we actually had state playoffs the Mats might now be better than any D2 squad in the north. Unfortunately, that’s not the situation here and those two losses are too much to overcome compared to Enterprise and Manteca.
Case for Los Gatos: The Wildcats are a lot like Miramonte and would be a hot D2 North team and no one might want to play. They heated up in their final regular season game under new head coach Mark Krail with a 59-34 win over Milpitas, which sent Milpitas out of the CCS Open Division. Los Gatos continued in the CCS D2 playoffs with a win over Menlo-Atherton (avenging an earlier loss) and then beat St. Francis 31-14 on Saturday night. Another loss, this one 42-7 to Wilcox, is the one that does them in for a bowl berth because Manteca’s loss to the Chargers in a much closer game.
Should be picked: El Cerrito (11-2) vs. Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton (12-1)
Will be picked: Could see this one flipping to West Valley of Cottonwood (12-1) instead of Sacred Heart Prep.
Case for El Cerrito: Adoree’ Jackson of Gardena Serra may be out of the state bowls, but El Cerrito has a player that at least approaches Jackson as an electrifying talent and that’s UCLA commit Adarius Pickett. He scored four times and rushed for 255 yards in the Gauchos’ 54-38 win over previously unbeaten Marin Catholic of Kentfield in Friday’s NCS Division III championship. El Cerrito avenged one of its losses to Campolindo of Moraga with a win over the Cougars in the semifinals and its only other loss was to Bellarmine of San Jose.
Case for Sacred Heart Prep: The Gators were a close second as a one-loss team last year to unbeaten Sutter of the CIF Northern Section and probably shouldn’t be second again to a Northern Section team that has a loss. Their 56-21 win on Saturday against Pacific Grove came against a Breakers’ team that had just knocked off Carmel (unbeaten at the time and has a win over Palma of Salinas). SHP also has a win over Menlo-Atherton (which remember beat Los Gatos early in the season) and its only loss is to CCS Open Division member Terra Nova of Pacifica. The Gators also are now a repeat champion in their CCS division.
Case for West Valley: The Eagles and their fans were very upset to see Pacific Grove ranked above their team last week and that’s understandable. They came up with a convoluted trail of scores – El Cerrito was tied 14-14 with Sutter at halftime, Sutter lost to Central Valley of Lake Shasta 34-31, and Central Valley has two big losses to West Valley 50-13 and 56-28 – to prove their case, but the one score we like is 28-7 over Turlock, a 5-5 D1 school from the Sac-Joaquin Section. Their only loss was 28-3 to unbeaten Enterprise, not a good margin, but according to sources there were injuries involved. What we think could happen is that if Enterprise doesn’t get chosen earlier in the meeting, then when the D3 North vote comes around that West Valley may get the nod since it would be the only other team from the Northern Section with a chance to get picked. If Enterprise has already been voted in, then West Valley’s chances might not be as good.
Should be picked: Central Catholic of Modesto (13-1) vs. McClymonds of Oakland (10-2)
Will be picked: Same
Case for Central Catholic: The Raiders are the defending CIF Division IV state bowl champs – they won 66-7 in last year’s D4 state bowl over Santa Fe Christian – and won their second straight Sac-Joaquin Section D4 title on Saturday with a 24-10 victory against previously unbeaten Hilmar. They aren’t as explosive as last year but running back Matt Ringer is a powerhouse and operates behind a massive offensive line.
Case for McClymonds: It’s not any of the wins that jumps out at us about the Warriors, but that they ventured to Modesto earlier this year to take on Central Catholic and lost 38-24. That was closer than the score in last year’s NorCal D4 bowl game and with game-breaking players like Lavance Warren and Lavon Washington it’s a team that could give Central Catholic some problems. None of the other teams on the D4 North board can match them.