CIF Bowl Game Breakdowns (South)

Jaleel Wadood (with No. 1 index finger) is in the midst of team photo shoot following St. John Bosco's win on Saturday over Mater Dei of Santa Ana. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Jaleel Wadood (with No. 1 index finger) is in the midst of team photo shoot following St. John Bosco’s win on Saturday over Mater Dei of Santa Ana. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Check here for teams we think will get bowl bids in next week’s Southern California regional bowls and for those that we are recommending picked. All divisions are complete and ready to go, led by St. John Bosco vs. Corona Centennial 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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RELATED: CIF NorCal Bowl Game Breakdowns | Updated CIF Bowl Game Rankings | Week 15 Top 25 Scoreboard

Should be picked:
St. John Bosco of Bellflower (14-0) vs. Centennial of Corona (12-2)
Will be picked: Same
Case for St. John Bosco: The Braves have been staring up at De La Salle of Concord for the state’s No. 1 ranking all season, but it’s also been obvious that they have the interior power, outstanding quarterback, speed on the edge, offense, defense, special teams and every thing in between to be not just a CIFSS Pac-5 champ but one of the best teams from the region in 10 to 15 years. They’re just going to have beat DLS or have the Spartans lose to a different California team for a change to take place. On Saturday night, St. John Bosco was playing a Mater Dei team that had won 30-0 over Long Beach Poly. It was close in the first half, but not in the second so the Braves have their CIFSS title. Across the nation, there are not too many teams that have played a schedule as tough as Bosco’s.
Case for Centennial: Even before Serra of Gardena had lost to Chaminade on that last-second field goal on Friday, we could tell from some conversations with CIFSS contacts that there were questions about Serra being an open division team, especially compared to the Huskies, who have proven over many seasons that they can rise to the level of any opponent (even De La Salle) and win. Now that Serra has lost and Centennial has won another CIFSS Inland Division title, it’s an easy call to push the Huskies into a matchup opposite St. John Bosco. Their offense is tough to prepare for and they have almost as many D1 college guys running around the field as St. John Bosco. It’s not as if there are other options. Chaminade can’t go up because it has a head-to-head loss to Hart and Mission Hills of San Marcos (the San Diego Open Division winner) doesn’t have a track record or strength of schedule to be ahead of Centennial.

Should be picked:
Mission Hills of San Marcos (12-1) vs. Bakersfield (11-2)
Will be picked: Same
Case for Mission Hills: The Grizzlies won the first-ever CIF San Diego Section Open Division crown last Monday with a more than solid 36-14 win over Oceanside. It was their second win of the season over the Pirates, who early in the season lost in a close game to Serra of Gardena. The team’s only loss came to San Pasqual of Escondido, but it was in overtime
Case for Bakersfield: With Crenshaw (four losses) winning the CIF L.A. City Section title on Friday and Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (which has a win over Vista Murrieta but losses to St. Augustine and Helix) the only other teams eligible for this division, it doesn’t take much research to conclude that the Drillers should be the team opposing Mission Hills. Crenshaw also has a loss to a Central Section team (Edison of Fresno), a section that the Drillers rule after their 61-20 win on Friday over defending champion Clovis North.

Watch Varsity Roundup at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays on Channel 354 in L.A. and on Channel 825 in San Diego.

Watch Varsity Roundup at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays on Channel 354 in L.A. and on Channel 825 in San Diego.

Should Be Picked:
Hart of Newhall (12-2) vs. Chaminade of West Hills (12-2)
Will Be Picked: Same
Case for Hart (Newhall): The Indians became bowl eligible with a 28-21 victory over Foothill League rival Valencia in the CIFSS Northwest Division title game. As we look at it, based on the CIF criteria (head-to-head is more important) and not our own ranking, Hart should be the first overall team on the board in this division and third overall in the entire CIF Southern Section behind Pac-Five champion St. John Bosco and Inland Division champion Corona Centennial. Hart’s win over Valencia avenged an earlier 24-19 loss to the Vikings. In its regular season finale, Hart lost to Canyon of Canyon Country, but that loss is offset by the 55-54 overtime victory over Western Division champ Chaminade of West Hills early in the season. Chaminade just defeated a Serra of Gardena team ranked No. 4 overall in the state for most of the regular season and highly-ranked nationally. With bowl eligible Chaminade, St. Augustine and La Serna all having two losses, plus Hart’s victory over Chaminade makes the Indians a slam dunk choice here.
Case for Chaminade (West Hills): The Eagles became bowl eligible via their thrilling 38-35 victory over previously unbeaten and nationally-ranked Serra of Gardena. It was anticipated Serra would earn a SoCal Open Division berth with a section title, but Chaminade changed all that with a 27-yard field goal as time expired. No team in the Southern Section beat an opponent in a championship game like Serra, and that has some prep writers and bloggers suggesting Chaminade may be the logical choice for an open division slot because of its resume. Not only does Chaminade own a victory over Serra to avenge a 36-0 loss to the Cavaliers, the Eagles defeated Valencia (56-34), a team Hart split with, and two solid CIFSS Pac-Five Division teams (Oaks Christian and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame). In the eight-year history of the CIF bowls, however, the section commissioners have strongly factored head-to-head results in its eventual selections. It’s an objective criteria and Hart’s one-point overtime win means Chaminade should not and will not be placed in the open division.
Case for St. Augustine (San Diego): The Serra-Chaminade CIFSS Western Division result really is a thorn in the side to the Saints. Had Serra of Gardena won its section title game, it likely would have bumped them up to the open division, thus creating another slot in this division. In that scenario, St. Augustine would have been the best choice, especially after previously unbeaten Norwalk lost in the CIFSS Southeast Division final to La Serna of Whittier. Two-loss La Serna of Whittier beat Norwalk in overtime, while St. Augustine routed a good Mission Bay of San Diego in the San Diego Section Division II final, 49-0. With Chaminade winning, however, we had to take a deeper look at St. Augustine’s grid log and it doesn’t reveal a win such as Hart’s over Chaminade or Chaminade’s over Serra. St. Augustine lost to Eastlake of Chula Vista (23-0) and to Oceanside (47-28). The opening loss to Oceanside is key because Serra beat Oceanside in a head-to-head matchup, while Chaminade split with Serra and, of course, Hart beating Chaminade. With the top four bowl eligible teams in this division each having two losses, those results make it easy to choose Hart and Chaminade over St. Augustine and La Serna.

Should Be Picked: Corona del Mar of Newport Beach (14-0) vs. Nordhoff of Ojai (13-1)
Will Be Picked: Same
Case for Corona del Mar: Outside of De La Salle of Concord, which has played in a CIF bowl game every year since its inception, Corona del Mar is about an easy a choice to make for a regional bowl game berth. The Sea Kings won their second consecutive CIF Southern Division championship, beating Garden Grove in the final for the second consecutive season. Not only did Corona del Mar defeat Garden Grove handily (42-21), it beat a team that came into the contest with a 13-0 record. Another feather in the cap for Corona del Mar, the No. 1 ranked team in the division, is it goes on the board for CIF commissioners to evaluate riding a 24-game winning streak. That’s pretty impressive. The Sea Kings also soundly beat Irvine, a Southern Division semifinalist, 36-0, in a game Cal-Hi Sports Managing Editor Ronnie Flores evaluated in person. Corona del Mar also beat a Newport Harbor club that advanced to the Southwest Division final and beat a El Toro club that competes in the Pac-5 division. For a Division III team, it’s hard to top a resume like the one Corona del Mar has.
Case for Nordhoff (Ojai): After Mission Oak of Tulare (the team that was ranked No. 2 in this division behind Corona del Mar most of the season) lost in the CIF Central Section Division IV final, it opened a spot for another CIF Southern Section champion in this division. The one with the best resume is Nordhoff. After a 49-21 victory over El Segundo in the Northwest Division final, the Rangers not only became bowl eligible, they also won the Northwest Division title for the second consecutive season. Another impressive fact for Nordhoff’s resume is it finished 13-1 in both seasons, with only losses to fellow Tri-Valley League foes. This season, the Tri-Valley League was undoubtedly the division’s toughest, as two of its teams (Oak Park of Agoura Hills and Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara) advanced to the Northwest Division semifinals while Carpinteria advanced to the quarterfinals. Two other CIF Southern Section champs on the board in this division, East Valley Division champion Jurupa Hills of Fontana and Northeast Division champion Salesian of Los Angeles, both have two losses whereas Corona del Mar is unbeaten and Nordhoff has one loss. Jurupa Hills lost to teams that finished with a combined 11-10 record while Salesian lost to two quality teams from larger divisions (Muir of Pasadena and Venice of Los Angeles). That makes Salesian a more viable choice than Jurupa Hills, but not stronger than Nordhoff and definitely not stronger than Corona del Mar.

Should be picked:
Christian of El Cajon (12-1) vs. Bakersfield Christian (11-2)
Will be picked: Bakersfield Christian (11-2) vs. View Park Prep of Los Angeles (13-0)
Note: With Christian of El Cajon winning the San Diego Section D3 title on Saturday night, the school has officially become eligible for D2 South but is fighting the CIF’s placement for that division and will be in court Monday to try to gain entry as a D4 South school. As a result, we are unsure if an announcement for the D4 South bowl game will be made on Sunday.
Case for El Cajon Christian: It is a loophole and seems to be a matter of interpretation in the written criteria of the CIF that the Patriots are using to try to win their legal case regarding D4 placement, but it looks legit to us. If they win their case and then become eligible for D4 instead of D2, they’d clearly be one of the two teams that should play. In our experience covering these cases, however, the CIF usually wins and usually will come out on top. Our decision for this breakdown therefore was to pick El Cajon Christian, but predict that the CIF will win the case and the Patriots will not be playing next week. The team’s only loss was to Mission Bay of San Diego (D2 in the San Diego Section) and that was by just three points. After Monday, if the Patriots lose in court, we hope the school community can celebrate what their team did accomplish this season (beating all those bigger schools) and move on.
Case for Bakersfield Christian: Regardless of what happens with El Cajon Christian’s court case, the Eagles are going to be playing in next week’s bowl game. Since Mission Prep and St. Margaret’s lost on Saturday, they and View Park are the only two teams on the board with enrollments below 500 and they would definitely be ahead of View Park. Remember Bakersfield Christian’s first game? It was a 32-10 loss to Huntington Beach and on Saturday Huntington Beach won the CIFSS Southwest Division title. The Eagles’ only other loss was to Central Valley Christian (later avenged) and they just knocked off unbeaten Mission Oak.
Case for View Park: Coach Robert Ambers’ team won its section title over Poly of Sun Valley 46-13, but there’s a few other wins over some bigger schools – such as Fremont 39-15 and Hamilton 26-13 – that also stand out. It’s difficult to get a read on how good the Knights are or can be. It would be hilarious if the CIF tried to say on Sunday that View Park is going to be its pick for D4 South regardless of the El Cajon Christian case because it is undefeated. If they do that, then everything they’ve ever said about strength of schedule in previous selections – like Wasco last year – was all a bunch of garbage. Unfortunately, the court case is in play and needs to play itself out. If CIF wins the case, View Park is in and good for the Knights. If El Cajon Christian goes to D4, then we can start looking ahead to what could be a great game between the Patriots and Bakersfield Christian.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports

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  1. David Corona
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Did someone forget Holtville? Holtville is a legit team with better #’s than View Park. Imperial Valley Football is very legit.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:22 am | Permalink

      Holtville may be better than View Park, but seems like its enrollment is above 500 and thus would not be eligible for D4.

  2. Cal 14
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t take much research to conclude the Drillers should be the team opposing Mission Hills? Besides preconceptions, this simply isn’t true. Cathedral Catholic beat the team that gave Mission Hills their only loss, San Pascual, in addition to the win over Vista Murrieta. Did Bakersfield have any wins close to those? I don’t particularly care that Bakersfield lost to Oaks Christian and LB Poly… they lost those games. If Cathedral Catholic had scheduled and lost to both of those teams, would it somehow make them a better choice?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      I will grant you that Bakersfield doesn’t have a win as good as Cathedral Catholic’s over Vista Murrieta, but a 61-20 romp past Clovis North counts for something. In my book, bad losses also count too and it’s not like there’s a common opponent we can look at, either.

      • Cal 14
        Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

        A 61-20 is the same as a 21-20 win, according to the CIF voting rules. San Pascual is arguably better than Clovis North.

        • Paul8148
          Posted December 8, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          If they snub Bakersfield this year then the Central should join the North and not either bother with this southern section anymore.

    • Osde
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      That’s the problem with the selections (and the rankings on this site)… you are rewarded for losing more than the victories you posses. Teams actually move up over teams that are winning if a team they lost to earlier in the season wins. If two teams have the same record this site and the selectors look to the losses before they look at the wins… The way it should be is the reverse… when teams have the same record look at the victories first and then compare losses… This flawed logic sent an over matched Edison to the D2 game last year…

  3. jimerpop
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t like the idea of a christian school going to court because they don’t get what they want.

    • Kyle
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      That is silly to say. The boys have worked hard all year with expectations of being in this bowl game and being state champs. The rules have had them in the D4 rankings all year until last week the State commission decides to send something to them and CalHi saying oh sorry, you guys are d2 now. I know people are saying the rules are up for interpretation but if you actually look at the rule book it is SO clear. It says if a d3 champ has an enrollment of 1-500 it will be put in d4. This goes deeper than interpretation, it is the state trying to prove what the SDCIF commissioner put together as a playoff system as flawed, and the SDCIF commissioner holding his ground even though one more of his teams going to state regionals would be huge for San Diego. Power and politics and Ego ruining this great game.

      • jimerpop
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Kyle you’ll have to forgive me for my ignorance. I was under the assumption they played D2. In this case you’re correct in my opinion. Maybe you should have said something before any playoff games. Interestingly, I saw the same thing happen in the Central Coast Section in Nor-Cal with at least 2 teams being drawn from (Based on memory) a DIV ranked and DII ranked schools being thrown to the wolves known as the WCAL which plays in what’s called the open division. I think it was invented because the other DI schools got tired of losing to them. Unfortunately since the invention of the bowl games this division has become unfair to at least two schools who would have been the most likely bowl winners in Nor-Cal. One of them being Terra Nova.

  4. Boyens
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    So if it goes down as Mission Hills versus Bakersfield, where is that game played?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Locations also will be announced today. They never know which teams for sure are going to be picked so can’t lock down where the game are going to be played.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Game locations also to be announced today.

  5. Levelten
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The losses to Hart and Serra are better than losses to Poly and Alemany.. Looking at their resumes I dont see how Centennial looks like a better choice. I know the transitive property dosent work in football.. But they lost by 17 to Alemany.. Bosco dismantled Alemany by 35+.. Chaminade beating Venice, Valencia, Oaks Christian, ND, St Francis, Lompoc and Serra which avenged the earlier loss and only losing to Hart by 1 point in OT week 2 and Hart is a top team in the state who already avenged one of their losses the other was by 7 to their all time rival Canyon who DLS knows very well. Hart had a 100 yard pick six as well as 3 other turnovers. Chaminade is going to the Pac5 next year. It would be good exposure and a preview of Serra and Chaminade in the Pac5 next year.. Centennial allowing 50+ points in a few games is also an alarm that Bosco would roll them. Chaminade has D1 players everywhere including a Miami QB.

    • paul_johnson884
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Hart fan sounds VERY afraid of Chaminade.

  6. Levelten
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    And rematches are cool and all but why is that Harts reward ? To play a team they have already beat. Chaminade gets to play a team they already lost to? I would much rather see Chaminade vs SJB and Hart vs St Aug

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Trust me, nobody from the CIFSS wants to see Chaminade vs. SJB instead of Centennial vs. SJB. We all know how tough it can be for a team to prepare for Centennial and I for one have a strong desire to see SJB face that test. This could be one of the great teams in CIFSS history. We’ll find out in two weeks.

  7. larry
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    highlight the bakersfield drillers on friday won there 36 section title

  8. Glenn BlakeLobb
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with Paul. Bakersfield and the rest of the central section get screwed year after year. The Drillers took Oaks Christian to the last 6 seconds and lost by a foot on a miss FG. they beat LBP last year and matched them play for play for 3 and half Quarters this year.

  9. Pirate Boy
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Thank you Pirate coaches for not evaluating qb position properly. Started with St. Augustine in which a short screen turned into a 90 yard td i.e which provided an illusion of great stats, and at that point the QB was set. Add in the aspect of system bias, and result is getting smashed by Mission Hills, and relegating a great team to not going to State Bowl.

    • Osde
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      You are an idiot pirate boy… get over it… #2 was the best qb on the team… time to move on

        Posted December 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        #2 had his ups and downs. But you have to give the grizzles there respect there the better team. We can’t win them all we still have a great tradition at OSIDE so I’m never going to call out the coaches especially after making it back to another championship game. I’m rooting for all so cal teams even the grizzles

      • Pirate Boy
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Oside, you are simply wrong. He could not throw over the right shoulder, hit players in stride, deep passes required wr to run back, he very much was Steve Carroll reincarnated ? #6 could throw over shoulder as he demonstrated against St. Augustine and Serra and the ladder. Bottom line, you had too much invested in him and ruined the season. Ego took over logic, that may be the definition of “Idiot” in Websters ?

          Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Since you bought up idiot…How can you give a qb the job based upon arm strength? If he did not know the offense how could you let him run the show? Especially when he cried when he didn’t get the start. He was given all the opportunities to learn/win/everything else…he was not ready…btw he cost oside the game versus Serra.

          • osde
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            pirate boy… you are clueless… interesting you bring up Steven Carroll… he won 2 titles… not a great comparison…you obviosuly didn’t watch #6 against Serra and what “over the shoulder throws” are you talking about against St. Augustine? every completion he made was a 5 yard out… nobody on the team or staf believed #6 was the better qb… why would you?

          • Pirate Boy
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            osde, it is interesting you know so much ? A coach on these sites is not good, since you end up commenting negatively on players that where on your chessboard. It is not as simple as you state. I know players, parents, and a few coaches that disagree with you.

          • Osde
            Posted December 11, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            I’m not a coach and the only negative thing I have said about any kid on the team was regarding their abilities at qb and nothing personal. I’m sure parents and maybe some players were quick to point the finger and complain after losing (that’s what losers do) but that doesn’t make them right… The truth is that #2 was the best option for Oceanside… I never said he played well at qb… he didn’t.. but you are a fool if you think Oceanside is even playing for a title with #6 or #8 at qb let alone winning one…get over it, Mission Hills was better than Oceanside this year.. and yes, it is that simple

      Posted December 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Pirate boy is on cheer squad he’s sad he can’t twirl at home depot center.

      • Pirate Boy
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Pirate Boy is sad that one of the best teams with 2 excellent qbs whom where not given a chance; ruined a potential great season all based on illogical evalution, ego, and let me stick to my guns mentality. To say Mission Hills is a better team is covering up all that I have stated. Bizarre season ! ” The Emperors Clothing “

        • osde
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          You are a fool for thinking #6 and #8 were “excellent qbs”… there wasn’t one excellent qb on the squad… time to get over it man… you don’t know more than the Oceanside staff… no matter how much you think you do…

          Posted December 11, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Excellent they were not! The helix kid quit during playoffs and the AZ transfer quit as the season ended. It was a very disappointing season to all and the skill set will be missed. To say they would of won the game vs. MH is ludacrious. It was a crappy performance by all…even the coveted skill set. I hear the frosh qb at Oside is the real deal…any truth to that?

  10. Jaime z
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Salesian should be in a bowl some please explain ….mark the y dominated mission prep

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Salesian’s enrollment makes the team too large for it to be put in Division IV. The team then would have had to beat out both Corona del Mar and Nordhoff to gain a spot in the D3 South bowl game. It would have really helped their cause if Paraclete had beaten San Dimas and El Segundo had beaten Nordhoff, but neither happened.

  11. Lbess4
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    How did Hart get the game on their home field and also get to be home team? Also Mission Hills?

    Any insight on that Mark?

    I would think that Nade and Bakersfield would at least be the home team in their games next week having conceded the home field to the opponent. It doesnt make sense.

    Do you believe this is fair?

    • Ronnie Flores
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      CIF looks into possible locations as it starts to near which teams might play. Perhaps in this case COC was the most viable option. Also, with Hart beating Nade and both teams winning section titles, it makes sense that the game is played on Hart’s turf. Head-to-head is always an important criteria in this.

      • Lbess4
        Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        How do they determine home team?

        • Lbess4
          Posted December 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Does anyone know?
          Is it flip of a coin like they always do in the SS.
          Why isnt Bakersfield and Mission Hills at COC?

          • Mark Tennis
            Posted December 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Mission Hills was basically considered the “No. 1 seed” and was given first choice about hosting the game. That’s the way it was done this year for all divisions unless they had a site that made sense like Lincoln of Stockton up north.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Hart was considered the “No. 1 seed” because of the head-to-head win earlier and thus was given the choice of having the game at a site that the CIF had prior approval of. Ed Croson supposedly argued for the CIF to overlook the head-to-head win, but that never works. The commissioners and the CIF will always look at a head-to-head win first.

  12. jimerpop
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Gotta say I love the comments come this time of year. he-he

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