No more Open Division region games

A big change to this year’s CIF state football bowl games was announced on Monday and it will be to eliminate the two regional Open Division games. Instead, the two teams chosen to represent the north and south in the Open Division will advance directly to the state final and no longer will have to win a regional Open Division contest.

Note: Check back to later this week for first CIF state bowl game rankings.

This change is basically good news for Northern California and horrible for Southern California.

CIF logo 216It’s no secret that outstanding teams from Northern California don’t really think it’s fair for them to have to play perennial powerhouse De La Salle of Concord in an Open Division regional while other teams from the region don’t have to play the Spartans in an attempt to win a state title. What happens, however, if De La Salle loses games this year to an outstanding team from outside of Northern California (potentially Servite or Byrnes of South Carolina) while Folsom does not? If anybody thinks at that point that Folsom should be in the Open Division game instead of DLS (and ignoring what happened the last two seasons when the two teams did play), then it could be one of the dumbest choices in CIF history.

On the other hand, Folsom fans now won’t have to argue with fans of Granite Bay like two years ago about which team really was better after Folsom lost to DLS in the NorCal Open Division game while Granite Bay won the CIF D1 state title.

For SoCal fans, what if Servite does beat DLS later this year but then loses to St. John Bosco? And remember last year when fans were thinking all season about a possible game between St. John Bosco and Serra of Gardena in the SoCal Open Division? We can now forget about that.

Anytime a change in format results in less outstanding and truly deserving teams getting a chance to win a state title, then it’s probably not commendable.

Here is a copy of the official CIF press release about this change:

Open Division Regional Eliminated; Teams to Meet at State

SACRAMENTO – The CIF State Office today announced a return to the original format and philosophy of the CIF State Open Division Championship Bowl Game presented by Farmers. The best school from the North Region and best school from the South Region, as determined by the selection committee, will be chosen and automatically advance to the CIF State Championship Open Division Bowl Game and will have a bye during Regional Bowl Game play.

This return to the original format began with the CIF Football Advisory Committee at their April 2014 meeting and was also unanimously supported by the 10 CIF Section Commissioners at their summer 2014 meeting along with the CIF Executive Committee.

“Following two years of the expanded Open Division Football Regional Bowl Championships, the votes by both the football coaches’ advisory committee and the 10 Section Commissioners indicated the strong desire to return the Open Division Football Bowl Game to its original format,” stated Roger L. Blake, CIF Executive Director. “As with all State Championship events, each year there is always a thorough review by various committees. Modifications are forwarded when there is a majority that believes the changes will better serve our membership and their students.”
Divisions I-IV for the CIF Regional Championship Bowl Games will continue to be selected during CIF Selection Sunday by the selection committee.

This year Selection Sunday will be on Sunday, December 7, 2014. Regional Championship Bowl Games for Divisions I-IV will take place December 12-13, at various locations throughout the state and the State Championship Bowl Games for Open and Divisions I-IV will be held December 19-20, at the StubHub Center in Carson.

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    Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink


    • Scott
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Granted Folsom is outstanding this year with Browning, but will take that bet in 7/10 years.

  2. Jeff
    Posted November 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Just curious. So if (most likely) De La Salle is picked for the open game. Then would Foothill of Pleasanton still have a chance to play (again most likely) Folsom? Or is the North Coast the only team left out because De La Salle wins N.C. Section crown. I like Joe Davidson’s nickname De La Stomp by the way. The Open Division creates a lot of problems for most schools. De La Salle’s dominance won’t last forever, but I don’t see it ending anytime soon. Maybe it should be set up for private schools. I see private schools, especially with the bowl games and possible championship format, as definitely having the ability to have programs and equipment on par with De La Salle. Public schools don’t have those options. A good example was the curious transfer of Central Catholic of Modesto’s quarterback from St. Mary’s in Stockton. I don’t care for allowing kids to transfer schools in the public sector but I would almost condone it in the private sector. If those schools want to have a great team and they can go find them let them. Whether it’s public schools or private. I know it gives the children a better chance to go to college and I’m all for that. Then the public schools can have an even playing field of their own. I like the my town or neighborhood is better than yours rivalries. But those kids should go to the school that’s closest to them. If for nothing else their own safety. But if a kid is talented and a private school convinces him to join their school team. It will be better for the student. The parents, though, need to remember school is about getting an education. Some of that includes lessons in loyalty. Or does that exist anymore?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 1, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      As of this year, a team has to win a section title to be eligible for a CIF regional bowl game so that would leave Foothill out. Your thoughts are certainly on par with people who strongly favor a public-private split in high school sports competition.

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