De La Salle, Clayton Valley and Campolindo are easy No. 1 seeds for the top three divisions. The biggest surprises are in the small school divisions where one 10-0 team only got a No. 10 seed plus two teams seem to have benefitted from getting forfeit wins over Oakland McClymonds.
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The CIF North Coast Section football playoffs are conducted in five divisions with no open division. The divisions are determined by enrollment criteria and leagues are split.
Division I: De La Salle is as big a favorite as ever and should win its 22nd consecutive section title, then would get chosen to represent the north in the CIF Open Division bowl game. Foothill of Pleasanton (8-2) is the No. 2 seed but isn’t seen as a favorite to get to the final after losing last Friday to Amador Valley. In the preseason, Pittsburg (8-2) was the consensus choice for that and has been looking strong in recent weeks. All three top seeds have first-round byes.
Division II: A Clayton Valley-Concord rematch (the Ugly Eagles won 48-40 two weeks ago) seems in the cards and the two league rivals are the top two seeds. Clayton Valley also is in the driver’s seat for a NorCal D2 bowl bid if it were to win out. A team to watch could be No. 6 Tennyson of Hayward (5-4-1), which recently scored 85 points in that crazy overtime win over Castro Valley.
Division III: This division has been loaded in recent years, but after top seed Campolindo that isn’t the case this time. Marin Catholic hasn’t been as strong as when Jared Goff and Morgan Mahalak were quarterbacking, but the Wildcats (7-3) don’t have the same teams to beat this time and could be a big factor. A surprise was 10-0 Kennedy of Fremont only getting the 10th seed, although at least the Titans get to play at home in first-round game vs. 7-3 Rancho Cotate. Analy was listed at 9-0 at No. 4, but the Tigers did lose big on the field to McClymonds of Oakland.
Division IV: St. Mary’s of Berkeley, with a lone loss to D5 No. 1 seed Salesian, gained the top seed in this bracket. It’s not a surprise that 10-0 Piedmont was seeded No. 2 because Piedmont didn’t play any opponent as strong as Salesian.
Division V: As small school divisions go, this one is loaded. All four of the top seeds – Salesian (8-1), St. Bernard’s of Eureka (9-1), Swett of Crockett (9-1) and St. Helena (9-1) have just one loss but Salesian actually is 7-2 on the field if you count the result vs. McClymonds. That loss is obviously now showing as a forfeit win. Assuming that Mack doesn’t win a vote of section commissioners with forfeit losses, the NCS winner in this division could be in good shape for a NorCal D4 bowl bid, but all of that also depends on what happens in the Sac-Joaquin Section.