CCS Playoffs Breakdown

The seedings as usual don’t make a ton of sense if you look at historical precedence and strength of schedule, but you’ve got to play it out and it’s a huge opportunity for Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton. One top seeded team also will get a huge test in its very first game.

For the weekend’s expanded State 25 scoreboard plus links to other section playoff pairings breakdowns, CLICK HERE.

The CIF Central Coast Section football playoffs are conducted in four divisions with open division. Five of the teams in the open division are predetermined league champions. The divisions are then determined by enrollment and leagues are split.

Open Division: Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton not only is moving up from Division IV from last year (and a NorCal D3 bowl game win) but the Gators are seeded first. It’s hard to see given that the only West Catholic Athletic League opponent during the season was 1-9 Riordan and they won by just 14-7. SHP also may have never beaten a WCAL playoff team in its history. Still, that’s the point system that the CCS uses and SHP will glady accept it. The Gators also get to play the No. 8 seed – 7-3 Oak Grove of San Jose – in their first game before possibly running into defending champion Serra of San Mateo in the semis. Unbeaten Milpitas (with wins over WCAL co-champ Valley Christian and Los Gatos) is seeded second and opens with Bellarmine. Other than Los Gatos vs. Serra, the best first-round game is Valley Christian traveling to No. 3 seed Palma. Los Gatos getting officially into the open division also will drop the Wildcats from this week’s Division II North bowl game rankings since the eventual CCS Open Division champ will become eligible for the NorCal D1 bowl game.
CCS logo
Division I: This bracket ended up dominated by teams from the Monterey Bay area with Salinas (6-4), Alvarez of Salinas (6-4) and San Benito (6-4) getting the top three slots. Fremont of Sunnyvale (9-1) was the most intriguing team to us until a bad loss 58-24 this week to Homestead of Cupertino. The winner of this bracket would become eligible for the NorCal D2 bowl game, but will have no chance given the champion is probably going to have four losses. And when you think that next year one of these teams is going to get a bowl game and the CIF continues to insist that the new “everybody gets a game” format is not going to be watered down, that’s when you laugh.

Division II: WCAL squads St. Francis of Mountain View (6-4) and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose (6-4) are the top seeds and should meet in the final. St. Francis won 15-14 when the two met earlier this season. The winner of the bracket also will be eligible for the NorCal D2 bowl game and although Mitty has a win over Serra and also has a win over Pittsburg it’s hard to see the section commissioners voting for a team with four losses no matter its strength of schedule.

Division III: Aptos (9-1), with just one loss to Sac-Joaquin Section powerhouse Granite Bay, not only didn’t get the top seed but got paired against Branham of San Jose (10-0) in its first game. The top seed, Pioneer of San Jose (8-2), has a 55-0 loss to Valley Christian and just lost 14-6 to Oak Grove. The Mustangs also will likely have to get through St. Ignatius of San Francisco (a team good enough on one day to beat 10-1 St. Mary’s of Stockton) in the semifinals to even worry about Aptos. If Aptos beats Branham, gets to the final and beats either Pioneer or St. Ignatius, that could give the Mariners (who would be up to 12-1) a strong resume to land a spot probably opposite Campolindo in the NorCal D3 bowl game.

Division IV: Too bad The King’s Academy of Sunnyvale at 9-1 doesn’t have an enrollment below 500 because then it would be getting a lot of attention as a team to watch for the NorCal D4 bowl game. The team is 9-1 and took the top seed in this bracket over 9-1 Pacific Grove. Even as a top seed, The King’s Academy is going to face a huge challenge in its first game against Terra Nova of Pacifica. The Tigers may only be 4-6, but they beat D1 top seed Salinas for one of their wins and their losses have all come to higher ranked opponents. The only loss for The King’s Academy has been to Sacred Heart Prep.

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

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  1. fariad1
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Homestead High School in Cupertino got screwed. 7-3 record (5-1 in league -including a huge beat down of your “most intriguing” team Fremont HS), but 3-7 Menlo-Atherton gets the 8th seed in CCS Division 1? Seriously? What a joke. 8-2 Mountain View (also 5-1 in league) got screwed as well. Stop the madness CCS.

    • HSfootballFan
      Posted November 17, 2014 at 3:32 am | Permalink

      Division I
      No. 8 Menlo-Atherton (3-7) at No. 1 Salinas (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
      No. 5 Fremont (9-1) at No. 4 Piedmont Hills (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
      No. 6 Silver Creek (8-2) at No. 3 San Benito (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
      No. 7 Santa Teresa (5-5) at No. 2 Alvarez (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

      MA(3-7) wins over 1-9 Riordan, 4-6 Sequoia, 3-7 Woodside = Playoff team/really?
      Fremont (9-1) the 5 seed; Salinas (6-4) the 1 seed.
      More fodder for other sections to point out the inequity & ineptitude of CCS seeding. Bad joke.

      LGHS forced to play up, that wouldn’t happen before.
      CCS a historically proud section w/good programs & athletes that could hang w/any other one.
      DII has two (5-5) teams & three (6-4) teams.
      DIII only has two (5-5) teams & that division is competitive w/6 teams @ 8-2 or better – at least for the division it looks more legitimate for the competition.
      DIV only has Terra Nova @ 4-6 rounding out that division.

      As bad as the NCAA where teams need a 6 win season to be “Bowl eligible” for those lower tiered ones. Another watered down product.
      Just give everyone a “blue ribbon” for participation – everyone’s a winner here.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 17, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Homestead did get totally screwed. It’s that goofy points system they use. And San Diego went with something similar but wasn’t as bad. What really makes you want to vomit is when section officials try to lecture those of us in the media who’ve been doing this a lot longer than some of them that the common sense method of doing rankings and seedings is somehow not as accurate. The reason they use points systems is because they don’t want to sit in a room and make a decision even though in most cases these decisions are simple and easy. They’d rather point to some computer formula and take cover from any criticism. Or just let everybody in.

  2. Ducktail007
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Too Bad SHP, got pulled up to Open Div, Makes it harder for Northern Cal to hang with The loaded Southern part of state. We need more quality teams in lower div to compete.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 19, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Mostly true, but remember SoCal D2 no longer includes Serra of Gardena, Chaminade and a few others. Don’t think NorCal D2 team is going to be routed by the South, which you could see coming a mile away last year.

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