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. We will be posting these divisions throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning as they are completed.
(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.)
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Should be picked: De La Salle of Concord (13-0)
Will be picked: Same
Case for De La Salle: With the way it has dominated this season and was even ahead of the Spartans for a while in computer rankings, Folsom (14-0) deserves at least a mention to be discussed for the lone NorCal Open Division bid. All it will take for DLS to put a quick halt to it, however, is mentioning last year’s blowout (48-17), the blowout in 2012 (42-14) and the facts that the Spartans have never lost to CIF Sac-Joaquin Section team and that they haven’t lost to another NorCal school in 23 years. Sure, it should be mostly about this year, but historical facts just get in the way to choose Folsom.
Should be picked:Folsom (14-0) vs. Grant of Sacramento (14-0).
Will be picked: Same.
Case for Folsom: After a 55-7 triumph over Tracy for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title, the Bulldogs have yet to be tested. They naturally fall to the top seed for D1 North with De La Salle taking NorCal’s Open Division slot for the sixth straight season. Most around the region think this is the best team Folsom has had and would be giving the Spartans a much tougher game and might be even be better this year than in 2012 and 2013.
Case for Grant: It wasn’t easy and a bad call by a referee may have aided in the Pacers’ defeating St. Mary’s of Stockton 21-14 in Friday’s CIFSJS D2 final, but with the anticipation building for a possible Folsom-Grant matchup in this bowl game for months there’s nothing that prevents the CIF commissioners from voting for it. Grant notched wins over Elk Grove and Jesuit in its league, then beat Vacaville in the section semis before playing St. Mary’s.
Case for Sacred Heart Prep: Any team that goes 13-0 and wins the CCS Open Division title has to be seriously considered for this game and that should be the same for the Gators. Due to strength of schedule (especially league but not so much playoffs), however, SHP needed Grant to lose to St. Mary’s to really have a shot at the matchup with Folsom.
Should be picked: Clayton Valley of Concord (13-0) vs. Oakdale (13-1)
Will be picked: Clayton Valley of Concord (13-0) vs. Enterprise of Redding (11-1). Just a hunch that enough will be convinced that this is the more attractive matchup although we are ranking Oakdale higher.
Case for Clayton Valley: Ugly Eagles’ head coach Tim Murphy had his 12-1 Clovis East team on the board in 2006 but the CIF Central Section D1 champions were passed over for the first CIF Division I bowl game in favor of Canyon Country, however this year his team’s selection is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The team’s case for the game actually was strengthened in recent weeks by Tracy getting to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 final and Clayton Valley having a win over the Bulldogs. The Ugly Eagles also have a 52-14 win over a Napa team that beat Vacaville in league play and Vaca was the team that beat Enterprise.
Case for Oakdale: The two toughest choices for the commissioners on Sunday will be for this slot and for the north in D3 and both involve the CIF Northern Section. We went over this one until 3 a.m. on Sunday and came up with Oakdale as the pick and higher ranked team. Unlike Enterprise, which has a loss to Vacaville (from SJS D2 semifinals), Oakdale’s loss is to a team from its league, Sierra of Manteca. The Mustangs did not avenge that loss in the SJS D3 playoffs, but they whomped Rio Linda 41-14 one week after Rio Linda ousted Sierra. Oakdale also topped Inderkum of Sacramento in its section final and Inderkum was a team that had just a two-point loss to SJS D1 semifinalist Monterey Trail and had a win over NCS D5 winner Salesian. Owning a 20-point over two-time CIF D4 state champ Central Catholic also stands out since it was more lop-sided than Central’s loss to even St. Mary’s of Stockton.
Case for Enterprise: What makes this call more interesting is how the CIF commissioners will view a team that won in the bowl game it is up for the next year with a weaker case. Unlike last year, the Hornets are not undefeated and their 20-point loss was to Vacaville (which did not win its league title). The key will be for CIF Northern Section commissioner Liz Kyle to convince enough other voters that the loss to Vacaville was not that bad and that Enterprise has done enough to deserve getting the chance to defend its title in this game. It’s not part of the criteria for the commissioners look at the matchups themselves, but what helps Enterprise is that an Oakdale-Clayton Valley game was played two years ago. Enterprise vs. Clayton Valley matches last year’s winner in the game and this year’s front-runner. Still, looking at the scores involving Vacaville, Enterprise, Clayton Valley and Napa, the CIF frankly just might have a better game if it’s Oakdale vs. the Ugly Eagles.
Should be picked: Campolindo of Moraga (14-0) vs. Sutter (13-0)
Will be picked: Campolindo of Moraga (14-0) vs. Sutter (13-0)
Case for Campolindo: The Cougars didn’t do the CIF commissioners any favors by getting upset on Saturday by Marin Catholic in the NCS D3 final. They won 27-21 and will go into the NorCal D3 game as the favorite no matter who they play. Campo’s best win of the season was 52-27 over Napa, which later defeated Vacaville in a league game.
Case for Sutter: The Huskies didn’t play but just about every result broke their way to strengthen their case to get the second bowl berth in this division. First, Sutter simply dominated all of its foes during the season. Second, one of those foes, Justin-Siena of Napa, knocked off St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the NCS D4 final. And third, the team’s close contender for this slot, Aptos, didn’t get any help from Salinas or St. Mary’s of Stockton. Aptos does have a much better strength of schedule, but just not quite enough to flip a ranking we’ve had in Sutter’s favor for the entire season so far.
Case for Aptos: The Mariners did get their second straight CCS Division III title with an 11-8 win over St. Ignatius of San Francisco, but in the end the WCAL didn’t win in the CCS Open Division and didn’t win the CCS Open Division consolation bracket. It also hurt their case that Salinas didn’t win the CCS D1 title (which was a team they beat). Losing to Granite Bay 27-12 is more than respectable but the Grizzlies probably needed to go further than losing to Tracy in the SJS D1 semifinals. If Sutter had any chinks in its armor (like a close game), then Aptos goes in front. Sutter didn’t and in the end we also don’t think the commissioners are going to want to re-visit the same outcry from Sutter that they faced in 2012 from Wasco. Winning by more than 11-8 also would have helped Aptos.
Should be picked: Central Catholic of Modesto (10-3) vs. McClymonds of Oakland (8-4, 12-0 not including forfeits)
Will be picked: Central Catholic vs. Capital Christian of Sacramento (13-0)
Case for Central Catholic: The Raiders are the two-time defending CIF Division IV state bowl champs and won their third straight Sac-Joaquin Section D4 title last week. Similar questions were heard about them this season – such as they aren’t as good as last year – but they clearly belong back in this game as a two-time defending state champion.
Case for McClymonds: We know the CIF commissioners won’t pull the trigger on a team with four forfeit losses, but the Warriors probably are the only team in the North that could realistically beat Central Catholic. Even without the player in the controversial eligility case, Mack seems better than last year.
Case for Capital Christian: At 13-0 and with two wins over a Modesto Christian team that was 11-0 vs everyone else, the Cougars are a viable option for the commissioners instead of McClymonds. They have explosive players such as Justice Shelton-Mosley and Edward Ware and outscored their foes 679-146. A case certainly can be made for North Coast Section D5 champion Salesian, which has a forfeit win over McClymonds (lost on the field) and a loss on the field to Inderkum of Sacramento. Choosing Salesian would just further infuriate the McClymonds people since the Warriors were clearly better when the two teams played on the field. Capital Christian isn’t part of the McClymonds forfeit mess.