No, we didn’t forget to do final S.F. Bay Area football rankings. We just had to wait for the primary compiler to get done helping run the largest girls basketball tournament in the nation. In the final Top 25 for the region, the biggest question was where to put 16-0 Campolindo of Moraga.
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The NFL is now hot in the midst of the playoffs and we’re a week away from the first true national championship in college football when Oregon meets The Ohio State University in an all old-style Rose Bowl affair for all the marbles.
With football drawing to a close at all levels and now that the two-week holiday break is over for most high school athletes and coaches, it seemed like a good time to finalize the pecking order for the Bay Area high school season.
While there are an uncharacteristic couple of smaller schools near the top of the pack, the team in the catbird seat hasn’t changed and almost assuredly won’t next season either.
FINAL 2014 SEASON
BAY AREA TOP 25 RANKINGS
(previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 14-0
The CIF Open Division champions were everything as advertised in winning a sixth state title and fifth in the last six season. The scary thing is the Spartans likely will be better next season with as much talent as head coach Justin Alumbaugh has returning. Despite the folks in Sparta not wanting to make a big deal about it, getting Alumbaugh the win in Carson got what could have been a monkey off his back and began the enhancement of his own legacy at the DLS helm.
2. (3) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 13-0
Just like in the final state rankings where they came up a notch to No. 14, the Gators move into the No. 2 spot in the Bay Area as a reward for the CCS Open Division title and the difficult road they took to get there. Having a small school in the second spot is a rarity, so head coach Pete Lavorato and his boys deserve a lot of kudos for the season they had despite getting passed over for bowl game competition. Next year SHP won’t have to fight the big boys to get a bowl berth under the new system being voted on this month but they lose a lot to graduation.
3. (2) Clayton Valley (Concord) 15-1
The Ugly Eagles came oh so close to winning a CIF Division II Bowl Game title but instead were the only team from the north to not snag a championship. Had they won, they would have stayed at No. 2 in the Bay Area, but it still is the greatest season in CV history and the final No. 16 team in the state should be pretty solid next season as well.
4. (4) Campolindo (Moraga) 16-0
The greatest season in Campolindo history got the boys a CIFNCS D2 title, a CIF NorCal D2 title and a CIF Division III bowl game championship that evened their record at 1-1 in bowl games. Along the way, 19-year Campo head coach Kevin Macy not only was named East Bay Coach of the Year by the Contra Costa Times but he is the State Medium Schools Coach of the Year as well. The Cougars could have been as high as No. 2 but we’re putting them behind the CCS Open Division winner and behind a one-point loser in the D2 state bowl game.
5. (5) Bellarmine (San Jose) 10-3
This is where the top team from the West Catholic Athletic League finishes after its season ended in the CCS Open title game loss to Sacred Heart Prep. Bellarmine always seems to be tough and a lot of that has to do with head coach Mike Janda. The wily veteran enters next season with 257 career victories, all at Bellarmine.
6. (6) Milpitas 11-1*
*Forfeit win not included. The team a lot of analysts had pegged to challenge Folsom in the NorCal D1 bowl game late in the season falls in behind the Bellarmine team that beat them 9-6 in the first round of the CIFCCS Open playoffs. Still, it was a great season for a public school that also finished No. 29 overall in the expanded state rankings.
7. (7) Los Gatos 10-3
All of the Cats’ losses are to higher ranked teams in the expanded state rankings — St. Mary’s of Stockton, Milpitas and Sacred Heart Prep – which is why they snagged the No. 32 spot. The highlight of the season was in the CCS Open Division playoffs when they blasted defending champion Serra of San Mateo 28-0.
8. (8) Pittsburg 10-3
Another team that made the expanded state rankings at No. 34 holds tight here and remains as the No. 4 team from the NCS East Bay area. Pitt earned a spot opposite De La Salle in this year’s D1 section final and there will be a lot of defensive firepower back next season.
9. (9) Foothill (Pleasanton) 9-3
The Falcons fall in behind the Pittsburg team that beat them in the NCS D1 semis. Foothill claimed its first East Bay Athletic League title since 2006 but with quarterback Kyle Kearns gone along with DB/WR Isaiah Langley there are some big college D1-talented shoes to fill for next season.
10. (10) Serra (San Mateo) 8-4*
*Forfeit loss not included. Where the Padres finish in rankings is unimportant in comparison to whether Serra will face sanctions for deciding not to play in the consolation game of the CCS Open Division playoffs against Milpitas. Still, besides a top 10 finish here, head coach Patrick Walsh and his boys snagged the No. 42 spot in the final state rankings.
11. (11) Valley Christian (San Jose) 9-4
The third place team from the West Catholic Athletic League is third from the league in these rankings as well. Owning a win over CCS Open Division champ Bellarmine ranks as the highlight of the season.
12. (14) California (San Ramon) 9-4
Two of the losses were to De La Salle in games the Grizzlies showed as much against Sparta as anyone. The other losses were to Pittsburg and Foothill. After all considerations, California was boosted up two spots for the final rankings.
13. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 9-4
The Lancers won a record 16th CCS title but overall strength of schedule has them falling in behind California and thus they lose a spot. Still, it was a very solid season for head coach Greg Calcagno’s program.
14. (15) Aptos 12-1
After going through all results once again, Aptos was shifted one spot in front of previous No. 14 Archbishop Mitty for the final rankings. The Mariners posted a win over St. Ignatius for a second straight CCS D3 title and had just the one loss to Granite Bay of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
15. (16) Concord 11-2*
*Forfeit win not included. Both losses came to nearby arch-rival Clayton Valley, so the Minutemen faithful hope head coach Brian Hamilton can come up with a formula to turn the tables next season.
16. (14) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 8-5
While the Monarchs had some big wins (Serra, Pittsburg), the five losses are enough to cause a slight drop for these final rankings.
17. (17) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 7-5
The NCS Division I quarterfinalist that went out 65-16 to De La Salle holds tight as the No. 3 team from the East Bay Athletic League.
18. (18) McClymonds (Oakland) 12-0*
*Forfeits not considered. The Warriors got some consideration among the commissioners for the NorCal D4 bowl bid but in the end there was no way a precedent would be set and the team couldn’t get the required six votes. A third straight Silver Bowl title will have to suffice. A big question is whether QB Kevin Davidson will be the Mack QB next season.
19. (19) Palma (Salinas) 9-3
Coach Jeff Carnazzo’s club is another CCS Open team had a nonleague win over St. Francis but a league loss to San Benito.
20. (20) Liberty (Brentwood) 9-3
The Lions had a great season and it looks like bright young head coach Jeff Walters has things going in the right direction. If so, the Bay Valley League will be more competitive.
21. (21) Salesian (Richmond) 11-2*
(Forfeit win not included) The Pride was on the board for a NorCal Bowl berth but lost out to Sacramento Capital Christian for the choice to face Modesto Christian of Modesto. Still, it was a great season that ended in a second consecutive NCS Division V title plus a win over D4 section finalist St. Mary’s.
22. (22) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 7-6
The CCS Division III runner-up to Aptos for the second-straight year had a highlight with an overtime win over Stockton St. Mary’s in a season of close losses to higher-ranked teams.
23. (23) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-4
The loss to St. Ignatius is the deciding factor of where Marin Catholic lands, even though head coach Mazi Moayed had his boys close to upsetting Campolindo in the NCS Division III title game before a disputed fumble late in the game sealed their fate. That didn’t happen so despite how well they played they can’t move up.
24. (24) Freedom (Oakley) 7-5
The Falcons had a solid season but life is tough playing with the big schools in the East Bay.
25. (25) Justin-Siena (Napa) 11-3
The Braves hold down the final spot after an NCS Division IV title-game victory over Berkeley St. Mary’s. It was the sixth NCS title since 2000 for affable head coach and 2004 Small School State Coach of the Year Rich Cotruvo.
Dropped Out: None.
Teams On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 8-4
Alhambra (Martinez) 8-4
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 6-5
Analy (Sebastopol) 11-2
Aragon (San Mateo) 9-2
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 8-4
Casa Grande (Petaluma) 6-7
El Cerrito 5-6
Fremont (Sunnyvale) 9-1
James Logan (Union City) 8-3
Kennedy (Fremont) 10-1
Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 9-3
Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 7-5
Monte Vista (Danville) 4-7
Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 10-3
Pacific Grove 10-2
Pinole Valley (Pinole) 6-7
Pioneer (San Jose) 9-3
Oak Grove (San Jose) 7-5*
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-4
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 3-7
San Benito (Hollister) 9-4
San Leandro 6-5
San Marin (Novato) 9-4
St. Helena 12-2
St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 11-2
Stellar Prep (Hayward) 9-4
Terra Nova (Pacifica) 7-6
Wilcox (Santa Clara) 7-5
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend