CIF 13-Division Bowl Plan Passes

There seemed to be doubt among some section commissioners that the CIF’s new 13-division football bowl game plan would pass during Friday’s CIF Federated Council meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose.

After all, due to the CIF Southern Section’s own executive council voting on Wednesday to reject the proposal, the CIF needed to come from a 61-53 deficit of committed votes to reach the 69 votes it needed for passage.
CIF logo 216
In looking over the votes that were still out there heading into Friday, however, five were from the CIF Northern Section (probably was going to vote for it and obviously did) with more from Oakland and San Francisco and more from allied organizations and associations. The CIF received the votes it needed and won passage of the new plan by a 71-68 margin.

Now, instead of an Open Division with four additional divisions, the CIF bowl games will still have an Open Division at the top with an Open Division for small schools (enrollment 1,250 and below) and then 11 other divisions.

Other than the Open Division (which has involved De La Salle of Concord from the north for the last six years with no end in sight of that streak), each of the other new divisions also will have a northern and a southern regional game to determine which two teams will play for a state title.

The good news is that every team that wins a section title will now know it will get to keep playing.

The bad news is that just like the expanded Open Division in basketball has shown, the Northern California section champions now getting to play in the bowl games may struggle with their SoCal opponents. The north just doesn’t have the depth in top, large school teams that the south does. One CIF mock up of teams based on 2013 section champions, for example, had Le Grand in the same division as San Fernando.

For a closer look at what divisions each of the 2014 section champions might have been in, CLICK HERE.

In the end, most California high school football fans will continue to focus on De La Salle, the CIFSS Pac-5 Division and the best of the best. The first few divisions in the new CIF lineup also should continue to be compelling. Once you get through the first four, though, you’ll be getting into teams that aren’t close to the top 50 overall in the state.

This new plan also is still much better than the first format the CIF passed for its bowl games that began in 2006 and it’s better with regional games than without.

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  1. osde
    Posted January 31, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    CIF blows it again… It is very simple… make every section create an “open” division where the top 12 teams reside… the winner of the “open” division moves on to the state playoffs… every other lower division winner ends after the section title…

  2. TinyTim
    Posted January 31, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink


    I wonder what arithmetic CIF will use if they continue to use the North vs. South format for all the Cal Bowls, since the North has 23 section divisions and the South 28?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Some of the “south” section champions from the Central Section are going to be in the north to even it out. Edison of Fresno, for example, would have been north this year instead of south. I think they would have played Clayton Valley in NorCal game. Oakdale would have played Enterprise or Campolindo. Where it starts to get watered down is when you get to teams like Sutter from the north being in the same division as Trabuco Hills/San Clemente, etc from the south. We will focus on the top divisions in our coverage and those that will more effect true statewide rankings. For the others, we’ll provide a score and that’s about it.

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