The region’s first section champions and CIF NorCal bowl game qualifiers will be determined this week with title games in Oakland and San Francisco. The biggest game, however, will be in Antioch when unbeatens Foothill and Antioch collide.
Note: For this week’s Gold Club post highlighting the State Top 25 overall rankings, CLICK HERE.
Despite being unbeaten at 11-0, McClymonds of Oakland has been held down out of the Bay Area Top 25 and on the bubble due to strength of schedule, but where the rankings stand doesn’t really have much consequence to the Warriors’ faithful.
Rankings can take care of themselves, and McClymonds may be breaking in here soon, but what Mack wants is a shot at a CIF state bowl game and if they can win the CIF Oakland Section Silver Bowl this Friday at Laney College against a crosstown Fremont team they squeezed by 7-0 in Oakland Athletic League play this season, they’re in a regional game, one step away from a state bowl game.
The Warriors have been to the NorCal regional bowl game but ran into Modesto Central Catholic twice. If they win Friday, they’d likely be placed on the CIF bowl board in one of the smaller divisions, but if Marin Catholic or Cardinal Newman doesn’t win the CIF North Coast Section Division IV title or if Central Catholic or Palma of Salinas don’t win section titles, they would then be next in line for inclusion in the CIF Small Schools Open Division. Note: If Fremont wins Friday, it goes to a NorCal bowl game as well, but has an enrollment above the cutoff line for small schools.
In San Francisco, Academic Athletic Association regular season winner Mission probably will be in the play-in game for a NorCal bowl game if the Bears can defeat a crosstown Balboa team in the CIF San Francisco Section Turkey Day at Kezar Stadium on Thursday. The defending Turkey Day champion Bears defeated the Buccaneers 48-6 at Balboa.
One of the main reasons Mission will likely be in that play-in game is that the CIF is not interested in having a team from the CIF Northern Section such as Portola or Fall River of McArthur traveling six hours to be in it. We think Mission is better than that, but other candidates for that play-in game from other sections just will not be determined yet.
Who gets to face Sparta?
By far the biggest game in the Bay Area this week is the NCS D1 semifinal matchup on Saturday night between host and No. 2 seed Antioch and No. 3 seed Foothill of Pleasanton. Unless Pittsburg pulls off the upset of the last 24 years and beats De La Salle in the other semifinal, the game will decide who gets to face Sparta in the title game that De La Salle has captured the past 23 years.
The Pirates were in the title game last after getting by Foothill 10-7 in the semis but fell 35-0 the next week to the Spartans.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Nov. 21)
(Includes all Central Coast Section schools but no North Coast Section schools north of the Santa Rosa Metro area)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 10-1
2. (2) Clayton Valley (Concord) 10-1
3. (3) Foothill (Pleasanton) 11-0
4. (5) Antioch 11-0
5. (4) Bellarmine (San Jose) 10-1
6. (6) Pittsburg 10-2
7. (7) St. Francis (Mountain View) 10-1
8. (8) Monte Vista (Danville) 7-4*
9. (9) Serra (San Mateo) 6-4*
10. (10) Campolindo (Moraga) 11-1
11. (11) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-3
12. (12) Archbishop Riordan (SF) 8-3
13. (13) Milpitas 9-2
14. (14) Freedom (Oakley) 7-5*
15. (15) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 8-4*
16. (16) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 11-1
17. (18) Palma (Salinas) 10-1
18. (20) Oak Grove (San Jose) 9-2
19. (17) California (San Ramon) 7-5*
20. (22) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 10-2
20. (19) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-5*
21. (21) James Logan (Union City) 7-4*
23. (23) Analy (Sebastopol) 12-0
24 (24) Los Gatos 7-4*
25. (25) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 11-1
Dropped Out: None
Teams On the Bubble (Alphabetical order)
Aptos 7-4, Burlingame 9-2*, Concord 7-4, Dublin 7-4*, Granada (Livermore) 6-6, Justin-Siena (Napa) 9-3*, Leigh (San Jose) 8-3*, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 9-2*, McClymonds (Oakland) 11-0, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 6-5*, Miramonte (Orinda) 11-1, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 10-1, Palo Alto 5-6, Piedmont 9-3*, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-3, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 8-3, Salinas 6-5*, San Benito (Hollister) 7-4, San Leandro 6-5*, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-7*, St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 8-4*, Tennyson (Hayward) 9-3*, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 9-2.
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