CCS teams take charge with Bellarmine, Oak Grove and Sacred Heart Prep all getting strong upward shoves in new rankings. Marin Catholic also is higher after topping Cardinal Newman while the only newcomer is McClymonds.
Note: For this week’s Gold Club post highlighting the State Top 25 overall rankings, CLICK HERE.
For the first time in the history of the Bay Area rankings there are just as many teams still in action in the top 10 after the section championships as there are teams that are done.
But instead of the larger CIF North Coast Section having more teams still playing in the expanded CIF bowl game system, it’s 3-2 in favor of the CIF Central Coast Section.
“The CCS figured out how to game the system and now they have four of their top larger schools in the mix and we have one (De La Salle) or two if you count Clayton Valley,” said one prominent bitter NCS coach who asked to remain anonymous.
Those sentiments echoed a Tweet that was getting liked and re-tweeted on Sunday that bemoaned the fact that no NCS large schools (excluding Clayton Valley) are actually playing this weekend since De La Salle has an automatic ticket to Sacramento for the Open Division.
The solution is simple and it was outlined a couple of weeks ago. The NCS needs to get with it and come up with a solution to its system not fitting the state model. The CCS is not really “gaming” the system. Some administrators there just took the time to go through all the criteria set forth by the CIF and came up with a playoff structure that fit the new format like a kit glove. None of the CCS schools that knew in advance they would not go to a regional bowl game did a lot of kicking, either. They were happy to just be competing for a section title.
One coach who didn’t mind letting his feelings be known is Campolindo head coach Kevin Macy. His NCS D3 champion Cougars are hosting Milpitas in the NorCal III-AA game.
“I don’t see what we gain,” Macy remarked. “We’re a small school with kids that have played a lot of games, and we win a Division III title, and what do we get? We’re cornered into playing a Division I runner-up school with 3,000 kids. I don’t see it with all the extra games and teams.”
Macy may have a point. But any system that has competitive equity as a main criteria where one or more of the participants is using a different criteria that’s outside the new box is going to have some losers.
Gators are finally in
A team that made a huge move up in the rankings this week is the 2014 CCS Open Division champion Gators of Sacred Heart Prep. After getting the wind taken out of their sails by Riordan in a week two defeat, and then losing a close one to Palma, they fell off the radar screen in October when they lost to a Menlo-Atherton team that Marin Catholic crushed short-handed.
Everyone had counted these guys out but now they’re bowling after crafty veteran head coach Pete Lavorato orchestrated a 35-28 avenging win over Riordan in the CCS Open 3 title game, one week after they had beaten Palma in the semifinals.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Dec. 5)
(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) 12-1
2. (5) Bellarmine (San Jose) 12-1
3. (2) Clayton Valley (Concord) 12-1
4. (3) Foothill (Pleasanton) 12-1*
5. (4) Antioch 11-1*
6. (11) Oak Grove (San Jose) 11-2
7. (6) St. Francis (Mountain View) 11-2
8. (7) Pittsburg 10-3*
9. (8) Monte Vista (Danville) 7-4*
10. (9) Serra (San Mateo) 6-4*
11. (10) Campolindo (Moraga) 13-1
12. (13) Milpitas 10-3
13. (16) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 12-1
14. (14) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-4*
15. (15) Freedom (Oakley) 7-5*
16. (NR) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 10-3
17. (12) Archbishop Riordan (SF) 9-4*
18. (17) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 11-3*
19. (18) Palma (Salinas) 10-2*
20. (20) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 8-4*
21. (21) California (San Ramon) 7-5*
22. (22) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-5*
23. (24) Los Gatos 7-4*
24. (19) Analy (Sebastopol) 13-1*
25. (NR) McClymonds (Oakland) 12-0
Dropped Out: Previous No. 23 James Logan (Union City), No. 25 Moreau Catholic (Hayward).
Teams On the Bubble
Aptos 9-4*, Burlingame 9-2*, Concord 9-4*, Dublin 7-4*, Granada (Livermore) 6-7*, Hillsdale (San Mateo) 11-2•, James Logan (Union City) 7-4*, Justin-Siena (Napa) 9-3*, Leigh (San Jose) 8-3*, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 9-2*, , Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 6-5*, Miramonte (Orinda) 11-2*, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 10-2*, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 11-2*, Palo Alto 5-7*, Piedmont 9-3*, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-4*, Salinas 6-5*, San Benito (Hollister) 7-5*, San Leandro 6-5*, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-7*, St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 8-4*, Tennyson (Hayward) 9-3*, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 9-3.*
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