Could NorCal teams actually be at a disadvantage in this year’s CIF bowl games even with games at Sac State? Also, more from the NCS about the possibility of adding Open Division plus teams getting shuffled after NorCal bowl results.
Note: For this week’s Gold Club post highlighting the State Top 25 overall rankings, CLICK HERE.
There’s no need for everyone to try and figure out the new CIF bowl game format with 13 divisions because it’s time just to enjoy them. This Friday and Saturday, the 13 new divisions will crown champions based on the newly established competitive equity criteria.
The only thing that would seem to be unfair is how the CIF decided where the games not contested at Sacramento State would be held.
The CIF is counting the games at Sacramento State as home games for Northern California teams and then is giving Hanford a home game and counting it as a Northern California hosted game.
First off, Hanford only became Northern California for purposes of divvying up the CIF Central Section for the football bowl games. Otherwise, Hanford and the Central Section have been in the Southern Region. So it’s a big stretch to call this a NorCal home game (although Cal-Hi Sports has always referred to the Central Section in the north).
As for the other games involving NorCal schools, the only home game would seem to be for Del Oro, and it’s likely the short drive from Loomis to Sacramento State will mean the Golden Eagles should pack the stands with some fans.
For teams coming from the Bay Area, i.e. De La Salle, Bellarmine and Clayton Valley, or Central Catholic coming from Modesto, it’s a misnomer to call them home games. Bellarmine has the longest commute to its “home” game, and that’s 125 miles and over two hours to get to a supposed home field where the Bells have never played a game.
Southern California would seem to have a huge advantage with seven real home games and five others basically at a neutral site.
North Coast Section says no to Open Division – for now
It might have gone unnoticed to most Bay Area prep football aficionados but we had mentioned last month that the CIF North Coast Section was going to vote on a proposal to go to some kind of competitive equity format for football at its December 7 meeting of the board of managers. The proposal had been submitted by the (WACC) West Alameda County Conference.
Unfortunately, the brass that runs the NCS, and that’s the BOM and not the staff, is not yet ready to join the groundswell started by the CIF Central Coast Section adopting a format that fits the new CIF state system like a kit glove. But there is hope.
CIFNCS Commissioner Gil Lemmon told Cal-Hi Sports last month that he supports competitive equity so eventually something may come about, but for now the vote was negative.
“The WACC proposal did not pass but the sports advisory committee did instruct staff to bring back a competitive division model and Open Division concept for the next meeting, February 29th at the Novato USD office,” Lemmon wrote by email.
Likely and hopefully, the WACC proposal was more a catalyst for action and now that Lemmon and his staff have what looks like a green light they can design something more palatable to the majority of the board of managers.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Dec. 12)
(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. (2) Bellarmine (San Jose) 13-1
3. (3) Clayton Valley (Concord) 13-1
4. (4) Foothill (Pleasanton) 12-1*
5. (5) Antioch 11-1*
6. (8) Pittsburg 10-3*
7. (7) St. Francis (Mountain View) 12-2
8. (11) Campolindo (Moraga) 14-1
9. (9) Monte Vista (Danville) 7-4*
10. (6) Oak Grove (San Jose) 11-3*
11. (10) Serra (San Mateo) 6-4*
12. (14) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-4*
13. (13) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 12-2
14. (12) Milpitas 10-4*
15. (16) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 11-3
16. (17) Archbishop Riordan (SF) 9-4*
17. (15) Freedom (Oakley) 7-5*
18. (18) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 11-3*
19. (19) 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. (23) Los Gatos 7-4*
24. (24) Analy (Sebastopol) 13-1*
25. (25) McClymonds (Oakland) 12-1*
Dropped Out: None
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend
Good article about NCS tabling an Open Division, at least for the time being,
I hope NCS comes up with a competitive equity formula for reorganizing the NCS divisions. I find it interesting that from CS south all the sections’ playoff divisions are determined primarily on competitive equity while up here they’re still based entirely or mostly on school enrollment. (A side point: SS and LACS have had football playoffs way longer than NCS and CCS have had).
A fairly common “street belief” is that the Bay Area has more lawyers per capita than any other metro area. If true, I’ve wondered if this has influenced the thinking of the section managers to have stayed with the enrollment determination of playoff divisions for all these years. (Legal issues with reorganizing football playoff divisions in SS last Spring nearly paralyzed SS’s football season for this Fall.).
Anyway, I’m not in favor of NCS going to an “open” football division, especially similiar to CCS’s. And, I don’t like section division runnerups going on to play in the CIF playoffs. I’m quite certain that this is not done anywhere else in the U.S.. I think it’s fair to say that NCS in any given year is not thick enough with top quality teams to put them all in an open division without leaving the other divisions drained of quality teams. In the past several years, this has been quite apparent in CCS playoffs. It appeared CCS went to 3 open divisions so not all the WCAL teams would be in one division and at the same time not have WCAL teams completely dominate the other divisions they would play in.
In CCS there seems to be an apparent “oligarchy” of football dominance (However, SHP, although a private school, is not in the WCAL but has done as well as most WCAL teams over the past 4 or 5 years. Also, Paly won the CCS Open twice and one year went on to win the CIF D1 State Championship). The situation in NCS is TOTAL domination in football by one team (I don’t think I need to say who that is!) for 24 years. Other than allowing runnerups to go on, there’s little likelihood of any team in that team’s same division of going on to the CIF playoffs soon.
If the “open divisions-runnerups” concept catches on, it won’t be long before SS has Pac 5 and West Valley teams in similiar divisions. If one thinks there’s too much football domination by private schools now, it’s nothing compared to what could happen if that were to come about. The purpose of having different playoff divisions is to allow “good” teams from”lessor” programs have a shot at some title.
Anyway, let’s hope NCS comes up with a good formula for competitive equity based divisions.
Tim- very good post. Most of this angst would go away if the CIF had a state wide Open Playoff. Take the top 8 teams from the North and the top 8 from the south. have a 16 team playoff. This would remove DLS from NCS D1, create THE best playoff in the country, and allow the rest of the teams to proceed in the manner established before this year with the sections in place and bowl games.
For those that say the SS would not go for it, if the CIF is wise they could make it worth all sections ($$) and those complaints would go away. A top 16 tourny for football in CA would be incredible.
For goodness sake lets stop this losers advance idea right away- it is just a really bad idea for football.