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 email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend