CIF SoCal Bowl Board Update 11/25

We updated the SoCal board in our home office late Saturday night & CIF had its lineup out by 11 am on Sunday. Photo: Mark Tennis.

With all championship games complete in San Diego, Southern, L.A. City and Central sections, here is a quick recap of the CIF bowl game lineup for the Southern California region as announced on Sunday by CIF state office. The CIF didn’t have to use San Joaquin Memorial from the Central Section due to a team already opting out from the north.

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Open Division
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 13-1
CIF Southern Section Open Division champion after win vs. St. John Bosco on Friday. Opponent in two weeks will be either De La Salle (Concord), Folsom or Liberty (Brentwood), but strong odds is will be DLS.

Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 10-1* vs. Narbonne (Harbor City) 10-3

San Diego Sec Open Division champion & L.A. City Open Division champion. At Cathedral Catholic, Friday. Likely was a tough call to have Upland in this game. Still, it was what we’d have done. Narbonne just wasn’t at full strength yet early in the season when it lost those three games. These two teams played two years ago in this division. Cathedral Catholic won and then beat St. Mary’s (Stockton) for state crown.

Upland 12-2 vs. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 11-3

CIFSS D2 champion & CIFSS D3 champion. At Upland, Saturday. Upland won title on Saturday by knocking off previously unbeaten and top seed Rancho Verde. The Mustangs were without standout RB Xzavier Ugorji and freshman QB A.J. Duffy due to injuries. Sierra Canyon won its title on Friday against Cajon of San Bernardino. Lawndale, the CIFSS D5 champion, actually has a head-to-head win over Sierra Canyon and therefore will be higher in state rankings. For these games, though, the CIF and CIFSS tend to want to put the CIFSS divisional champions on the board in order (1-13) as much as possible.

St. Augustine (San Diego) 10-3 vs. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) 12-2

San Diego D1 champion & CIFSS D4 champion. At Cal Lutheran University, Friday.It looks like CIF just replaced Helix’s spot with Saints after they won last night. Grace Brethren defeated top seed and higher ranked Corona del Mar on Saturday. The Lancers lost in the D2-A state final last year to St. Francis (Mountain View).

Lawndale 12-2 vs. South Hills (Covina) 14-0

CIFSS D6 champion & CIFSS D6 champion. At Covina District Stadium, Friday. Lawndale has win over Sierra Canyon, but as mentioned earlier CIF and CIFSS prefer placements of CIFSS teams according to division placement. South Hills, meanwhile, got past Oxnard on Saturday night to remain unbeaten. Don’t really see any other teams below these two being higher any way you look at it.

Lincoln (San Diego) 10-3* vs. Culver City 11-2

San Diego D2 champion vs. CIFSS D7 champion. At Culver City, Friday. We had unbeaten San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno on the south board and in this spot, but the Panthers were missing in CIF’s Sunday lineup. It would seem the CIF had an extra spot to play with, only took two from the Central Section instead of three and will use SJM in the north for next week’s board. We had speculated on Saturday night that a Tulare-SJM matchup might be in this spot on South board. That matchup could still happen, but for the north. With SJM not used, Lincoln would have been the next team coming up on our board as well.

Eisenhower (Rialto) 14-0 vs. Kaiser (Fontana) 13-1

CIFSS D10 champion & CIFSS D8 champion. At Kaiser, Saturday. Ike only had a 135 computer ranking this week, but just beat an unbeaten Highland of Palmdale squad that was in the 70s and also was 13-0. We had Kaiser one spot lower in D4-AA, but again with that extra spot freed up above that presented an opportunity for these two Inland Empire teams to play each other. Makes sense.

Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 11-2 vs. Morse (San Diego) 9-4

Central Sec D4 champion & San Diego Sec D3 champion. At CVC, Friday. It was a great weekend for the San Diego city schools as Lincoln, Morse and San Diego High all won section titles. Morse topped previously unbeaten Central (El Centro) for its title. Computer rankings say this is a good matchup, but from covering CVC for many years still seems too high. Plus, we wouldn’t have sent a San Diego team on this far of a trip or vice versa. It’s not as if CVC vs. Garfield (much closer trip) would have made a difference competitively.

Garfield (Los Angeles) 12-1 vs. Kennedy (Delano) 13-1

L.A. City Open Division runner-up & Central Sec D5 champion. At Garfield, Saturday. Is the L.A. City Open Division that bad in that its second-best team behind Narbonne can be matched up against a legit small school team from Central Sec D5? Kennedy also is about 60 spots lower in its computer ranking compared to Garfield. Kind of think the Thunderbirds got a bad draw for this division. Definitely should have been lower.

San Gorgonio (San Bernardino) 11-3 vs. Western (Anaheim) 13-1

CIFSS D9 and CIFSS D11 champions. At San Gorgonio, Friday. This might look odd given the division numbers these two teams just won, but San G is at 190 with its computer ranking and Western is just a few spots behind at 200. We had this matchup on our board last night but that was without knowing extra spot was going to be freed up by SJ Memorial not being there. At the mininum, we would have had San G up against Garfield and Western playing Kennedy (Delano).

San Diego 10-2 vs. Linfield Christian (Temecula) 13-1

San Diego Sec D4 champion & CIFSS D12 champion. At San Diego, Saturday. Linfield was dominant in winning its crown. We’ve had Shafter opposite Linfield for a few weeks and didn’t think it would change with Kennedy winning. Still, there was an extra spot filtering down the list to deal with so San Diego moving up to play Linfield is not a surprise.

Strathmore 11-1 vs. Adelanto 13-1

Central Sec D6 champion & CIFSS D13 champion. At Strathmore, Friday. Adelanto emerged out of the same bracket that we were previously listing El Monte and Orange Vista as the representative. Strathmore also moves up from where we had them with that extra spot vacated by San Joaquin Memorial above. The Spartans can now defend the state title they won last year so putting them in D6-AA became an easy call.

Orange Glen (Escondido) 9-3 vs. Locke (Los Angeles) 9-4

San Diego Sec D5 champion & L.A. City D2 champion. At Orange Glen, Saturday. We had Locke-Strathmore, but there ended up only one team on D7-AA board for south instead of two so Orange Glen moves up from D7-AA.

D7-AA State Championship
Denair 11-1 & Santee (Los Angeles) 13-1

Sac-Joaquin Sec D7 champion & L.A. City D3 champion. Technically, Santee is actually a few spots higher in the computer rankings than Locke, but we didn’t think it was enough to flip them and the CIF didn’t either. Denair won its section title on Saturday so it could play next week against Santee. Winning the D6-A title would be harder, but this 7-AA matchup was deemed necessary also with Fall River (McArthur) opting not to be in the field after winning Northern Section D5 title on Saturday over a Chester team that did the same thing last season. With Fall River off and Denair off of next week’s NorCal board, there became room to have four Central Section teams in the north instead of three and there’s still room for the NCS to have all of its teams entered as well.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle:

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  1. Kent Newmark
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Mark: perhaps you will address this later in the week. If DLS beats Liberty, it’s pretty simple. They are the Open representative, Folsom plays Central and Liberty plays St Francis. But if Liberty wins( which I think they will), are they or Folsom they Open selection. And where does DLS fit in, having played Folsom and St Francis? Thanks for your thoughts. Loved your book. Kent Newmark

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 25, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      In the situation if Liberty were to upset DLS, Folsom probably does go up to Open because it’s just a better matchup for MD (at least the Folsom offense vs. MD defense). DLS & Liberty wouldn’t play again in D1-AA, so it would be Liberty vs Central in D1-AA and DLS would have to be in D1-A. St. Francis would be next on board and should be next in rankings but has already played DLS. Continuing with this scenario, CIF could go along with those silly CCS playoff points and stick Wilcox perhaps in D1-A with SF in D2-AA. Don’t think it’s an assumption, though, that Wilcox will beat M-A and SF will beat Valley Christian. Those are tossups the way M-A and VC have been playing.

      • FBAddict
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Interesting discussion!!!

  2. Tommy
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Fall River is opting out.

  3. Tommy
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    You have CVC listed as SSD9 but they are CSD4. So that still leaves 3 CS teams in North and 3 in South.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Okay. I’ll fix the numbers. Lots of moving parts.

  4. FBAddict
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Mark, you may have a typo in your 3-AA blurb. You mention that there are only 2 spots filled in SoCal by the Central Section. However, there are three.
    Central Valley Christian in D4-AA
    Kennedy in D4-A
    Stratmore in D6-AA

    I thought CIF had a rule that the most northern Central Section teams would align with NorCal and the southern most would go with SoCal. Locations of all schools were assigned according to this rule except for Tulure Union of Tulare going north and Central Valley Christian of Visalia going south.

    • FBAddict
      Posted November 25, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – I see Tommy already mentioned that typo.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 25, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      The rule says three from Central Section or Southern Section can be in north. The Southern Section part of it, though, mainly was written when schools like Righetti and Arroyo Grande had yet to leave Southern Section for Central. It can and does change every year over which schools move north and south. Ridgeview of Bakersfield (D2) was recently in south. SJM was in south last year, north this year. Strathmore was in north last year, south this year. Factors vary every season. This year, I think the CIF had to prepare for possibility of some NCS teams opting to continue with its section playoffs and not do the coin flip advancements into the NorCal bracket. They need opponents for those five CCS Open teams that tend to get lumped together in middle of the north board.

  5. DB
    Posted November 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Man, how can CA be taken seriously when a state playoff does not include a minimum of 3 teams ranked top 25 in the entire nation? Someone needs to change the rules to allow 2 So Cal Open reps to make the playoff with the loser playing the D1 regional game or put teams like Mission Viejo, JSerra and Oaks Christian in a different bracket ala the north’s top teams. To have Narbonne and Cathedral playing Folsom basically is handing Folsom a title since those two teams would not win a round in the open bracket let alone the whole thing.

    • Fumble
      Posted November 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Oh it gets better… The team Mater Dei will likely play in the State Open game De La Salle only has to play two games to win their section title and the loser of that title game (against Liberty) will STILL get to move on to a state regional bowl while St. John Bosco, Centennial, JSerra, Mission Viejo, etc., etc., etc. stay home to watch an inferior team like get trampled by Folsom and on down the line as many NorCal top teams line up against lesser SoCal opponents because about 15 of their best are all booted in the Sectional playoffs.

      A thought to fix would be split SSD1 into Open private and public sections as half (8 of 16 teams) in SSD1 are public schools. You would have the Trinity league schools along with Amat, Chaminade, etc. battle in an 8 team private school bracket while Centennial, Mission Viejo, Murrieta Valley, RC, Valencia, etc. would have an 8 team public bracket.

      Would line up better for Private winner to play DLS and public to play Folsom for the near future… Isn’t the point of the top 2-3 bowls to be the best vs. the best?

      Bare in mind though, this is not NorCal’s fault, CIF state’s fault or anyone else. This is entirely on the Southern Section’s insane competitive equity rules and formation of a super D1 division instead of an Open division where they could decide to take finals loser to state bowl instead of champ from lower division…

      • Dane
        Posted November 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Helix Lost To Folsom by 7 lat year. The year before That , Cathedral Catholic won the state in the same divison. San Diego teams have one several state titles throughout the years and I actuall think Southern California Football has better teams the last Decade.

        • Mark Tennis
          Posted November 27, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          There’s always going to be more depth of top teams in SoCal than NorCal, just by sheer number of population and schools. That’s why the NorCal advantage of having a lot of runner-ups from CCS and NCS getting to move on tends to even out. People are going to have a problem, though, if CCS runner-ups keep winning state titles like St. Francis in D2-A last season.

        • DB
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Folsom is unbeaten vs the so. Cal reps that they have faced over the last 10 years. Reason being that they are generally Nor Cal’s #2 overall team and get to face So Cal’s 7th or 8th best. Bottom line is an easy rule change allowing the committee to consider the Open runner up for the D1 regional game would make things more equitable. Folsom vs the winner of Cathedral vs Sj Bosco would be more entertaining.

          • Mark Tennis
            Posted November 30, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            Folsom has only been there three times and in its first trip was picked to lose to Serra (Gardena) by many. What you are describing would have worked well in the past when MD and Bosco weren’t getting transfers from everywhere. As of today, putting in the CIFSS D1 runner-up into the state bowl games would just be more slaughter games for one of those two (who already can pretty much slaughter everyone in the state other than each other).

      • DB
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        You make a solid point but year to year I think fans still like to see top publics face off with top privates so I would not segregate the two entirely. It would be a year to year thing like how Ohio does their state bracket. Teams are awarded a point total at year end and the highest accumulated scores qualify for the D1 bracket regardless of whether they are private or public.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 27, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      The Southern Section used to have teams spread out into different divisions but went to this competitive equity formula and stuck all of the top teams in one division. In California, the sections tend to do what’s best for themselves with the state not as much of a priority. No one should change rules to let a bunch of CIFSS teams into the state playoffs when its the CIFSS itself that has created its super division. Not saying that it’s wrong, but don’t see why rest of state would have to adapt.

      • Dane
        Posted November 27, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        You are right. I wish that more top teams would play earlier before league play to get a TRUE Divisional CIF ranks. I know scheduling is tough but giving other schools opportunities to see the talent arpund California like a DLS playing two powerhouse SO Cal teams every year to help establish that top ranking every year. Thank you for your comme.nt

      • Fumble
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Agreed, this is not for the state to adapt, it’s solely on the Southern Section to fix its own issues and its not just about state bowls. If you are a top public school like Mission Viejo. RC or Murrieta Valley, you have VERY little chance to make even the finals of the section let alone win, and it would take years to get a low enough score to go down to D2. Only playing for league title with virtually no chance at Section or State I believe will take an unfortunate toll on these programs in the long run..

      • DB
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Oh to be clear I blame CIFSS for this problem as much as any entity but I just don’t think CA has a true state playoff bracket like other major states and it hurts matchups that fans would like to see. In basketball for example you get the best facing off regardless of whether they won their CIF title or finished as runner up. Same rule should apply in football. If the runner up in a top bracket ranks above the winner of a lesser one then the committee could choose the better team based on overall resume. Hell they do that with the SEC in college football now. SEC/Big 10 teams make the NCAA playoff despite not winning their own half of the conferences. HS can mimic that.

  6. DB
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Listen from 20 min on as they reiterate the point of the so Cal Open runner up qualifying for the D1 regional game.

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