The first teams earning berths will be coming this week from the CIF North Coast Section & CIF San Diego Section Open Divisions. The losing team in the NCS, however, will not be finished for the season but it will be in San Diego. The NorCal board stayed the same with no projected section champions losing. In the south, new on the board is Independence of Bakersfield, Ventura, Twentynine Palms, Righetti of Santa Maria and Loara of Anaheim.
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Note: For these bowl projections, we are using the team that is either seeded first or ranked highest in our own state rankings as the placeholder for that section’s playoff champion. This year, the biggest change from two years ago is a new format for the CIF North Coast Section Open/D1 bracket that makes it possible for the second-best NCS team to be able to win a section title and go on to the regionals. It’s a unique situation since De La Salle of Concord has won every NCS top divisional title since 1992 (the streak should reach 30 years this season). Only section champions are eligible to be in a CIF regional championship. The CIF also has the option of using teams from the CIF Central Section in the north or south. It has been three going to each region, but we have a confirmation from associate commissioner Brian Seymour (who runs the football playoffs) that it can be two and four. We’ve done that for this run-through with the extra strong team in the north compared to last time (NCS No. 2 team). We asked Brian if the CIF has heard anything about perhaps a high number of teams opting out and he said that there has been nothing that they know about.