FINAL NorCal CIF Bowl Picks

These were done after all games of Saturday, Nov. 27 but before the CIF is meeting on Sunday. Once those come out, compare and contrast in good fun to see which ones you like best. Note that we don’t know while doing this about any schools that may opt out.

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OPEN DIVISION
De La Salle (Concord) 10-2
Most difficult choice for all spots on both sides of the board is the one between DLS & Serra (San Mateo) about which one plays Mater Dei in two weeks. Serra has the edge for having avenged its only loss with a win over the St. Francis of Mountain View team that got an early-season win over De La Salle. But the Spartans not only have a big win over Folsom (team they’d play in D1-AA) but also have a big win over Cathedral Catholic (team that is also will/should be in D1-AA in south). It’s not like St. Francis won easily, either. It took an amazing play at the end. De La Salle’s experience playing in the Open Division is a factor as well. If St. Francis had beaten Serra, no question which team is in the Open. Serra won, so it’s not easy at all.

Julian Lopez is all smiles on the Central Catholic of Modesto sidelines after a tackle-breaking run set up one of his team’s touchdowns in win vs. Manteca. Photo: Mark Tennis / Cal-Hi Sports.


DIVISION 1AA
Serra of San Mateo (CCS D1) 11-1 vs. Folsom (SJS D1) 10-3
Comment: Once you actually put down Serra vs Folsom on paper (which have never played) the excitement builds.

DIVISION 1A
Pittsburg (NCS D1) 9-2 vs. Liberty of Bakersfield (Central Sec D1) 10-2
Comment: We would like to see the CIF put the top two teams from the Central Section in the north with the other four in the south. Liberty’s run to its title included wins over Buchanan and Central teams that were in the top 25 of the state. This is not too high after doing that.

DIVISION 2AA
Central Catholic of Modesto (SJS D2) 12-1 vs. Bullard of Fresno (Central Sec D2) 9-4
Comment: We’ve been going back and forth about Central Catholic’s possible opponent. Bullard’s wins the last two weeks plus the preferred travel between the two cities proved to tilt it that way.

DIVISION 2A
McClymonds of Oakland (Oak Sec) 10-1 vs. Vanden of Fairfield (SJS D4) 11-2
Comment: We would still place Vanden as the D4 champ from the SJS higher than D3 Manteca since Kimball of Tracy was in D4 and beat Manteca. Vanden also had a win against NCS D2 finalist Foothill of Pleasanton and had a big win Saturday vs. Merced.

DIVISION 3AA
Manteca (SJS D3) 10-3 vs. Marin Catholic of Kentfield (NCS D4) 12-1
Comment: After avenging loss to Oakdale on Friday, Manteca would seem to be clear to be next in line. MC going up is based on local evaluations plus beating Cardinal Newman 42-7.

DIVISION 3A
Wilcox of Santa Clara (CCS D1) 10-2 vs. Windsor (NCS D3) 11-1
Comment: To us, Campolindo winning in NCS D2 caused some changes since the Cougars have been much lower in the computer rankings compared to Windsor and Marin Catholic. It’s not known if the NCS will recommend that or what the CIF might do.

DIVISION 4AA
Escalon (SJS D5) vs. Campolindo of Moraga (NCS D2) 10-3
Comment: This would be Cougars vs Cougars and the two were close to each other in the computer. It’s the same division Ripon won state in two years ago, but not sure Ripon played anyone like Campo.

DIVISION 4A
Chico (Northern Sec D2) 9-3 vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco (CCS D3) 5-7
Comment: Chico won its section title on Saturday by beating Foothill (Palo Cedro) for the third time. SHC is from the WCAL and had a win in regular season over Bellarmine.

DIVISION 5AA
San Marin of Novato (NCS D5) 12-1 vs. Sutter (Northern Sec D3) 11-1
Comment: Sutter won an incredible OT game, 34-31, on Saturday over Paradise. San Marin rolled in its section final vs Del Norte.

DIVISION 5A
University Prep of Redding (Northern Sec D4) 13-0 vs. St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma (NCS D7) 11-1
Comment: Have been eyeing this one for two weeks and still like it a lot.

DIVISION 6AA
Argonaut of Jackson (SJS D6) 10-3 vs. Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton (CCS D4) 6-7
Comment: Gators of SHP have a lot of experience in CIF games and could be in a good spot here.

DIVISION 6A
Salesian of Richmond (NCS D6) 9-2 vs. Aragon of San Mateo (CCS D5) 9-4
Comment: Solid wins for both teams in their section finals.

DIVISION 7AA
Fall River of McArthur (Northern Sec D5) 11-0 vs. LeGrand (SJS D7) 8-5
Comment: Upset of unbeaten Woodland Christian puts LeGrand onto the board. The CIF probably already knows if Fall River is opting out again since it played on Wednesday night.

DIVISION 7A
Balboa of San Francisco (SF AAA) 8-4
Comment: Bal won its first city title in many years on Turkey Day at Kezar Stadium over Lincoln. Again, these are all qualifying teams. We don’t know of any schools that will opt out, but would assume there will be one.


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