CIF Regional Bowl Projections

Serra of San Mateo players (left) hold the CCS Open Division title trophy from last week’s win vs Wilcox. At right, Pablo Jackson from Granite Hills of El Cajon hoists CIF D2-A state title trophy last season. Photos: @GetSportsFocus / & Mark Tennis.

Here’s the second run-through for all of the most likely scenarios for the CIF NorCal and SoCal regional bowl games, which will lead up to the CIF state football championships on Dec. 8-9 at three junior colleges in Southern California. Depending on how everything goes over Friday and Saturday, we may do another one late Saturday/early Sunday prior to when the CIF announces its regional lineup of games on Sunday. Follow us on X/Twitter for updates.

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Before going through all of the possible matchups, there are several major, important reminders for all to consider.

First, there are always upsets in section playoffs in which the top seeded team in a bracket is knocked off in a section final. Each team listed in the projections is either the highest seeded team remaining in that bracket or it’s the team with the highest MaxPreps/CalPreps computer ranking.

For teams that are ranked in our own Cal-Hi Sports State TOP 50 or have been in our medium/small schools state rankings we are listing those teams in the same order as those rankings and not the computer. There are no medium/small schools rankings this week and there wasn’t last week, either. We’ll return to those for the weeks leading into the regional games, then the state finals and then there will be final medium/small plus our final five division format that goes back to 1975.

Second, teams can opt out of participating in the CIF regional/state championships. There haven’t been any in a division higher than D4 but there have been in the lower divisions, especially small schools from rural Northern California. The CIF will know which teams are opting out this year well before the section championships, but it’s not known if it will release the names of any of those schools. While some of the schools opting out will lose in their section finals, it will be good to know for those in media before a section final if a winning school is opting out. Reporters should ask coaches if they don’t know because the coaches will know if they’ve opted out or not. Unlike previous years, that choice already has been made.

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