College football season is fast approaching. While much of the attention is focused on the Division I programs such as USC and UCLA, area coaches are also putting their teams through the paces.
The junior college season will have a competely different feel to it, thanks to a new conference alignment and playoff structure. Area coaches like the new structure. The unfortunate thing is it also means a temporary end to the rivalry between Chaffey and San Bernardino Valley College.
The two had long been rivals in the Foothill Conference. Players from the teams know each other from their high school days. The coaches are friends – SBVC’s Pat Meech has coached with Chaffey’s Carl Beach.
The fact that they won’t be playing each other is a shame, especially because they are only 20 or so minutes apart. SBVC, now competing in the Mountain Conference of the American Division, will play non-conference games against Riverside, College of the Desert and Saddleback.
Chaffey, now in the tougher Central Conference of the National Division, plays non-conference contests against Grossmont, Mt. San Jacinto, Southwestern and Antelope Valley – all significantly longer trips.
The new alignment was supposed to address geography and natural rivals but that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case here.
Schools were allowed to submit a list of three teams it wanted to keep on its schedule. Meech listed Chaffey first and Beach listed SBVC first. So why that game wasn’t kept is a mystery to both Beach and Meech.
We can only hope that when the new structure is examined again in two years the powers that be see fit to put that game back on the schedule. It’s nice that SBVC will play Riverside but the absence of a game against Chaffey still leaves a void.