Here are new divisions for the CIF-SS football playoffs, as released last week.
San Bernardino County schools are highlighted in yellow. For other fall sports, go to cifss.org.
Divisions 1 and 2
To see semifinal tweets, click below:
I had a horrible week last week. Maybe I think too much (probably not) or maybe I think I know more than I actually do (probably).
Anyway, I went 8-6 in picking games last week and I am now 287-87 picking winners this week, with 6 margins exactly right and one score exactly right.
Here’s what I have this week, for better or for worse.
Charter Oak 28, Glendora 19
San Marino 30, Summit 24
Oak Hills 42, La Quinta 31
Serrano 45, Palm Springs 21
Heritage 28, Cajon 24
Rancho Verde 35, Citrus Hill 28
Notre Dame 21, Aquinas 14
Linfield Christian 35, Nipomo 20
Mission Viejo 28, Chino Hills 17
Rancho Cucamonga 27, Vista Murrieta 21
CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod proposed a new playoff format for many of its sports including football.
It would be playoff divisions by competitive equity and not by league.
For instance, a school such as defending state champion Redlands East Valley would likely be placed into a higher CIF-SS division than the other schools in the Citrus Belt League.
Cajon coach Nick Rogers is one of those coaches who likes the idea.
“I look at our league and four of the top 10 teams in CIF are in our league,” Rogers said. “Theoretically, the fourth team might not get in (the playoffs), but this would help. I think we’re in a strong league right now.”
Rogers said he feels for the Big VIII League, which is in the Pac-5 Division largely based on the success of Corona Centennial.
This would enable Corona Centennial to be in a higher division than some of the other schools.
“I couldn’t imagine being in that league, but we have REV, the top program around,” Rogers said. “I’d be all for it (the proposal).”
In the proposal, the previous two years of playoff data would be used to determine playoff divisions. Like it is now for basketball, divisions would be set prior to each season.
The problem for football is that brackets can only be 16 teams. Byes will be filled with an at-large process. In theory, four- and five-team leagues would get two guaranteed entries, leagues of 6-8 teams would be guaranteed three, while leagues of nine or more would get four.
But, if more than 16 teams qualify in a division, via the “guaranteed” process, then teams would have to be cut using the same at-large criteria used to fill byes. So guaranteed entries would be a misnomer.
Serrano coach Ray Maholchic is one coach who doesn’t like the idea.
“We focus on trying to win league,” he said. “When you win league, you’re accomplishing something, you should be rewarded. With competitive equity, it’s almost like you’re punishing teams that are winning … or you’re rewarding teams that have mediocrity.”
Maholchic also said many playoff opponents have developed rivalries, and that would be gone under a new format.
My take: I”m not sure if this is a good idea for football. It might be good for other sports, but football is already the No. 1 component in releaguing. And schools should know whether they are automatically in the playoffs before it comes to the committee. Does third place get in or not? I think in many sports, it’s a good idea. But in football, I’d say no.
Friday’s first-round CIF-SS football scores and next week’s schedules
Redlands East Valley 61, North 17
Elsinore 44, Jurupa Hills 3
Rancho Verde 52, Paloma Valley 16
Citrus Hill 63, Citrus Valley 14
Riverside Poly 42, Tahquitz 17
San Gorgonio 55, Cajon 7
Carter 37, San Jacinto 22
Heritage 54, Rim of the World 7
REV at Elsinore
Rancho Verde at Citrus Hill
Riverside Poly at San Gorgonio
Carter at Heritage
Colony 48, La Canada 0
Glendora 24, Summit 14
Charter Oak 49, Colton 0
San Marino 49, Claremont 28
Bonita 45, Kaiser 14
West Covina 18, Chaffey 15
Los Altos 28, South Hills 10
Monrovia 26, Don Lugo 20 (OT)\
Glendora at Colony
Charter Oak at San Marino
West Covina at Bonita
Monrovia at Los Altos
Last week, it was my best week of the year. Although I missed picking some Thursday games, I went 23-3 picking winners last week. I also got 3 games correct with the correct margin: I said Big Bear would win 35-14, and it was 36-15; I said Rim would beat Arroyo Valley 42-7, and it was 35-0 and I said Jurupa Hills would beat Indian Springs 47-14, and it was 40-7.
Another close one was picking Oak Hills to beat Hesperia 48-21 and it was actually 50-21. For the season, I am 267-80-2 with 10 games exactly picking the correct winning margin.
Anyway, here are my picks for the first San Bernardino County playoff games this week:
La Canada 38, La Canada 14
Glendora 28, Summit 21
Charter Oak 31, Colton 7
Kaiser 26, Bonita 17
West Covina 24, Chaffey 20
Monrovia 38, Don Lugo 10
La Quinta 41, Apple Valley 7
Serrano 28, Palm Desert 14
La Sierra 35, Hesperia 17
Silverado 28, Rubidoux 12
Oak Hills 48, Cathedral City
EAST VALLEY DIVISION
St. Margaret’s 40, Excelsior 14
Silver Valley 35, Rancho Christian 28
Redlands East Valley 52, J.W. North 7
Elsinore 35, Jurupa Hills 7
Citrus Hill 27, Citrus Valley 17
San Gorgonio 34, Cajon 20
Carter 21, San Jacinto 14
Heritage 48, Rim of the World
Arrowhead Christian 49, Cantwell Sacred Heart 41
WEST VALLEY DIVISION
Upland 35, San Juan Hills 16
Great Oak 35, Chino Hills 31
Valencia 24, Rancho Cucamonga 17
Big Bear 35, Rio Hondo Prep 21
Above, a photo from the last time Cajon and San Gorgonio met on the football field, on Sept. 6, 2013 as Cajon’s Edward Kilpatrick tries to break through the San Gorgonio defense.
How big a crowd could be expected for today’s CIF-SS Inland Division matchup, with San Gorgonio hosting Cajon?
“I don’t really know,” San Gorgonio athletic director Matt Maeda said. “We’re the only teams in San Bernardino playing, but REV and Citrus Valley have games, so we won’t get those fans.”
Since San Bernardino schools for years were all in the San Andreas League together, this is uncharted territory to have city schools from different leagues play each other in the playoffs.
Maeda thinks the crowd could rival the biggest in recent years at their stadium.
“It has the potential to be the biggest. The first time REV came here was probably the biggest (in 2009),” Maeda said.
With a large crowd anticipated, both schools are selling tickets in advance at their schools. Both Maeda and Cajon athletic director Rich Imbriani said they pre-sell tickets for games in which a larger crowd is anticipated.
“It’s more of a courtesy for our dedicated fans,” Maeda said. “We have a good following of alumni, and it helps them not to stand in a long line.”
Yucaipa went into Friday’s regular season finale looking like a good shot to grab the CIF-SS Inland Division’s one at-large playoff berth.
All Yucaipa needed to do was to beat Redlands.
But, things didn’t go according to plan and Yucaipa lost to Redlands, creating a three-way tie for fourth with Citrus Valley, Yucaipa and Redlands. While fourth place in an eight-team does not get an automatic berth into the playoffs anymore, the tie did need to be broken in order for one of the teams to be considered for the at-large berth.
And it was Citrus Valley that won the coin flip. That leaves the Blackhawks (4-6) likely vying with Hemet (6-4) from the Mountain Pass League and Temescal Canyon (3-7) of the Sunbelt League for the division’s lone at-large berth.
We will know early on Sunday morning which team made it in, and then later on Sunday the playoff draws will be announced.
Who will get it? I don’t know for sure. On the surface, you would think Hemet based on overall record.
But, there are other factors.
Here is the at-large criteria from the football playoff bulletin:
Criteria utilized by the At-Large Selection Committee:
(a) Head-to-head competition of teams under consideration (4 points)
(b) Overall strength of the league from which the team is entered (1 point)
(c) Overall win-loss record (1 point)
(d) Strength against common opponents (1 point)
(e) Strength of schedule (2 points, using overall win-loss record of opponents)
(f) Free lance teams will be part of the pool for the filling of at-large berths
Head-to-head competition? There was none.
Common opponents? I think Temescal Canyon and Hemet shared one, and both teams lost to Temecula Valley.
Strength of league? The Citrus Belt is considered the strongest league in the division, so Citrus Valley would have the advantage there.
Strength of opponents? That advantage goes to Temescal Canyon. Record of TC’s opponents are 61-39, Citrus Valley’s are 56-44 and Hemet’s are 44-56.
So, with strength of schedule weighing more (two points) than other criteria, the pick could be Temescal Canyon.