Mid-Valley Football: Should you schedule tough opponents, or play cupcakes?

We’ve talked a lot about what it means for Charter Oak, South Hills, Damien and Glendora going to the powerful Inland Division, but the Mid-Valley Division is controversial because of the way playoff berths are handed out. The Valle Vista and Montview Leagues have seven teams, but only two teams from each league are guaranteed playoff spots, with the rest vying for the precious four at-large berths. The question is, how will CIF choose the at-large berths? Looking at how CIF ranked teams and how they were seeded in previous years, a team like Azusa was rewarded for a great overall record though they didn’t play anyone significant. Meanwhile, teams like Paraclete, San Dimas, Arroyo, Rosemead and others scheduled up in recent years and when they did lose, they paid the price in CIF rankings. You see a team like San Dimas playing Rancho Cucamonga and Monrovia next year, making you wonder if it’s worth it now. What if they have an injury or screw up in league, finish in a tie for second and lose a coin flip. They could be out if they have a not-so-impressive overall record. Diamond Ranch isn’t in the Mid-Valley, but they’re a perfect example of a team that schedules way up and loses in preparation for the playoffs, but if you tried that in the new Valle Vista and finished third, you would never get an at-large with a 4-6 or 3-7 record. If I’m one of the powerful teams in the Mid-Valley, it almost makes no sense anymore to schedule more than one tough team. You’re better off taking a page from Azusa and notching as many wins as you can before you start league. Aram is working on a story involving appeals, with the Valle Vista certain to appeal this new format, but if it remains like this, what would you do, continue to schedule up, or get as many wins as you could?


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