New selection criteria for state bowl games
Just when high school football fans across the state were getting used to the selection procedure for the California Interscholastic Federation’s state championship bowl games, the state governing board announced a new format this week.
According to a press release from the CIF State office in Sacramento on Monday, the CIF has changed the way it selects teams for the five state bowl games, switching to mostly competitive equity instead of enrollment.
In the CIF’s new plan, there will still be five bowl games - Open, Division I, II, III and IV. In two of the divisions – Open and Div IV. (small-school) nothing changes as the Open Division will match the best two teams from the North and the South regardless of division while Div. IV will be schools with enrollments of 500 or smaller.
One prerequisite for the state bowl selection process still remains as schools must be a section champion to be eligible for the bowl selection process.
At first glance, the new selection process for north schools doesn’t seem to have a drastic complexion change. However, some intrigue could still exist down the road.
For instance, in 2010, it is being rumored that Del Oro’s enrollment for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs could possibly for the first time drop the Golden Eagles down into the Div. III area while Granite Bay, possibly, could have Div. II numbers.
In that hypothetical case, both Granite Bay (Div. II) and Del Oro (Div. III) could win respective section championships but both schools would then be competing against each other for the north’s state Div. II state berth.
Making it even more complicated is that the two schools are in the same league, the Sierra Foothill League.
“In something like that, you figure that the team that beat the other in league would have the edge,” said Will Deboard, the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Director of Communications. “But then again you could have a team that didn’t even win its league be in that situation.”
In last season’s Div. I north bowl selection process, the three teams in contention were De La Salle, Bellarmine and Nevada Union. The committee selected De La Salle to play in the Open Division game, Bellarmine in the Div. I game and Nevada Union was left out.
"This new system for selection is the result of meetings with the section commissioners and input from the State CIF Football Advisory Committee," said Executive Director Marie Ishida in a news release.
Here is the North’s new criteria for divisions:
North Div. I
Central Coast Open
Cemtral Coast Div. I
North Coast Div. I
Sac-Joaquin Div. I
North Div. II
Central Coast Div. II
North Coast Div. II
North Section Div. I
San Francisco Section
Sac-Joaquin Div. II
Sac-Joaquin Div. III
North Div. III
Central Coast Div. III-IV
North Coast Section Div. III-IV-V
North Section Div. II-III
Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV-V-VI