I know, I know. We are barely through Week 6 of the football season and I am already talking about the playoffs. But that’s what we do as prep sports writers, try to bring you an insight on what is going to happen before it actually does. And come on, are we ever wrong? OK, don’t answer that question.
Let’s just breakdown the North Coast Section 3-A class, which is all of a sudden a stacked division. Alphabetically for now, let’s look at who has a chance at getting to the playoffs: Alameda (5-1, 2-1 ACCAL), American (3-3, 1-2 MVAL), Arroyo (3-3, 1-2 HAAL), College Park (5-1, 4-1 DFAL), Freedom (3-3, 2-3 BVAL), Heritage (4-2, 3-1 BVAL), Newark Memorial (6-0, 2-0 MVAL), Pinole Valley (5-0-1, 2-0-1 ACCAL), San Ramon Valley (5-0-1, 3-0 EBAL), Tennyson (3-3, 2-1 HAAL), Washington (3-1-1, 1-1 MVAL).
Wow, that is six teams with no losses or just one loss. Remember, the bracket fills up with just eight spots. Let’s go ahead and mark in our locks to get into the playoffs: San Ramon Valley, Newark Memorial, Pinole Valley and Alameda. These squads are my 99.9-percent lock teams. That leaves four spots.
Here is a list of probable teams: College Park and Washington. The only reason Washington isn’t a lock right now is because they probably are going to be forced by NCS to forfeit the first two games of the season _ both wins _ against Tennyson and Arroyo for using an ineligible player. But Washington should still finish with just one more loss max this season _ that coming to James Logan on Oct. 20.
My teams that will crack the bubble: Heritage is in its first season of varsity football and have some huge wins already. I think they sneak into the playoffs. In my eyes, it comes down to Arroyo and Freedom for the last spot. Arroyo is likely to turn a bad loss to Washington into a win because the Huskies used an ineligible player. And now that the Dons are finally healthy, I think they should be the last team to sneak into the playoffs. Freedom has a great chance, but it is on a sinking ship right now.
OK, let’s do the seeds now.
1. San Ramon Valley- Should be EBAL champs.
2. Newark Memorial- Only way they get No. 1 is by beating James Logan.
3. Pinole Valley – ACCAL champs again. Tie to Berkeley costs them a higher seed.
4. Alameda – 3-point loss to Pinole Valley puts them just behind the Spartans.
5. College Park – This squad could be No. 4 and Alameda No. 5.
6. Washington- A tie to SRV should make them higher, but forfeit losses drop them way down. You never know, NCS could be weird about these forfeits and drop them out all together or put them right behind Newark at No. 3. Washington lost to Newark 6-3.
7. Heritage-Owns win over Mt. Eden and Arroyo lost to the Monarchs (Arroyo’s QB was out that game)
8. Arroyo/Freedom – Either way, playing SRV in the first round won’t be fun.
OK, as of Week 6 this is the way the playoff picture is shaping up. Let me know what you think.