East Bay Football Preseason Super Poll

OK, so the bashing us and telling us we’re idiots can begin. Here’s our inaugural poll of the season. Are there mistakes? Sure. Will things change drastically in the first few weeks? No doubt. But this is our crack at gauging who are the top teams in the East Bay at the start of the season. Keep an eye out here for the early release of the poll each Monday night (it runs in the paper each Tuesday). This is an early preview of the poll that will run in our Prep Football Preview Section on Thursday. Also, keep an eye on Prep Corner for even more poll action throughout the season (you’ll see what I mean starting next week).

Team ’07 Record Points Last year
1. De La Salle (11) 13-0 165 1
2. San Ramon Valley 12-1-1 147 2
3. California 11-2 145 3
4. Las Lomas 13-1 122 6
5. Pittsburg 6-5 121 8
6. Monte Vista 8-4 119 5
7. San Leandro 8-3 85 7
8. Foothill 6-5 74 9
9. James Logan 11-1 68 4
10. College Park 9-3 51 17
11. Berkeley 6-4-1 39 14
12. Ygnacio Valley 7-5 31 19
t13. Bishop O’Dowd 8-3 25 15
t13. Freedom 3-7 25 NR
t13. Newark Mem. 9-2 25 11

Others receiving votes: Deer Valley (7-3) 24, Encinal (9-3), 18, Amador Valley (6-4) 14, Pinole Valley (10-2-1), 10, Campolindo (9-4) 3, Piedmont (7-4) 1, Washington (5-6-1) 1.

Durkin’s notes: A few things I find interesting is our top three at the end of last year remains exactly the same and each of this year’s top nine were in the top nine at the end of last year. Pinole Valley is the only top-10 team from a year ago to drop out of the preseason poll and Freedom is the lone unranked team from last year to sneak into the poll. As you may notice, we’ve changed this year’s poll from top-20 to top-15. It was felt that top-20 just made it a little too diluted. Had we been top-15 last year, I would also be telling you that College Park and Ygnacio Valley were unranked teams who were now ranked since they were ranked Nos. 17 and 19, respectively, in our final poll of last season. Anyways, let’s get the comments rolling and below I’ll attach last year’s final poll for your viewing and comparison pleasure.

2007 Final East Bay Football Poll

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (15) 13-0 300 1
2. San Ramon Valley 12-1-1 284 4
3. California 11-2 270 3
4. James Logan 11-1 254 2
5. Monte Vista 8-4 235 6
6. Las Lomas 13-1 223 7
7. San Leandro 8-3 208 8
8. Pittsburg 6-5 191 9
9. Foothill 6-5 177 10
10. Pinole Valley 10-2-1 167 13
11. Newark Mem. 9-2 146 5
12. Amador Valley 6-4 120 12
13. Campolindo 9-4 113 NR
14. Berkeley 6-4-1 81 14
15. Bishop O’Dowd 8-3 79 11
16. Heritage 7-4 72 15
17. College Park 9-3 53 16
18. Washington 5-6-1 52 20
19. Ygnacio Valley 7-5 38 NR
20. Deer Valley 7-3 37 17

Others receiving votes: Encinal (9-3) 31, Salesian (10-2) 11.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Amador should be ranked and SRV lost too much to still be No. 2. Monte Vista is returning 15 starters from a team that beat SRV last year.

  • PHS04

    i think the Poll should be by classification.. I don’t believe Las Lomas would be able to compete with the teams they are ahead of..

  • Funny you say that PHS04, keep an eye on Prep Corner for a new feature starting next week.

  • EBAL Fan and Kyle, I agree about SRV. I don’t know where all their love came from. I voted them fourth in my poll with Cal No. 2 and Monte Vista No. 3.

  • O’Dad

    Logan must have had a great JV team. Didn’t Waterhouse say rhey lost 11 offensive starters and 9 on defense? I think the poll is generally accurate-if you base it on last season. This is 08 though.

  • Steve R. Waterhouse

    O’Dad, it’s tough with that first poll. It’s always hard to determine how some teams will turnout. I think the first poll is based on a lot of history. I think we’ll agree that teams such as San Leandro, James Logan, … about any EBAL (minus Granada and Livermore) will get the benefit–of-the doubt vote because of their track record. Each year there are those breakout teams that most miss, and that is what’s great about high school sports. But, for the most part, I think we get the poll right in the end. And what matters is the end.

  • HAAL Fan

    I think the Washington vote kind of ruined credibility for me guys. All joking aside, I don’t understand the loss of all those starters adding up to SRV at #2. Also don’t know if I agree with the Las Lomas and College Park votes. Las Lomas certainly belongs but not as high and College Park may be slighted to me due to their league’s lack of strength. Although, pre season it’s a pretty good estimate of the year as a whole. Good work guys.

  • Freedom and BOD are ranked too high. BOD always gets too much love. Take a look at their schedule. I think its pretty soft. Watch when they beat Alameda and see how high they jump the polls then. Freedom was pretty weak last season and my inside person tells me that they are worse this year. Freedom’s line is slow and not not very aggressive.

  • Berkeley will beat Las Lomas, BOD, Campo (who had plenty of problems with Alameda in their scrimmage, San Leandro, Logan and College Park. B-High is too fast for the teams I mentioned.

  • KBonagura

    Vaughn is worth 1 vote and if SRV can lose its whole team (besides Southwick) and be No. 2, Washington can lose its whole team (besides Vaughn) and get 1 last place vote …. from me. After all, Washington (without Vaughn) did tie SRV (with Southwick) last year.

    It’s crap shoot anyways. Look at the college rankings, they have so much more info to base the preseason polls on than we do (spring football, full time beat writers covering every team, video etc…) and those polls are always off. I’m sticking with Washington as No. 15.

  • KBonagura

    And Amador will beat Freedom by double digits this week to get into the rankings.

  • billjohnson

    berkeley is ranked to high who did they beat?

  • billjohnson

    las lomas ranked way to high, they got lucky last year against campolindo they should have lost that playoff game

  • Bill,
    Nobody has beaten anybody. That’s the deal with any preseason poll. It takes a few weeks for things to even out. Right now, it’s just based on projections of how we think teams will do. With Berkeley, you’ve got Coach Carter who was able to build tiny McClymonds into a powerhouse and become who is the only team outside of De La Salle to have the No. 1 spot in the poll in the last two decades. Put him at Berkeley with that big of a talent pool to draw from and I guarantee within a few years, he’ll have Berkeley contending for a spot in the NCS finals. I agree that Las Lomas is too high (I didn’t have them that high), but like I said, it’s a preseason poll. Nobody really knows how well any of these teams will do.

  • O’Dad

    Funny, I don’t recall BHS being too fast for BOD in their 7 on 7 game about a month ago. They tied- 5 TDs each, and everyone knows BOD’s strenghth is their running game and physical presence. Berkeley is good though, and so is O’Dowd. BOD may have got too much love somewhat in the past, but will get too little this year. I would be very comfortable playing any team in this poll ( well, maybe not DLS). There were a few teams in the top 5-10 last year that I saw play a few times and thought we would have no problem with them. BOD had avery good team last year, but, laid an egg in the 1st round playoff game, so, thats what’s remembered. Understandable-but while some of these teams ranked ahead of BOD today start getting whupped up on, people will still say they are better than BOD because of their stronger schedule. Getting beat 42-7 by a strong team does not make you a strong team,by definition. It surely makes your team better by playing a tougher schedule, no doubt. But you should’nt be considered a strong team because of who you play-if you don’t compete well in those games.

  • O’dad,
    BOD never plays any strong teams though. Unless the play San Leandro and we all know how that turns out each year. And every year they are ranked extremely high. There’s a little saying though, “you beat BOD and your definitley in-and ranked in the top 20”. Also, how is playing weaker teams going to make BOD any better so that when they get in the playoffs they roll?

  • KBonagura

    There is definitely something to that. The last time O’Dowd beat a team from outside the HAAL who made the playoffs was in 2002 when it beat St. Mary’s-Berkeley, which got blown out in the first round of the 2A playoffs that year.

    Lots of talent over the years there though, just not much success against some of the better East Bay programs.

  • EBAL Fan

    These arguments are all well and good, but in the end, everything is played out on the field….with De La Salle winning it all….

  • Steve R. Waterhouse

    Way to go out on a limb there EBAL Fan.

  • O’Dad

    Kyle and Coach, I here your arguments and I respect them. I know BOD played Foothill and some other powers in recent years in pre-season. It has just been the last few that the schedule is a little soft in pre-season. I won’t name them, but, i see other teams get a pass on this same subject. Also, Kyle, I believe your history may be off a little. BOD has won 3 NCS championships in the last 11 years, with the last coming in 2004. They have been to the NCS title game about 7-8 times in the past 20 years. Perenon has AVERAGED 9 wins per year over the last 20 years Other than DLS, BOD and James Logan are the only schools with that success over the last 20 years. Look it up…

  • Kyle Bonagura

    That was in reference to the regular season. When Coach was talking about how O’Dowd never played strong teams, I looked up their past schedules and it’s a pretty accurate statement.

    And when they have scheduled tougher opponents in non-league, the Dragons haven’t done too well. Could that be the reasoning for softening up the schedule? Maybe.

    O’Dowd has definitely been a major player in its classification, but when were grouping it with the higher level as well (the East Bay Poll), O’Dowd hasn’t matched up over the past 5-7 years or so.

  • O’Dad

    Maybe, but in years past the HAAL could be brutal. They already play mostly big school classified teams in league. I do know that they would have scheduled a much tougher pre-season this year had they been able to get out of existing contracts. They want to have a tougher schedule for this years team, and will be making new scheduling contracts for next year.

  • O’Dad is correct here. I’m guessing O’Dowd would’ve liked to have a tougher schedule because they have a pretty good team this year. Contracts didn’t allow that. But watch out for the Dragons. Anyone who hasn’t seen Chris Martin play should check him out. I saw him last year as a sophomore and he’s a beast. Their backfield should be pretty good this year too. And when you actually look at it, O’Dowd is a smaller school (although a traditional power) so you can’t really blame them for who they play. Are they they quality of the top EBAL schools? No. But they also have half the enrollment.

  • Michael Bower

    I would throw the previous years out the window for this season’s O’Dowd squad. The Dragons are going to be very good and are certainly worthy of being in our poll.

  • PHS04

    Berkeley has to go through Pitt in the regular season to even be considered for anything special.. Depending on how badly Pittsburg dismantles Berkeley I just hope they get a NCS playoff rematch..

  • KBonagura

    O’Dad- Here is where I’m coming from. Over the past three years, O’Dowd is 1-13 against teams that finished the season with a winning record. With that win coming last year against Arroyo, which was 6-5.

    Before I’m willing to include the Dragons in any discussion with the top teams they’ve got to turn that around. I covered them against Kennedy last year and was very impressed with the defense, but I couldn’t say the same about the offense.

  • O’Dad

    Kyle, I hear you brother. Thats why the team is working so hard this year to turn that around. I suppose my point is- everyone seems to be able to find things to slam BOD about, while I’m sure there are other teams, even traditional powers, that some stat like this could be pointed out. IF Bod were to go undefeated some year, the naysayers would still come up with all kinds of things to bash them with. I am speaking of the public(fans), not you guys , as you seem to have the posture of “show me, dont tell me”, which I respect.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I saying that O’Dowd won’t have a good season or challenge for the HAAL title. I’ve had good experiences in the few times I’ve talked with Perenon and respect the program and have some friends who went through it.

    From everything I’ve heard, this is the year the Dragons may make the jump into the upper echelon of the East Bay. But based on recent history I couldn’t make them a top-10 team on my preseason poll. That may very well change and losing to YV in the first round at home certainly didn’t help their momentum going into this year. (especially after I picked O’Dowd to win the 2A east bay title last year)