Ok, what I decided to do is project out the next two weeks for the most likely scenario.
There are mathematically 18 teams alive for 12 spots:
Amador Valley, Antioch, Berkeley, Cal, College Park, De La Salle, Deer Valley, Foothill, Freedom, Granada, Irvington, James Logan, Monte Vista, Newark Memorial, Pittsburg, San Leandro, San Ramon Valley, Washington.
Here are what I’ve projected as those teams final records (No sense doing the “If it ended today game”):
De La Salle (9-1), Monte Vista (9-1), Pittsburg (9-1), Freedom (9-1), Berkeley (9-1), Foothill (8-2), Deer Valley (7-3), Newark Memorial (7-3), San Leandro (7-3), California (6-4), College Park (6-4), San Ramon Valley (6-4), Washington (6-4), James Logan (5-5), Amador Valley (4-6), Antioch (4-6), Granada (4-6), Irvington (4-6)
From the NCS website, here is the minimum qualifying criteria:
To be accepted as a participant in the NCS/Les Schwab Tires Football Championships, a team shall have compiled an overall record of at least an equal number of wins and losses; or an overall record of at least an equal number of wins and losses against teams in its own division; or at least an equal number of wins and losses in its own league.
Exception: league champions shall gain automatic entry.
a. “Teams in its own division” is defined as any team (note exception b and c below) whose grades 9-12 enrollment fall within the school’s NCS Football Division or has petitioned to a higher division.
b. Games against teams outside of the United States will not be counted in determining the “winning record within a division”.
c. When a team’s petition is approved to play in a division of greater enrollment, that division for which the team is approved shall be its division for the respective year.
If it plays out how I project, the qualifying teams would be widdled down to 15:
De La Salle (9-1), Monte Vista (9-1), Pittsburg (9-1), Freedom (9-1), Berkeley (9-1), Foothill (8-2), Deer Valley (7-3), Newark Memorial (7-3), San Leandro (7-3), California (6-4), College Park (6-4), San Ramon Valley (6-4), Washington (6-4), James Logan (5-5), Irvington (4-6)*
*Irvington would be .500 against Division-I teams
Next we assign leagues champions — which takes five spots from the 12 and gives each of those teams home field, unless playing a higher seeded league champion:
De La Salle (EBAL), Pittsburg (BVAL), Berkeley (ACCAL), San Leandro (HAAL), Washington (MVAL).
Seven spots for these ten teams:
Monte Vista (9-1), Freedom (9-1), Foothill (8-2), Deer Valley (7-3), Newark Memorial (7-3), California (6-4), College Park (6-4), San Ramon Valley (6-4), James Logan (5-5), Irvington (4-6)*
First order of business is to eliminate Irvington, so we have 9 for 7 spots.
Monte Vista, Freedom, Foothill, Deer Valley, Cal and San Ramon all should be in without much discussion, leaving 3 teams for 1 spot:
Newark Memorial (7-3), College Park (6-4) and James Logan (5-5).
Logan beat Newark.
Newark beat College Park.
College Park beat MVAL champion Washington.
The committee is definitely going to have a tough call here. I think Logan is the best team, but even though it beat Newark, that 5-5 record doesn’t look good in front of a committee. A 7-3 record for Newark does and despite the head-to-head loss, my guess would be that Newark will get the nod based on its win against CP and its 4-game over .500 record.
1. De La Salle — obvious
2. Monte Vista — 1 loss to DLS
3. Pittsburg — 1 loss to MV
4. Foothill — 2 losses, (DLS, MV)
5. Freedom — Big loss to Pitt drops them from 4
6. Berkeley — 9-1 record too gaudy to fall behind a 4 loss team.
7. Cal — Losses to DLS, MV, Foothill, Bellevue – can’t remember a better 4-loss team
8. San Ramon Valley — Will likely enter playoffs on a 4-game losing streak.
9. Deer Valley — Beat Sacred Heart Cathedral, which beat Valley Christian, which beat San Leandro. This team has no bad losses (Pitt, Freedom, Rodriguez)
10. San Leandro — Rematch with Cal likely, this time the Pirates will get them at home.
11. Washington — Intriguing matchup road game against Berkeley, remember Rahsaan Vaughn lead the Huskies to a win over No. 2 seeded Newark last year in the 3A playoffs– that team was better than this Berkeley team.
12. Newark Memorial — Lucky to be in. Can’t move the ball.
9 Deer Valley at 8 SRV — Winner at 1 De La Salle
12 Newark at 5 Freedom — Winner at 4 Foothill
11 Washington at 6 Berkeley — Winner at 3 Pittsburg
7 Cal at 10 San Leandro (league champ) — Winner at 2 Monte Vista (Unless SL)
Assuming the seeds play out, then we’d have:
SRV/DLS vs Freedom/Foothill
Berkeley/Pittsburg vs Cal/Monte VIsta.
Keeping the dream alive:
For the six teams still mathematically alive, that I don’t have making the playoffs, this is what you should be rooting for:
Antioch — Have Pittsburg and Freedom left and need to win at least one to even qualify. Two wins probably gets them in … not going to happen.
Amador — Same boat as Antioch, they have Monte Vista and Foothill left. They need one win to qualify, which would give them some ammo to go up against Newark/Logan/College Park with. So root for Amador to win (obviously) and root against Newark/Logan/College Park.
College Park — CP has two relatively easy games left (Mt. D, Northgate). CP is in trouble because of its head-to-head loss to Newark, so it will be rooting for Mission San Jose to pull a miracle or (more likley) for Kennedy to beat Newark in Week 10. I have to say, that game is key and could go either way. If Newark loses to Kennedy it’ll get really interesting.
Granada — First order of business: beat Cal. If that happens, they have a good shot — the loss to Amador really, really hurts.
Logan — Root against Newark and hope the committee gives them the nod anyways based on their head-to-head win.
Irvington — Pray.
I’m sure this should spark a lot of talk, let me hear what you guys think!!