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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 29): New-look NCS

By Chace Bryson
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 12:54 pm in East Bay Football.

So Ben spent yesterday talking about teams throughout the state that might be contending for state bowl games. But today, I think we should bring our focus back to the North Coast Section and the playoffs happening here. Last year we got to see a big shift in how those playoffs were structured.

Was the NCS playoff realignment in 2008 a success?

Without question, I would say the restructuring was a rousing success. Not only did it create some very good playoff matchups (Las Lomas-Eureka comes to mind, as does Encinal-Novato), but it also gave us a true section championship in each division.

For the most part, the new system also provided a clearer picture on which section champions would be eligible for certain CIF Bowl games. But that also leds to a small drawback, in that the volume of schools throughout the state (and the huge discrepancy in size between SoCal schools and NorCal schools) makes it difficult for the NCS to be completely in line with the CIF Bowl enrollment divisions. Still, if a team is good enough, plays a tough enough schedule, and wins a section title under this format, than it should get decent mention on CIF Selection Sunday.

As for this year’s divisions, it looks like Division I gained the most teams. American, Arroyo and Heritage are all in the top bracket this season. Dougherty Valley is now up to Division III after one year at Division IV. Campolindo is also now in Division III, falling back after reaching the semifinal in Division II a year ago.

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  • eastbayscout

    while i do believe it was a success as you said a still some holdups…because there is a huge pride thing between northern and southern califonia and really it is like 2 different states as we know…why is it not even. our 2000+ go against theres, not our 1700+….

    second thing i still think we are way behind the ball when compared to CCS. that open division is the only way to go when factoring in private schools and schools that are in some case double the size of other teams in same section. as we have in div 1 there are 2,000 student schools vs 4,000 student schools. that seems a little bit off. how about 2500+ go into open division along with DLS of course. (just throwin a number out there by the way) then div 1 goes 1900-2500, but you reduce the amount of playoff teams of course since less competition.

    if you play in the title game of div 1 you must go into open division following year, if play in title game of div 2 then automatically go up the following year to div 1. that way there is constant fluctuation and keeps good competition across the board every year. and of course if teams want to petition up they can.

    this doesn’t change the way we go toward state title games, but makes for a healthier playoff system. i think we are very top heavy right now without the open division.

  • NorCalSportsFan

    I think the realignment is a success. Doesn’t the D1 division allow opting up from lower divisions? In effect it is somewhat an open divivon, but teams will not opt up because of the DLS factor. As long as Lad/Eidsen is coaching DLS, I don’t think D1 will be a question at least over the next few years. Even if there was an Open division, the D1 winner wouldn’t have a shot at a bowl over the Open Division winner which would be a D1 DLS (and you wouldn’t see an Open and D1 from the same section- it’s feasible but not probable). At least the DII or DIII winner has a shot for a bowl, as has been the case with Cardinal Newman (who opted up) and Novato in the past. The CCS Open Division works great in the CCS since you have very strong private schools(WCAL and Palma) in the section that would typically breeze through their natural size or dominate the publics in their enrollment size. For the most part, the privates (with the exception of DLS and Cardinal Newman) in the NCS are not as strong as the privates in the CCS.

  • HAAL Fan

    NorCalSportsFan is absolutely right. We allow teams to opt up to DI. The only thing that would happen with an Open Division is we would see how many teams would opt OUT of playing DLS.

  • eastbayscout

    yes but if you were 2500 and above or whatever figure wanted to give you automatically in open division don’t have choice…while yes the div 1 champion would have limited opportunity for state berth the reality is no div 1 team from ncs will be going to state other than DLS under the current system anyways unless they beat them. in my opinion pittsburgh and mv are the only 2 teams that could touch them this year and would be in open division based on enrollment anyways. so they win there they got at a state berth.

  • http://ibabuzz.com PERKIN

    First I believe that if we are going to have state open div. then we should have in all the sections. We should try to match state as much as we can. It only makes sense.

    The CCS open DIV works well because teams are automatically put into the open DIV based on strength of opponents. There is some type of point system. If you play so many teams that are rated high & beat them I don’t think scores are factored in then you are in the Open DIV play-offs. Its like the BSC. They created it because Valley Christian was going to win that Small Div. forever.

    I think its good because the best play the best. The bad part is it weakens DIV 1, 2 3 because their best teams play in the oepn DIV play-offs. This year teams like Cardinal Newman, Pitt, Clayton Valley would probably have to play Open.

    In the CCS a team last year Valley Christian I think said that if they don’t qualify for the Open DIV play-offs they weren’t going DIV 3. SO thats no good.

  • http://ibabuzz.com PERKIN

    I don’t know if the CCS Open Div system would work for us but it makes a lot of sense it would be kinda of exciting. Teams couldn’t play worse teams to avoid DLS cuz they wouldn’t make state.

    Each section should try to match state as close as they can cut each DIV play-offs down to 8 teams(12&16 is to long & weak teams get in). Then vote the best 2 DIV. winning teams from each section SAC-Joaquin, CCS, NCS, play to go to state. DLS vs Bellarmine Open, ST. Mary’s vs Encinal DIV 2 ect…

  • THE CAMP

    Jeez Perkin that does make perfect sense.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    The main problem with having an Open Division is that it could prevents teams like Cardinal Newman or Valley Christian-San Jose to make a state bowl.

    Cardinal Newman wouldn’t beat DLS, Pitt, Monte Vista or Foothill — but if its goal is to play for a D2 title, then why should it have to go through a bunch of D1 schools to do it?

  • NorCalSportsFan

    Open Division in CCS does keep some good DIII teams out of contention. In most years Palma and VC are top state North bowl candidates. Even in a weak year, Palma lost in the last seconds to the state bowl Cardinal Newman. But because Palma has been relatively down the last couple seasons (not particularly strong classes for them), the run into very strong D1 teams in the playoffs like an Oak Grove …or would have to go through a Bellarmine. In most years, Palma can compete with those teams and probably would be a logical choice for the divivon. VC the same. If a DIII team wins the CCS open division,they will almost certainly be picked to play in the bowl. With NCS, you would have the same issue with a Cardinal Newman, they wouldn’t have a very good chance of winning an Open Division with DLS. With regards to the D1 teams, Pitt, Monte Vista, etc. they should compete with the Spartan’s since that is the level of play they would face in the bowl. I do agree that the CCS Open Divivon playoff is the most entertaining and you have the best in the section competing for the title. In NCS, you might have 1-2 teams not in D1 every year that could compete with the teams below DLS.