Division-I playoff breakdown

This is very long-winded, but most of the scenarios for the Division-I playoffs are dealt with. Agree? Disagree? Let’s get some feedback.


De La Salle (5-2) – Assuming the Spartans finish unbeaten in the EBAL, they will get the No. 1. Every coach will rank them No. 1 and the strength of schedule is unmatched.

Deer Valley (7-0) – Finish undefeated and the No. 2 is probably locked up. Key wins will include: Logan, Washington, Pittsburg and Heritage. I could see a scenario in which Amador ends up at No. 2 if the Dons finish undefeated, but it really won’t matter because as the BVAL champ, DV will get home field throughout the playoffs.

Berkeley (8-0) – The only key win the Jackets’ will end up with (for D1 standards) is Pittsburg, which best-case scenario is going to end up 6-4. Last year, Berkeley was 9-1 and fell all the way to No. 8 because of the poor strength of schedule and coaches’ rankings. If they finish unbeaten figure Berkeley falls no lower than No. 4, but could have trouble getting seeded ahead of a 9-1 Amador team or an unbeaten Deer Valley team.

Amador (6-1) – With San Ramon, Livermore and Foothill left, Amador has a good shot at finishing 9-1, but as unpredictable as the EBAL has been this year it’s too early to lock up that record. If they go 2-1 during that stretch, AV still won’t drop below No. 4

Washington (5-2) – Washington started the season playoff eligible because there were basically five easy wins waiting in the MVAL (every one besides Logan). With the win over Cal to start the season, the Huskies picked up their key out-of-league win and then topped D1 College Park to get nearly guarantee seven wins. Their only two losses (Deer Valley and Tracy) were fairly one-sided, but those teams are both 7-0. If Washington beats Logan and finishes 8-2, it has a legit claim to the No. 5 seed.

San Leandro (5-2) — The Pirates will win the HAAL title and finish 8-2. However, they didn’t play any NCS D1 contenders and because of that will enter the playoffs a relative unknown.


Monte Vista (4-3) – A play or two go the Mustangs way in the last three games, they are 7-0 and looking at the No. 1 seed. Instead, they sit at 4-3 (1-3 in EBAL). I still think Monte Vista will win out to finish 7-3 (Granada, Cal and SRV remain) and end up with the No. 6 seed or No. 5.

Foothill (5-2) – Foothill became playoff eligible with its fifth win of the year against Monte Vista on Friday and if that performance is what we can expect the rest of the way, Foothill can definitely beat Cal and/or Amador Valley.

San Ramon Valley (5-2) — At 5-2, the Wolves have already surpassed expectations, but they are far from a postseason lock. With Amador, Granada and MV left anything could happen.

Pittsburg (3-4) – The Pirates will end up at 6-4 with Freedom, Liberty and Antioch left, but with a blowout loss to Monte Vista and close losses to Deer Valley and Berkeley, the Pirates won’t have much to take to the committee. The win over Heritage will be key with the Patriots also vying to get in, but at this point Pitt is safe.


Heritage (5-2) — Four non-league wins against smaller schools padded the Patriots record, but against Pitt and Monte Vista, the Patriots got blown out. The committee will see that and a 7-3 Heritage team (assuming wins against Antioch and Freedom and a loss to Deer Valley) gets jumped by even a 5-win EBAL school.

Cal (4-3) – Cal’s playoff chances were looking good at halftime up 21-7 against Amador Valley, but now … not as much. With Foothill, MV and DLS left, Cal needs to get one win to qualify.

Logan (5-3) — For Logan, its simple. Beat Washington, go to NCS. Lose to Washington, leave it up to chance. A loss to Washington would leave Logan at 7-4, but the Colts wouldn’t have any noteworthy wins. With losses to Monte Vista, Deer Valley and Foothill, Logan could get left out.

Granada (3-4) — Granada is in big trouble. The Mats lost QB Kyle Kearney for the year and need to take 2 of 3 (Monte Vista, SRV, Livermore remain) just to get to the 5-win mark. That probably won’t happen without Kearney. The Mats’ win over Foothill was the high-point it what is looking like another non-playoff year at Granada.


College Park (3-4) — Even if College Park wins out to finish 6-4, its only D1 win will have been against a winless Freedom team. Losses to Antioch and Washington mean CP will be done.

Antioch (4-3) — Remaining schedule: Heritage, Deer Valley, Pittsburg. The Panthers are technically still in the hunt, but figure they lose the last three and will not be eligible.


De La Salle, Deer Valley, Berkeley, Amador, San Leandro and Washington are in, leaving 6 spots for 8 teams: Monte Vista, Foothill, Cal, Logan, Pittsburg, Heritage, Granada and San Ramon Valley.

Granada is the first team to get the axe because they’ll probably finish at 4-6, leaving 7 for 6 spots.

At this point, the last team to get left out is really up in the air. All the teams need to do is prove it belongs over one other.

Cal needs a win against Foothill, Monte Vista or De La Salle just to qualify. If they get at least one, they will be in.

Monte Vista is in the same boat, but with an easier schedule. Win one more (Granada, Cal, SRV) they are in.

— Even if it finishes with 5 wins, Foothill is in good shape because of its wins against Monte Vista and Logan.

SRV is also in good shape even with five wins because of its win against Foothill.

Pitt’s win against Heritage was huge.

Heritage had no key wins and blowout losses to MV, Pitt and another one likely coming to Deer Valley. They beat Deer Valley, a whole new can of worms is opened.

Likely scenarios:

— Cal loses out. Result: Cal out, Logan/Heritage both in.
— Cal wins at least one, Logan beats Washington: Result: Heritage is out.
— Cal wins at least one, Logan loses to Washington. Result: Logan vs Heritage for last spot.

Logan was a play away from beating Monte Vista, Heritage got blown out by Monte Vista. I think the coaches ranking will recognize that and slot Logan ahead of Heritage, which could end up as the deciding factor.


So, now that I’ve basically typed out my thought process. I’m leaning toward a field that looks like this:

De La Salle
Deer Valley
Amador Valley
San Leandro
Monte Vista
San Ramon Valley
James Logan

With Cal or Heritage getting the last spot.

Seeding the teams at this point would be a lost cause….

Kyle Bonagura

Kyle Bonagura is a Pleasanton-based prep sports writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup-East Bay.


  1. I think Cal will beat Foothill. Foothill’s D is soft and Cal has some guys who can run the ball and keep it out of Mannion’s hands. And since Foothill hasn’t shown an ability to run the ball well my guess is Cal will just put a few extra guys in pass coverage. But if this turns into a shootout then Foothill will have the advantage. Outside of the EBAL games which always have at least two exciting games each week the Logan/Washington game has got to be the one with the biggest implications on DI playoffs.

    Another thing Kyle, what’s your opinion of Cal’s team overall this year compared to last year under Sanchez. I hear the qb has a good arm and some good running backs. Just after last year with how tight they played the Spartans I’m wondering what to expect for this year’s matchup.

  2. I thought Monte Vista would beat Foothill and Amador, I thought Foothill would beat San Ramon Valley and Granada. I thought Cal would beat Washington. The parity has made predictions so tough this year — and a whole lot more interesting.

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

    I think Kaehler is an upgrade at QB, Sarmenta and Smith are a good pair of WRs and Kyle Alvarez has been the surprise running the ball, but he’s not in the league LeRoy Green was in. With a new coach and system, it’s a different team. I don’t don’t expect Cal to give DLS the game they did last year, but Billeci is a former Spartan so maybe that helps?

  3. good list…very very thorough investigation of all the teams…we could probably just leave it up to you to make the decision on who is in and who is out…i agree if they finish 6-4 logan and 7-3 heritage will be tough call…neither has any big win…but how heritage plays deer valley could be huge factor…logan was one play away from mv and dv to upsetting them…heritage already was blown out by mv, so if they play dv tough they have a shot since they have one game better record, but if they get blown out then no way comittee gives them the nod…my pick has got to be logan…heritage should be rooting for washington to beat logan because probably only chance they got as a 7-3 washington trumps 7-3 heritage or hope cal doesn’t qualify. cal is way to good of team to not qualify i think they carve out a win against either mv or foothill but not DLS.

  4. Kyle i think all your picks are great and your right about MV they are 14pts and 2 calls away from being 6-1 (I give DLS that game but they were right there and could have won).

  5. Yeah, I know a lot changes and JV and Frosh doesn’t always show how they will do at the varsity level but Cal JV did beat the DLS JV last year. Adds a little something plus I think just like Walsh did at Serra you are going to see Cal become a little more DLS like over the next few years. Lad’s disciples are spreading his message lol. Speaking of Leroy Green what happened to him with college?

  6. Kyle Alverez is a junior. He is not the power back that Leroy was up the middle but is faster so is a threat around the outside. If he can put on a little muscle this next year he will be someone to watch.

  7. League champion scenario?

    Lets say someone like College Park wins out and Concord drops a DVAL game down the wire. I can see a 3 way tie for the league championship.

    In this scenario, does a team like College Park get a guaranteed spot for being league champ?

  8. i Feel its De la Sals own fault for the schedule they chose they made their bed now they should lay in it stregnth of shcedule or not 8-2 is 8-2 besides they came pretty close to losing to both monte vista and amador valley i feel deer valley should be 1st berkely 2nd de la 3rd its only fair

  9. DLS’s came two yards from beating the second-ranked team in Florida and Bosco is the 5th ranked team in the nation. Both of those teams would have annihilated Berkeley and Deer Valley.

    The only time since the streak began that DLS wasn’t seeded No. 1, they came back and waxed a 12-0 Amador Valley team 41-0 in the finals.

    DLS should be and will be the No. 1.

  10. Kyle Lakeland is also a top ten national team in some publications, others top 25. I was also about to bring up the reference to what happened the last time they were not seeded one. They actually got seeded #3 behind Amador and then Pitt who DLS had beaten handily 35-14 the week before the seeding meeting. I remember Lad being furious with a quote in the paper that said doesn’t head to head mean anything? Then for good measure DLS beat Pitt on the road 31-6 in the semis before trouncing Amador.

    Sports Analyst…don’t forget that DLS has the better wins then both schools you listed. If you are going to bring up the losses you can’t forget the wins. Serra, Amador, and MV.

  11. Deer Valley #1 over DLS?! You’ve gotta be kidding. Deer Valley should have lost or tied to Logan. Logan gave up a stupid kick return TD in the 4th quarter when trying to kick it out of bounds and fumbled with 5 seconds left on their own 3 giving DV a FG and 3 point win. That was at home… doesn’t sound like a #1 seed to me.

  12. Fast and Physical – Did you see my post about that story and Galvin?

    See Fox – I think of other kids too. LOL.

    Go Panthers!

  13. Fast and Physical – That’s because a Jacket hooked it up! Tim put it together for DBR. Tim is very talented and has helped us out a lot. There is definately a tie between B-High and SM. Plus, my boy Keenan Coogler played with DBR, Lovett, E. Aguayo (Justin Sienna), Shorter (Salesian), Henderson (PV), and others for the best West County Sparts team ever. A team that beat the Richmond Steelers 7-6 behind Keenan Coogler. Glad to see Keenan carried the rock last Sat. People don’t know, but Keenan could be a top RB around these parts. He is a beast and a great, great kid.

    Berkeley love baby!

    Go Panthers and Jackets!

  14. Wow thats amazing, all this B love from all sides. Keenan had some nice plays at full and tail, we been using that shot-gun formation, and its allowing Logan, Rickey, Keir, Mike Ned,and Keenan, to get better reads, just trying to get him more tape, for these recruiters. San Deigo, and Fresno State, lukewarm on him. Run Rickey Run, Go Jackets! Berkeley Love Baby !

  15. Fast and Physical – Nice to know Keenan is getting some looks. He is simply a FOOTBALL PLAYER. No doubt he can play the the next level. These recruiters need to be so stuck on size only. You can’t teach what some of our boys have.

    Ryte on!

    Go Panthers!

  16. Renegades — I agree Foothill’s defense is soft, but we could see the same type of game as MV, where the Falcons score 40 something points and pull it out at the end. Any time you have a QB like Mannion and a coaching staff like Foothill’s, they are in every game (except DLS, that is). This week is a huge game for both teams. Huge.

  17. Whistle- I think Cal’s D is a few levels better then MV. For Foothill to win in any game except Livermore of course, they need it to be a high scoring affair and basically outscore the other team. They will not have a very good shot at winning slugfests which hurts them against the physical teams like DLS, AV, and Cal. Of course you never know what will happen in a rivalry game at the end of the year between Foothill and AV but I just don’t think they will beat the Dons this year. AV is too physical.

    Speaking of rivalry games, these always happen at the end of the year. Granada v Livermore, Foothill v AV, and of course the always entertaining MV v SRV games. So does that mean Cal v DLS is now a rivalry game?

  18. Sports Analyst- you’ve got to be kidding. DLS schedules the way they do because the play the best, year in and year out. I don’t see Deer Valley or BHS play anyone outside Cal and not even NorCal, SoCal or anyone else who is seriouly ranked. DLS strength of schedule gives creditabilty to the NCS and NorCal. Now, if the other 2 teams get a higher seeding, so be it. Like the man says, they waxed the field last time they didn’t go in # 1. Last time I saw De La play either team in the playoffs the last several years, they beat them by over 50 pts, both teams held to under 100 yds. total offense. These were not during the streak years. However, both these teams are having outstanding years and De La will not under-estimate them nor give any disrespect.

  19. Renegade your wrong MV defense is not that bad (I am talking 1st team) they gave up 14 to AV and 28 to DLS (who gives a crap about yrds if you don’t score) yes Mannion pulled one out but MV played horrible in the 1st quater putting themselves behind 21-3 (INT for a score by the way) then held them to 6pts for 2 quarters until they started playing soft coverage again in the 4th. They are a bend don’t break type D so believe me they will give anyone a game, 3 plays in 3 games they are 7-0 or 6-1 don’t under estimate them. I believe anyone who does will lose to them in NCS or the rest of the season

  20. wow big joe sounds like you think coach carter dont want to play anybody, i beg to differ, coach carter and his staff and players are ready and willing to take on all takers. hey jimmy any luck finding that article

  21. 2210- I am not saying MV’s D is really bad I am just saying I think Cal’s D overall is better. I have disagree with you about the yards though. If it was like they gave 200 yards to a rb and half of those were in garbage time ok no big deal. but they gave up almost 400 yards to 1 guy all this while the game is close. No garbage time yards. I don’t care if they didn’t score that is not the sign of a great D. MV’s d is okay at best but they do have some playmakers. My main comment was concerning the fact that I think Cal’s D is better and a more physical in my opinion then MV’s.

    Bhsfan I don’t think Big Joe is saying Carter doesn’t want to play anybody. I will vouch that you guys tried to beef up the schedule with teams who have been good in the past. Unfortunately those teams are not as strong this year so it looks weak. You guys have no control over that. What he is talking about is in reference to the guys comment that says DLS with two losses no matter against who should not be seeded above the undefeated teams. And the fact is based on this year though DLS does have the better wins over AV and MV. And the two losses did come against top ten national teams. That’s it. Look at the last part he says you guys are having outstanding seasons and DLS knows this. Best of luck to the Jackets rest of the season hope you guys all stay healthy. Also nice article about Galvin today hope the young man gets everything he has worked so hard for. Although of course being a DLS guy don’t quite know if it is indisputable that he is the best back in the east bay lol.

  22. while i agree 3 plays in 3 games…but wasnt it 1 play in 1 game two weeks ago? bottom line is a lot of games come down to one play here or there that is football…i mean if you want to keep arguing that you are one play from being 3-4, because logan flat out dropped a wide open td in closing seconds that would have beat you..

    mv is a great team and a scary team to have to play in playoffs, but if they continue to not bridge that one play gap they will be on the losing end in the playoffs too…i think mv has great playrs on d, but it seems maybe their d gets shortchanged in practice to give their o extra time.since they have a history of great offenses every year and very mediocre defenses..

  23. MV’s problem on defense is their team philosophy: Pass heavy teams often times have soft defenses. When your defense practices often against the pass- it makes you soft. running is where the physicality comes in to play. when you practice against the run often-you are going to get tougher physically.

  24. Berkeley High is gonna turn some heads this year.

    That D is dominant, and Rickey can break one on any play.

    Look out for those Jackets this year cuz they are coming for ya!

  25. BigJoe we at Berkeley High dont have the budget like the mighty spartans. Its wait and see if the committee disrespects us with a seed under 4, wont be surprised, anything can happen when the NCS committee has EBAL folks on it. Run Rickey Run, Go Jackets!



  27. JB its always us against the world, look at our seeding meeting, all the EBAL coaches stick together, and hate on everyone elses programs, then turn the last pick to Zo, to knock someone out, like amador last year. Run Rickey Run, Go Jackets!

  28. well anyone not in the ebal can claim us against the world!!! come on just like everyone else you got to prove it in the playoffs….but ebal gets the benefit of the doubt, but then again they are the #1 conference (RIGHT NOW) so deserve it….Remember 15 years ago it was EBAL who? It was logan, pittsburgh, DLS, san leandro, pinole valley…

    but i think a lot of people would love to see a non ebal team win it…but remember werent winning D1 NCS titles until DLS came along…just dont see DLS going down except vs an EBAL opponent…they are getting closer in part to a huge advantage of seeing them constantly all year long and that mystique of playing DLS isn’t what it used to be to them anymore…while i think some non ebal teams can definately beat everyone else i just don’t see them taking DLS down….so if an EBAL team can take DLS out of playoffs i believe it would be open season for everyone else…after DLS i could see 6 or 7 teams being able to win it all if the cards fell right.

  29. Why did they take Berkeley out the EBAL?
    If they would have keep them in that league we wouldn’t have this problem.



  30. JB,
    Hope none of those penalties were on you!

    Sorry, been slammed lately and haven’t had a chance to look. I’ll try to find it today.

  31. Barnes lets get to some more exciting issues. O-High this week they throwing it up & whoriding on your field or you locking the gates on ’em.

  32. Kyle, like Jimmy’s Division 3, will the list be updated after each week?

    I don’t think CP has any chance to win, because Concord beat them and even if they somehow ended tied for 1st, it goes to Concord. Also, it’s impossible to be tied for first for College Park.

    They’re just down this year but next year they’ll probably do a little better. a 12 team field means lots of opporunities for anybody, just schedule some non league games against Division 1 opponents and beat them and you set yourself up for NCS. no way Berkeley gets anything but a top 4 seed. they Beat Pittsburg for crying out loud. They Beat Last Year’s Runner Up To De La Salle. It’s a tough match, but Amador Valley gets screwed if they are the #4 seed in the semis against DLS.

    Berkeley doesn’t deserve the #4 but what’s the difference between #2 and #3 for them?

    if DV goes 10-0 as well, then both those teams got to be slotted 2-3. Which one has the advantage? right now, common opponent pittsburg 3 pt win for DV, 2 pt win for B-High. Deer Valley beat two D-I playoff contenders besides Pitt, Berkeley beat lower division playoff contenders (el cerrito, pinole valley, alameda)

    only home field is determined by that 2-3 order, but the rematch will be epic. berkeley lost AT HOME last year to a DV team that wasn’t as good as this years. If the Jackets get revenge this year, it’ll be easier to do at home.

    like years past, you want to avoid the #4,#5 spots and #8,#9 lol. any team going to DLS, even an EBAL one twice, has no chance again. it’d be nice to see MV make a run at #6 if they were healthy, but they got too many injuries. if MV wins their first round game (not against SRV lol), and DV is #3, they might have a huge game themselves. MV at full strength might even beat Deer Valley. that’d piss off B-High cuz they wouldn’t have a chance to rematch DV. like Mack last year in Basketball, they wanted DLS and DLS lost to Newark so they couldn’t get their revenge. didn’t matter they had a tough time against MV in norcals and then got wooped by that socal team. were the two socal teams they played in 07 and 08 very different because in socal enrollment in div 1 can be 2600 to 4800. it looked like that 07 westchester team wasn’t so great but the 08 fairfax team was twice as good as mack

  33. Mike,
    Regarding the No. 2 and 3 seed difference for Berkeley, you answered your own question. It’s home field advantage. Playing in Berkeley is a big difference from going out to Antioch.

  34. I actually think AV would love another shot at DLS. Of course they would prefer it in the finals but hey they pushed us on our own field. Same with MV. The question is how does MV finish and where will they be seeded. They could end up being 5 if they win out and Washington loses to Logan. More likely six seed though.

    Kyle you have sixteen teams listed here including bubbles and longshots. Do you think there is a chance all of them would make it now with announcement made today about the change to the brackets? I don’t think they should allow more teams in but what do you think?

  35. Mike- Yes, I’ll be updating D1 and D2 every week from here on out. The difference between a No. 2 and No. 3 could also be who they would draw in the quarterfinals. Until we get to a point where we can project the seeding a little better it’s hard to say what would be a better seed.

    Renegades- I doubt they all qualify, but if they do it would be hard to turn away 5-5 College Park, but let in a bunch of other 5-5 teams.

    I’m looking at it like this, the more postseason football, the better. Doesn’t hurt anyone by letting in more teams and it could actually help teams like DLS or Deer Valley by getting an extra tune up game against a lesser squad to stay sharp.

  36. i understand jimmy, thanks

    good luck jb, hope u win, o high coach has been talkin a lot since last year when they beat yall

  37. Bonagura – have to say, am glad that your predictions are not what you “thought”. Bet you didn’t think that AV would be where they are today! Looking forward to the last few games!!!

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