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.
PICKING THE FIELD:
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.
— 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
San Ramon Valley
With Cal or Heritage getting the last spot.
Seeding the teams at this point would be a lost cause….