NCS/OAL playoff breakdowns

I’ve gone through each division and broken down what the playoff picture looks like entering the final week. It should be fun to see how it shakes out on the field and on Sunday.

Division I
Qualifiers: De La Salle, James Logan, San Ramon Valley, California, Freedom, Pittsburg, Monte Vista, Berkeley, San Leandro, Antioch, Castro Valley, Irvington, Heritage.

Bubble: Amador Valley, Deer Valley.

The Skinny: This division is pretty cut and dried. There are 13 teams that have qualified. Most of those are pretty obvious. Castro Valley is in there with a 4-2 HAAL record. The Trojans will be busy this week, playing Hayward on Thursday and then resuming its suspended game with Newark Memorial on Saturday. Regardless of those outcomes, the Trojans are qualified. Irvington is also qualified based on a 1-1 record against Division I teams. Essentially, the Vikings win over Mission San Jose makes them eligible. Heritage is eligible because it is 4-3 (and can finish no worse than 4-4) against Div. I teams. The Patriots beat Independence-San Jose, and based on enrollment size, that qualifies as a D-I win for Heritage and so they are eligible.

The two bubble teams both need a win this week to get in. Amador Valley has a tough game with a determined Foothill squad that would love nothing more than to spoil the season for its cross-town rival. Deer Valley plays Heritage and needs a victory to get in.

However it works out, De La Salle can plan to sit at home for the first week. At best, 15 teams will qualify. At worst, it’ll stay at 13 and three teams would get byes.

Division II

Qualifiers: Windsor, Las Lomas, Concord, Rancho Cotate, Casa Grande, College Park, Dublin, Maria Carrillo, Montgomery, Clayton Valley, Newark Memorial, Dougherty Valley, American, Washington, Arroyo, Pinole Valley, Redwood, Hayward, Alameda.

Bubble: Ukiah, Northgate, Mt. Eden.

The Skinny: There are already 19 teams in this division that have qualified. Dougherty Valley is a qualifier because Oakland counts as a D-II win to make them 2-1 in the division. Redwood qualifies because it beat Mt. Diablo and that makes it 1-0 in the division. Alameda went 2-2 in the division to be a qualifier, although with its season over at 3-7 and just owning wins over De Anza, San Lorenzo and Richmond, I’d say the Hornets are a long shot.

The three bubble teams could be qualifiers after this week. Ukiah needs to beat Piner and Northgate needs to beat Concord. Mt. Eden would qualify with a 2-2 division record if it beat San Lorenzo, but the Monarchs aren’t going to stack up so I would throw them out. Northgate is also going to have a very tough time with a Concord team that will probably be pretty inspired after last week’s loss.

To be honest, picking the 16 teams to get in is going to be pretty tough. I’m going to assume Ukiah, which has a very good win over Casa Grande, beats Piner this week to qualify. I’ll also assume Northgate loses. That puts us at 20 teams in the pool to consider. Which four get left out?

I can’t say I’m too impressed with Redwood’s resume, with only the Mt. D win making them eligible. I think Alameda also gets left out. Hayward could very well lose to Catro Valley and finish 3-7 (with only wins over Mt. D, Mt. Eden, and San Lorenzo). I think without a win over CV, the Farmers are probably out. Washington will probably lose to Logan and finish 3-7. Not a great record, but they do own a win over Newark so that’ll make things interesting. Montgomery is also 3-7 and Dougherty Valley could be 3-7 if it loses to Dublin. If we end up choosing between those three teams, it’ll be a tough call. We’ll see on Sunday.

Division III

Qualfiers: Marin Catholic, Cardinal Newman, Encinal, Campolindo, Miramonte, Novato, Eureka, Bishop O’Dowd, El Cerrito, Analy, Tamalpais, Del Norte, Tennyson, San Marin, Sir Francis Drake, Hercules.

Bubble: Acalanes, Sonoma Valley, Kennedy-Richmond, Ygnacio Valley.

The Skinny: We already have 16 teams qualified, so no first-round byes this year. Four more teams could become qualifiers. That’s Acalanes, which needs to beat Las Lomas this week. Sonoma Valley needs to beat Analy. Kennedy-Richmond needs to beat Piedmont and Ygnacio Valley needs to beat Clayton Valley. Of those teams, I would say if Acalanes get the win, it would probably get in, possibly squeezing out a team like Hercules. I think Hercules needs to beat Pinole Valley this week to fully secure themselves the spot. They really don’t have a win to hang their hat on this year.

There won’t be any teams with losing overall records in this division, which again speaks to the depth that we’ve talked about all year. That means that even if Kennedy-Richmond wins to get eligible, it remains a longshot. That’s especially true for YV, 3-7 just isn’t going to cut it. My gut tells me that the 16 teams that are currently qualified are probably going to be your 16 teams that make it. I think Acalanes is your wild card, because a win over Las Lomas would make them worthy. But I think Las Lomas will win that game.

Division IV

Qualifiers: Salesian, Fortuna, Healdsburg, Ferndale, St. Helena, Justin-Siena, Berean Christian, Valley Christian, Moreau Catholic, St. Mary’s, Willits, Arcata, Middletown, Clear Lake.

Bubble: Piedmont, Fort Bragg.

The Skinny: There are 14 teams that have qualified and each of those teams will make it. Piedmont can qualify if it beats Kennedy-Richmond this week. Fort Bragg could qualify with a win over Cloverdale. So pretty simple. We’ve got a max of 16 teams to qualify so whoever qualifies will get in. Salesian, the obvious No. 1 seed, could get a first-round bye if either Piedmont or Fort Bragg lose this week.

Division V

Qualifiers: Hoopa Valley, St. Bernard’s, Upper Lake, Tomales, California School for the Deaf, Emery.

Bubble: St. Vincent.

The Skinny: Six teams are qualified for the eight-team bracket. St. Vincent can be the seventh if it beats Tomales, not an easy task. And the last name on that list of qualifiers is not a misprint. Emery, with a 1-8 record that will likely fall to 1-9, is playoff eligible. Never mind that the Spartans have been outscored by an average margin of 45.3 points or the fact that their win against St. Elizabeth was their first varsity win since 2002. If Emery applies, it’s headed to the playoffs. That’s because Emery has played just two games against Div. V opponents this year. It lost to CSD and beat St. Elizabeth, so it’s 1-1 in the division and that makes it eligible.

Oakland Section

Qualified: McClymonds, Fremont, Skyline, Oakland Tech

Bubble: None

The Skinny: The four berths are decided. McClymonds is the No. 1 seed. Fremont, with wins over both Skyline and Tech, is the No. 2 seed. Skyline and Tech are both 2-2 in the OAL and Castlemont sits behind at 1-3 (and plays Fremont this week). Even if there was a three-way tie at 2-3, Skyline and Tech would be in. In that scenario, Skyline is 2-0 against the other two teams it would be tied with. That puts the Titans in. Then Oakland Tech has the head-to-head win over Castlemont. That puts the Bulldogs in. The only thing in question this week is who gets the No. 3 seed. Skyline has the edge in most scenarios to get the No. 3 seed since it has the head to head win. The only way Tech can get the No. 3 is if Tech beats first-place McClymonds and Skyline loses to winless Oakland on Saturday.

Jimmy Durkin

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

  • Warrior Jacket

    Djgaucho I think EC has a chance because of their team speed. However if BHS establishes a grind out running game, it will be a long day in Gaucho land. I can’t wait to see the game tomorrow.

  • Djgaucho

    Thanks warrior jacket just wondering haven’t found one person who thinks ec has a chance and most think it will be a blowout for bhigh…..but I too am planning to go to this game was just wondering was the gap that wide between the 2 teams

  • falconfb

    i seen berkeley play, and if they get their run game going. el cerrito will have a hard time stopping them.

  • Regarding EC vs Berkeley, I think EC has a chance. I just think with Berkeley being D1 ranked somewhere #8-10 in the NCS bracket and EC being a similar ranked team in D3, Berkeley should be able to handle EC. Add to it that Berkeley does have the victory over a strong Pittsburg team while EC doesn’t have a real marque victory. I think EC will put up a fight, but Berkeley will beat them if Berkeley is any good.

  • pirate football

    @warrior jacket
    so are u saying that ec is far superior in team speed than b high, are you saying b high is slow and have no team speedif any of these kids ran track last spring, i didnt see anything that impressive over b high and pv, in fact a pv kid won the 100 meter dash at the league meet, just dont believe that they are that fast and that good when u lose to caampo who doesnt have great team speed and tie newark, not drinking the kool aid, the last 2 seasons b hgih crushed both jv and var, dont see how the gap has closed so quickly, i will admit i havent seen ec this year, lots of people saying oh they have atheletes but they always do, guess we shall see tomorrow. i think whoever wins the trenches will win. miraman i agree with u, b hgih have the win over pitt and played a much better non league

  • Warrior Jacket

    What does the participation on the track team have to do with the football teams at BHS and EC. Both teams have fast kids but I think overall team speed is EC’s strength. BHS should win but don’t be surprised if EC upsets them.

  • pirate football

    warrior jacket
    you talked about the team speed of ec, where do u get speed from running track

  • Warrior Jacket

    Not every fast kid on a fottball team runs track. Cmon man, you know that!

  • Warrior Jacket

    The BHS vs EC game is tonight. The ACCAL Championship is on the line. Its senior night at EC. We will find out if Kahn can prove he can handle coaching in a big game with something on the line. The drama is there, I hope the game is as good as the build up. I’m picking BHS to win, but I wouldn’t bet on it a rivalry like this is hard to put money on. Pirate Footbal, there is a chance you might have to taste the kool-aid.

  • ManDown

    EC fans, Is it true that a couple of key players didn’t make grades to play? Maybe discipline issues? Past two games a few players didnt suit up whats that about?

  • Pitt Grunt


    Agree on the hope foe an injury free end of the season. All roads ultimately lead to DLS. If Pitt can play o their potential and avoid the “shoot yourself in the foot” approach then it is possible. Pitt seems to be most vulnerable against teams they should beat and play well against teams are picked to lose (such as Freedom & Monte Vista). Team is 98% healthy and suspensions have been lifted. Pitt needs to be careful tomorrow night against Antioch but some trash talking by the Antioch staff at the Little Big Game luncheon may have insured an angry Pitt team. One good thing working for Pitt is that Mailk Watson has really been throwing the ball well the past 2 weeks. He is making some good decisions and is playing with alot of confidence.

    Should he an interesting playoffs.

  • Hsfootball

    D1 Playoffs are about to get interesting with srv, dv, san leandro, and amador losing. Let’s see what else shakes out with the other games. I don’t see dls or Logan losing. Pitt should also win. It looks like there will only be 13 teams in the playoff with the dv and amador losses.

  • HS Football Fan

    Yep, only 13 qualified teams in D-1. It’s pretty obvious DLS and Logan will get the top 2 seeds and byes, but who’s #3? Monte Vista beat SRV, SRV beat Cal, Cal beat Monte Vista. Pitt beat Freedom but lost to a 4-6 Deer Valley team that’s not even eligible for the playoffs. No matter what they do, there are going to be some unhappy teams in D-1 on Sunday.

    In D-III, Acalanes, Kennedy (Richmond) and Ygnacio Valley all failed to qualify, and in D-IV Piedmont did qualify, so both of those brackets should be full and it doesn’t look like anybody will get left out, either. The only division that will have a surplus of qualified teams is in D-II, and the teams left out will all probably be 3-7 teams.

  • hs school football

    Hey BVAL expert any word on freedoms QB ? I heard he got hurt last nite. Can’t be good with the playoffs starting next week.

  • falconfb

    pitt also beat monte vista, but lost to berkeley. cal lost to granada, who lost to heritage, and is not eligible. it’s gonna be interesting…