NCS football playoff outlook

North Coast Section playoffs are coming up quick. With two weeks left in the regular season, it’s time to take a quick look at the playoff picture. I’ve broken down Divisions I-IV into teams that have already qualified and teams needing win(s) in the final two weeks. Keep in mind that there’s no rhyme or reason to the order the teams are listed. I’ll update this playoff picture next week and might take a stab at playoff seeding then.

Division I

Qualifiers (11): De La Salle, James Logan, San Ramon Valley, Monte Vista, California, Freedom, Pittsburg, Deer Valley, Antioch, Berkeley, Irvington

On the bubble (7): Amador Valley, Foothill, Granada, Heritage, Castro Valley, Santa Rosa, Mission San Jose

The breakdown: As of now, the potential is there to complete a 16-team bracket but it seems likely that at least the top 2-3 seeds will end up getting byes. Amador Valley and Foothill are at .500 overall and in league, so they’ll both need to split their remaining two games. If both teams lose this week, their season finale against each other could be very, very interesting. The path is tougher for Amador, which plays at Monte Vista this week while Foothill has Livermore. Granada would have to win both of its remaining games against Cal and Livermore to be eligible. Heritage needs one more win for a .500 league mark, but that win would have to come over Pittsburg or Deer Valley. Santa Rosa, which hasn’t played a single Division I school this year, needs to win out to be eligible. Castro Valley needs one more league win (over either Hayward and Berkeley) to qualify. Irvington is technically eligible (thanks to a win over Mission San Jose, the Vikings will be at least .500 vs. Division I teams), but it was in a similar situation last year and didn’t apply. That could happen again. Mission San Jose must beat Logan for a .500 record – not likely. One other interesting note — Antioch could go winless in BVAL play and still make the playoffs because it won all five of its nonleague games.


Division II

Qualifiers (13): Clayton Valley, Livermore, Dublin, Las Lomas, Concord, Northgate, American, Newark Memorial, Washington, Casa Grande, Rancho Cotate, Arroyo, Mt. Eden

On the bubble (8): College Park, Maria Carrillo, Windsor, Pinole Valley, Richmond, Hayward, Alameda, San Lorenzo

The breakdown: Now a Division II school, Livermore is eligible thanks to a win over Hayward (the only Division II school it played). It’s a similar story for Las Lomas, which beat Dublin and lost to Northgate for a .500 record against D-II opponents. Maria Carrillo needs wins in its final two games (and they are winnable). Defending champ Windsor also needs to win out. Pinole Valley needs a split against St. Mary’s and Valley Christian (which should be doable). Hayward is in a similar situation needing a win against either Castro Valley or Encinal to be eligible. Richmond would be eligible with a .500 league record if it beats Kennedy and DeAnza, but I doubt the Oilers would be selected in a bracket that should fill up. I’m having trouble figuring out if Alameda can count Hillsdale-San Mateo as a D-II opponent. Even if they could, the Hornets need to win out and I think they’d be left out anyways. San Lorenzo needs to win out as well for a .500 league mark, but they too would probably be on the outside looking in if eligible.


Division III

Qualifiers (16): Marin Catholic, Cardinal Newman, Campolindo, El Cerrito, Acalanes, Eureka, Novato, Tamalpais, Terra Linda, Analy, Petaluma, Sonoma Valley, Hercules, Bishop O’Dowd, Encinal, Tennyson

On the bubble (5): Miramonte, Alhambra, Ygnacio Valley, Kennedy-Fremont, Piner

The breakdown: There are already 16 eligible teams, so for those needing a win or two to be eligible, there’s no guarantee they’ll be selected. Miramonte and Alhambra each need one more win. If both lose this week, they play each other in Week 10 with playoff eligibility on the line for both. If Miramonte gets eligible, I think they stand a great shot at being selected. It’s a little more iffy for Alhambra (especially if it goes 4-6 overall) but definitely possible. Ygnacio Valley can go over .500 in league by winning out, but that seems tough. Kennedy-Fremont needs to beat either American or Newark to be eligible. Piner must win out. There’s also a chance we may not see Encinal in the playoffs this year. The Jets, who have been contenders in this division for years, have a 2-1 record against D-III teams, so they are eligible. But if they lose to both San Leandro and Hayward to close the regular season, they’d be just 3-7 overall (I have a hunch they’ll win at least one of those games and make it, though).

Division IV

Qualifiers (15): Arcata, Fortuna, Justin-Siena, San Marin, Moreau Catholic, Fort Bragg, Middletown, St. Helena, Willits, Salesian, St. Mary’s, Valley Christian, Kennedy-Richmond, Piedmont, Drake

On the bubble (2): Clear Lake, Healdsburg

The breakdown: Clear Lake needs one more win. Healdsburg can get to 2-1 against D-IV teams with a win over El Molino in its final game.

Stephanie Hammon

  • Prep Fan

    Great breakdowns Stephanie. It should be an interesting final 2 weeks.

  • The Bulldogs can quaify if they can put a stop to all the fumbles, interceptions, pentalities and get some good play calling….But this is a tall order.maybe next year…

  • Island chief

    Since everyone on this blog says that Alameda stinks then we also know that Encinal doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs. What have they done since the island bowl? Coach Tenorio would get embarrassed and exposed for the weak coach that he is if they were to qualify. Without the talent he had the last few years he is just what we thought him to be, a loser.

  • FormerWarrior

    MSJ on the bubble? Aren’t they like, 1-7 right now?

  • Hey look at these playoff hopefuls. 16 teams times 4 divisions- that’s 64 teams like the NCAA basketball tourney.
    Let’s not worry anymore for any bloggers on how teams afren’t ever going to get a chance to beat and go to state vs. DLS.
    Let’s discuss all the little jimmie’s who get to playoffs with records like 4-6, 3-7, etc. It’s laughable.
    Is that what NCS football come down to? Let 64 schools in the playoffs? What a joke.
    How about 8 teams per division. that’s even too much. How about 4?
    These parents and schools should be more than content to make the playoffs under this system. It awards losing teams who should be on the sidelines.
    Thanks Steph nfor the info. After this, NO ONE should ever complain about not getting a shot at DLS. Some of these teams don’t even deserve a shot at the playoffs period.

  • Encinal is already qualified so your gonna find out:

    Alameda is not. Will lose to at least Arroyo if not both Arryoyo & SLZ.:

  • @Island chief why you always hating on tenorio you hater you mad because they beat alameda stop crying you see them next year! and y’all will not make playoffs and if y’all had kellin and sulaiman y’all still woulda lost sulaiman shoulda went to encinal because they a running team he aint going to go no where with that team and his coaches sucks and encinal will make playoffs they almost beat BOD and Berkeley encinal is going to make it i promise you that.

  • EB Prep Fan

    Island Chief, you are a great example of a person that wants everyone to be miserable with him or her. Weak coach? A loser? Let’s see who on this blog agrees with you? Your last post shows how ignorant you are. Do you play varsity or JVs? Root for your team, but don’t try to drag everyone else down with you……that post doesn’t deserve much of a response.

  • MiraMan


    I understand your sentiment, but I would add some perspective from the other side.

    If Califonia had a playoff, I would want it to start with section champions. In that case, we could squeeze and extra week from the current schedule by cutting back section playoffs from 16 teams to 8 teams and I would be all for it. But since there is no playoffs…

    There are simply more than 4 very good teams in each division, so to me 4 is easily to small. Certainly 8 is enough, but I would argue there are usually more than 8 deserving teams every year. Once you add the additional week why not let every team have an opponent. Who does it hurt to let Petaluma play one extra game and get thrashed by Marin Catholic. I mean, really, why does that bother you? A mediocre team gets to say they made the playoffs and maybe gets some extra kids to come out because the program is on the upswing.

    By the way, hasn’t this been the system for a while? I know a 4-6 Miramonte team came in as the #12 seed three years ago and then beat two high seeds (Novato and Healdsburg I think) to get to the semis where they took Encinal to the limit before getting beat.

    My biggest gripe is the ramifications of the “B” leages are starting to hit home. My Miramonte struggles to go 5-5 or 6-4 playing a tough schedule while B league teams go 9-1, 7-3 playing cream puffs. They easily qualify and get home field advantage. And to top it off, winning their league is a criteria in the selection of who even gets in! That doesn’t seem fair at all!! I think they should say for B league teams, no home field and no consideration for winning league.

  • EBfootball

    So should Hayward, Encinal, and San Leandro go down to the B league next year? And Tennyson, Mt. Eden, and Arroyo headed up to the A league?

  • KIR

    I thought there was going to be a State playoff? Is that starting this year or next? This is why the season started so early this year I thought. Don’t you now need to win your section to get into the post season bracket to play for state? So a team can end up having 16 games this year. 3 playoffs to win section and 3 more to win state?

  • MiraMan

    Encinal and San Leandro down and Tennyson and Arroyo up.

    But I think the structure in place is to realign the teams every two years. I was under the impression they would just move one team up and one down, but I don’t know where I got that part of it.

  • Hoodboy

    Yes I agree that the B league shouldnt get the home field advantage. But Tennyson and Miramonte played Acalanes close. Yes Tennyson lost but that was a great game and it show that they can battle it out. No disrespect to Miramonte. They did play a hard schedule and respect to that. The A and B league made sense to me if they had the teams that have 3 levels be in the A league and the 2 level teams play in the B league. That way Freshman, JV and Varsity have full schedules including league schedules.

  • C/O98

    Here’s an idea how about the 2 division leagues only play a nine game schedule leaving week 10 open then based on standings they pair up with there counter parts. Will use the WACC as an example if the season ended today foothill would be berkeley O’Dowd Hayward Castro valley Encinal San leandro . Shoreline Tennyson arroyo mt. Eden San Lorenzo piedmont alameda. Give each division a automatic birth for NCS but only the league champ would get a home game. Berkeley vs Tennyson for the title both get in winner gets a home game . Arroyo vs O’Dowd . Mt. Eden vs Hayward . Castro Valley vs San Lorenzo . Piedmont vs Encinal and San leandro vs Alameda. So you would have a Foothill and Shoreline division champion and 1 WACC champion.

  • dnrapp

    c/098: That would work if the WACC divisions were split up geographically or old league vs old league. But it was not. The Foothill was put together as a top “A” league while the Shoreline was a lower “B” league.

  • C/O98

    It was about competivence which I think has worked both leagues have 3-4 in the hunt . And with out playing the top team from the other side be it A or B don’t feel like a true champ. Shoreline reminds me of the NFC west when Seattle won and everyone cried they got in but they ended up in the Super Bowl. Some times you just need a ticket to the dance. Don’t matter how you get it

  • Hoodboy

    NCS gotta believe that they got it right with the A and B league. There has been good, close and surprising games every week. Surprising wins. No blowouts

  • MiraMan


    I don’t have any problem with what you are saying about Tennyson. I understand they will get a pretty good seed for their likely 9-1 season even if the competition was light. I still don’t think they deserve home field. Maybe move them up to “A” leage next year and see how they do.

    I’m more irratated with Hercules. They will likely win Tri-County Stone. Have you seen the schedule of who they beat?? Also, teams like Terra Linda (Marin County) and Sonoma Valley/Petaluma (Sonoma County), while not “B” leagues per se, the road they have to hoe is much easier than many teams.

  • Dudleydawson

    island chief you lost get over it. If tenrio is a a loser whats that make your coaching staff? You cant even win at home. When you gonna win a playoff game? Tenrio go shine ur ring island chief come shine my shoes!

  • EBfootball

    Should Hayward and Encinal automatically be seeded above their counterparts in the B leagues? NCS usually rewards strength of schedule. It would be pretty ridiculous if San Lorenzo, Arroyo, and Mt Eden got in and Hayward didn’t. I bet those teams ducked Hayward for non-league games too.

  • Miraman, its why I don’t see Encinal not only making the field but shouldn’t be lower then a 12 seed. With how things are now with stronger leagues & weaker leagues the questions has to asked in seeding what if team A had team B’s schedule how would they do? If Encinal for instance had Hercules schedule would they be the same worse or better? Vice Versa. All opinionated but its basically what seedings is & always has been. Just think that should be part of the criteria.

  • EBfootball

    Encinal should put Tennyson on it’s schedule. I think the leagues with B leagues should make it mandatory to play non-league games against teams from the other league in the same division. If not, they must be automatically seeded above them in the playoffs.

  • C/O98

    @22 that would give Hayward 9 WACC games and only one non WACC game

  • All these comments sound good about the Tri-County/West alameda league seeding….But when playoff time arrives…these teams will get a rude awaking in the first round….Mira-man is right…the weak scheduled teams shouldn’t get a home game start…let them earn it…but watch and see…they will go down in the first round…

  • hoopstar 2013

    Arroyo plays BOD every year for the next five years and SL dropped Arroyo this year a month before the game…

  • EB Football Coach

    Hoopstar 2013 –

    Stop passing around bad information. Athletic programs only sign 1 or 2 year contracts. There may be a verbal agreement, but as far as a written contract, there isn’t a 5 year one.

    Secondly, Arroyo couldn’t have gotten dropped a month before the game. When were they supposed to play SL? I know for fact that Bowers didn’t do that. This sounds like the post I read on Hayward dropping Tennyson a month before the season.

    I talk to some Hayward coaches and they dropped Tennyson in February or March. That’s not exactly “last-minute”.

    So again, Hoopstar, stop your flow of bad info.

  • barefoot

    D-1 Seedings|

    1 De La Salle
    2 James Logan
    3 California
    4 Freedom
    5 Berkeley
    6 Irvington
    7 Monte Vista
    8 Pittsburg
    9 San Ramon Valley
    10 Deer Valley
    11 Antioch
    12 Foothill
    13 Castro Valley

  • Dublin Resident

    Dublin will be a tough first round match up as their star 220 pound tank RB will be back. I’m sure all the DFAL teams can tell you how tough a runner he is. So that’s 220 pounds running behind a line that averages 260 pounds. if he is healthy and Dublin sticks to a running attack they should move deep into the play offs.

  • Tri-City Dude

    BigDog, I can see why you made that comment. But like MiraMan, there is another perspective to it. One, the team that mgiht be only 4-6 or 5-5 can still say they made the playoffs. That might boost the participation in those schools for the next few years, as well as give the team another chance to play with each other (some for the last time ever). A good example is American High School of the MVAL leaague. They used to be so bad, and in some seasons their only win was against Mission San Jose. Then they got a new coach who took them to the playoffs despite average records. Now they are currentlty 5-3 (potentially 7-3 after beating Kennedy and Moreau Catholic, they’ve had their highest number of kids on their football roster in years, and some of the players are getting noticed.

    That leads to my 2nd point, which is the chance to get recruited by a college. For example, let’s say Mt. Eden took on a high seed like Clayton Valley. Yes, ME will probably get thrashed. But their will probably be college scouts there because CV has some good prospects for recruitment, and just by being there ME players can get some recognition from the scouts. Chances are that most players will not get offered a scholarship, but you never know. I know that McGowan guy from ME should defintely get some offers, because he is a serious stud.

  • MVAL fan

    Former Warrior: A MSJ win over Logan would give them a .500 record (1-1) against D-I schools so that would technically make them eligible.

  • DFAL

    Berkeley 5? really I would think closer to #13…

  • Justthefacts

    @Barefoot,How could you justify BHS and Irvington being seeded ahead of MV? BHS is 3-4 and Irvington 4-4, while MV is 6-2 with a tougher schedule. Also, remember that MV beat BHS 21-0.

  • Justthefacts

    … the same could be said for Pittsburg at 5-3 and beating BHS 31-0.

  • redandblue2

    It appears to be a down year overall for the DFAL this season. Last year the DFAL finished 43-27 in the regular season, 22-6 non-league. This season they will finish 34-36, 13-15 non-league. Only two teams, Acalanes & Campolindo will finish above .500.

    The good news is that with the exception of Dougherty Valley, the other 6 teams can make the playoffs. Both Miramonte & Alhambra need to win one of their final two games to qualify. Oddly, if they both lose this week, they play each other in the final week of the season with the winner eligible for the playoffs and the loser staying at home.

    Campolindo appears to be staying above the fray with a program wide record of 21-3 this season and 54-5 including last season. With a #4 or #5 seed seemingly sewed up it was intersting to find the Marin Catholic coaching staff at the Campo-Alhambra game last week; no doubt hoping for a rematch after losing last year’s NCS final at the Oakland Coliseum.

  • The_415


    Good knowledge about the DFAL and I agree as I have been to some games and talent seems low. Campo will win league outright tomorrow night as DV is unable to stop anybody giving up over 40+ points all year.

    I have family friend who plays for Campo so went to freshman game tonight and they got destroyed by what looks like a much talented and big Dougherty team.

    Things could get interesting the next few years in the DFAL. Anybody know if the realignment will affect this league in a few years? Are Dublin and Dougherty out?

  • Hoodboy

    Irvington at 6?? Barefoot you gotta explain that….

  • Hoodboy


    After looking at the Hercules schedule, I see what you are talking about. If they beat Kennedy of Richmond they could get home field. That is crazy


    oof Alameda sucks this year, they shouldn’t be anywhere near playoffs

  • Barefoot

    If you look at the seedings history over the last few years, high seeds were given to league champs despite their records.

  • EB JC Guy

    Hahahahaha, can’t stop laughing over Barefoot’s d1 seeding predictions . . .

  • kriart

    Well, didn’t the seeding last year suck anyway. If NCS continues seeding like that, it’ll suck again big time. Pitt is always better off when seeded in the 2nd bracket so it can wipeout the competition to finally land in the finals vs DLS. The Pitt team that plays in the playoff will be in their best form, and will beat even the competition that beat them in preseason. Watch out!

  • hoopstar2013

    EB Football Coach Says:

    I just spoke to a Dons coach .

    rt there was 2 year not 5 year agreement that Arroyo would be in the B-group if they played SL and BOD both AD agreed on it at the meeting.
    SL was sent the contract and SL AD called Arroyos AD and informed him that they didn’t want to play. This was the last week in July. That is why Arroyo had to drive up to Ukiah..

  • leatherfan

    Kriart, I know you love your Pirates but they are still the Pirates….I don’t think they will get past Heritage tonight???

  • Pitt and Galli will beat Hert. They smell playoffs.

  • dj falong

    does anyone know the actual dates for the playoff contests ?.

  • Coach

    The NCS needs to drop the rule that requires teams to be over 500. Take the 16 best teams regardless of record. Byes in post season tournaments are awful. The rule has created terrible tournaments in baseball. Each time there has been a bye in the baseball tournament the team or teams with byes have had huge advantages and won the tournament. Pitching changes baseball more than any other sport. Last year Amador Valley, a completely competent team was kept out of the baseball tournament and DeLaSalle received a bye. DeLaSalle wins the tournament. Amador would have been a great team to complete the tournament and give all teams the same number of games. There are states with state tournaments that allow every team in the state in regardless of record. NCS principals need to let sports people decide what is best for the sport.

  • Fast and Physical

    Berkeley # 5 is too high. Lost to MV, and Pitt, should be below them, maybe a Rematch vs MV would be exciting.

  • FB Guru

    Div III – Re-reading Stephanie’s original post, which two teams should be left out now that Miramonte and JFK-Fremont are added to the qualified list?

    I’d say Hercules and Eureka, but Hercules can get an automatic with a victory this week over JFK-Richmond.