Updated NCS playoff football outlook — Divisions I and II

We have one more weekend of games then it’s Selection Sunday. Here’s a look at who’s in, who needs to win to become eligible and the projected fields. Below are the breakdowns for Divisions I and II. Divisions III and IV will be posted tomorrow.

We’ll also be hosting a live chat here on Sunday at 3 p.m. after playoff brackets are announced, so be sure to stop by then. Hopefully we’ll be discussing what an excellent job the seeding committee did.

Division I

Qualifiers (14): De La Salle, James Logan, San Ramon Valley, Monte Vista, California, Freedom, Pittsburg, Deer Valley, Antioch, Berkeley, Irvington, Amador Valley, Foothill, Castro Valley

Needs one more win (3):  Heritage, Santa Rosa, Mission San Jose

The breakdown:  The bubble burst last week for just one team, Granada, which lost to Cal. Castro Valley not only gained playoff eligibility last week, it also put itself in position to win a league title (the Trojans would have to beat Berkeley on Friday). Heritage can go over .500 in league to become eligible with a win over Deer Valley on Friday. The Patriots will be underdogs, but a win is definitely possible. Wins (and playoff eligibility) seem far less likely for Santa Rosa and Mission San Jose. Santa Rosa needs to beat Rancho Cotate while MSJ must defeat James Logan. Both Amador Valley and Foothill won last week, so the Battle for Pleasanton on Friday will be for playoff seeding rather than eligibility.

Projected bracket: 1. De La Salle, 2. James Logan,  3. California, 4. Freedom, 5-10. San Ramon Valley/Monte Vista/Pittsburg/Deer Valley/Foothill/Amador Valley, 11. Castro Valley, 12. Berkeley, 13. Antioch, 14. Irvington

The top four in this division look pretty clear as do the bottom four. I think the committee’s biggest challenges will be figuring out where to put the teams from Danville and Pleasanton. Deciding what to do with the six teams in the middle will be tough because the EBAL teams all beat up on each other this year. For example, will Amador Valley be rewarded for its wins over Freedom and Monte Vista or will losing to a D-II team (Concord) hurt? Pittsburg losing to both Monte Vista and Cal in nonleague games probably hurts the seeding for both the Pirates and Deer Valley. What happens in the Danville/Pleasanton rivalry games will also have an impact on the seedings, so I’m not ready to project the 5-10 seeds just yet.


Division II

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

Needs one more win (4): College Park, Pinole Valley, Hayward, Alameda

The breakdown: There will be a new champion in this field. Defending champ Windsor needed to win their final two games, but lost to Casa Grande last week to end its playoff hopes. Maria Carrillo’s chances also ended with a 23-22 loss to Montgomery (MC needed to win out, as well). Richmond also lost when it needed to win its final two. Pinole Valley has to beat St. Mary’s this week to get to .500 in league. Hayward needs to do the same against Encinal. Alameda stayed in the running by beating San Lorenzo (that result also knocked San Lorenzo out of the running) but still needs to beat Arroyo. College Park must beat Concord.

Projected field: 1. Rancho Cotate, 2. Clayton Valley, 3. Casa Grande, 4. Northgate, 5. Concord, 6. Newark Memorial, 7. Washington, 8. Las Lomas, 9. Dublin, 10. Livermore, 11. Hayward, 12. American, 13. Arroyo, 14. Mt. Eden, 15. Pinole Valley

The No. 1 and 2 seeds seem pretty clear. I think the committee will give the edge to an unbeaten Rancho team for the top seed, but Clayton has a shot at that spot as well and should be no lower than No. 2. It’ll be interesting to see what the committee does with Livermore. Being in the EBAL, the Cowboys have played a tougher schedule than anyone in this division and their record reflects it. Dublin will have a better overall record than Las Lomas no matter what happens Friday, but the Knights will probably be seeded higher because they have a head-to-head win over Dublin. I’m predicting that Hayward and Pinole Valley both win Friday night to become eligible.

Stephanie Hammon

  • OHS

    How many teams do they take in Division II? 16?

  • Stephanie Hammon

    Yep, they’ll take up to 16 teams in divisions 1-4. D5 takes up to eight teams.

  • birdeyeview

    Alameda should make the playoffs, If they win Friday, Tough SOS, And could easily have won alllll there games,

  • bear

    It doesn’t matter if CV is 1 or 2. They will blow through the playoffs and it should be one hell of a game between CV and Rancho.I’m more interested in the Con/CP game.

  • bear

    Someone said CV should take Livermores spot in the EBAL and thats probobly a little premature at this time.But I think they could give DLS a good game “this year” a win I’m not sure about that.

  • Paydirt

    Great update on D-I and D-II. I prefer the term “beat down” when referring to the typical EBAL season, as it is in fact a war of attrition and survival of the fittest.

    I am looking forward to your D-III update tomorrow, and can’t wait for the comments.

    Keep up the great coverage!

  • Island chief

    Alameda 24 Arroyo 3.


    Newark will make semi-finals and even probably make it to finals.

  • Prep Fan

    Great job Stephanie. I hope the secret committee is that thorough.

  • Justthefacts

    Birdeye, post #3, Alameda could have won all of there games(?) You should look back on the scores vs Northgate and Miramonte.

  • FB Guru

    If Alameda would have had DLS’s players and coaches they would have beat both Northgate and Miramonte. But sadly for them they have the players they have and Moyer’s staff so their results are what they are.

  • Seattle Slew

    Arroyo 22 Alameda 13

  • Chs101214

    Post #13. This has been fun. Signing off and moving on. GATA Grizz.

  • BiggCoug

    Stephanie, what do you think would happen if Dublin shocked Campo on Friday? Would Las Lomas still be ahead of them?

  • justdafacts

    Justthefacts, thanks for stealing my handle.

    Fb guru, that is a ridiculous statement!

    Alameda will beat Arroyo this week. I understand that there is a photo floating around that proves the Mt. Eden back was down on the 2pt conversion in ot??? With that stop, that would put the Hornets in for sure.

  • HAAL Fan

    15. Justdafacts

    its to bad for alameda they cant throw the red flag. i was at the game and the kid was in. half of his body was in and he was on top of some players. alameda fans need to stop crying. all season long its been alameda coulda this and alameda coulda that. the coaches/team are soft. they have big athletic wr’s and solid rb’s but all they want to do is spread teams out and play flag football.

  • Gaelfan

    BiggCoug, what you say about Dublin shocking Campo is in my dreams but I am a realist. If it did happen then the hamsters in the brains of the selection committee may just burst. Campo would still be at the top of the DIII bracket. Beating DV will just make Las Lomas eligible. Dublin could move up a place or 2 but I think they are where they should be right now. It is very interesting how many 5-5 and 4-6 teams may be eligible for DII. I am hoping it is a very shocking night tomorrow night 🙂

  • Stephanie Hammon

    Even if Dublin beat Campo, I think there’s a pretty good chance the committee would still seed them just behind Las Lomas. While a win over Campo would be the best win for either of those teams by far, we’ve seen in the pat how much they value head-to-head results.

  • MiraMan


    I think Dublin has a strong case for being ahead of Las Lomas even if they finish 5-5. A win on Friday would easily solidify their position at #8. While their direct loss to LL is big, Dublin has two wins over good teams that have beaten LL in Acalanes and Miramonte. That and the edge in W-L record should do it even if Dublin loses to Campo and LL beats DV. Its not like LL has played a tougher schedule than Dublin to explain their less-than-.500 finish.

    With a win against Campo, Dublin would move past Washington and go to #7. Hard to see Dublin go any higher with the level of teams and records above #7.

    But that’s my opinion. The seeding people do have a history of looking pretty closely at that “lineal victory” stuff even when there are offsetting factors.

  • MiraMan

    BigCoug & StephaieHammon,

    I strongly disagree with Stephanie that if you beat Campo, a defending state finalist with a 8-1 record, and you have a two-game lead over LL, that you would still be seeded behind them because of a direct loss. No way!

    We agree that the seeding committee looks carefully at that, but a two-game lead and win over Campo should easily be enough to outweigh that.

  • FB Guru


    Of course it is a ridiculous statement! It was tongue-in-cheek to birdbrains (#3) even more ridiculous statement that Alameda could easily have won alllll of their games.

    Cut and pasted here:

    “Alameda should make the playoffs, If they win Friday, Tough SOS, And could easily have won alllll there games,”

  • Stephanie Hammon

    Hey MiraMan, not saying that’s how I’d do it, but how I think the committee might do it because we’ve seen it done that way before. Last year when things got complicated in the D-1 bracket, head-to-head was the difference maker. A 6-4 San Leandro team ended up with the No. 3 seed because it beat Berkeley which beat Pitt, while 9-1 Freedom was No. 8.

  • Prep Fan

    Yep, that was pretty unbeleivable. If the secret NCS committee is the same as last year, anything is possible. Although even with head to head factored in it is hard to imagine the top 4 D1 seeds not being 1)DLS and then Logan, Cal & Freedom as 2, 3 & 4 in whatever order they place them unless there are some big surprises in week 10.

  • seven72deuce

    as of right now i project so far for D-1:

    1. DLS
    2. Logan
    3. Cal
    4. Freedom
    5. SRV
    6. AV
    7. MV
    8. Pitt
    9. Foothill
    10. DV
    11. Berkeley
    12. Castro Valley
    13. Antioch
    14. Irvington

    I really think the only 2 solidified slots are DLS/Logan. I’m thinking that either Freedom or Cal could be mishandled due to D1 losses to AV and MV, respectively. But if the committee gets a good hunch. the top 4 should stay that way.

    My case for 5-10:
    SRV I think will be Monte Vista. MV also was the least impressive D-1 team that faced Berk and you can’t over look that loss to foothill/AV. The win over Cal is nice, but it won’t help them at all if they lose to SRV. The huge win over Pitt will keep them afloat. I put AV over MV because of they have a win over freedom, and their only other losses would be against teams in the rankings. That Concord loss would look irrelevant in my opinion, unless the committee really looks into it (Concord got stomped out by Clayton Valley, Clayton Valley lost to Pitt). 8/9 is a HUGE toss up, but i think Pitt will be ranked above Foothill. Pitt actually stood up way better to Freedom/Cal. Even though Foothill did beat MV, and MV romped Pitt, that SRV loss won’t help foothill at the end of it. DV I think will have a close one with Heritage, but will still win that night, that stomping over Antioch is the only reason why their ranked 10…

    For the rest, I got Berkeley beating Castro Valley. Berkeley was sloppy in the first half of the season. CV did romp Hayward, but did lose to BOD, which Berk did beat. Plain and simple, whoever wins that game will be ranked ahead. Antioch is easy. But can someone explain to me how Irvington is in??

  • Stephanie Hammon

    Irvington is eligible because it is .500 against Division I teams (beat MSJ, lost to Logan). But they were also eligible last year and didn’t apply, so it may be a 13-team bracket after all (or 14 if Heritage wins).

    I like your rationale for 5-10, but what happens if Foothill beats AV tomorrow?

  • seven72deuce


    I completely forgot that MSJ is still D-1. If foothill beats AV tomorrow (which i don’t think will happen) I see the rankings as:

    5. SRV
    6. Foothill
    7. AV
    8. MV
    9. Pitt
    10. DV

    MV would be 6-4 if losing to SRV, but losing to a 5-5 AV will hurt them.

    If MV wins, Foothill Wins:

    5. MV
    6. SRV
    7. Foothill
    8. AV
    9. Pitt
    10. DV

    simply all because of league records, AV would get the short end of the stick. The only way I think those rankings change a bit, is if the MV and Foothill win are by 2 or 3 points.

    No matter how you put it, Pitt should want AV to win. AV did beat Freedom, Freedom did edge out Pitt. The victory margin with those 3 teams together would be AV +3 over Pitt. An AV victory makes Pitt look better against Foothill, as Foothill couldn’t beat pitt. AV > Freedom > Pitt > Foothill > MV in that scenario, but MV did romp Pitt… And part of the reason why i said only DLS/Logan are the only two solidified teams, is because if AV does win, that Freedom loss to AV could come back and haunt them.

  • seven72deuce

    To elaborate on AV beating Freedom and Foothill would haunt Freedom:

    AV would have wins over Freedom, Foothill, MV. The only thing that would setback this whole scenario would be if the league looks into the Concord loss that AV does have.

    But if AV and SRV does win. The rankings could turn out as:

    3. Cal
    4. SRV
    5. AV
    6. Freedom
    7. MV
    8. Pitt
    9. Foothill
    10. DV

    Freedom’s best wins are against Foothill, Pitt and DV. Add in EBAL business then you should have:

    Freedom > Foothill > MV > Pitt > DV. AV screws 3 of those teams over if they win against Foothill. And even if MV does beat SRV you’d have a circle with MV/SRV/AV with foothill losing to 2 out of those 3 teams.

    MV romped Pitt, Freedom only beat Pitt by 1, Freedom beat Foothill. An AV win tomorrow helps none of those 4 teams at the end of it all. Yeah MV did had a decisive win over Cal, But AV spoils all the head to heads.

  • Prep Fan

    AV’s win over Freedom could loom large. I don’t know that the secret committee would put a 4-loss AV team ahead of 2-loss Freedom, but since they did almost that exact thing last year with SL over 1-loss Freedom anything is possible. I just don’t see it happening again this year.

    And AV’s win over Freedom should also factor into who is seeded higher between Cal and Freedom as Cal beat AV as a common opponent, and their wins over both Foothill & Pitt were by more than Freedoms. Not that point spread should make much of a difference but the Cal-Foothill game was a blowout with a running clock. With 3 common opponents (1/3 of the season to this point), I don’t see how the committee can disregard it. Both won their leagues.

    Vs. Common Opponents:

    Cal 40 – Pitt 34
    Cal 36 – Foothill 7
    Cal 31 – AV 21

    Total: Cal 3-0 (107 – 62)

    Freedom 49 – Pitt 48
    Freedom 41 – Foothill 28
    Freedom 27 – AV 29* loss

    Total: Freedom 2-1 (117 – 105)

  • seven72deuce

    @Prep Fan,

    I get what you’re saying. But from what i’ve read from committees since 2005, is that head to head and strength of schedule sometimes trumps overall record. The way that you just compared Cal to Freedom makes them look like an average team against the EBAL.

    It’s why I mentioned how Freedom’s best 3 wins are against 2 league teams who won’t be ranked in the top 8, and foothill, who might be #3-5 in the EBAL depending how everything turns out this weekend. If you look at the Pitt/Freedom game and think that game could have went either way and them look at how Pitt did against MV and Cal (Then even factor in the AV/MV/Cal head to heads). That just makes Freedom’s win over Pitt look less impressive, with the AV win over Freedom not help the BVAL at all.

  • MVALFremont

    does anyone know if Livermore’s coach will be applying into N.C.S for sure?

  • Prep Fan

    I don’t know why they wouldn’t. The parents I spoke to at the Livermore game were excited about qualifying, and I’m sure the kids are even more excited. It has been such a long time since they have made it, and they should actually be competitive in D2 after playing D1 teams all year long. It’s not their fault they are a D2 team stuck in a D1 league. I hope they get a decent draw and are able to win at least a game.

  • BiggCoug

    thanks for the input on the DII seedings. @Gaelfan, anything can happen under the Friday night lights, except a NorCal team beating DLS of course, but Dublin is coming off a bye and has had two weeks to prepare, so we shall see what happens I guess.

  • Gaelfan

    However it all comes out Friday, the hamsters will churn on Sunday. I wish it would go back to the old coaches advocacy days. There were some spirited things going on in the hallowed halls. I for one am glad I am not on that committee. It has to be hard and you are always making somebody unhappy. Can’t wait to see them brackets.
    Go Gaels.

  • Cowboys

    Livermore is applying. 100%.

  • MVALFremont

    Records aside Livermore should be very competitve in the plyoffs

  • Itsabob

    Fridays Game result from the top 25 in SoCal LA Times
    Thanks Fanofspart for sending info.
    De La Salle is looking solid hope they get the bye date.

    CVC does need to play a real team to truly gauge the progression of this season into next.

  • Prep Fan

    This is how I see the D1 seedings shaking out:

    2012 NCS D1 predictions.

    1. DLS 10-0. No brainer.
    2. Logan 9-1. Weak schedule, but solid team with 1 loss. Crushed SRV.
    3. Cal 8-2. Wins over SRV, AV, Foothill & Pitt. Held DLS under 30.
    4. Freedom 8-2. Won BVAL, beat Foothill but lost to AV.
    5. Pit 7-3. Beat GB & CV, but lost to Cal, Freedom & crushed by MV.
    6. SRV 5-5. EBAL co-champs. Tough preseason schedule.
    7. AV 6-4. Beat Freedom, MV & Foothill. Ended year on a roll.
    8. MV 6-4. Beat Cal and crushed Pitt. Ended year with 3 losses.
    9. Berkeley 5-4. Won WAC-Foothill. Why did they play just 9 games?
    10. Foothill 5-5. Beat MV, Picked #1 in EBAL, too much talent to go 5-5
    11. DV 6-4. Beat Vacaville. Bad loss to Heritage to end season.
    12. Castro Valley 5-5. Losses to Cal, Freedom, MV & Berkeley.
    13. Heritage 3-7. Beat DV & Antioch.
    14. Antioch 6-4. 5th place. Weak schedule. Only good win was NG.
    15. Irvington 4-6. May not even apply.

  • greenboy

    Anyone have an arroyo vs alameda update?

  • Arroyo Don

    Arroyo 17-14. It was a dramatic win in front of the 1982 team who lost the NCS championship that year to DLS.

  • FB Guru

    Looking at the NCS website this morning, Irvington did apply, Heritage did not.

  • GHS

    Why is Livermore a qualifier for the playoffs? They had a 2-8 record.

  • stuck in spokane

    1-0 against DII opponents.

  • marcm

    Arroyo did not apply

  • TJ

    what? why?

  • Prep Fan

    There have been some errors on this site in prior years, but it does look as though Irvington & Livermore did apply and heritage & Arroyo did not.

  • C/O98

    What time do the brackets usually get posted?