Updated NCS football playoff outlook — Divisions III and IV

Here’s a look at the NCS playoff picture in Division III and IV.

Division III

Qualifiers (18): Marin Catholic, Cardinal Newman, Campolindo, El Cerrito, Acalanes, Eureka, Novato, Tamalpais, Terra Linda, Analy, Petaluma, Sonoma Valley, Hercules, Bishop O’Dowd, Encinal, Tennyson, Miramonte, Kennedy-Fremont

Needs one more win (2): Alhambra, Piner

The breakdown: Miramonte won its third straight to clinch its playoff eligibility and should receive a pretty decent seed if it wins again Friday against Alhambra. But that Alhambra team will be fighting for its own playoff eligibility. Kennedy-Fremont is officially eligible after beating American and Ygnacio Valley is out after losing last week. Piner is stands a good shot to become eligible (it must beat winless Elsie Allen this week) but that doesn’t guarantee them a spot in the playoffs.

Projected field: 1. El Cerrito, 2. Marin Catholic, 3. Campolindo, 4. Cardinal Newman, 5. Analy, 6. Miramonte, 7. Novato, 8. Acalanes, 9. Bishop O’Dowd, 10. Tennyson, 11. Encinal,  12. Hercules, 13. Tamalpais, 14. Terra Linda, 15. Sonoma Valley, 16. Petaluma

It’s between Marin Catholic and El Cerrito for the top seed. EC (most likely) will be undefeated, so I think they’ll have the edge over MC, even though MC has a higher rated strength of schedule. EC also has a higher power rating on Calpreps and Maxpreps, though is ranked below MC by Cal-Hi Sports’ bowl rankings. It’s also a toss up between Campo and Cardinal Newman for No. 3, though undefeated Analy could be in the mix. There will be at least 18 qualifiers, so who will be left out? I think Piner, even if they win an qualify, could have a hard time making it. Alhambra would have to beat Miramonte to get in, so its chances of making the field are much better than Piner’s. I think Kennedy-Fremont might be out, too. The loser of Petaluma/Sonoma Valley could also be out. Terra Linda and Eureka are on shaky ground, too. Hercules might not get a great seed, but I think they are safe due to their solid record even if they lose to Kennedy-Richmond Friday and do not get an automatic bid.


Division IV

Qualifiers (16): Arcata, Fortuna, Justin-Siena, San Marin, Moreau Catholic, Fort Bragg, Middletown, St. Helena, Willits, Salesian, St. Mary’s, Valley Christian, Kennedy-Richmond, Piedmont, Drake, Clear Lake

On the bubble (1): Healdsburg

The breakdown: Clear Lake gained its eligibility by beating Kelseyville last week. Healdsburg can get to 2-1 against D-IV teams with a win over El Molino in its final game. It’s not a given they’d get in though since there are already 16 qualified teams.

Projected field: 1. Salesian, 2. Valley Christian, 3. Justin-Siena, 4. Arcata, 5. Fort Bragg, 6. St. Helena, 7. Fortuna, 8. San Marin, 9. St. Mary’s, 10. Middletown, 11. Kennedy-Richmond, 12. Piedmont, 13. Moreau Catholic, 14. Willits, 15. Drake, 16. Clear Lake

This is the division I know the least about and a lot of the teams are from outside the East Bay, so my projected seeding could be way off. I imagine two-time defending champ Salesian would get the top seed if it beats Valley Christian tomorrow, otherwise VC could be at the top. A loss to a St. Mary’s team that’s not having a great year could hurt VC though. The top six teams listed all have 1-2 losses, so they’re looking solid for good seeds.

Stephanie Hammon

  • Stephanie…Looks good…let the comments begin…

  • I think Novato and Mira should be flipped. If Mira loses to Alhambra the should fall below the Jets at 10 or 11

  • BrotherTrucker

    What if the Jets lose to Hayward?

  • EBfootball

    C’mon Steph! BOD is lower than Mira, Analy, and Novato! Wins against D1’s, Catholics, and traditionally strong schools! Better wins than all those schools put together. Absolutely no cupcakes in their non-league too.

  • EBfootball

    Novato’s best win is Justin Sienna and in your D4 bracket you have them as a 3 seed. Must be a powerhouse down there with number 1 seed Salesian’s best win against 10 seed Middletown (SOS?).

  • EBfootball I understand what your saying about BOD’s best win but I don’t think the one good win over Castro Valley trumps the two really bad losses. The one vs Hayward is a real stinker.(Whew really stinky)

    What happens if the Jets beat Hayward ? Can you seed an Encinal team that beat Hayward lower that a BOD team that lost to Hayward ?

    Also food for thought BOD has not blown anyone out all pretty close games that should not have so close.

  • EBfootball

    First of all scores don’t count in seeding or there would be some ugly things happening out there. And if you’re talkin about blowouts Novato got blown out three times. Twice by D3 teams too!

  • EBfootball dude you need to get off the Div I hype you should read your own post D I , D I , D I whoo whoo whoo.

    Quit sucking the D I Jock.

    The two D III teams that Novato lost too are way higher rated that your any of the D I schools that BOD played. Hell MC is rated 5 times higher than the D I Farmers that BOD LOST TOO.

  • EBfootball

    Did Novato get blown out or not? By the projected 4 seed in this bracket and they’re supposed to be the 7?

  • LOL EBfootball your a joke yes the 4th seeded team which is rated higher (33.6) than anyone BOD played beat Novato 28-0. The only team that BOD played with a 30 or higher rating dropped 42 points on you at home.

    O bye the way isnt that the same team that slapped around BOD in 2010, dropped 56 on that ass.

  • HSFootball Fan

    If Healdsburg wins against ElMo, I think Moreau might have to sweat out selection Saturday. Healdsburg has a win over Piedmont, and Piedmont has a win over Moreau. Hard to justify leaving Healdsburg out over those two. A 4-6 Moreau, even though they’ve played a tougher schedule, could get left out for a 5-5 or 6-4 Clear Lake.

  • HSFootball Fan

    Err – selection Sunday

  • MVAL44

    Kennedy- Fremont and winner of Sonoma Valley/ Petaluma game should be in. Terra Linda and Eureka should be out. Look at strength of schedule. Out of those 4 teams Kennedy- Fremont has more D-1 and D-2 teams than the rest. But Kennedy- Fremont lost to D-4 Moreau by 1.

  • TJ

    BOD lost to SL.. no more BOD talk, they’re bad.

  • TJ

    and please.. let’s not pretend that Irvington and Mission San Jose are good D1 teams. They got manhandled by Washington and will likely get manhandled tomorrow night.

  • MVAL44

    Irvington and Mission San Jose suck. But…

    So why was Washington losing to Kennedy- Fremont 29-28 after 2 mintues into 3rd quarter until 4 minutes left in 4th quarter . From what I have heard the Washington players thought they were going to lose the game.
    By the way Irvington is making the playoffs.

  • Wow BOD lost. Can’t say I’m totally surprised. SL has a good group of athletes. Senior night. Bad taste of losing to another D3 school in their mouths.

  • TJ

    50-29 was the end result according to maxpreps. Sounds more like Washington came out flat and scored 21 unanswered points quickly. Not sure about you, but in my world that DOES NOT look good for either team.

    Irvington.. thats great that they make it.. but there are teams that will not make it that would destroy them. San Leandro, Granada, Heritage and maybe even Dougherty Valley would cream them. That argument does not work for Kennedy I think.

  • Anonymous

    BOD was never in the game tonight except in the 4th quarter. And even when they looked like they were staging a comeback – it seemed like the coaching staff was having a breakdown with play calling. Hats off to SL – great game, great night and a memorable win. As for BOD, good luck in the playoffs. You’ll need it…

  • Island chief

    Bishop O’Dowd lst to SL? No way! Can anyone noire this?

  • Island chief

    Confirm this?

  • Anonymous

    Trust me – SL beat BOD 30 to 26.

  • Anonymous

    Oh yea – forgot to mention that BOD’s starting QB was back from his injury and played the whole game.

  • Here’s some anticipated bracketology for the upcoming NCS FB playoffs. It ought to provoke some discord and/or disagreement.

    The teams’ projected final regular season records are shown.

    1. De La Salle 10-0
    16. empty

    8. San Ramon Valley 4-6
    9. Amador Valley 6-4

    5. Monte Vista(Danville) 7-3
    12. Antioch 6-4

    4. Freedom 8-2
    13. Castro Valley 5-5

    3. California 8-2
    14. empty

    6. Pittsburg 7-3
    11. Berkeley 5-4

    7. Deer Valley 7-3
    10. Foothill 5-5

    2. James Logan 9-1
    15. empty

    1. Clayton Valley 9-1
    16. empty

    8. Las Lomas 4-6 (must beat Dougherty Valley)
    9. Hayward* 5-5 (must beat Encinal)

    5. Casa Grande 7-3
    12. American 5-5

    4. Concord 8-2
    13. Pinole Valley* 4-6 (must beat St. Marys)

    3. Northgate 8-2
    14. Mt. Eden 5-5

    6. Newark Memorial 8-2
    11. Arroyo 6-4

    7. Washington(Fremont) 6-4
    10. Dublin 5-5

    2. Rancho Cotate 10-0
    15. empty
    (College Park if they beat Concord)

    1. Marin Catholic 9-1
    16. Eureka 3-6

    8. Tennyson 9-1
    9. Miramonte 6-4

    5. Analy 10-0 F
    12. Acalanes 6-3 F

    4. Campolindo 9-1
    13. Hercules 6-3

    3. Cardinal Newman 9-1
    14. Petaluma 4-6

    6. Bishop O’Dowd 7-3
    11. Encinal* 5-5 (must beat Hayward)

    7. Novato 7-3
    10. Sonoma Valley 6-4

    2. El Cerrito 10-0
    15. Tamalpais 6-4

    Other projected qualifiers
    (17) Kennedy (Fremont) 4-6
    (18) Piner 4-6

    1. Salesian 9-1
    16. John Swett 5-5 (must beat Albany)

    8. Willits 6-4
    9. St. Marys* 5-5 (must beat Pinole Valley)

    5. Fortuna 7-3
    12. San Marin 4-6 F

    4. Arcata 9-1 F
    13. Moreau Catholic 5-5 (must beat American)

    3. Valley Christian(Dublin) 7-3
    14. Middletown 7-3

    6. Fort Bragg 9-1
    11. Piedmont 6-4

    7. St. Helena 9-1
    10. Kennedy(Richmond) 6-4

    2. Justin-Sienna 8-2
    15. Clear Lake 5-5

    1. Ferndale 9-1
    8. empty

    4. St. Vincent 8-2
    5. Upper Lake 6-4

    3. CSD 9-1
    6. Calistoga 6-4

    2. St. Bernards 6-4
    7. Tomales 5-5

    * Only half of the * teams will win their final game. However, the anticipated final regular season record is based on the team winning its last game.

    The “must beat” teams must win their last game to qualify. Their anticipated final regular season record is based on the team winning its last game. If one of these teams loses, than all the teams in brackets lower will move up a bracket.

    F Regular season is finished.

    Note: There are too many empty brackets with 1st round passes, especially in D1. NCS ought to change their playoff structure; their league structure (at least for football) too.

  • FB Guru

    Looks like Stephanie knew what she was talking about putting BOD in the lower half of the bracket, nice call Steph.

  • So if the Jets beat Hayward they would have beat 2 teams that BOD lost too, but BOD beat the Jets do you place the Jets over BOD?

  • Old Former Meddling Coach

    @BleacherCoach,I was wondering the same thing but things will be a bit more clear after tonites game. I feel our guys will make a good showing. Jet Pride!

  • N-Ya

    EC will be the #1 seed in D3.

  • redandblue2


    I too, think El Cerrito will get the #1 seed with their 10-0 record. However, Marin Catholic tops EC in every other category the seeding committee looks at, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see MC take the top seed.

    Frankly, Campolindo matches up better with El Cerrito than MC so I hope EC stays on Campo’s side of the bracket and there is a rematch.

  • ManDown

    After last nights game between ODowd and San Leandro, the WACC A-League looks like there has been nothing but good games every week. Very exciting that all those teams get to beat up on eachother and compete against one another. That is what football is all about the best teams play eachother and fight it out. Lets see who comes out on top

  • EBfootball

    So BOD lost a close game to a DI team that has a ton of athletes and has played one of the toughest schedules around. WACC is a very tough league and no Marin County team is trying to see any of them in the non league (except MC). The issue is that Novato played nobody and when they did it wasn’t even close. They’re given a high value for hollow wins. That’s called inflation. Ever heard of it? Ruined this nation’s economy.

  • Seattle Slew

    BOD lost a tough game. Man Down said it best great neighborhood high school football games every week in that A league. Very interested in seeing how the seeding commitee rates the D3 teams in that league (superior league) vs B league and vs other D3 teams. Bleacher Coach, good question. BOD won the field. But San Leandro has a rich tradition of good football and it showed in week 10.

  • Seattle Slew

    BOD lost a tough game. Man Down said it best great neighborhood high school football games every week in that A league. Very interested in seeing how the seeding commitee rates the D3 teams in that league (superior league) vs B league and vs other D3 teams. Bleacher Coach, good question. BOD won on the field. But San Leandro has a rich tradition of good football and it showed in week 10.

  • Come on EBfootball I am sure you read the blogs and the newspaper there was nothing close about the game last night.

    BOD was down by 22 points going into the 4th Q lost to a 1-9 team and has lost 3 straight going into the post season.

    You keep whoo riding on BOD strength of Schedule but it is not that much higher than Novato’s 12.2 Mira’s 11.9 or the Jets at 13.4.

    Sure Novato and Mira lost to the higher rated teams but they sure took care of business on the teams they where supposed to while BOD was laying eggs.

    Novato and Mira do not lose to those 3 teams.

  • Anonymous

    I was there and I agree, the BOD – SL was never even close. BOD couldn’t even punch it in from inside the 5 yard line in 4 plays with a chance to win the game.

  • EastBay Ray

    What is going on over at BOD? Last night after they took the opening kickoff and drove down the field and scored (and went for the 2-point conversion for some reason), the next series they went run,run,run punt. After that, they did the same thing, only passing on predictable downs, stalling drives with a “wildcat” package…very odd. After they got way behind (due to some terrible punting – 2 zero yard punts from their own 20), they started passing again, and drove the field (again), and got the score to 30-26. At the end of the game, they were going in for the go ahead score from the 20, and ran it six straight times. The head coach Nickerson could be seen yelling at the offensive coordinator, apparently changing plays to runs. With first and goal from the 3, he ran it into the middle of the line 3 times against a 10-man front, getting stuffed all three times. Anybody else see this?

  • FB Guru

    It will be interesting to see how the committee reviews EC’s 6 wins against DIv IV & V teams. It’s like EC and Encinal have switch places and now EC will enjoy the benefit of being an undefeated league champ and well rested.

  • Good point Guru.

    I think the committee who built these two “super leagues”
    really hurt the good DIII teams by forcing them to play up in Div I week in and week out while allowing the traditionally under preforming programs to play each other creating the illusion of a good team .

    When you have a 9-1 Tennyson and a 8-2 Hercules team getting home field advantage and getting bounced in the first round while the Jets and BOD get the road games is poor planning.

  • waacMan

    I was at the SL game, too, Ray. BOD’s starting QB was back and looked good. I thought maybe Hardy was trying to pound the ball to protect him, but he looked fine. No idea why Hardy is getting involved in the offense – they have a good young coordinator who had them clicking earlier in the year before the QB got hurt. It’s too bad – they might have the best combination of receivers and QB that BOD has had in many years, and Hardy is trying to go “smash mouth” for some reason. You have got to give credit to the Pirates though, when they saw that BOD wouldn’t pass unless it was third and long, they loaded up the box, and then blitzed on third down. Good coaching by SL, and fun to see the joy of the players on Senior night, after a tough season.

  • EBfootball

    Exactly. Would Novato want to be in the WACC A or B league?

  • Looking at the grind of the WAC Foothill I agree. EHS & BOD should both soften up their non-league. Their league is tough enough. Don’t need to play 9-10 tough games a year.

  • MiraMan


    I agree that anyone in a tough league should look at their pre-league schedule as a way to moderate the overall difficulty of their schedule. However, I think it fair to point out that you were one of the people that ripped me for using that exact logic last year when Miramonte had a soft non-league schedule followed by a tough DFAL schedule.

  • DJ

    FB Guru,
    its true that some of these teams records are an illusion and the travesty is that better teams will have to hit the road in the playoffs but I think for some teams just the opportunity to be in the playoffs where they would not otherwise have a chance.
    For some teams going into a season they have no chance at the playoffs and the “B” leagues create that opportunity ,which might be good for that respective football program(bad for us fans but good for that football program).And this is not only a product of these super leagues but also with the expansion to 16 teams in the playoffs really kind of renders round 1 a formality more or less.
    But when the playoffs start anything can happen Injury or bad bounce and its upset city thats why you play the games.

    And in regards to Ec maybe there is a debate when it comes to seeding, the argument could be made for either a 1 or 2 seed but lets be clear they are the real deal this year,im not saying they will win it all but they will make some noise in the playoffs.

  • I don’t think DFAL beats you up too much. A lot of throwing teams. Strengthening your non-league this year I think made you a better team. Helped you win games down the stretch. Being 2-4 is tough but you guys formed ranks & got it done.

  • EBfootball

    MCAL has a built in B league. Right Bleach?


    So, BOD loses to 0-9 SL; BOD finishes the season losing three consecutive games; And Perkin, of all the folks posting on these blogs, suggests that the once mighty Dragons “soften up their non-league schedule”. Uh, the world has now come full circle. LMAO!!!In case you all have short memories, it was just a couple of years ago when Perkin and others commenting on these blogs were bashing the former coach at BOD for scheduling soft non-league opponents. So, what is it?

    FYI: Between 1995 – 2009 those teams at BOD played and beat such “soft” opponents as St. Mary’s Berkeley, Monte Vista, Foothill, Amador valley, Berkeley HS, Montgomery, Washington of Fremont, Clayton Valley, San Leandro, Campolindo, Antioch, Sacred Heart (SF)and Ygnacio Valley. They also scheduled non league games against James Logan, Foothill, Monte Vista, St Ignatius, Cardinal Newman, Las Lomas. Won some, lost some. Also played in a league with San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, Arroyo. BOD won four consecutive HAAL titles (96-99). Won three NCS titles (beating Amador Valley, Clayton Valley and campolindo in title games), appeared in five NCS championship games and had a streak of fifteen consecutive NCS playoff appearances. And never did they lose three consecutive games during that run. And, just for the record, BOD played “up” in 3-A between 1996-2003.
    My opinion: this 2012 Dragons team has underachieved big time. More talent in skill positions than I have seen at BOD in many, many, many years. More so than some of the BOD NCS championship teams. I have my take on what is wrong and it starts at the top, all the way at the top (think beyond football coaches and AD). Just my opinion.

  • HSFootball Fan

    John Swett is D-V

  • MiraMan


    I’m not being critical. Just saying in many cases teams probably aimed a little high. San Leandro and Berkeley are probably cases; sometimes scheduling a cupcake is not a bad strategy. I really believe San Leandro’s season could have gone differently if they’d gotten a win early.

    In the case of Miramonte this year I like the tough schedule, but wouldn’t of minded a softer game to open with as we had so many first-year starters. But I agree in the long run this year we got alot of benefit out of a tough schedule. I think the big thing about playing teams like MC, Campo and Analy, even though we didn’t win any of those games, we walked away feeling we could have beaten all of them. Going into the playoff there is no sense that we will be outmatched.

    But hey, Miramonte has got to take care of Alhambra or all this talk means nothing. Given they have playoff eligibility at stake, they will play like a team with nothing to lose. Throw all the Calpreps ratings out the window!

  • Jfree

    D3 seeding just got very interesting. Until last night, I thought Calpreps had it about right (and SchoolMarm above). The loss by BOD will give the NCS folks some room for pause. I still think their strength of schedule and extenuating circumstances gets them into the top 8, but this late nose dive might hurt them. I wasn’t at the game, but a friend who is a coach was there, and said that Nickerson’s play-calling was a mystery. He has been criticized by some for his defensive game management (he’s the D coordinator), but if he is taking over the offense, BOD has no chance. Their O coordinator is from the Chris Turner tree, and from the games I saw early in the season they had a sophisticated passing attack with a skilled receiver group and a talented QB, as EB FB Fan noted. If Hardy will let them get back to that they have the talent to compete with anyone in the D3 bracket.

  • EBfootball the MCAL does not have a built in “B” league.

    However because there are 9 teams in the MCAL the bottom two teams do not play the top two team the next season.

    I think this works really well