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Football: Drama for CIF bowl selection

On Sunday, the CIF section commissioners will meet to select the 10 teams to play in the CIF state championship bowl games. One big question is which Southern California team will get to play in the Open Division.

It's likely to come down to Corona Centennial (13-0) and the winner of the Mission Viejo (13-0) and Anaheim Servite (13-0) Pac-5 final.

The commissioners will likely go by the recommendation of the Southern Section, and considering that the Southern Section believes the Pac-5 Division is the strongest, the Mission Viejo-Servite winner will be considered the favorite to land the Open Division spot, with Centennial going into the Division I bowl.

For me, Centennial has been the best team I've seen all season when it comes to offense, defense and special teams. But strength of schedule matters, and the Pac-5 champion will have the stronger schedule.

The biggest winner will be Concord De La Salle, the likely Northern California representative in the Open Division. De La Salle will be able to have a big sigh of relief not having to face Centennial. Of course, Mission Viejo or Servite should provide plenty of competition.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Comments () | Archives (40)

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@justcy shaw lover talk is weak! The shaw has weak coaching that is why De Anthony thomas loss his chance and is not going to play in a state bowl this year? The shaw with all that talent with weak coaching is the crutch limping into the coliseum! Garrett will choke again like he did at the CIF D1 State title game vs De la SaLLe slipped away in 2009! Norco aLL over again will haunt the Cougars vs the CoLTs! Narbonne Playerz rule! Peace! Phenoms!


Other match ups can give the same effect to play in preseason! Servite vs corona centennial Narbonne vs Mission viejo! Carson vs tesoro Santa Marguarita vs crenshaw! Lakewood vs mater dei! Narbonne vs tesoro! Narbonne vs alemany! Narbonne vs Amat! Carson vs grant!


It's simple as pie! Pre-season the top football teams in California play in preseason to fight out the bowl selection prior! Crenshaw vs grant Corona Centennial vs. De La Salle Mission viejo vs Don Bosco prep Carson vs fossom Narbonne vs Marion cathlic! ALl in pre-season!


HSBCS.....High School Bowl Championship series
Need I say more...when where and why not after all these years

fight on

Doc Holliday: "That's Latin, darlin'! It appears Mr. Ringo is an educated man. Now I really hate hate him." You can have your pompous boardroom rivalries, your brie and wine at tailgate party's--And your symbolic Logic classes! Hahahaha! I would be emabarrased to write the comment you did. It just reeks of arrogance.

Optimus Prime

Crenshaw had their chance. They didn't get it done.

Mustang Fan

I've read through all the comments and there were a few problems that no-one corrected. With the exception of the open bowl game all the other bowls (D1, D2, D3 and small schools) are all split up by attendance with all boys schools being doubled. That being said Serra will not play in the D2 bowl they can only play in the Open or D3, and as for South Torrance they would have to try for the D2 bowl birth which sad to say they don't have a snowball's chance in hell at getting.


All must remember that when the Catholic schools are playing their top rivals One cannot use associative properties of mathematics.
(If A beats B by 30 points and B only lost to C by 3 point then A would beat C by 27, Q.E.D.)

These are rivalries that go back 60 years and each rivalry as its own have unique history. It's hard for public school fans to understand the unique traditions that a Mater Dei, Crespi, Bishop Amat, St Paul, DLS, Servite and Loyola have and that these rivalries continue into the Board rooms of many Cal corporations as alumni from say Servite and Loyola now run a law firm or i-banks together as business partners. Similar to Cal-Stanford rivalry




If South Torrance beats Lompac they should be the D3 rep... but it must likely wouldn't happen even if they did win


ES, DLS would present a problem to for anyone in the south. Something about those small, fast, tough guys that makes them tough always. They might be the only school also where most of the players go both ways on a yearly basis. That is even more amazing. Not too many if any can say that. Yes CC did beat them so it's 1 to 1 and DLS will still give anyone a problem even if they are half the other teams size, ask Crenshaw...

Fight On

Excellent Point.


@WW. Why is Westlake not considered in the State Bowl talk? Well, unfortunately, Westlake is the only team of those being mentioned with a loss. And, although Westlake's SOS may appear stronger than Centennial's, it is not so superior to wipe out that loss (by your calpreps rankings, the SOS difference is <1). And that questionable Crespi team you mention had an impressive first round playoff victory, and the Mater Dei team that Centennial beat made it to the semis. IMO, IF CIF is not going to have a true State Playoff or a Southern Cal Champ, they should do away with the mega-leagues. I believe Centennial used to be in a 5-team league, which allowed 6 non-league games. Now, they only have 3. And with the new Maramonte league, how many non-league games does Westlake have? Smaller leagues would allow more great intersectional games that could answer State Bowl questions if no playoff is in place. The only way I see large leagues working is if there is a State playoff system. In that case, you limit leagues to 2 playoff spots, and have a true playoff system. With the current system, you have to hope your league does not have a down year, since that's where the majority of the competition comes from. This year, Westlake's league apprears stronger, but next year may be different. Regardless, all this speculation could be for naught unless all the teams win this weekend. Good luck to all, and to all a good night!


It is well known that the OC schools rarely make the trip East into the Inland Empire. Quite honestly, CC, Servite, or MV - flip a coin. But the team that beats DLS would be CC; way too many athletes on both sides of the ball. If you don't believe me, just check recent graduates in NCAA. Martinez (Nebraska), Scott (Arizona), Burfect (Arizona State), just to name a few. And to say CC has a weak schedule because they play Inland Empire schools; you need to check names of those players that were recently named All Pac 10 who either played at CC or against...just check, then make up your mind.

jus sayin

@Mayberry Dad I'm not sayin Serra is going to blowout AG, but that same AG team lost to Paso Robles. You must remember Chaminade played their best game of the season vs Serra and barely beat St. Paul (13-12). I think AG will not have an answer for the speed of Serra at the skilled positions.


@fight on: It wasn't Centennial that ducked MV, but MV that ducked Centennial. Centennial offered, and they said no even though both teams had an extra spot on their schedule.

fight on

st: PLEASE!! There is nothing weaker than an anonymous source. Centennial ducks nobody.

Irish: You are right DLS did beat Centennial in 2007. Centennial returned the favor the following year when they won the Div I state title.


Plain and simple Servite played Oceanside defending 2 time state champ. Chaparral defending Inland empire champ. La Habra defending back to back CIF champ. Numerous state champ from Louisiana was on schedule but game didn't happen last minute. Edison, Mater Dei, Santa Margarita, Alemany, Crespi and beat them all. Look at those resumes and if anyone can match that then they should be in the open. If they beat MV that is a no brainer of who should be in the open.


Absolutely. DLS deserves respect and hides from no one. I'm just saying Centennial would present far more problems than Servite or Mission Viejo, who are conventional top teams. Centennial's offense is unique and off the charts.


I disagree ES with you. DLS will face and has beaten Centennial before. They don't back down from no one and always seek the toughest competition year in and year out. DLS is the only team that has been at Home Depot center every year since this south vs north started. What does that say about them. Come on don't underestimate them. DLS will always be in a game no matter who they play and where they play. It will be DLS with the winner of MV or Servite.


No intent to bash Crespi. They are doing great things with their program. I expect them to be a contender within the next 2 years.

Fight On

WW: We've already established that the strength of schedule is out of their control. CC had a respectable schedule going into the season. Now numbers are one thing, but seeing is believing. And those who have seen Corona Centennial live are convinced. Strength of schedule doesn't change the fact that this offense can score on anyone. Why did Servite only score 21 points on Mater Dei? Centennial scored 37--BY HALFTIME!!! So here's a couple links for you:

Mayberry Dad

Greg, Serra needs to get by a tough Arroyo Grande team that put a spanking on Chaminade, a team Serra had a tough time with. Division II is by no means wrapped up........


I have sources saying that Mission Viejo could have played CC for a preseason game, but they didn't accept it. Just saying.


WW - Before you dump on Crespi, another team the Celts defeated is playing for a section championship in Fresno. Clovis West - like Vista Murrieta - has only lost one game.

I hope Serra plays a team with a different style of offense for a real challenge. If they played a team like Bellarmine Prep of San Jose with a Wing offense, it would be a fun game to watch. The speed of Serra vs. the ball control of Bellarmine Prep. Otherwise, just another 17 point blowout in the middle of the Saturday.

This is not previewing to be a fun five game tournament.


Fight On
Look at Corona Centennial clearly has the weakest schedule of any of the potential Bowl teams for Div.1. The number 2 seed in their division is Vista Murietta which lost to a Crespi team that made the playoffs on a miracle play. If CC played Oaks Christian (twice), St. Bonaventure (twice), Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Palos Verdes, they likely would not be undefeated. Again, we will never know due to their weak schedule and the lack of a playoff system.

Press Box John

This is the High School Bowl Championship - similar if not identical to the BCS.
Servite = Oregon
Mission Viejo = Auburn
Corona Centennial = TCU
Serra = Boise State
Westlake = LSU
Everyone thinks they should be there. It boils down to strength of Schedule. The Bowl Committee is not going to reward 1 loss teams that play an easy schedule.

fight on

For any of you doubting Corona Centennial's strength of schedule know that they have ALWAYS scheduled tough opponents. Going into this season both Chapparel and Mater Dei were ranked in the top 25 Nationally. In fact here is the preseason poll by USA Today:

1. Euless (Texas) Trinity
2. Miami (Fla.) Central
3. Abilene (Texas)
4. Batesville (Miss.) South Panola
5. South Jordan (Utah) Bingham
6. Tampa (Fla.) Plant
7. Hampton (Va.) Phoebus
8. Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee
9. Austin (Texas) Lake Travis
10. Olney (Md.) Good Counsel
11. Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
12. Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
13. Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber
14. Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
15. Birmingham (Ala.) Hoover
16. Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
17. Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman
18. West Monroe (La.)
19. Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South
20. Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep
21. Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central
22. Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville
23. Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central
24. Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral
25. Springdale (Ark.) Shiloh Christian

So don't hold it against Centennial that they steam-rolled their competition. Had the two teams mentioned not choked this year it would be a different conversation. AND WESTLAKE!!???? Westlake who? Their schedule is the worst I've seen! If they had played Centennial this year they would have two losses, not just one.


It' s that time of year when "Who's going to the big game". The state bowl game is a joke. Or should we say (BCS) We make all this noise about which team should go. Remember we still have no State Champ. No state playoff. CIF need to kill the section playoffs and go straight to state playoff. There are to many section and to many small leagues. Look at TX, FL, LA, MS, TN and GA if they can do it why not CA. But here is my problem no one really attends the game. I've been at all the state bowl game for the four years. Where are the fans. Exmaple TX playoff game last week 41,000 fans attended. This Friday night and Saturady LA state championship will be held in the superdome again. 40,000 fans will be there. I played thier in 1982 for the state championship but we lost. Covington high school. So no matter who goes. lets fill up the stands 30,000 or more.

Optimus Prime

We need EIGHT team playoffs, not SIXTEEN.
This would leave room for an extra Regional playoff game.
Look at most of the divisions, the bottom 4 or 5 teams aren't going to win it all anyway, they are like scrimmages for the top 4 or 5 teams.

David Bradvica

The resolution to all this discussion about whether Centennial or Servite/Mission Viejo should play in the open division bowl is to have a regional or divisional playoff round instead of the state playoff bowls. There's no one in NoCal that anyone here cares about seeing, save for De La Salle. There are more than enough good teams in the Southern Section -- maybe add in San Diego and LA sections to crown a SoCal champ -- and the interest in that game would be much higher than in the state bowls. Who wouldn't want to see Centennial/Servite?

The Guild

"De La Salle will be able to have a big sigh of relief not having to face Centennial."

There will be no time for relief E.S., when Servite brings their team to the Open Div State Championship. This game should have happened last year and the Friars will be focused, just as they will be this week for MV. Either of these teams are on par with or superior to Centennial, IMO.


Why is Westlake not under consideration? Politics, politics, politics. The Pac 5 seems to get a free pass every year, even if their champion has losses, like Servite last year. So it's strength of schedule you say...Who has Corona Centennial played. Again, they are all worthy teams, but to be so dismissive of Westlake is unfair. When are they ever going to get respect? I feel bad for the kids


Eric, there really is no drama at all for the top 3 bowl games and the selection committee should have it easy compared to past years when there were only 3 state bowls. The hard part will be determining the D-3 and Small school representatives. The big bowls will go down like this if everything pans out this weekend as normal and there are no major upsets.





NorCal divisions are weak with no competition for De La Salle. They always get in as a result. Folsom could provide competition, but they never play each other.


Didn't CC strugle with Chino Hills? It is too bad that CC does not play higher more Pac 5 teams to get a better handle on just how good they are. Have to agree with winner of Pac 5 going to Open div.

Just a Note or 2

easy to look like the best team when you play a schedule as weak as theirs.
Dont get me wrong, CC is a very good team, but it is just to hard to tell how good based on who they have played. Other teams have to prove themselves week in and week out.


This is why there needs to be state play-off games. Who cares if it goes all the way into January? At least we will actaully know who the best team is. So many teams get screwed every year by the "Selection" process. It's just as bad as the BCS.


Well thats why we should have a play-off system where all the top teams will face each other, Los Angeles is the BCS of of High school Football. No wonder Texas Florida and New Jersey teams are Ranked higher than LA teams because they have there play-off bracket system. CIF wake up and start making money and start a new paly-off Bracket. Who wouldn't want to see Centennial Vs Westlake or Serra Vs Centennial or Servite Vs Serra? Money Money Money CIF is losing.


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