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Football: A little lobbying doomed Lompoc [updated]

If Lompoc fans want to know why Fresno Washington Union was picked for the CIF state championship Division III bowl game ahead of their team, the Central Section Commissioner, Jim Crichlow, provided a clue in comments to the Fresno Bee.

Crichlow said after Bakersfield was rejected in a close vote for the Division I bowl, that helped the chances of Washington Union, since the Central Section had never received a bowl berth in the five years of bowl games.

"I knew it was going to be a stretch to get both Bakersfield and Washington in," he told the newspaper.  "And when Bakersfield didn't make it, I put a little pressure on my fellow commissioners for Washington. And I started the discussion by saying, 'This is the team I thought all along would break the drought.' "

On Monday, Marie Ishida, the executive director of the CIF, denied that Crichlow influenced the decision with a plea to get the Central Section to land its first bowl berth.

"It's not a criteria and was not used," Ishida said. "There was no pressure."

Washington was voted in even though Lompoc was ranked higher in most state polls and had a better strength of schedule rating, according to CalPreps.com.

That doesn't offer much credibility to the bowl selection process and will only anger Lompoc supporters even more.

It's no way to decide a state championship. But in reality, the bowl games aren't a legitimate state championship despite people thinking they are.

-- Eric Sondheimer

 
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