While an advanced math degree may be needed to truly figure-out how the California Interscholastic Federation came-up with the match-ups for next week’s CIF Regional Football Championship Bowl Games, at least sectional champs no longer have to worry about their fate of playing in a state championship game being decided by the state’s ten commissioners.
The CIF State Bowl Championships have been expanded this season, giving any team that captured a section championship a spot in the playoffs. There will be 50 teams competing in this year’s bowl format. Prior to this year, state officials handed-out only 18 Regional Football Championship Bowl Game invitations to sectional winners.
On Sunday, the CIF announced next week’s regional match-ups for its newly expanded playoffs that will result in 13 state champs being crowned this year, instead of the usual five. According to state officials, all champs were slotted based on competitive equity and the respective criteria.
The state’s top division, known as the Open Division for big schools, is the only division that still uses the old format, which allows the CIF to match-up the state’s top two teams without a state semifinal.
For the fifth time in the last nine years, national powers Corona Centennial and De La Salle will meet for the state’s top division championship. It will be a rematch of last year’s Open Division championship game won by De La Salle 63-42. The Spartans have won three of the four match-ups between the two, with Corona Centennial’s only victory coming in 2008.
De La Salle has the distinction of playing in every State Championship Bowl final since the CIF began them in 2006. The Spartans have won five of the last six Open Division titles, plus a Division I title in 2007, which was the state’s biggest classification until 2008, when the state expanded the playoffs from three to five divisions.
De La Salle punched its ticket to the Open Division championship that will be played December 19th at Sacramento State by winning its 24th North Coast Section title Saturday night by beating Foothill 35-0. Corona Centennial won the CIF-Southern Section Pac 5 championship by beating St. John Bosco 62-52.
This year marks the first time that the championships will be played in the northern part of the state. Until this year, every championship has been played in Carson, which is just south of Los Angeles.
De La Salle (12-1) vs. Centennial, Corona (14-0) at Sacramento State – Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8:00 p.m.
OPEN DIVISION–SMALL SCHOOL
North: Marin Catholic (12-1) at Central Catholic (14-0) – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
South: San Marino (14-0) vs. Sierra Canyon (14-0) at Granada Hills HS – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Bellarmine (12-1) at Folsom (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Helix (11-1) at Mission Viejo (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Clayton Valley Charter (12-1) at Oak Grove, San Jose (11-2) – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Narbonne (12-2) at Ridgeview (13-0) – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Del Oro (8-6) at Liberty, Bakersfield (9-3) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
South: La Habra (13-1) at Camarillo (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
North: St. Francis, Mountain View (11-2) vs. Pleasant Valley (12-0) at Harrison Stadium, Oroville – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Calabasas (13-1) at Citrus Hill (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Milpitas (10-3) at Campolindo (13-1) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Oceanside (9-4) at La Mirada (11-3) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
North: McClymonds (12-0) vs. Sacred Heart Prep (10-3) at Independence HS, San Jose –
Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Rancho Bernardo (11-2) at Oak Hills (9-5) – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Hanford (12-1) at Sonora (12-1) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Canyon, Anaheim (9-5) vs. Bonita Vista (11-2) at Southwestern Community College, Chula Vista – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Sierra, Manteca (8-5) vs. Sutter (9-4) at River Valley HS, Yuba City – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Fairfax (8-6) at Chowchilla (11-2) – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Bradshaw Christian (12-1) vs. Immanuel, Reedley (10-2) at Reedley HS – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Notre Dame, Riverside (14-0) at Mater Dei Catholic, Chula Vista (12-2) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Fall River (12-0) vs. St. Bernard’s (12-1) @ Humboldt State University – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Kennedy, Bakersfield vs. Saddleback Valley Christian @ TBD – Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
North: Stone Ridge Christian (12-1) at East Nicolaus (11-2) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Belmont (14-0) at Coronado (9-4) – Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.