Sunday morning we’ll find-out the bracket for what I believe is America’s toughest postseason title — the CIF-Southern Pac 5 championship. The 16-field made-up of teams from the Big VIII, Marmonte, Mission, Moore and Trinity Leagues will feature four teams — #3 St. John Bosco, #4 Corona Centennial, #33 Serra (Gardena) and #38 Mater Dei — that are currently ranked in the High School Football America Top 50.
14 of the 16 spots are determined by how teams finished in each league, while the final two spots are at-large berths.
It’s highly likely that one of those at-large berths will go to the Trinity League, which saw Orange Lutheran get the league’s third playoff spot after coin flips broke a three-way tie between OLu, JSerra and Servite.
Likely missing the playoff party will be 19-time section champ Long Beach Poly. Earlier this week, the Jackrabbits forfeited three league games, because of using an ineligible player. Those three losses put Poly into a three-way tie for the final Moore League playoff spot.
At the end of Friday’s games, Poly, Long Beach Jordan and Long Beach Cabrillo had their names placed in an envelop and Jordan’s name was pulled last, which put the Panthers into the Pac-5 field. Since Poly’s name was pulled first, the Jackrabbits finish fifth with Cabrillo finishing fourth.
With a 4-6 record, Long Beach Poly can apply for an at-large berth, but it’s highly unlikely the Jackrabbits will get it.
The committee will give Chaminade (7-3) lots of consideration for one of the at-large spots, especially after it surprised Serra Friday night, which caused Serra and Bishop Amat to share the Mission League title. Serra goes in the playoffs as the top seed with Amat going in as the league’s #2 team and Loyola #3.
Chaminade definitely deserves an at-large berth since its Strength of Schedule in the High School Football algorithm that is used to rank teams around America. Servite has played the toughest schedule in Southern California. Chaminade has a large edge over JSerra when it comes to Strength of Schedule.
The big question to be answered Sunday is who’s #1 — St. John Bosco or Corona Centennial. According to our algorithm, Bosco has a large advantage in SOS, plus the Trinity League has a higher ranking than the Big VII.
Here’s who’s definitely in as of Saturday.
#1 Corona Centennial (10-0)
#2 Norco (8-2)
#3 Corona (6-4)
#1 Oaks Christian (10-o)
#2 St. Bonaventure (7-3)
#1 Gardena Serra (8-2)
#2 Bishop Amat (8-2)
#3 Loyola (8-2)
#1 Long Beach Wilson (9-1)
#2 Lakewood (4-6)
#3 Long Beach Jordan (3-7)
#1 St. John Bosco (10-0)
#2 Mater Dei (8-2)
#3 Orange Lutheran (5-5)