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December 2, 2012
NCP Regional Bowl Picks
The section champions have been crowned and now it's time to move onto the regional bowl games. With just one real decision needed to be hammered out, NorCalPreps.com looks at who should be selected for the CIF regional bowl games next week.
De La Salle won the North Coast Section Division I with a 13-0 record. They have won 24 straight games dating back to last year. The Spartans own NCP Top 20 wins over Bellarmine Prep, California and Logan in being one of the top teams in the country once again. De La Salle has been involved in the state bowl games each year since their inception in 2006.
Folsom made this decision much easier with a 44-18 win over Elk Grove in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II finals. The Bulldogs, who won the 2010 Division II state title, has NCP Top 20 wins over Buhach Colony and Elk Grove. They are 14-0 and considered the top team in the region behind the Spartans.
Granite Bay is one of the hottest teams in the area after knocking off Oak Ridge in the SJS Division I finals. The Grizzlies, started the year 1-3 and now sit at 11-3 with losses to Westlake, Oaks Christian and Pittsburg. They own ranked wins over Franklin-Elk Grove and Oak Ridge in capturing their second straight section title.
St. Ignatius continued its run through the West Catholic Athletic League hierarchy to win the Central Coast Section Open Division over favorite Bellarmine Prep. The Wildcats lost an early season game to NCP Top 20 ranked Marin Catholic before dropping two late season games to Bellarmine and Serra. St. Ignatius will take a 10-3 record into this week's regional bowl game.
Oakdale came back from back-to-back losses in the SJS Division III title game to win the section title on Friday night versus Vista del Lago. The 13-1 Mustangs lost their marquee game of the season against Southern California power Oceanside in the Battle for Veterans. Oakdale hasn't played a ranked team this season but have won the games they should have.
Clayton Valley Charter made quick work of Rancho Cotate in a 35-7 win for the NCS Division II crown. Clayton Valley lost its season opener to Division I Pittsburg, but has since won 12 in a row with numerous dominating performances. It earned its first NCP Top 20 win over No. 20 Rancho Cotate this past week.
Marin Catholic finally won the NCS Division III title after a thrilling 31-28 win over El Cerrito on Saturday night. The Wildcats had lost in the semi-finals and finals the past two years. They only lost to Vacaville on the road in the final minute with an even more impressive win over St. Ignatius as well as El Cerrito.
Sutter gets the nod as the 13-0 champions of the Northern Section Division II playoffs. The Huskies, who would be only the second team from the Northern Section to participate in the regional/state bowl games, have a key win over Northern Section Division I champion Enterprise.
Central Catholic is the clear top team in the region for Division IV and gained eligibility with a 52-10 win over Escalon for the SJS Division IV title. The Raiders had a season opening loss to Placer and a NCP Top 20 loss to Downey, but did beat St. Mary's-Stockton. Central Catholic is 12-2 and would be making its second appearance in the regional/state bowl games.
This is the one tough decision for the section commissioners. Ferndale (12-1) and McClymonds (9-3) are the most logical choices, but Ferndale has the advantage. The Wildcats played two teams with 10 wins, including its only loss against Argonaut. Five of its 12 wins came against teams with winning records. McClymonds' losses were to 11 win West Valley, 10 win Oak Grove and seven win Bishop O'Dowd and didn't beat a team with more than eight wins (Oakland Tech twice are its best wins). In the end, Ferndale gets in with a better record.