Local

CCS football playoff proposal passes; what it means

The Central Coast Section will have a new football playoff format this fall, one that will rank all 40 teams based on competitive equity — not school size — and send all five section champions to the state regionals.

The format was ushed in Wednesday as the section’s Board of Managers voted in favor of the four agenda items relating to the proposal.

What this means is that for the first time in 15 years the CCS will not have an Open Division in football.

It instead will have five, eight-team divisions that, in theory, will place the top eight teams in Division I, the next eight in Division II and on down the line.

There were no last-minute fireworks Wednesday as the proposal, written last fall by the coaches committee, reached the final stage in the governance process.

Roughly three-quarters of the voters approved, with the dissents coming from the Southern end of the section.

“This one was certainly vetted quite a bit ever since December,” CCS assistant commissioner Steve Filios said, noting that the coaches started working on the proposal before the season ended.

Like other sections with Open Divisions, the CCS had to change its playoff format because the California Interscholastic Federation no longer will allow Open Division section runners-up to qualify for state regionals.

Since 2015, the CCS had three eight-team Open Divisions and two eight-team divisions for “B” and “C” league teams. The section’s five regional spots went to the three Open champions and two of the three Open runners-up.

The CIF mandate wasn’t the only reason the CCS made a change. The section also wanted better games. As nail-biting as the three Open championship games were last fall, the earlier rounds were filled with running-clock blowouts.

The format that passed Wednesday aims to tighten the scoreboard across all divisions.

“You don’t want to really see your playoffs in running clocks if at all possible,” Filios said. “That’s what they were. It might not be the same in all sections. But in our section, under the current system, we’re going to keep having running clocks. This addresses possibly having a better experience for kids in the early rounds. On paper, you would think these are going to be some pretty good games.”

As the Bay Area News Group reported in January, here is how the process will work:

Classifying leagues as A, B and C — A the strongest and C the weakest — will remain, as will much of the current points system, which is:

Multiply number of wins by 2.

Multiply number of ties by 1.

Multiply number of games against A league teams by 1.

Multiply number of games against B league teams by 0.5.

Multiply number of games against a league champion by 1 (pro-rated if ties).

Award 2.5 points (pro-rated if ties) for being an A league champion.

Award 2 points (pro-rated if ties) for being a B league champion

Award 1.5 (pro-rated if ties) points for being a C league champion.

Under the new format, teams also will receive two bonus points for playing an opponent that is ranked in calpreps.com’s Top 100 on the day of the CCS seeding meeting. If an opponent is ranked by calpreps.com from No. 101 to No. 150, teams will receive one bonus point.

The five A leagues will continue to receive four automatic bids. The five B leagues will get two spots and the three C leagues one.

There will be 33 automatic qualifiers and seven at-large teams, just as there is now.

At-large teams will be chosen by a combination of CCS points (including bonus points) and calpreps.com computer ranking. Let’s say 15 teams apply for at-large spots, the CCS will take 10 from that group with the most section points (including bonus points) and put them in a pool — more if there are ties.

The section will then check each of those teams’ calpreps.com ranking. The top team in calpreps.com among that pool will receive 10 additional points, the next team nine points, the next eight and all the way down to one.

“The theory behind it is by that ranking we are adjusting for how good that team is at the end of the year,” Filios said in January.

The section will then add the rankings points to the CCS points to get a final number. If a team’s final number is among the top seven, it receives an at-large bid.

Once the CCS has its 40 playoff teams, it will separate them by more numbers.

As with the at-large selections, the section will look at each of the 40 qualifying teams’ calpreps.com ranking on the day of the seeding meeting. The top-ranked team among the qualifiers will receive 40 additional points, the next 39, the next 38, all the way down to one.

The rankings points will be added to the CCS points (including bonus points) to get a final number. The team with the most combined points will be seeded No. 1 in Division I, the team with the second-most points will be seeded No. 2 and so forth.

The CCS will send its No. 1, No. 9, No. 17, No. 25 and No. 33 teams to the state regionals, a model the CIF uses for several sports, including state basketball.

“The two main things the coaches wanted were competitive equity and accuracy,” Aragon coach Steve Sell said in January. “If we were going to go to strength-based playoffs, we wanted to make sure 1 through 8 was 1 through 8. We’re doing everything imaginable for those points to really truly reflect those teams.”


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS? WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED

For just 12 cents a day for a year, you can have access to all the digital content at mercurynews.com and eastbaytimes.com. You just need to sign up at one of these two links: Mercury News or East Bay Times.

Tags
Show More