CCS football changes

 The Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League's proposal to require at-large teams to have a .500 or better overall record to petition for the playoffs was passed by the CCS football committee 7-3.
 Meaning teams like CCS Division III champion Valley Christian and West Catholic Athletic League rival Riordan would not have qualified for the postseason this past season.
 This should be called the WCAL rule. Because it will keep the league from getting as many as seven teams in the playoffs. Points will not matter if you're not at .500.
 Ironically Valley Christian beat SCCAL champion Aptos in the CCS Division III finals.
 This could also have an effect on teams in the Monterey Bay League's Gabilan Division. While three teams earn automatic spots, a fourth or fifth team will have to have a .500 or better overall record.
 This could force teams to soften their schedules to ensure they finish with a .500 or better mark like some schools do in basketball. But I like the decision.
 If you're not a .500 team, you don't belong in the playoffs.


Carmelkyd said...

This new rule effectively negates last years rule change that made the WCAL inti an A+ league. And I think CCS would have been better off just eliminating that rule. The new rule really puts teams in A leagues at risk. As you pointed out you will need at least a 500 record to make the playoffs under the new rule. Fact is that it is nearly impossible for a B league team to finish under 500 and make the playoffs as either an AQ or an at large team. As for a C league I could see a very slight possibility that the second AQ from a C league might have an under 500 record and not be allowed in the playoffs. Where they have the biggest risk is in A leagues where an AQ or at large team has an under 500 record. Not only did VC and Riordan have below 500 records this year and still make the playoffs but so did Pioneer. So the new rule affects not only the WCAL teams but will also affect other A league teams. I understand your point that teams with sub 500 records shouldn't be in the playoffs but it will be very interesting to see what CCS will do in the year that an AQ team has a sub 500 record.

Perry said...

John, you say that "sub-.500 teams don't belong in the playoffs." I guess that depends upon how you define "belong." If you mean "aren't good enough," history hasn't shown that sub .500 can't do well. While 3-7 Riordan got trounced soundly, 4-6 Valley Christian won the Div III title with an average margin of victory of 23 points. 5-5 St Francis won three games to claim the Div II title by an average of 27 points.

Last year, SI won Div III with a 3-6-1 regular season record. Their six losses were to the CCS Open and Div I champs, a team that lost in the Open semis, the NCS Div III runner-up and two teams they beat in rematches during the playoffs. Do you really think that they took the place of a better team in the Div III playoffs?

Unfortunately, in HS football, records mean very little, since the quality of opponents varies so much. A team which plays a weak non-league schedule and is in a weak league and division might be undefeated because they didn't face anyone good until the CCS championship game. They then get exposed and blown out by a team with a worse record like Carmel did last year. This will cause teams to avoid playing good teams in non-league play to keep a .500 record.

Basically, if they want to let the best teams play, they wouldn't have changed anything. However, if they want to make mediocre teams feel good about themselves because they shy away from real competition, build gaudy records, and compete in playoffs designed to keep the best teams out, they've made a great change.

Maybe we should just give all the teams trophies because "they're all champions in my book."

Carmelkyd said...

Beg your pardon Perry? Just when did Carmel get exposed and blown out in a championship game? 14 to 7 at half. 27 to 14 after 3. And 33 to 21 final. That's the current definition of a blow out?

Bobby Wright said...

Just another rule to prevent the privates from beating the publics. No surprise.

Perry said...

33-14 before a TD with a couple of minutes left is a blowout. I was there, but not rooting for either team, and it sure never felt like Palma was pressed in the second half.

Normally, when an undefeated team losses, it feels like with a couple breaks, they could have won. That game felt like if they played it 100 times, Palma would have won 95.

shugart said...

Does this "rule" count for AQ teams? Look at St Francis back in 1996. Won WCAL with a 4-6 record. Went on to win DI.

Every section does it differently. Look at the SS with their version of the WCAL (Trinity). Only the top 3 teams made it in the playoffs but anyone of them could potentially win DI. New Jersey has it's own private school playoff bracket, but the CCS doesn't have enough schools to warrant that.

Personally I like the point system (I think they should adopt it in NCAA BCS and the big east would probably be a B league etc). I think each league should only have one AQ and everyone else is an at large bid.

I don't like the fact that if you win an A league you are required to play in the open division. Teams might tank a game to try and win CCS in a lower division. Look at Milpitas who lost to Saratoga? Or Terra Nova vs SHP (although next year they are a B league).

Look at Monterey next year who I think will win their league and get knocked out first round even though they are a D3 school.

Back when I played we lost to Mitty my Junior year and beat SI my senior year en route to a CCS championship. It was what you needed to do; beat a WCAL team to win. Although the WCAL is a lot better now than they were back then.

What is the fair solution? Let public schools recruit? Separate public from private? And we're only really looking at football. The WCAL doesn't dominate in every sport.

John Devine said...

I agree with Bobby Wright. No one wants to see the WCAL have seven teams in the playoffs. But Carmelkyd is also right. This could effect other teams in a 'A' leagues, namely the MBL's Gabilan Division.

Perry said...

John -

"Nobody wants to see seven WCAL teams in the playoffs." That statement is false, since there is at least one person (me) who doesn't mind it, and in fact thinks it's a good thing. I have a feeling that there are many more.

I don't understand your reasoning of saying that the WCAL shouldn't have that many teams in the playoffs. The goal of the playoffs is to have the best teams play each other and determine a championship. This change was done specifically to prevent that from happening by keeping out teams who would likely be undefeated in most other leagues but lose to the better teams in their own league.

You can't be saying that they don't have the talent to be there, because the Div III champ the last two years has been a WCAL team with a losing record.

If you're saying it's not fair, how is it not? Or, a better question, how is it fair that a team that is definitely better than another (i.e., could beat it) sits home and watches because it has a losing record because it plays in a better league? For example, this year, Sacred Heart/Cathedral beat Terra Nova, the champ of the highest PAL. Had SHC been in the PAL, they definitely would have won enough games to earn a CCS berth.

Had St. Francis not pulled a HUGE upset of Serra in the last week of the season, they would have had a losing record, but they won the CCS Div. I handily. Would it have been fair to keep them out because they play in a better league?

For winning a championship to be meaningful, you have to beat the best. Limiting the competition by preventing the best teams to get in the playoffs is poor and sends the wrong message to the teams.

John Devine said...

I'm not disagreeing with you Perry. What I'm telling you is that schools outside the WCAL don't want to see your league dominate the CCS playoffs. That's why there has been a cry in the past for a public school-private school playoff format. That's not going to happen. So this is what the CCS has done.

Bobby Wright said...

I am not surprised at this rule at all. I dont agree with it. I am on the page that to prove you are the best you have to beat the best. All it is going to do is make those teams that are on the bubble to schedule some cake walk games for non league. I personally would take a 4-6 Valley christian team over a 6-4 Soledad team. Despite the record we all know VC would be the better team. The public schools are just going to do all they can to prevent themselves from getting destroyed by private schools.