JSerra's Conor O'Brien is tackled during the first quarter of Friday's Trinity League game against Orange Lutheran. JSerra won the game, but failed to make the Pac-5 playoffs.

Fryer: Playoff structure changes might be coming


The playoffs structure could be different next season. Currently, all of a league’s football playoff teams play in the same division. If a proposal passes in January, football divisions would be organized like basketball divisions – teams go to divisions not by league affiliation but by enrollment and past-performance data.

Whether or not that proposal passes, the way at-large teams are selected could change, according to CIF-SS assistant commissioner Glenn Martinez who is in charge of the section’s administration of football playoffs.

Up until a couple of years ago, a team needed an overall record of .500 or better to be eligible for an at-large berth. Because some teams seemed to be playing weak nonleague schedules to ensure they would finish .500 or better, the .500-or-better criteria was eliminated.

With El Dorado getting an at-large berth with a 1-9 record, and that one win coming via forfeit to overturn a 49-14 loss to Canyon, the CIF-SS football coaches advisory committee might reinstate the .500 criteria or make other changes to the way at-large teams are selected.


El Dorado was 0-10 last year. The Golden Hawks have lost 21 in a row.

Wouldn’t it be something if they broke that losing streak by upsetting top-seeded Garden Grove in the first round of the Southern Division playoffs?


Three teams in the Orange County top 10 did not qualify for the playoffs.

All are Trinity League teams: JSerra, Santa Margarita and Servite.


The best of Friday’s first-round games:

Orange Lutheran at St. Bonaventure of Ventura, Pac-5 Division: That’s a tough road trip to play a team that has beaten Westlake and Hart of Newhall.

El Toro at Vista Murrieta, West Valley Division: Vista Murrieta is seeded second in the division. This one has the potential to be the biggest upset of the first round.

Sonora at Tustin, Southwest Division: This might be the most evenly matched game Friday.

Laguna Hills vs. Woodbridge, Southwest Division: Everybody wants to see Laguna Hills coach Bruce Ingalls, retiring at the end of the season, enjoy a deep run in the playoffs. Everybody but Woodbridge, of course.

El Modena vs. Rancho Alamitos at Bolsa Grande High, Southern Division: El Modena likes to run it, Rancho likes to throw it.

St. Margaret’s at Hamilton of Anza, East Valley Division: Hamilton is Arrowhead League champions, St. Margaret’s is an at-large team, but St. Margaret’s played in the Academy League which should have the Tartans ready for the playoffs.


When it’s playoff time, the officials who work the games are not members of the Orange County Football Officials Association. Officials from other associations work games in O.C., and O.C. officials work games in other areas.

That can be interesting because some items emphasized by some officials associations are not emphasized by others.

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