Plan to change playoffs moves forward
The CIF-Southern Section Executive Committee on Thursday supported the basics of a plan that would change the format of CIF-SS football playoffs.
The plan would have football playoff teams sent to divisions according to how well those teams have performed over the previous two seasons. The formula would include regular-season results, playoff results and strength of schedule.
The better a school’s team has done in the playoffs and regular-season and the more-challenging its schedule, the higher the division in which that team will be placed. Enrollment will not be a factor in divisional placement.
Currently, football teams are placed into playoff divisions by league affiliation – all South Coast League football playoff teams play in the West Valley Division for the playoffs, all Garden Grove League playoff teams play in the Southern Division, all Trinity League playoff teams are in the Pac-5 Division, etc.
Leagues would continue to have the same number of football playoff representatives as they currently have. There also would be room for at-large teams in divisions that do not have enough automatic qualifiers to fill a 16-team bracket.
Now, the plan must be crafted into a proposal that will be presented to the CIF-Southern Section Council at its Oct. 6 meeting. The Council would then vote on the proposal at its Jan. 27 meeting. If approved at the January meeting, the new system would go into effect for the 2016 football season.
St. Margaret’s, enrollment 403, has performed better in the playoffs and has a better regular-season record than Mission Viejo, enrollment 2,555, over the the 2013 and ’14 seasons. But it is impossible that they could wind up in the same playoff division.
Mission Viejo was No. 3 in last season's CIF-SS power rankings based upon the playoff-points system that would be central to the proposal. St. Margaret's was No. 132. Mission Viejo received large bunches of points for winning playoff games in the section's higher divisions and for winning the championship of one of the section's better leagues.
St. Margaret’s is 27-3 over the two seasons, won a CIF-SS championship and won a CIF State regionals playoff game in ’14 and advanced to a CIF-SS final in ’13. Mission Viejo is 23-3 over the two seasons, won a CIF-SS title in ’14 but was not invited to the CIF State playoffs and in ’13 was eliminated in a second-round CIF-SS playoffs game. Yet, because of strength of schedule – Mission Viejo plays in a far-tougher league, plays and has done well in higher divisions and has a more rigorous nonleague schedule – Mission Viejo still would probably be in a higher playoff division than St. Margaret’s.
The Executive Committee is the CIF-SS’s administrative body. The Council, made up of representatives of all CIF-SS leagues, is the section’s rules-making and rules-changing body.