|OCVarsity Gridirion: Playoff preview|
Steve Fryer and Carlos Arias travel to La Habra high school to preview the first round of the CIF playoffs. Can the Highlanders finally beat Los Alamitos? Will El Toro bounce back vs. Santa Margarita? Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
|OCVarsity Gridiron Extra: At-large berths|
Steve Fryer and Carlos Arias travel to La Habra high school to discuss which teams should have made the playoffs and why other teams made it over others. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
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Fryer on football: Coaches wrong about South Coast
Part of the formula that awarded a Pac-5 Division at-large berth to Tesoro was the CIF-Southern Section Football Coaches Advisory Committee's assessment that the South Coast League, to which Tesoro belongs, is a better league than the Serra League.
The Serra League has three of its five teams in the Pac-5 Division top 10. Two of the six South Coast teams are in that top 10.
The Serra League's last-place team, Loyola of Los Angeles, was 5-1 in nonleague games (the loss was to St. John Bosco of Bellflower, which later turned into a forfeiture victory for Loyola).
So the 44 coaches of the panel are wrong.
By the way, it was a 45-coach panel until, ironically, Brian Barnes could no longer be a member when he lost his coaching position at Tesoro.
TRINITY VS. ORANGE COUNTY
The allegations of Trinity League bias regularly follow this panelist's posted vote in the Register's Orange County media poll. The rationale for that vote is that Trinity League teams were 8-1 against Orange County teams from other leagues in nonleague play. The Trinity League's loss to a non-Trinity county team was Servite's 6-0 loss to Edison.
Here is a ranking of the top five leagues that include county teams: 1. Trinity; 2. South Coast; 3. Sunset; 4. Empire; 5. Century.
With so many teams in so many divisions, inevitably there will be teams that appear to have been given unfair first-round playoff assignments. In the Southwest Division, Troy of the Freeway League is at Newport Harbor, and Sonora is at Valencia. Newport Harbor is better than Valencia, so Troy, the Freeway League's No. 2 team, should be playing Valencia and the Freeway's No. 3 Sonora should be playing Troy. One might figure that second-seeded Mission Viejo might have gotten slighted, too, given that the Diablos play Westlake in the first round while fourth-seeded Mater Dei plays Lakewood, which is not as good as Westlake. But Lakewood is its league's No. 2 team and Westlake is a No. 4. By CIF-SS playoff rules, a No. 2 will play another league's No. 2, and Mater Dei is the Trinity No. 2, and a No. 1 like Mission Viejo gets a No. 3 or a No. 4.
It is the playoffs, so most games are good ones. The best of the group: Pac-5 Division, Santa Margarita (8-2) vs. El Toro (9-1) at Trabuco Hills, Friday; Southwest Division, Los Alamitos (6-4) at La Habra (7-3), Friday; Southwest Division, Laguna Hills (6-3) vs. Foothill (8-2) at Tustin High, Thursday; Southwest, Troy (7-3) at Newport Harbor (6-4), Friday; Southwest, Huntington Beach (5-5) at Capistrano Valley (8-2), Friday; Southern, Woodbridge (5-5) at Westminster (6-4), Friday; and Santa Ana Valley (7-3) at Segerstrom (8-2), Friday.