There were few surprises today when the CIF announced its selections for the CIF State Football Bowl Games. The selection committee was made of the 10 Section commissioners who convened at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
The games will also be played at the Home Depot Center Dec. 17-18 (Friday and Saturday).
The picks (Southern California choice vs. Northern California choice): Open DivisionServite-Anaheim
(14-0) vs. De La Salle-Concord
(13-0), 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Servite, from the Southern Section, is the defending Division II state bowl champion and winners of 25 straight games. The Friars, No. 20 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings, won the vaunted Pac-5 title with a 41-27 victory over No. 9 Mission Viejo
. ... De La Salle, which won its 19th straight North Coast Section title Saturday with a 49-21 win over California (San Ramon), makes its fifth straight bowl appearance. The Spartans are defending Open Division champion and ranked 10th nationally.
(14-0) vs. Palo Alto (
13-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Centennial, the Southern Section's Inland champion, won the Division I state bowl in 2008. The Huskies are ranked fifth nationally. ... Palo Alto, the Central Coast Section Open champion, reached the State Division II bowl game in 2006, losing to Orange Lutheran 42-28. The Vikings are ranked 11th in the state and 72nd nationally. Division II Serra-Gardena
(14-0) vs. Folsom
(13-1), 3:30 Saturday
Serra, the Southern Section Western champion, is the defending State Division III Bowl champion. The Cavaliers are ranked 22nd nationally. ... Sac-Joaquin Section champion Folsom makes its first state appearance after knocking off previous No. 8 Grant (Sacramento) 41-20. The Bulldogs are are No. 24 nationally.Division IIIMadison-San Diego
(12-1) vs. Escalon
(13-1), noon Saturday
San Diego Division IV champion Madison makes its first Bowl appearance following a 40-14 win over previously unbeaten and Division favorite Valley Center. ... Escalon, the SJS Division IV champion, defeated Calavares 22-20 in its title game. The Cougars have won eight section crowns. Small School Bishop's-La Jolla
(13-0) vs. Brookside Christian-Stockton
(12-0), 4 p.m. Friday
SDS Division V champion Bishop's defeated 2009 Bowl entry Parker 21-10 in the section title game. The Knights have outscored foes 467 to 215. ... Brookside Christian, a third SJS selection, beat Bradshaw Christian 28-6 in the Division VI title game. Also the Knights, Brookside Christian averages 49.1 points per game. CIF selection notes
There are five returning teams and five newcomers (Folsom, Madison, Escalon, Bishop's and Brookside Christian) to the bowl games. ... The 10 teams were selected from a pool of 49 section champions. ... The meeting took only two hours - a record according to CIF Executive Director Marie Ishida, and by far the most time was consumed in D3, especially picking the Southern California selection. ... According to Event Director Ken Gunn (no media is allowed in the selection meeting), the committee went through three ballots to pick between Madison,
Washington Union (Fresno)
and Garden Grove
. The commissioners requested the won-loss records of each team's opponents. ... Asked if margin of victory or margin of loss is considered in any of the selections and Gunn said "absolutely not." ... Gunn, not a voter in the selections, said Servite's strength of schedule was likely the reason why the commisioners picked the Friars over Centennial for the Open Division. ... For the fifth straight year, a Central Section team was not selected, which prompted Ishida to note that there is a reading scheduled for a February CIF meeting, raising the possibility of regional playoffs that would determine the bowl teams. Everyone seems in favor of the concept except that it would require, she said, one extra game in the schedule. "Some people think we play too many games already," she said. "Adding another week for a playoff format is not pleasing to many. I don't have an answer for it yet, but ultimately our leadership in the federated board will make that call." ... Regional playoffs have been voted down in the past. ... According to weather.com, rain is forecast for Saturday's games. ... In regards to why the selection meeting was shorter than the last four years, Ishida said: "I believe the commissioners are coming in more and more prepared."... Ishida said the games have combined to draw an average of 17,000 fans a year in the previous four years. "We're hoping for 17,000 per game this year," she said somewhat jokingly. "We have some fantastic match-ups." ... Indeed, the Open and Division II games should attract at least 15,000 fans.