The new competitive equity formula used in the NCS has had a big effect on re-shaping the Division II landscape.
With a Clayton Valley-Concord team that won three of the last four titles moved up to Division I before the season, and now in the Open select four, the remaining teams and a Santa Rosa team that dropped down from Division I now have a new champion to contend with, and that’s top-seeded Campolindo-Moraga.
The Cougars have won three of the past five Division III titles and under the NCS formula using a point system it got them bumped up into what many consider a far less difficult division then the D3 bracket, something that has been the case quite often. Campolindo (7-3, 4-1 Diablo Athletic League – Valley) unknowingly prepared for what would be a shot at another run at a Bowl Game title by scheduling a grueling non-league schedule that included CIFCCS Open Division III No. 2 seed Valley Christian-San Jose (21-7 loss) and a CIFSJS Division III top-seeded Oakdale that beat them 28-21 in Moraga.
“When we got tagged with the D2 label due to the NCS competitive equity thing a lot of the traditional teams we played didn’t want to play us,” Campolindo Coach Kevin Macy told Prep2Prep. “We knew we had Clayton Valley in our league and Valley Christian and Oakdale were out there so we didn’t mind taking a stretch.”
“We did it this year but we cant do that every year. We’re much smaller than last year and we’re still feeling the physical toll of those games,” Macy continued. “We don’t plan for a state title by thinking D2 is easier than D3. I’d rather be in D3. That’s our world. Those are our traditional matchups.
Campolindo was blown out by Clayton Valley last week and Division III No. 5 seed and arch rival Miramonte gave them a game but they handled the rest of the league easily, and in this group should be an overwhelming favorite to win its fifth NCS title with the first coming in 1986.
Both Campolindo and No. 2 seed Windsor (7-3, 4-3 North Bay League) have first round byes in a 14-team bracket that includes a No. 12 seed Alameda team with a 3-7 record but qualified for the playoffs due to a 3-2 record in the West Alameda County – Shoreline League.
Campolindo will play the winner of the No. 9 seed Redwood –Larkspur at No. 8 Casa Grande-Petaluma game this Friday while Windsor awaits the No. 10 Santa Rosa at No. 7 Northgate-Walnut Creek Friday winner. Windsor has already beaten Northgate (7-0) and Santa Rosa fell 50-26 in league. Of note is Campolindo already has a 38-0 league win over No. 3 seed Concord (6-4, 2-3 DAL – Valley League), a pretty high seed for a team that went 2-3 in league.
Both No. 4 seed Livermore and No. 5 seed Ukiah are in action on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Campolindo QB Jacob Westphal, Campolindo WR/DB Vince Mossotti, Campolindo DE/TE Justin Ehrenberger, Windsor QB/DB/P Kobe Roman, Windsor RB/DB Jackson Baughman, Concord QB Nick Nunez, Concord RB/DE Mike Davis Jr., Concord WR/DB Joey Agostino, Livermore RB/DB Dominic Range, Ukiah QB Brett Hofstetter, Santa Rosa WR/DB Kalei Aukai
Livermore comes in as a No. 4 seed despite a 5-5 overall and 3-5 record in the East Bay Athletic League. They lost handily to the top teams but they never got really blown out and are used to seeing much better teams than anyone other than the three top seeds above them. The Cowboys should be playing Campolindo in the semis and could possibly make some noise.
TITLE GAME PREDICTION
Campolindo already has the big shutout win over No. 2 seed Concord so it’s unlikely anyone can beat the Cougars.