Prep2Prep CCS Football Playoff Projections
Serra is locked in as the No. 1 overall seed in our CCS playoff projections. (Twitter @PadreAthletics)

Prep2Prep CCS Playoff Projections

UPDATED 11/5/2023

Based on some updates in CalPreps rankings, this final update contains a few changes from the last update.

There were a lot of dramatic developments in the final weekend of the Central Coast Section season. As we expected, the Live Oak-Christopher matchup was worthy of the billing of the BVAL-Mount Hamilton championship, and Live Oak rallied for a thrilling 28-24 victory in Gilroy to take the crown.

In the wild BVAL-Santa Teresa Valley Division, Leigh got off the mat to defeat Westmont 34-27 to take the league title. Overfelt edged Ann Sobrato 30-28 to capture the second automatic berth.

Del Mar knocked off Prospect to capture the BVAL-West Valley Division chammpionship and lone automatic bid in a battle of league unbeatens. In the PAL-De Anza, Palo Alto got past The King's Academy 34-28 to force a three-way tie for second behind league champ Menlo, which incidentally lost for the first time this season against rival Sacred Heart Prep in a non-league matchup. We have Palo Alto winning the tiebreaker on CCS points for the second automatid bid.

The PCAL-Gabilan closed out as expected with Salinas knocking off Hollister and Palma defeating Alvarez. That put Monterey and Palma into the automatic bid list behind Salinas and Soquel.


The Central Coast Section playoff format has changed once again, and the CCS has adoped a setup similar to one that is used in the North Coast Section, in which the top 8 teams are essentially divided up into two smaller brackets with an Open Division and Division 1 separated after the first round.

While it is a little confusing from a traditional bracket perspective, the justification is to enable better teams to advance to the CIF playoffs considering the restriction that only teams that win a section title may be included. The latest CCS bylaws are available here (PDF).

Here is a brief refresher of the relatively new playoff system. As has been the case the past several years, there will be 40 CCS playoff teams, of which 35 receive automatic bids as follows: BVAL-MH (4), BVAL-ST-F (2), BVAL-ST-V (2), BVAL-WV (1), PAL-Bay (5), PAL-DA (3), PAL-EC (2), PAL-Ocean (2), PAL-Lake (1), PCAL-Gab (4),

For the most part, the CCS point calculation is the same as it has been for the past few years with one addition: teams get additional credit for playing teams in the CalPreps Top 150 California ranking: 1.5 points for a team ranked in the top 100 and 1 point for a team ranked 101-150. Teams also earn an additional 1.5 points for finishing the season in the top 100 and 1.0 for finishing between 101-150.

The 15 best at-large point totals are put into a pool and then their CalPreps rankings are taken into account to choose the top 5. Once the entire field of 40 is selected, a weighted score of the teams' CalPreps ranking and their CCS point total is produced and then the top 8 teams go to Open/Division 1, the next 8 to Division 2 and so on down to Division 5.

In the early part of the season - with league races just getting underway - we predict the results of all games that have not been played yet and combine them with the results of games that have taken place. While we are not yet projecting league champions in out-of-section areas, we are applying their CalPreps ranking as of this point of the season.

Here are the CCS league champs:

BVAL-Mount Hamilton: Live Oak
BVAL/Santa Teresa-Foothill: Branham
BVAL/Santa Teresa-Valley: Leigh
BVAL-West Valley: Del Mar
PAL-Bay: Los Gatos
PAL-De Anza: Menlo
PAL-El Camino: Los Altos
PAL-Ocean: Capuchino/Aragon
PAL-Lake: South San Francisco
PCAL-Gabilan: Salinas
PCAL-Mission North: Scotts Valley
PCAL-Mission South: Carmel
PCAL-Santa Lucia: Greenfield
WCAL: Serra

For the formula used to calculate CCS points, please click here (PDF).

NOTE: Adjusted CCS points are in parentheses and the projected home team is listed in CAPS.


According to our calculations, we have Salinas forcing its way into the top bracket past Archbishop Mitty and even above Wilcox for the No. 7 seed. That would set up the Cowboys for a first-round trip to Mountain View against Saint Francis while Wilcox would travel to San Mateo to take on the seemingly invincible Serra Padres.

If the current projections hold, Menlo-Atherton would get a rematch with top-seeded Serra. (Dennis Putian/Special to Prep2Prep)

(1) SERRA (87.5)

(2) ST. FRANCIS (77.5)

(3) LOS GATOS (72)


(5) St. Ignatius (70.5)

(6) Valley Christian (68.5)

(7) Salinas (64.5)

(8) Wilcox (64)


With its win over rival Menlo, Sacred Heart Prep moves up to the No. 3 seed in our latest projections. According to our projections, the loss also cost Menlo a home game, as we now have the Knights as the No. 5 seed traveling to Morgan Hill to take on Live Oak.

Serra is projected as the No. 5 seed in Open Division 2. (Dennis Putian/Special to Prep2Prep)


#1 vs. #8 Winner


Div. 2 Champ

(8) Palma (50.5)

(4) LIVE OAK (58.3)

#4 vs. #5 Winner

(5) Menlo School (57.5)


#3 vs. #6 Winner


(6) Monterey (53.5)

(2) SOQUEL (60.5)

#2 vs. #7 Winner

(7) Carmel (51)


Christopher may have been disappointed losing out in the BVAL-MH title race, but the top seed in Division 3 would be a nice consolation prize. If these projections hold, the Cougars would host Hillsdale in the first round. The point totals in the middle of the bracket are very close, so an Aragon-Capuchino rematch would not be out of the question. We have them seeded No. 3 and No. 4.

Saratoga is projected as the No. 5 seed in Division 3. (Nick Borgia/Prep2Prep)

(1) CHRISTOPHER (49.5)

#1 vs. #8 Winner


Div. 3 Champ

(8) Hillsdale (40.5)

(4) ARAGON (45.5)

#4 vs. #5 Winner

(5) Scotts Valley (43.5)

(3) CAPUCHINO (46)

#3 vs. #6 Winner


(6) Hollister (42.3)


#2 vs. #7 Winner

(7) Alisal (41)


Palo Alto's win over The King's Academy shook up Division 4; in fact, we have TKA as one of the first teams out of the field in this projection with the Vikings taking over the No. 1 seed and hosting Seaside.

Branham is projected as the No. 2 seed in Division 4. (Ryan McCarthy/Prep2Prep)

(1) PALO ALTO (38)

#1 vs. #8 Winner


Div. 4 Champ

(8) Seaside (30.5)


#4 vs. #5 Winner

(5) Leigh (34.5)

(3) BRANHAM (36.5)

#3 vs. #6 Winner


(6) Greenfield (31.5)

(2) MOUNTAIN VIEW (37.5)

#2 vs. #7 Winner

(7) Burlingame (31)


Del Mar bumped Prospect from the playoffs and is now the No. 8 seed projected for a trip to No. 1 Woodside. Overfelt replaced Westmont in the bracket after edging Ann Sobrato while Westmont was losing to Leigh with the BVAL-ST Valley title on the line.

Andrew Hill is projected as the No. 8 seed in Division 5. (Ryan McCarthy/Prep2Prep)

(1) WOODSIDE (27)

#1 vs. #8 Winner


Div. 5 Champ

(8) Del Mar (18)

(4) SANTA TERESA (24.5)

#4 vs. #5 Winner

(5) Los Altos (23)


#3 vs. #6 Winner


(6) Silver Creek (22)

(2) OVERFELT (25.5)

#2 vs. #7 Winner

(7) Oak Grove (20.5)

Here's a brief look at the at-large teams that made it based on our CCS point calculations and the first five that would be left out based on our projection process. This only includes teams that meet the top six in league requirement (actual CCS points in parentheses - not combined with CalPreps rankings points). Note: the point totals are not in necessarily in order because the at-large teams are selected by a combination of CCS points and weighted ranks based on CalPreps.