Southern Section and City Section Football Playoff Formats


The city section will release its high school football playoff divisions and pairs on Saturday. The Southern Section will do the same on Sunday. This is the first time the two have created divisions based solely on performance in a single season. The two have already used several years of past performance to help determine the divisional ranking and will use Power Rankings to determine seedlings.

Here’s what you need to know.

Southern section

There will be at least 216 places for the playoffs spanning 14 divisions. Automatic places are obtained from the arrival of the league. Offshore spots will be allocated first to teams with a record of 0.500 or better. Here is the link to standings before the last weekend of the regular season. Santa Ana Mater Dei at 7-0 leads the standings.

It is expected that there will be eight or nine teams in Division 1, followed by 16 teams in each of the remaining divisions, all ranked by the CalPreps leaderboard. It will be a real seeding. It doesn’t matter if two teams from the same league will play in the first round. The highest seed will host the first round match. An automatic qualifier has to be the No. 1 seed for each division, which could force a team to progress. For example, if Orange Lutheran is ranked # 9, it would have to move to Division 1 for an automatic qualifier to be ranked # 1 in Division 2.

These are meant to be balanced playoffs leading to much more competitive matches in the first round if the computer standings are accurate. The Division 1 final will be held at Long Beach Veterans Stadium on November 26, a Friday night. The five State Bowl finals will take place December 10-11 at Saddleback College.

City Section

here are the Power Rankings before the last weekend of the regular season. Unlike the southern section, the municipal section has a selection committee which reserves the right to adjust the rankings based on the arrival of the league and head-to-head competition. This could lead to some debate from outsiders and will not be a true seeding based on the power rankings.

The current power rankings in the City section will leave outsiders in great confusion. Birmingham went 0-5 against opponents in the South Section, but are 4-0 against opponents in the Section City while outscoring those opponents 204-6 and are only ranked 6th behind Garfield, who lost against Huntington Park.

Dorsey, a longtime powerhouse, is No.12. Crenshaw is No.15. New teams are enjoying their stability while others struggled with COVID-19 issues, such as unbeaten Lincoln ranked No.4. Undefeated Palisades faced it all. The City section’s opponents, with the exception of Brentwood, are No.3. Banning is No.1 but has lost his best player to injury, running back Jakob Galloway.

The City Section playoffs will be much more unpredictable as teams could lose athletes who are not fully vaccinated as required by the Los Angeles Unified School District starting Monday.


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